David Patrick Crane

David crane rge 2011
creator of Pitfall! and co-founder of Activision.

Hosted AMAs

Highest Rated Comments

PitfallCreator147 karma

Wow, there I am in the jungle with Pitfall Harry!

PitfallCreator107 karma

There are lots of people who still play classic games like Pitfall. They tell me that many of my games are more fun than today's games. That is always great to hear.

PitfallCreator94 karma

I don't know the numbers of patches given, but at one point Pitfall was receiving 14,000 submissions per week with photos of their screens. We had a department of 10 people answering letters.

PitfallCreator90 karma

In those days a game was made by one person. I did every pixel of graphics, every sound effect, and wrote every line of code. But that was then.

Now, game artists can draw much better than I can. Music composers can make better music. SFX specialists, etc. To make a game today requires a dozen specialists.

But because I have done it all, I can keep those professionals dancing to my tune - making the game I envision. That is the way the development process has evolved, and I evolved with it.

PitfallCreator87 karma

If by that you mean "how am I still connected to the company?", the answer is not at all.

PitfallCreator68 karma

As I say elsewhere in this AMA, I remain neutral on Activision. I have no interaction with the company, and I understand some of the business dynamics that drive their decisions, which makes it easier for me to see all sides of an issue.

PitfallCreator63 karma

When I explain the concept behind A Boy and His Blob, people look at me like I have been smoking something. Shape changing... Vitamin deficiencies... Evil emperors... etc. But understand that no game concept pops into the head fully formed.

I loved the idea of a shape-shifting sidekick and how he could transform into a toolkit for solving an adventure. From that idea the story evolved, and the little cute guy came into being. From there were many hours of team meetings with very creative people to flesh out the concept.

Then came the programming nightmare, but that is another story.

PitfallCreator62 karma

How many times have I played Pitfall? Thousands. The way to make a game fun is to play it over and over, tweaking the smallest game play element until it is perfect.

PitfallCreator49 karma

Yes, people certainly have strong opinions on today's Activision. Part of it is that they are the biggest player, so they are the biggest target.

Another issue is that it is hard for even the biggest publisher to let loose creatively. Game projects cost millions of dollars, so when a publisher wants to back a game they need a comfort factor. Making a game that is just like some other successful game can be comforting.

All along Kickstarter has been funding small, indie games. And that can be something of an incubator for new, original ideas. My hope is that as larger projects like mine get funded we can put the same indie effort into larger game designs.

PitfallCreator41 karma

My most original games came about because I design games that I like to play. So at some point I am tired of playing a certain genre, and set out to find a new one.

That was also the basis of a lot on my success. I got tired of a genre and went to a new one. By the time I was done with that game, the game players are tired of the old game too. That made my new game all the more appealing.

But that generally means I won't do sequels back-to-back. While I am returning to the jungle with Jungle Adventure it is only after a number of years - just like Pitfall II had to wait while I did other games.