First Game Designer To Get His Name On A Box?

Biclops and I are spending our precious work minutes today trying to figure out who was the first game designer to get his name on a box. He says David Crane, with 1984’s Pitfall II:

I thought it was Steve Meretzsky, but the earliest one I could find was Zork Zero which was 1988, amazingly.


(No idea if it’s still the earliest or not though.)

Released in 1983:

Old EA album games want to make me weep from a combination of nostalgia and desire.

Scott Adams Adventure land released in 1978

I’m fairly sure this is the first.

Absolutely. EA used to print a picture of the developers somewhere on the box. They even kept it up into the early 90’s.

These days, when I ask a company for a picture of the development team, everyone involved shrugs and acts like that’s a stupid thing to ask for. Screenshots? Sure. Pictures of the coders? Seriously? Can’t do it. Impossible.

I bet the EA meme yields the earliest dev to get their name on the box. Unless Garriott had his name on the front of the paper for Akalabeth. Also, I bet Stephen “Slug” Russell’s name was on the paper tape reel for Space War.

EDIT: Good find on Scott’s box.

I don’t count Scott Adams because Adventure International was his company. I was thinking Bill Budge as well (and particularly in this case since his name is more prominent than the “Pinball Construction Set” beneath) when I clicked on the thread, but I’m pretty sure we could find an older example of a developer being recognized by a non-related publisher.

Ultima II (1982) published by Sierra:

maybe Chris crawford? Eastern Front(1941) - came out 1981? cant find box art but i think he had his name on it from memmory?

Softporn Adventure 1981

(Probably not the earliest but who doesn’t want to see a seminude Roberta Williams?)

Budge’s game was 1983, no?

One of the earliest I remember was David’s Midnight Magic, another pinball game. Got his name right in the title! He beat PCS by a year.

But for all practical purposes, EA was the company that hyped devs for the first time.

Well Akalabeth(1980) had Designed by Lord British on it as well.

The old Archon case was awesome. Ah, the days when EA branding was all “arty games created by auteurs”.

Oh, she’s fully nude under that water. Just close your eyes and let your inner-Bettenhausen free.

I’m torn on counting this one since it was originally self-published but the re-publish by California Pacific Computer Company did have his name on it so yeah, it probably counts – what year was the re-publish (surely pre-1982’s Ultima II, probably 1980)? Regardless, CPCC published his Ultima I in 1980 and that probably had his name on it as well – has anyone dug up the art for that release?

Incidentally, it bug any other Ultima fans that we have the nice gold trim box style for Ultimas I (1986 re-issue), III, IV, V and not II? And that VI deviated from IV and V despite being in the same Trilogy? Not cool! =)

I purchased Alkalbeth directly from Richard, at the Apple store in Fairlawn, OH, in late 1979. He was in the store with a box of ziplocked games, giving a demo to the owner.

I was blown away. A 3D first person dungeon!!! Yeah, black and white, and literally about 0.5 frames per second (lizard 4 squares away…pause…3 squares away…) but we were in awe. Richard wrote his phone number on the receipt and told me that if I had any questions or problems to give him a call.

Thats an awesome story Jeff. :)

Wow, yeah that’s awesome. I never got to meet him, the closest I got was a GDC in '98 that had a MMO roundtable but he had to cancel for legal reasons at the last minute. =(

He was just another geeky kid in a store that was a home to geeky kids. ;) (I was in grad school at the time, and used to drive over to the store about 3 times a week to see what new games were there.)