Big Five Software
Home Company People TRS-80 Games Miner 2049er Bounty Bob Strikes Back! Emulator
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Miner was Big Five Software's first entry into the world of color computer gaming.  We chose the Atari 400/800 system because it had the best combination of graphics and sound.

Atari 800XL

Something I've never seen, but found in an old brochure: An Atari 1450XLT!

Miner featured a full 16K of ROM code while the majority of the other cartridge-based games had only 8K.  We designed the circuit boards ourselves and tested the first versions with EPROM's.  The game was written in assembly language on the Atari itself.  Once the program was complete we submitted the binary image of the program to a semiconductor manufacturer in Sunnyvale, Ca.

I still remember the excitement when the first shipments of masked ROM's arrived.  We had everything else standing by including the molded cases, labels, circuit boards, cardboard boxes, and registration cards.  Those first ROM's were used up and shipped as soon as we got them.  Getting additional ROM's was quite a challenge.  It seemed that as soon as we would pay the "net 30" invoices for one shipment then another would arrive!  

One of the early ROM versions had a bug somewhere in the hydraulic lift level.  Oops!

The version of Miner 2049er for the Atari home computers was the original version that spawned all the other licensed versions.  We produced a version for Atari 5200 (running essentially the same code) and developed a version for the black and white TRS-80 computers but never released it.

Just about every computer imaginable had a ported version.  These included Apple, Atari 2600, Commodore 64, IBM PC, and many, many others.  Barry Friedman of ICG did a terrific job licensing all these different versions.  Miner was the truly the first cross-licensing success story.

Here's some of the awards given to Miner 2049er:

 

Home Company People TRS-80 Games Miner 2049er Bounty Bob Strikes Back! Emulator
History Ads Packages Levels Technical