Being Thanksgiving, this seems like the appropriate day to say a special thanks to someone who has done so much for the Atari community…Bob ‘PacManPlus’ DeCrescenzo. Since 2001, Bob has developed more than a dozen games for 2600 and 7800 systems. Starting with an extensive hack of Stargate to create Defender Arcade for the 2600, to helping rescue some almost finished prototypes, to ground up development of new 7800 games like Scramble and Moon Cresta, Bob has literally been a one man game factory!
Although I have never met Bob in person, over the past few months, we have become friends. As I mentioned in a previous blog, game developers need to recycle carts to produce new ones. I decided that one thing I could do was to help find carts for developers like Bob. I sent Bob a couple of boxes of old carts and, one day, I received a package from Bob with two of his new games. Here I was trying to do something nice for him and ended up on the receiving end of Bob’s niceness!
If you are an Atari fan, then you already know what a great guy Bob is. He has spent so many hours developing games and giving to the Atari community. He has always posted his game files so that anyone could download and play them. He has made numerous carts for forum members and, also, allowed AtariAge to sell them at a very reasonable price. In an earlier time, Bob would have been a highly compensated, ‘Rock Star’, game programmer. In the past decade, he has had to settle for the satisfaction of knowing that his games have brought so many hours of enjoyment to a small group of Atari retro-gamers.
Recently, for personal reasons, Bob has had to stop the development of any new games. At this point in time, Bob does not think that he will be able to return to Atari game development. In true ‘Bob’ fashion, he has ‘retired’ from game development with little fanfare. He recently posted the source code for all of his games so that others can use it for further game development. Although Bob is ‘retiring’ from game development, his games will continue to be played and enjoyed for many years to come.
Bob is one of those special people who gives freely and asks for little in return. We are going to miss him and his immense talents!
PacMacPlus-best wishes and a special Thank You for all that you have done for the Atari retro-game community!!!