Garfield

My wife writes about Garfield.

In 1984, when I was working for Atari, my office mate (Judy B) had the job of working on a “Garfield” video game cartridge. It was a side-scrolling, multi-level game in whicn you controlled Garfield and had to pick up piles of lasagna and other food, while avoiding mice and odie. Jon was in there somewhere (maybe you had to humiliate him). It was terribly cute, the mice were especially well done, Garfield got fatter, and Odie more mischievious. The more lasagne you stacked up, the more points you got, but the towers swayed (with great cartoon physics) and were more easily lost the higher they got.

Anyway, since Judy was working on the game design (as opposed to the engine guts, which I was just helping out on), she got to spend a little time with Jim Davis. (Nobody likes to see the darned hard-core engineers, oh well).

One thing I remember, she came back and said “They expect Garfield’s popularity to peak in two or three years, and they’ll probably stop drawing it in five or six.”

19 years later, and Garfield is apparently still going. (What happened to the game? Oh, later on that summer, Judy asked to be laid off when Jack Tramiel bought the company; she’d worked at Commodore, and really didn’t like the guy at all).

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