Multicom Publishing

(July.1992 - Jan.1993)


Background:

Multicom Publishing was a small startup company in Seattle that formed to catch the wave of the "new CD-ROM Phenomenon". Multicom immediately hitched their wagon to Tandy's VIS platform - a new competitor to Philip's CD-I. My responsibility was to work out the intricacies of the VIS and program it in DOS to develop as-interactive-as-possible graphics applications.

I was the first programmer hired, and the first one fired once the VIS numbers starting coming in. Multicom was my first job in the computer industry and in six short months I learned a tremendous amount about the vagaries that were the hallmarks of the nascent industry: long hours, indecisive management, poor designs and a lack of fiscal sense.

After my departure, Multicom's intellectual properties were acquired by Electronic Arts. Today, I cannot find any trace of the original Multicom site, but the closest thing I've found so far can be linked to here.


Programming:

As the only programmer at Multicom with any DOS experience, the low-level programming of the Tandy VIS platform fell to me. I created a library of routines for coaxing the most performance possible out of the lowly 286-based platform and 1x CD-ROM. I also developed tools for graphics processing that were used on other Multicom titles.

Major Titles

Search for the Sea

Release Date: Q4 1992
Project Responsibilities: Programmer
Languages Used: C, 80286
Technologies: DOS, Tandy VIS

My first full-time programming work, I was hired into Multicom because I answered the question "Can you write a CD-ROM adventure program in four months from scratch by yourself on a poorly-documented platform you've never seen before?" with a resounding, naive "Yes!".

I managed the impossible and delivered the title on the requested date. The title was a low-production value activity center for kids that told an amusing story along the way.

By the time I was released from Mulitcom two months later, Search for the Sea had only received 4 confirmed registrations.

 


 
 


 

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