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ThinkIndifferent's picture
Joined: 2016 Sep 4
Games made by women and people of colour

Hey all, I'm going to be covering a LOT of games made by white dudes in my video series, which is fine, but I'm hoping to cover a few by women and people of colour, too.

Suggestions can included HyperCard games or things made with WorldBuilder. Anything goes really!

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mossy_11's picture
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Joined: 2009 Sep 5

So far as I can tell from my book research and interviews, not many Mac games were made by women or non-white men. But a few things spring to mind as I skim through my notes:

-Louise Hope's World Builder games (Sultan's Palace, The Tower, Canal District, Double Trouble)
-Takeshi Takahashi's games (Macigame and GO GO Rabbit Train)
-Yoot Saito's SimTower and Yoot Tower
-Not games, per se, but Amanda Goodenough's HyperCard stacks
-Nightfall was co-created by a woman (edit: actually, two women — the main creators were June Power and David Rees, but they also had a female artist, Carolyn Cox, who made significant contributions)
-A-Train
-Takahiro Sumiya's Mac port of SameGame
-MacJong
-NyankoSweeper

ThinkIndifferent's picture
Joined: 2016 Sep 4

I was hoping there would be more, but I suspected there wouldn't!

I know Burger Becky worked on a few Mac titles, and quite a few women headed multimedia projects (which I'm going to cover).

Dadgum Games comprised of a husband and wife team... that's all off the top of my head.

Maybe I'll find a few more during my travels.

mossy_11's picture
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Joined: 2009 Sep 5

Yes, you will find more women as you dig into multimedia titles. There's a lot of Japanese multimedia, too.

Both Burgerbecky and Glenda Adams worked on a lot of ports (Becky at MacPlay and Logicware; Glenda at Westlake, Lion, Looking Glass, Origin, etc, mostly for MacSoft and Aspyr). Not much original Mac stuff, though. Glenda made a few shareware Mac games under the name Maverick Software.

Another one I just thought of is Sheryn Wareing, wife of David Wareing (of Ambrosia fame). I'm not sure if she had a hand in any of his Ambrosia titles, but when he went independent as Swoop Software at the beginning of the OS X era they made Kitty Spangles Solitaire together.

NucAr's picture
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The first names that come to mind are Leslie Grimm and Lynn Kirkpatrick. They were the main creators of the early childhood education games The Playroom, The Treehouse, and The Backyard. Grimm was the lead designer/programmer, and Kirkpatrick was the lead artist. These games have DOS versions as well, but the Macintosh versions are vastly superior in sound and visual quality, as are many games from the early 90s. Here are the DOS versions on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX2yKARWXwU&spfreload=10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIFEq7pcgyg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ionTk66TcXI&spfreload=10

The Macintosh versions are archived on this site, and run in Basilisk II if you want to see the difference. There were later "CD-ROM" versions as well, but these versions look significantly different from the originals.

Anyway, I know that Grimm also worked on Reader Rabbit 1 because I have the game, and she's credited in the manual. The manual of The Treehouse has adorable pictures of Grimm and Kirkpatrick as children, and the manual of The Backyard has pictures of them as adults. One day, when I have an appropriate scanner, I will upload the manuals here. For now, I'll type out the blurbs about them as they appear in the manual of The Backyard:

Leslie Grimm: Leslie is a software designer and co-creator of The Backyard, The Playroom, and The Treehouse. She has a doctorate in Biology from Stanford University. She has been designing and programming award-winning educational software games for young children for more than a decade. Before she began creating software, she spent several years in the classroom teaching children of many ages and abilities. Leslie has two daughters. She enjoys playing the piano, photography, swimming, and toys that do interesting things with forms and light.

Lynn Kirkpatrick: Lynn is the lead artist and co-creator of The Backyard and The Treehouse, and she created the graphics for The Playroom. She has a degree in Art from the State University of New York at Oswego and a degree in Industrial Design from San Jose State University. She has worked in the field of educational computer games for over six years. Her interests are swimming, going to museums, and collecting silly gadgets. She has one daughter.

I think you'll find that women often worked on educational software. All three "product developers" of Millie's Math House were women ("programmers" were men). Plenty of women worked on Sammy's Science House and Reader Rabbit 2. Again, I have the manuals of these games. The same probably goes for Bailey's Book House, but I'd have to climb over too much stuff in my storage room to reach the box!

mossy_11's picture
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Another couple of things that I spotted while editing my manuscript:

-Amanda Goodenough's HyperCard titles. Inigo Gets Out and then the rest of the AmandaStories collection that followed.
-Drakmyth Castle, a gorgeous World Builder game, was co-created by a woman (Virginia Batcheff)
EDIT: And every pinball game by Littlewing, a Japanese husband and wife team.

Fun fact about The Playroom, The Backyard, and The Treehouse: they were all prototyped in HyperCard. Leslie Grimm took the prototypes to Digital Illusions, which was best-known for its work on simulation games Orbiter, PT-109, and Sub Battle Simulator, and they reprogrammed them as multi-platform games.

mrdav's picture
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A Silly Noisy House by Peggy Weil

ThinkIndifferent's picture
Joined: 2016 Sep 4

While looking for things I found a woman who had made a few HyperCard games:

http://acronyms.co.nz/software/OIAL.html

ThinkIndifferent's picture
Joined: 2016 Sep 4

Here's a StoryMaker game made by a girl:

http://macintoshgarden.org/games/adventure-island