Talk:Breakout (video game)

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Breakout (video game):


Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
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Priority 3

Wozniak's share[edit]

Two of the references contradict on the level of Wozniak's share, $350 or $375. 4 says:

He pays Wozniak his share of $375 from the original $750

While 3 says:

Jobs received a $5,000 bonus and told Woz it was only $700 and gave Steve Wozniak his '50%'... $350.

Which was it? Does Wozniak's book iWoz give specifics on this?

Also, does Woz's book corroborate this statement:

Years later this truth would come out and it would add to the already increasing friction between the two which eventually lead to Steve Wozniak quitting Apple.

-Kadri

$350, which is half of $700. Likewise, the references are there to corroborate the full story of the item not being used, not just the ammount. Also, look again at the numbered references - iWoz is one of them. --Marty Goldberg 12:20, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I removed the part about Wozniak leaving Apple because Jobs shortchanged him on Breakout. I think it has more to do with Wozniak, Jobs, and Apple than with Breakout and interrupts the flow of the article by getting it sidetracked. It's also factually disputable.

--typhoon 12:55, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

So, if Wozniak and Jobs were responsible for the game, why does the infobox have Bushnell as the designer? siafu 01:06, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Bushnell was NOT the designer. It's a woz original. Sadangel 03:51, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

The thing is, Bushnell designed (here meaning conceptualized) the game, and Woz (enlisted by Jobs) designed the circuitry needed to make it work.

External links: Clones[edit]

Could someone please separate these clones into shareware vs. closed-source freeware vs. open-source? Seahen 01:40, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Could someone with a bit more wiki-fu add back the clones links? They were useful, and removed with rather suspicious motives (in favor of some shockwave-only, platform-limited "official" version) by an Atari contractor.

Actually, they were removed because they have no business in the article per the Wikipedia WikiProject Computer and video games‎ guides and viewpoints of regular project contributors, as well as the regular Wikipedia link guidelines. Wikipedia is not a link farm, and certainly not a collection of "wannabe's", which do not illustrate the actual game being discussed in the article. It's an Atari game, so it puzzles me why someone would question the official online Atari presentation of the game as the standard reference. The fact that Atari is one of several contractors I sometimes do work for has no bearing on the issue, any more than you being an anonymous contributor does. And lastly you are incorrect - the "official" Atari one is Java based not shockwave, and is cross platform. The licensed one is shockwave. --Marty Goldberg 05:44, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

uh the clones links are damn helpful. I have no idea why someone would remove them, I was looking all over for a list of good clones and i came here and found that someone had removed them, just make a new page with a list of breakout clones and link to it =/

Once again, a collection of homebrew clones has no business here and does not illustrate the article. For people interested in playing it there's links to two versions officially put out by Atari, the creator of the game. You want a listing of "play-alikes", that's what google is for. Wikipedia is not a link farm. --Marty Goldberg 21:58, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Dubious story[edit]

"Wozniak's friend Steve Jobs worked at Atari, and took on the project from Al Alcorn, the project's manager. Jobs turned around and enlisted Wozniak to design the game, which he did in four days. However, Atari was unable to use Steve Wozniak's design. In his usual zest to design the board as elegant as possible, he also cut down the amount of TTL (transistor-transistor logic) chips to just 42 total. This final design he submitted through Steve Jobs, however, made it impossible to manufacture - it was just too compact and complicated to be feasible with Atari's then current manufacturing methods. Jobs still got paid for the design, and because of a bonus clause in the contract based on the ammount of TTL's cut ($100 per TTL) he earned a US$5000 bonus. However, he only paid Wozniak $350, which he stated was half of the claimed $700 design fee. Atari wound up having to design their own version for production, which ultimately contained about 100 TTL's." - added by User:Wgungfu

No sources are cited and this story makes little sense as written. Would the author care to explain? Mirror Vax 16:47, 14 September 2006 (UTC)


Ultimate History of Video Games, pgs 71-73 which also includes this direct quote from Alan Alcorn (the Breakout project manager) on the issue. The book also states: "No one could figure out how he did it, and the manufacturing plant could not reproduce it. In the end, Alcorn had to assign another engineer to build a version of Breakout that was more easily replicated. The final game had about 100 chips."

There's also: http://www.thedoteaters.com/p2_stage1.php

There's also this web site: http://www.arcade-history.com/index.php?page=detail&id=3397

What about it appears dubious or makes little sense now that you've been given sources? --Marty Goldberg 03:43, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. Alan Alcorn's description of the problem is rather vague. Do you know what he means? Is "it was just too compact and complicated to be feasible with Atari's then current manufacturing methods" your interpretation? What is meant by "manufacturing methods"? Mirror Vax 04:41, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I find it dubious as well -- this story smells. I find the supposed reaction of Atari execs to Wozniak's design hard to believe (if they couldn't understand it clearly enough to reproduce it, they might respect the engineering but they would have been none too happy about that result) and I find the supposedly awarded amount of $5000 dubious. Despite the so-called $100/chip saved promise, I don't think Atari had any intention of this totalling up to $5000 because that's an insane number of chips to save (they didn't expect the Woz) and I doubt they actually delivered on this promise -- especially since they couldn't use the design! I don't know a business in the world that wouldn't consider this to be a deal-breaker and use it as an excuse to pay out less than they promised. It would be shocking to me if somebody responsible for actually signing this payout didn't notice that the product they were paying for couldn't be used as is. The person at Atari who started the $5000 story (Bristow I believe) probably never actually saw such a cheque and is simply remembering the terms of the deal, and Steve Jobs may have never seen a cheque in this amount. We have only one interested party's word that he did. Remember that Atari would have loved to lure Wozniak away from Apple at the time they started telling this story; so these are interested parties we are relying on. Furthermore, Jobs has denied some of this story to Wozniak (we don't know exactly which part but Wozniak mentioned this in an interview) -- and if you ask Wozniak he'll talk a lot about forgiveness -- because that's who he is -- but route around that and look for the *confirmation* and you won't find it. Wozniak has also said (if you pay attention) that he's not sure he believes that it really happened the way Steve Bristow at Atari says it did. A quote from Wozniak's site: "Maybe the Atari people that said it and wrote it were wrong in their own memories. I do believe that this is possible." This is Wozniak again being generous and not going as far as to say, "It is possible that Atari lied." But it is clear that Wozniak himself does not entirely trust the provenance of this story. Why should we? Maybe it happened and maybe it didn't. Is there a reason that the Atari exec's word is gold here? I can't see one. This is essentially hearsay, and one shouldn't take Wozniak's willingness to talk about it and consider it publically (it's just his personality) as a confirmation from him that he knows it happened the way it's being told and in the amounts that it's been told.--65.93.205.132 02:31, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
  • sigh* Here we go again. This was covered already and referenced. It was Alcorn, not Bristow, whose talked about it ad nauseum. As senior engineer he oversaw everything, and signed off on the projects, including this one. They were paying for work done, project completed, on a prototype. Lots of prototypes get developed and not used, and the engineers still get paid. Woz's is always known for producing elegant and (more importantly) compact designs. Atari had an established manufacturing (assembly line) and design process. Woz (as a non-Atari employee and "hidden" designer) simply did not design the game within those standards, he did it to his own. Nothing wrong with that, but it lead to Atari not being able to use the design and assigning someone else to design the game. Woz also talks about the money situation as well in his book in more detail and confirmed he was indeed cut short on the full ammount. This has all been covered before in the Jobs article and in plenty of online interviews with both Alcorn and Wozniak, on this subject, conducted by actual professional researchers. The only speculation and "hearsay" is your previous paragraph. --Marty Goldberg 17:45, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
First of all, I didn't claim anything one way or the other as to whether Steve Jobs did what was alleged, so I made no speculations on that. And I have the book right here in my hand (The First Quarter) where Alcorn claims that the payout was $30,000 ($1000 a chip, which is ridiculous), and which contradicts the oft-quoted $5000. Alcorn never said $5000. So what exactly are we supposed to believe? That Steve Jobs was paid some extra sum, but the details don't matter, and we should rely on the word of those who don't actually remember or agree on the details? So explain to me again which one of these dudes actually saw this cheque signed and delivered? I seriously doubt it was Alcorn. This has many disturbing earmarks of a 'tall story': told by interested parties, and growing in the telling. Note that I am not saying that there is no seed of truth: it just shouldn't be repeated in an encyclopedia as fact, especially not this $5000 figure or any other figure without better confirmation. It should be rewritten to say that the Atari fellows (without accusing them of anything) claim that Jobs got paid more than what he gave Wozniak but they can't agree on the amount. In fact, eventually I will edit this article to this effect; it doesn't seem to be very controversial and at least it gives a more accurate picture of the possible unreliability of these sources. What I don't like is hearsay from interested parties treated as fact, especialy when their facts conflict even amongst themselves. This is why police officers separate subjects to interview them; this is what they call a "fishy" story.--65.95.120.130 09:55, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I didn't come here on the attack, and I don't mind the story still being mentioned, but it needs some qualification, especially when it comes to the amounts. Take a look at the following Q & A from Wozniak's website, which I remembered in my first paragraph but couldn't turn up until I figured out the correct search term (and I include the whole question and answer to avoid looking like I'm selectively quoting):
"Q From e-mail: http://www.woz.org/letters/pirates/30.html
"I was in Barnes & Noble last night and stumbled onto a book by Gil Amelio which detailed his "500 days at Apple." I think his book was called "On the Firing Line." Anyway, given my interest in reading your comments in the wake of "Pirates," I looked up references to you. In one, he recounts your explanation of the Woz/Jobs friendship rift. He asserts that you told him that way back in the 70s, before the Apple I, you were working on something for Atari with Jobs. You did all of the work, and you and Jobs were supposed to get $1000. When you produced the product, Jobs gave it to Atari and came back to you with $300, saying all he got from them was $600. You didn't find out until the mid-eighties that Jobs actually did get $1000, and he ripped you off. Can you confirm this story?
"WOZ:
"I don't like to stir up old things that carry a negative note, but Steve was actually paid more like $3000 or $5000 or something. Nolan Bushnell, who paid him, gave the amount in a recent book, "Silicon Valley Guys." I was actually sort of thankful that Gil got it wrong, because it didn't sound as attrocious as it really was. To clarify, this happened before Apple, when Steve and I were best friends with little to our names. Steve said we'd split it 50/50. If he'd just said that I could have $50 for doing it I would have done it anyway for the fun and honor of designing an arcade game. You can see why I cried deeply when I found out the truth. I get hurt and cry very easily when people don't treat others well, or when the "right" thing isn't happening. Also, Steve doesn't remember the incident this way, so consider another possibility: that those saying the payment was large could be remembering it incorrectly. This is old stuff, and it's best not to use it as an indicator of Steve today."
So it looks like the $1000 figure I remember may have been simply an error on Amelio's part, although I do remember hearing it long before his book came out, so I would be curious as to where it actually originated, and how it became $5000 and then $30,000 when told by Alcorn. (From "The First Quarter" by Peter Molyneux: "According to Alcorn, Jobs pocketed a $30,000 bonus.") But take special note of the part where Wozniak says that "Steve doesn't remember the incident this way" and asks us to consider another possibility: that the actual figure was much smaller, which strongly implies that what Jobs took issue with was the figure. Is there a good reason why this encyclopedia is ignoring Woz's own advice by not at least mentioning this possibility, yet taking the figures quoted by Atari as fact? Shouldn't we read them both in a qualified manner? My specific problem is with the figures. I think it's probable that something unethical (or at least not very friendly) was done by Jobs to Wozniak, and that it is probably safe to say this is reliable as a general concept, but the actual figures of the bonus should be portrayed in an appropriate light as conflicting and therefore unreliable. By my viewing, every person interviewed has told a different story as to this figure.--65.95.120.130 10:54, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Another quote for you, this time from iCon (page 28) which is not exactly a Steve Jobs hagiography but seems quite well researched and includes interview material with Alcorn himself:
"The design for Break-Out was completed in one forty-eight-hour stretch. The company thought Jobs was designing it, but it was entirely Woz’s work.“Steve’s role was to buy the candy and cokes while Woz did all the design,”said Randy Wigginton,a very young camp follower who would end up at Apple. True to his past achievements, Woz managed to do the work using a ridiculously small number of chips. Alcorn was impressed and paid Steve the $1,000 he had offered. But Steve went back to Woz and said that Atari had paid only $600.He gave Woz his “half.”So Woz,who had done all the work,ended up with $300,while Steve Jobs pocketed $700."
So, that's two stories from Alcorn now. What exactly is this figure? I would really like to know, but I can't know based on the information out there. Is it $1000 (Alcorn I)? $5000 (Bushnell & repeated by Bristow)? $30,000 (Alcorn II)? Some other unknown smaller-than-$5000 figure relayed to Wozniak by Steve Jobs? This is what I'm talking about. Scratch the surface here and the details of this particular payout arrangement start to fall apart, but from this Wikipedia article as is, you would never know that.--65.95.120.130 11:37, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
More. This time from Wozniak himself. This time it's 44 chips instead of 30 (Wozniak seems to have a faulty memory himself -- I trust his earlier recollections more). This interview with him in Byte Magazine was from 1984. And again with the $1000 only this time in a slightly different context. (It does however match iCon's story that $1000 was what was originally promised.) Also notice that several details we take for granted now are different in this much more contemporary account from Wozniak. This looks like it may have been before Woz even heard about any deception. http://apple2history.org/museum/articles/byte8412/byte8412.html
"WOZNIAK: Steve Jobs was working for Atari at the time. Nolan Bushnell was really annoyed because all their new games were coming out at 150-170 chips. He wanted low chip counts to reduce costs, and he had seen a version of Pong that I had done, that only used about 30 chips. He appreciated that. So he said if we could design a hardware Breakout in under 50 chips, we'd get 700 bucks; and if it was under 40 chips, we'd get $1000. Atari didn't put us on a time schedule; Steve did. l had to do it in four days because Steve had to catch an airplane to Oregon. l was the designer-the engineer-and Steve was a breadboarder and test technician. We gave them a working breadboard for it. My first design was 42 chips. By the time we got it working it was 44. but we were so tired we couldn't cut it down. So we only got 700 bucks for it."
I'm going to keep looking but I'll stop loading this page with more quotes, I'll just keep it in my own records.--65.95.120.130 11:49, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Does this really matter? You are arguing over trivialities. The essence is Steve Jobs, at least when young, had no qualms about exploiting his friend for profit. 96.30.162.10 (talk) 20:48, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

It's an encyclopedia; factual details matter, making judgments about someone's character doesn't (and is not allowed). -- 96.247.231.243 (talk) 03:59, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Complicated version[edit]

There was an extremely complicated version of this game where the player was actually in a spaceship which ahd been warped to some alternate reality. The breakout paddle could be upgraded to include lasers, a longer surface, and a warp feature. I only ever saw this game in an arcade, not ever for home version. Anyone recall the name? -195.229.242.88 00:50, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Arkanoid, by Taito.--64.229.26.175 09:36, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Arkanoid was available on the Amiga. -- 96.247.231.243 (talk) 04:00, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Breakout a clone of Take 7's 'Bust Out' ?[edit]

It seems the set of seven Pong variants called 'Take 7' by Fun Games predated Breakout by one year. Have a look at the final variant in the bottom right corner: http://www.arcadeflyers.com/?page=flyer&id=2502&image=2 Looks to me like Breakout was a carbon copy turned 90 degrees. Other sources confirm the date of 'Take 7: http://www.klov.com/game_detail.php?letter=&game_id=10022 http://www.arcade-history.com/index.php?page=detail&id=4275 http://www.cityofberwyn.com/bronzeage/ (scroll down on that last source to the section on 1975). I think this is quite appropriate to be mentioned in this article, no? I looked quite extensively and I could not find any other games so identical before Bust Out, although both Clean Sweep by Ramtek in 1974 and TV Pinball by Exidy in 1975 have some similarities.--64.229.26.175 09:34, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

No, actually this game was a clone of Breakout. From Steve Bristow, the co-designer (with Nolan) of the game concept: "Fun games was started by some guys who left Atari coin op when we were in Los Gatos. They were sued for stealing parts from the stockroom and designs from Atari, and lost the suit. Breakout was in production in coin op before they did this. I testified in the suit. The copyright notice on a coin op Breakout listed los gatos as the company location and we moved to sunnyvale before 1976." This would also fit in to why all their games (all four) were clones of Atari games from the time. They were shut down in 1976 because of the suit. --Marty Goldberg 17:50, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, this is very good information, because it looked pretty damning. Just so you know, I am the same person questioning the $5000 story above, so it's not like I am a Steve Jobs partisan. If Breakout *were* a carbon copy, that would be pretty damning on him (since he claimed he originated the Breakout concept in The First Quarter). I just really don't think any of the different figures claimed by the Atari principals should be treated as fact. I have also seen $1000 by the way instead of $5000, but that was earlier days; now they seem to have standardised their story more. This retelling process itself is suspicious -- and it doesn't meet the standard of evidence I expect from an encyclopedia.--65.95.120.130 10:09, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Does anybody object to qualifying the '$5000' figure?[edit]

Considering the stuff that I discovered above and the conflicting accounts over the years, does anybody object to qualifying the $5000 figure as only one story and the insertion of references to the other figures that have been quoted by other people involved over the years? I know I can go ahead and change it and see what happens, but I'm not in any hurry. I figure anyone who is passionate about "$5000 is the truth" will probably read the talk page anyway.--65.94.156.78 13:13, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Who the hell is Steve Bristow?[edit]

I've been doing a lot of work on the development section, and have no idea who Steve Bristow is. I can't find any information on him. What did he do? What books is he mentioned in? --Teggles 07:17, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

One of the lead engineers at Atari, 2nd only to Alcorn. Quite well known actually, and partnered with Nolan regularly on ideas during that time. Also the creator of several classic Atari games including Quadrapong, Tank, and others. Simple google search turns up tons of info, and no need for the melodrama. --Marty Goldberg 08:20, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Melodrama? I don't think anyone other than this Atari fanboy could find that in Teggles' comment. -- 96.247.231.243 (talk) 04:09, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Need to move article[edit]

This article needs to be moved so "Breakout" can be the disambig page. There's at least one thing on the disambig list that's clearly more notable than this game, so it makes no sense to give this pride of place. Everyking (talk) 10:04, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

If you're talking about the Miley Cyrus album, that's highly debatable and extremely subjective. How is a minor pop-album by a the current tween star (there's a long list of previous tween stars - see New Kids On The Block, Spice Girls, Hillary Duff, etc. etc.) more notable? Its certainly notable enough to be on Wikipedia, but likewise Wikipedia is not a reflection of current minor (I.E. only relative to a specific segment) pop-trends. Its an encyclopedia. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 15:27, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
This is just a video game, and I see no evidence that it attained the same level of popularity or recognition as the album. Everyking (talk) 17:18, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Please see the Influences section. It created and defined an entire genre of games in the video game industry, inspired the creation of the Apple II computer, Space Invaders, and continues to be among the most cloned games in the industry (including versions of which appearing in every Apple product) just after Pong. I see no evidence that a tween pop album has had anywhere near the same influence in the Music industry. In fact, the article entry for that album says very little about any sort of prominence or influence in the industry. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 17:55, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure it was influential, but surely we can at least agree that 99.9% of the people who enter "Breakout" into their search box right now are going to be looking for the album, and surely you can acknowledge that this game is not so much more notable that it warrants preferential treatment. If the basic title is not a disambig, then whatever the subject is at that basic title should be overwhelmingly more notable than anything else with the same name. I propose that we link people straight to a disambig page, instead of making them click on the link at the top of this article and then click the link of the disambig page. Everyking (talk) 18:02, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Your comment was in regards to questioning its recognition. As far as "99.9" of people looking for Miley's album, that's extremely doubtful, and even if its enjoying a popularity spike in a search, that is temporary at best and shouldn't lead Wikipedia. The reason Breakout was used as the main element in the search, is because it simply was the most notable use of the word out of all the items on the Breakout disambig page. I didn't create the current disambig preferential treatment, nor the Breakout page - it existed in this notability format for some time. That said, I can concur on moving it on the basis of not giving any Breakout named item preferential treatment and directing to a general disambig page. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 18:11, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what we were arguing about, then, but thanks. Everyking (talk) 03:54, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

You were arguing that the Miley Cyrus album 'Breakout' was more important than the video game 'Breakout'. Methinks history will not be on your side. Further - are you some kind of marketing bot?96.30.162.10 (talk) 20:50, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

At this point in time, google results for breakout don't yield Miley Cyrus until page 5 ... which was quite predictable. -- 96.247.231.243 (talk) 04:18, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Bot report : Found duplicate references ![edit]

In the last revision I edited, I found duplicate named references, i.e. references sharing the same name, but not having the same content. Please check them, as I am not able to fix them automatically :)

  • "DotEaters" :
    • [http://www.thedoteaters.com/p2_stage1.php Player 2 Stage 1: The Coin Eaters]
    • [http://www.thedoteaters.com/p2_stage1.php The Dot Eaters - Coin-op Video Game History<!-- Bot generated title -->]
  • "UHVF" :
    • Kent, Stevn: "The Ultimate History of Video Games", pages 71–73. Three Rivers, 2001. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4
    • Kent, Steven: ''The Ultimate History of Video Games'', pages 71-73. [[Three Rivers]], 2001. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4
  • "ArcadeHistory" :
    • [http://www.arcade-history.com/index.php?page=detail&id=3397 Arcade History: Breakout]
    • [http://www.arcade-history.com/index.php?page=detail&id=3397 breakout at arcade-history: video games, pinballs, slot machines, etc<!-- Bot generated title -->]
  • "iWoz" :
    • [[Steve Wozniak|Wozniak, Steven]]: "[[iWoz]]", a: pages 147–148, b: page 180. [[W. W. Norton]], 2006. ISBN 13:978-0-393-06143-7
    • Wozniak, Steven: ''iWoz'', pages 147-148. [[W. W. Norton]], 2006. ISBN 978-0-393-06143-7

DumZiBoT (talk) 05:43, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Additional resource for article readers?[edit]

Gamasutra.com article that might be a useful reference to those seeking detailed information on the underpinnings of Breakout and Arkanoid-style games. Breaking Down Breakout, System and Level Design of Breakout-style Games, gamasutra.com 2007 Also cited in this entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakout_clone Brooklyngamer (talk) 20:17, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Windows[edit]

When was the Windows version released? 2fort5r (talk) 19:54, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Surprising history section.[edit]

An interest in Atari arcade games brought me to this page but I was surprised to see the history section was not about Atari Breakout but mostly about some failed prototype that was never adopted. Why is this failure so important to Atari history?68.149.247.130 (talk) 22:06, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Jobs co-designed "Breakout" and got paid $6,650 according to "Fire in the valley"[edit]

This entry in "Fire in the Valley" (written in 1984) gives Steve Jobs more credit for Breakout, and the number Jobs got was $6,650 (which makes more sense because Jobs was paid per the amount of chips he could physically eliminate from the Breakout game board).

Page 262 of "Fire in the Valley"

http://www.amazon.ca/Fire-Valley-Making-Personal-Computer/dp/0071358927

Jobs boasted he could design the game in four days, secretly planning to enlist Woz's help. Job was always very persuasive, but in this case he didn't have to bring out the thumbscrews to get his friend to help him. Woz stayed up for four straight nights designing the game, and still managed to put in his regular hours at Hewlett-Packard. In the daytime, Jobs would work at putting the device together, and at night Woz would examine what he'd done and perfect the design. They finished it in four days. The experience taught them something: they could work well together on a tough project with a tight deadline and succeed. Woz also learned something else, but not until much later. The $350 Jobs gave Woz as his share of the amount Bushnell had paid was considerably less than the $6,650 cut that Jobs kept for himself. With Jobs, the friendship only went so far.

Claimsfour (talk) 09:50, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

That's of course wrong, and more than well covered in later books. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 15:19, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

I decided to check up all the wiki reference links, this is what I came up with:[edit]

•. ^ Letters – General Questions Answered, Woz.org

Nothing, no reference to money/re: Breakout

•. ^ a b Wozniak, Steven: "iWoz", a: pages 147–148, b: page 180. W. W. Norton, 2006. ISBN 13:978-0-393-06143-7

no reference to $5,000 only "Half of $700"

•. ^ a b Player 2 Stage 1: The Coin Eaters

:Dead link

•. ^ a b Arcade History: Breakout

Cites Kent Steven's book "The Ultimate History of Video Games"

•. ^ Classic Gaming: A Complete History of Breakout

No references, could be citing Wiki for all we know.

I also checked Walter Isaacson's book "Steve Jobs" and this is all what I could find:
“There’s a chance that my memory is all wrong and messed up,” Wozniak told me, but after a pause he reconsidered. “But no. I remember the details of this one, the $350 check.” - page 165 Steve Jobs
So that leaves: Steven Kent's book "The Ultimate History of Videogames" and the fact is: 'The numbers are ALL over the place!' From Page 72-73
Below is the excerpt from that book:
Wozniak was able to remove more than 50 chips from Breakout, but his de- sign was too tight. Noone could figure out how he did it, and the manufacturing plant could not reproduce it. In the end, Alcorn had to assign another engineer to build a version of Breakout that was more easily replicated. The final game had about 100 chips.
Bushnell and Alcorn disagree on some ofthe details concerning Steve Jobs's bonus. Bushnell remembers offering Jobs $100 for each chip he removed. He claims Wozniak removed 50 chips and Jobs received a $5,000 bonus. Alcorn says that Jobs was told to reduce the design to a maximum of50 chips and that he would receive $1,000 for every chip he removed beyond that mark. According to Alcorn, Jobs pocketed a $30,000 bonus.
Alcorn and Bushnell both agree, however, that Jobs misled Wozniak about the amount that he received. Jobs told Wozniak that the bonus was only one- tenth of what Bushnell actually paid.Ithink we've got an order of magnitude problem here. jobs misled Wozniak, but jobs got five grand and Woz got half of $500. I
mean the macro-numbers are right, as it was told. I'm just saying that the denominator, the dollars per chip, is off.
-Nolan Bushnell
And Nolan says, "For every chip less than 50 ,'II give you $1,000 cash bonus." Now jobs didn't use the money for his own personal gain. He put it into Apple. But still, the fact that Wozniak's best friend lied to him broke him up. That was the beginning of the end of the friendship between Woz and jobs.
-AI Alcorn
According to Silicon Valley legend, Steve Wozniak discovered that he'd been misled many years later, while flying on a business trip and reading a biogra- phy about Jobs. Nolan Bushnell says that the legend is not true.
You want to know the real story? Woz was up here to a Sunday afternoon picnic at our house. We were talking and I asked, "What did you do with that $5,000?"
He says, "What?" He was visibly upset. Wozniak's tender. Imean, he's really a good guy.
-Nolan Bushnell
Wozniak says that both stories are true. He first discovered Jobs's deception on the plane and he did later ask Bushnell for details at his house.
I got $375, and I've never really known how much Steve got. He told me he was giving me 50 percent, and' know he got more than $750. I knew he believed that it was fine to buy something for $60 and sell it for $6,000 if you could do it. , just didn't think he would do it to his best friend.
-Steve Wozniak

Summary: The numbers range (Jobs cut) from $5,000 to $30,000 (Al Alcorn). Wozniak does make reference to getting paid $375 in Steven Kent's book. Fire in the Valley the number is $350, but the amount Jobs kept is all over the place.

Interesting sidenote,

  • Years later, Steve Jobs claimed that he had developed the concept for Breakout. When asked about it, Nolan Bushnell simply responded, "Perhaps he did." - page 71 of "The Ultimate History of Videogames":

Claimsfour (talk) 18:07, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

The concept was developed by Nolan and Steve Bristow, that's already well established. They're the ones who gave the project to Jobs. Ultimate History of Video Games is not a great resource, well known for a lot of incorrect information that wasn't properly fact checked. Woz designed the proto game, Jobs wire wrapped it and presented it as his own. Jobs wasn't an engineer, he was just a service tech and had zero ability to engineer a full game. Already directly interviewed Bristow, Alcorn, and Woz in depth about it, including why their proto wasn't used. Again, a lot of material already well repeated in published interviews as well. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 18:19, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

"Ultimate History of Video Games is not a great resource, well known for a lot of incorrect information that wasn't properly fact checked."~ Marty Goldberg

Yet that book was cited twice (at least) out of the six Wiki reference links.

'Already directly interviewed Bristow, Alcorn, and Woz in depth about it, including why their proto wasn't used. Again, a lot of material already well repeated in published interviews as well.'~Marty Goldberg

Links? (Because none of the Wiki ones/including the dead link alludes to what you wrote)

Thanks.

Claimsfour (talk) 19:06, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Steve Jobs's official biography Steve Jobs (book) by Walter Isaacson, page 167, says accounts differ, but many believe he gave him half the base money, and kept the bonus money he got for making it work with 45 chips(5 less than the 50). It doesn't say how much the bonus was, only they got one for each chip under 50. It also says that Nolan Bushnell knew these two were close, and he'd be getting his friend to help him on this surely. And Steve Jobs set the 4 day limit, because in 4 days he had to go to work at an apple farm, so needed to finish before then. He learned about it 10 years later from a book, and then Nolan Bushnell confirmed it to him, he rather upset about his friend doing that to him. Dream Focus 19:40, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The Isaacson's book is a pretty crappy read to be perfectly honest. The best Steve Jobs book I read was "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs". Still, there's no numerical reference to the actual bonus, it's a number that keeps fluctuating and therefore: I don't think "$5000" should be in the Wiki. Claimsfour (talk) 01:20, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
    It was done by a professional biographer and involved him talking to all the people that would know the answer to this. Dream Focus 09:55, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Did you read what I wrote? The numbers are all over the place, all books seem to have the number fluctuating from $5000-$30,000 and the amount Wozniak got keeps changing from $350 to $375. In Isaacson's book, there's no reference to the dollar amount Jobs got. I'm deleting the number. Claimsfour (talk) 04:58, 29 May 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Claimsfour (talkcontribs) 04:54, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

New evidence of Jobs engineering/design at Atari, Should he get a design credit for Breakout?[edit]

http://9to5mac.com/2012/05/25/sothebys-to-auction-1-of-6-working-apple-is-and-rare-steve-jobs-memo/#

These notes written by Jobs regarding the Atari game "World Cup Football" are fascinating to look at. It's obvious that he didn't simply sit back and 'dream' up designs, but he was active in the circuitry/play mechanics and game layout.

Also of note, the 'stamp' Jobs used "ALL-ONE FARM DESIGN" which as we all know was the commune Jobs worked/lived at in the interim.

I think Jobs should get a credit for the Breakout design. It's obvious Jobs had a lot more to do with game designs than simply 'exploiting Wozniak'.

Breakout is really an evolution of the "Pong" game, it's obvious now after looking at these docs, that Jobs knew how to design/make these types of games. Jobs brought in Wozniak to help reduce the amount of chips/make Breakout more efficient.

Claimsfour (talk) 04:48, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

That's completely off again. Jobs was a service technician, that's what he was hired as in 1974 and that's what he did up through Breakout. That's what those notes are about, they're jumper mods, they have nothing to do with "game layout". You're completely missinterpreting that. What the service technicians did were come up with fixes for bugs or other play modifications needed based on service notes from the field. Games in the early 70's were engineered via discrete circuitry, there was no game code or microprocessor. Each bit of game logic was done through circuitry. If you wanted to change the behavior, you'd mod the established circuit. Jobs was not an engineer and had no training as one, which is why they just fit him in as a service technician. As for Breakout, the concept was by Nolan Bushnell and Steve Bristow. It was initially worked on at Cyan, then they had some problems with people stealing the designs for that and several other games (see the Fun Games discussion), then Nolan gave it to Jobs without telling anyone (or as Nolan put it, "I got Wozniak to do it") who then took it to Woz to do the full game design and engineering. Jobs went to Wozniak, described the game play Nolan wanted, and had Jobs engineer it. Jobs would then take the circuitry and wire wrap it (the process for producing a proto) - something a service technician is very familiar with. Nobody was fooled that it was anyone but Wozniak, including Alcorn and Bristow (both of which I also interviewed for the Atari book on this very subject just last month). The design was done in 4 days when it took regular engineers several months to do a complete game. Woz has more than documented his design process, there was no Steve Jobs designing it then bringing in Woz just to reduce some chip count, you're making that up through missinterpreting the info above. That's just not how engineering a game works. You're just not going to get consensus on that sort of rewrite of history. I'm seeing from your other edits and talk page you've currently had issues with WP:OR and other Wikipedia policies, as well as edit warring. I'm hoping that's not going to be the case again here. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 05:20, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Marty's right on all of this. Jobs's role in this is well documented in many places. See Isaacson's recent bio, which has info from both Bushnell and Alcorn, for more info on his limited skill set as an engineer. Jobs was a technician, he tweaked stuff, he did not design it. Atari game designs were coming out of Cyan and/or out of the brainstorming retreats the engineering team would hold at Pajaro Dunes and similar locations. Bushnell, Bristow, and Alcorn have all discussed how Jobs was handed the already conceived design and was only asked to implement the game design in hardware and reduce the proposed chip count if he could to save money. Woz, of course, took it from there to complete the prototype, which Atari did not actually use. All the major participants in the Breakout affair have given their stories in various interviews and sources, so there is no mystery to be discovered regarding Jobs's involvement. Indrian (talk) 20:57, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Marty's right on all of this. Jobs's role in this is well documented in many places. See Isaacson's recent bio, which has info from both Bushnell and Alcorn, for more info on his limited skill set as an engineer. Jobs was a technician, he tweaked stuff, he did not design it. - Indrian (talk) 20:57, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Alright, I'll do just that, page 166 from Isaacson book "Steve Jobs"
One day in the late summer of 1975, Nolan Bushnell, defying the prevailing wisdom that paddle games were over, decided to develop a single- player version of Pong; instead of competing against an opponent, the player would volley the ball into a wall that lost a brick whenever it was hit. He called Jobs into his office, sketched it out on his little blackboard, and asked him to design it. - Page 166
So what's it gonna be? Is "Design" now a blanket term for "game designer, except for Steve Jobs where he's just a service tech"?
So what does Isaacson mean by (Bushnell) asking Jobs to "Design" Breakout? Bushnell didn't call in a team of engineers, he specifically called in Jobs.
Claimsfour (talk) 12:45, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
You can be as sarcastic as you like (actually you can't per wikipedia's policies on civility), but once again you're purposely missinterpreting information to try and push through what you want. Bushnell didn't call in anybody. Jobs volunteered when he heard about the project. Coin projects at the time were bid on internally. Bushnell and Bristow (who was head of coin-op engineering) gave it to him because they knew Woz would be doing the actual engineering design. The context of the Isaacson quote is fairly simple, Jobs volunteered, Nolan gave it to him and was describing the game and what he wanted engineered (designed). What needed to be engineered, which is what's meant by "designed" - you're playing word games with the word "designed", because it can be used to describe any aspect of a game. The game play was already "designed" (as in mapped out) by Bushnell and Bristow (hence what he was showing Jobs on the chalk board). Now they needed the game engineered, which is also described as "designed" in some texts (an engineer "designs" the ciruitry). Jobs then played the middle man and turned and had Woz do it, describing what Bushnell had wanted. Jobs didn't design the game in either of those contexts. Jobs' contribution to the project was the wire wraps (breadboarding) of Woz's circuits, which he then turned in as the finished project - which is also often referred to as the "finished design of the game", providing yet another usage/context of the word design. That's why they both rightfully get credit for the project, because he did help out in that aspect. Once again, Jobs had no engineering skills, nor had he ever engineered a game before. He was hired as a service technician, and his job was to mod circuitry actual engineers had designed. Woz has also been very clear about all this as well. [1], [2]. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 19:28, 31 May 2012 (UTC)


You can be as sarcastic as you like (actually you can't per wikipedia's policies on civility)

Frustrated is more accurate, I keep bringing up the various major issues with this Wiki article, and you keep ignoring/pretending they don't exist (trolling?)

, but once again you're purposely missinterpreting information to try and push through what you want.

Yeah, that pesky 'accuracy' agenda of mine. Look, I read all the articles/books on the subject and there's a ton of discrepancies. I haven't 'edit warred' the article either, I'm basically asking a few simple questions which none of you are able to rationally reply to.


Bushnell didn't call in anybody. Jobs volunteered when he heard about the project.

Says who? You're now re-interpreting a fairly simple excerpt from the Isaacson book to suit YOUR agenda.

One day in the late summer of 1975, Nolan Bushnell, defying the prevailing wisdom that paddle games were over, decided to develop a single- player version of Pong; instead of competing against an opponent, the player would volley the ball into a wall that lost a brick whenever it was hit. He called Jobs into his office, sketched it out on his little blackboard, and asked him to design it. - Page 166 Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson.

Where does it say "Steve Jobs volunteered", there's a massive difference between someone volunteering for a project vs. being offered one. Call me crazy, but Bushnell: Called Jobs into his office, sketched out (breakout) on a blackboard and asked Jobs to DESIGN it.

Again, this is all messed up, because in the Wiki entry it states:

" The same year, Alcorn assigned Steve Jobs to design a prototype."

It does not read: "The same year, Alcorn assigned Steve Jobs to Service Tech the prototype"

No reference to "Volunteering" and if Jobs was simply to "Service Tech" the game...then who was actually building the thing?

"The context of the Isaacson quote is fairly simple, Jobs volunteered"

YOUR context, not Isaacson's. What next? You're going to say you ghost-written Isaacson's book?

Let me point form my basic questions one last time:

- The bonus amount Jobs retained varies from $5000 to $30,000
- New internal Apple documents shows Jobs contributing far more than "Service Technician", he was actively contributing game design layout.
- Bushnell ASKED Jobs to DESIGN Breakout. That is not "Volunteering"

Summary: I think the Wiki article should include:

- Steve Jobs given a co-designer credit for the "Breakout" prototype
- The bonus number Jobs pocketed will have to be clarified, the links/references are too vague/dead-links. This needs to be sorted out.

Claimsfour (talk) 01:01, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

He told him his game idea, what he wanted it to do, and got him to design the hardware part of it. Breakout is not that complex of a game. It says Nolan came up with the game, "the player would volley the ball into a wall that lost a brick whenever it was hit.", and that is all there is to it. So Steve Jobs wasn't a game designer, he was a hardware designer. Dream Focus 01:45, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Who said it? Bushnell has said it, Bristow has said it and Alcorn has said it. The project was bid on, that's how they did it. None of the engineers wanted to bid on it because they thought paddle games were passe, Jobs said give it to me, and Nolan gave it to him. I literally have Alcorn on tape sitting in front of me stating he was surprised because he thought it was still up for bid and was going to put someone on it, then came in 4 days later to find the finished prototype and that Jobs had volunteered and Nolan actualy gave it to him because (per his direct quote) "Jobs wasn't an engineer, he didn't have a lick of engineering experience." The bidding on projects is a matter of record and has been stated in books and interviews by Nolan. I literally just interviewed Bristow and Alcorn and Woz on the subject last month for the Atari book as well. I have no "agenda" or "context" other than accuracy, and I've been doing this professionally for 12 years, including writing for Retro Gamer magazine in more recent years. Likewise per your points: a) "The bonus amount Jobs retained varies from $5000 to $30,000", no not according to Woz who verified the $5000 at the link posted when he stated "your observations are right on the money". b) "New internal Apple documents shows Jobs contributing far more than 'Service Technician', he was actively contributing game design layout." No, they're internal Atari documents and they do not show that. They show exactly what a service technician does. Games were engineered and built in pure electronics then, hence any modifications to game play were done the same way - through simple jumpers, cut contacts, and similar modifications. That's exactly what a service technician does and that's exactly what his title was. That's what they sent him to Germany to do as well to help him on his goal of getting to India, with Alcorn training him in a circuit modification that had to be done and sending him over. c) "Bushnell ASKED Jobs to DESIGN Breakout. That is not 'Volunteering'." Nope, he wasn't asked, nor does it state that in the Issacson book. Again, there was a bidding process, nobody wanted to do it because they thought paddle games were passe, so Jobs volunteered. Nolan then gave it to him, and then showed the game concept saying this is what I want the finished (i.e. designed or engineered) prototype to do and play like. d) "No reference to "Volunteering" and if Jobs was simply to "Service Tech" the game...then who was actually building the thing?" - Nobody said Jobs was to "service tech" the game, he volunteered to take on the project even though he wasn't an engineer. Who actually was building the thing was Woz, which has been shown 15 times over already. You're just playing more games now and I have to wonder if you're in any way familiar with the subject matter or even how these games were engineered based upon your statements, including your complete non-understanding of the technical aspects of the documents in the auction and what they're about. You're frustrated? So are the rest of us. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 02:55, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
  • This conversation is really starting to go in circles because it is basically all the sources in the known universe versus one person who wants to inflate Jobs's importance. As Marty has stated, Jobs was given the job of designing the circuitry, not the gameplay. All the basics were already laid out. Also, Jobs was not an engineer at Atari and only received the game when all the actual engineers turned it down. Note when I refer to Jobs as a tech above, I am talking about his general responsibilities in tandem with his general lack of experience. Yes, Bushnell assigned Jobs the circuitry design job for Breakout, which was engineering work rather than technician work, but he did not even do that, Woz did. This is all well-documented, and nothing you have provided changes these facts. As to throwing the Isaacson book back in my face, I listed it as a reference for Jobs lack of engineering ability specifically, which your quote does not address. All it addresses is that Bushnell assigned the hardware design to Jobs, which agrees with all the other sources and Marty's assessment of the situation. I am not sure what else needs to be said here. Bushnell, Bristow, Alcorn, and Wozniak are in agreement on all points not just in Marty's new interviews that are yet to be published but also in numerous existing interviews in other sources. Calling him a co-designer has no basis in fact. Indrian (talk) 03:10, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
    As I stated in the section above, Nolan Bushnell knew Wozniak was close with Jobs and thus Jobs would surely be getting Woz to help him. So he got two for the price of one. Dream Focus 03:24, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
  • "I literally just interviewed Bristow and Alcorn and Woz on the subject last month for the Atari book as well. I have no "agenda" or "context" other than accuracy, and I've been doing this professionally for 12 years, including writing for Retro Gamer magazine in more recent years. " - Marty Goldberg
I see you've written a book on Atari, and it's coming out in a few weeks: So it's a FINANCIAL matter to you, now that these wiki pages conform to your book. Even though new documents are coming out showing Jobs had a much more active role in game development at Atari...since this doesn't jive with what you've probably wrote about Jobs in your new book: You'll do everything you can to squash this idea.
The last thing you'd want is for inaccuracies on this Wiki page to contradict your book, since that would obviously lead to reviewers questioning the accuracy of it.
I think your agenda is pretty obvious now: MONEY
It would be awesome if the rest of you guys could get your arguments straight. On one hand you cite the Isaacson book as the 'source' for a lot of recent Jobs material, yet when I post the exact excerpt from Isaacson's book contradicting that Jobs 'volunteered' instead he was asked by Bushnell to DESIGN the game breakout...you then revert to...to what?
Two out of six links went to the book "The Ultimate History of Video Games", I read the chapter involving Breakout and it pretty much is opposite to what is written in the Wiki entry!
In the "Ultimate History of Video Games" the 'bidding' process for Breakout was discussed and Jobs 'accepted the challenge'...yet many here have disavowed this book as 'innacurate'
Alright, Marty Goldberg now claims he interviewed several Atari employees: Yet he's willing to take Wozniak's word that it was "$5,000" even though Woz only learned about this a decade later from an article he read...and ironically Alcorn states that the bonus Jobs got was closer to $30,000 (The numbers keep fluctuating from sources ranging from $5,000, $7,000 and $30,000).
Indrian now states " it addresses is that Bushnell assigned the hardware design to Jobs"
So what did Jobs do? If he's a service tech, then that means someone else was designing the game Breakout. Bushnell wrote down the basic/idea, but everything from block layout, physics, what happens when the ball goes 'above' the pile of blocks/etc, who's idea was that?
Page 71 (Probably the most revealing) of "The Ultimate History of Video Games", this excerpt at the bottom of the page reads:
"Years later, Steve Jobs claimed that he had developed the concept for Breakout. When asked about it, Nolan Bushnell simply responded, "Perhaps he did."'' — Preceding unsigned comment added by Claimsfour (talkcontribs) 07:40, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
So now you have descended into personal attacks, lovely. Marty is a respected video game historian known for thorough cross checking of facts and rigorous accuracy. Sure he will get some of the details wrong here and there because he is human like the rest of us, but to claim you have a better idea as to what happened at Atari than a noted scholar of the company is arrogant and not conducive to useful discourse.
I will try to lay it out simply, since after paragraphs of detailed explanation this all still confuses you. Steve Jobs was hired by Atari to be a service technician. He would take largely completed hardware designs for games and make tweaks to the hardware that were desired by the engineers to improve the game play or quash bugs or whatever. Game designs were largely coming out of Cyan, which served as Atari's advanced R&D operation for coin-op and consumer, and also out of week-long brainstorming retreats held in places like Pajaro Dunes. Breakout came out of one of these sessions, which Bushnell, Bristow and Alcorn have all corroborated. By 1976, the Pong craze had been over for two years, so none of Atari's engineers wanted to do the project. That is why a service tech like Jobs got the assignment, no engineers wanted to touch it. The complete game concept was given to Jobs to design the hardware. Jobs, having essentially no engineering skills, brought in Woz to do it for him. So to summarize: game design by Bushnell, Bristow, and maybe random input from other engineers during brainstorming (Jobs was not an engineer at the company, so he would not have participated) and hardware design and game implementation by Steve Wozniak. Woz's version was ultimately not even used, of course, for technical reasons.
Jobs lied about his role in making the game later, which is easily shown by the very fact that four other players intimately involved in the creation of the game have independently told the exact same story as to the game's creation. Furthermore, it is also verifiable that Jobs lied to Woz, his best friend, about the size of the bonus and cheated him, so he is not exactly the most trustworthy source regarding Breakout. That statement by Bushnell is clearly part of a humorous exchange with Kent since Bushnell himself is on the record as saying the game did not come from Jobs. Kent's book supports the version of events described above, and taking that single quote out of context appears to be a deliberate attempt by you to distort the truth. So now that the whole story is laid out, I have to ask: what exactly is YOUR bias that makes you want to alter history and inflate Jobs's already incredible accomplishments by giving him credit for something he did not do? Indrian (talk) 14:08, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
"That statement by Bushnell is clearly part of a humorous exchange with Kent since Bushnell himself is on the record as saying the game did not come from Jobs." - Indrian
Link please. (Y'know, like what I do to back up my points)
Because here's Bushnell himself saying the following:
http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2009/10/atari_founder_nolan_bushnell_on_steve_jobs_amazoncom_and_more.html
Here's also the actual youtube clip (aren't I a real mensch?):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-zwHB_87A0&t=44s
""And he (Steve Jobs) and Wozniak for Atari actually designed a game called Breakout, which was a game that I blocked out, but I needed to get an engineer to work on it." - Nolan Bushnell
Y'know the definition of "Service Technician" with you guys keep changing from someone who has zero to do with game design, to a joke made in jest by Bushnell to a game which can magically 'appear' out of nowhere and Jobs simple acts like a janitor.
As for my bias, unlike others here: I have zero financial gain from this. I just saw the upcoming auction of Jobs' Atari notes...realized that those were game design elements he was writing about...and when I checked up on Breakout...I noticed that not only were some reference links dead, but also the numbers/facts are all over the place.
Either way, it's obvious that Marty Goldman is probably placing an 11th hour call to his publisher
to put in some quick rewrites on the history of the development of "Breakout"
I have nothing against the guy or anyone else here: I just find that regardless of all the links/facts
I've posted: None of you bothered reading it.
It's akin to debating 9/11 Truthers and Creationists.
Claimsfour (talk) 15:01, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
When you quote sources out of context or fail to comprehend what they are saying, there really is no need to refute them, since all the sources you keep posting support the narrative already outlined by both Marty and myself. That same article you link to above specifically states that Bushnell was the source of the concept and that Wozniak engineered it. The only Jobs involvement is that Woz was not an employee, so Jobs was the man who officially had the assignment and passed along the basic concept outlined by Bushnell, while Woz did the actual work. This is documented in multiple places including Kent's book and a Retrogamer Making of Breakout in which Woz is interviewed. The Issacson book also supports the narrative: your quote above shows that Bushnell sketched out the design and Jobs was asked to design the hardware. Also, no one's definition of service tech has changed: When Jobs did Breakout he was operating outside of his job description. That same article you linked to specifically states all the engineers passed on the game. As a service tech, Jobs was not designing games or hardware. This ONE time he was allowed to do so because no engineers wanted it, but of course the actual work was Wozniak's. Have you never done work that is outside your official job title and description before? Your distortion of facts and quoting sources out of context is really getting tedious, while your personal attacks against Marty Goldberg show you have no interest in the truth of the situation and prefer to just insult anyone with a better grasp of the facts and history than yourself. Indrian (talk) 15:46, 1 June 2012 (UTC)


"As a service tech, Jobs was not designing games or hardware. This ONE time he was allowed to do so because no engineers wanted it, but of course the actual work was Wozniak's." - Indrian

Alright, so you *finally* admit that Jobs did more than simply 'service tech' the game, that did agree to DESIGN the game. While it can be argued that Wozniak did the actual game design, the fact remains: Jobs was an employee of Atari at the time, and more than enough evidence/especially with the recent "Steve Jobs Atari Notes" clearly shows that he did partake in game level/mechanics DESIGN.

Summary: Steve Jobs should get a designer credit for the Wiki entry.

I'm frankly sick of the 'priesthood' I'm seeing here. I'm keen on getting facts straight...and the fact is, the reference links to who designed the game is a complete disaster, and none of you jackballs have done SQUAT to correct them:


- http://www.arcade-history.com/?n=breakout&page=detail&id=3397 "Designed by : Nolan Bushnell Original hardware engineering by : Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs"

Link #7 - "Jobs pocketed $7000"

Link #8 - http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/129887/woz_was_here__steve_wozniak_on_.php?page=2

"No sketch, I just interpreted it from the description I just gave you, very simple description. It came to a point where I was thinking of saving one more chip, and I might save half a chip if I put the score at the top instead of the bottom, and Steve said, no no no, it has to be at the bottom. He said Nolan wanted it there. That's how the game was defined. I don't know how much of that was true or Steve saying, "Here's how it should be," and just pretending it was coming from Nolan. I don't know." - Wozniak

This in itself is about as conclusive evidence that Jobs designed "Breakout". If you think Jobs doesn't know anything about design, you're on crack.

Here's one excellent example of Jobs on designing the Macintosh interface:

http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?story=Round_Rects_Are_Everywhere.txt

Claimsfour (talk) 17:30, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Well, you sure don't give up, but you have yet to present a source I have not read myself. That Woz interview, like everything else you have presented here, fits entirely into the narrative I have been trying to explain to you. Woz says that the game design was pretty well established and that he did all the engineering. This syncs up with interviews from Bushnell, Alcorn, and Bristow that the game concept was developed before it ever came to Jobs. It also syncs up with the Issacson account of Bushnell walking Jobs through the entire design and then telling him to go engineer it. All that Woz interview proves is that Jobs did none of the actual engineering. This interview also proves that Arcade History is in error when it says Jobs did any hardware engineering. As for the money, of course he got the money: he had a deal with Atari. The fact that he got someone else to do the engineering did not void that deal in any way. Chips were removed, and he got paid. He just did not do any of the chip removal. If Jobs really did decide himself where the score should be as opposed to it coming from Bushnell as he himself claimed, that is not nearly enough input to credit him as any kind of designer. Arcade games at Atari were developed in a pretty open lab environment, and people played each others games and made suggestions all the time. I see little reason not to take this info on its face though, since Bushnell himself has stated he blocked out the game and just needed it engineered. Heck, the fact that Jobs felt he had to invoke Bushnell's name to keep the score display where it was just goes to show he felt he had no design authority of his own on the project. Jobs played a role in the creation of the game, which has to be properly documented in the article, but design, of game elements or of hardware, was not part of it. Indrian (talk) 23:00, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
  • If Jobs really did decide himself where the score should be as opposed to it coming from Bushnell as he himself claimed, that is not nearly enough input to credit him as any kind of designer. Arcade games at Atari were developed in a pretty open lab environment, and people played each others games and made suggestions all the time. - Indrian

Alright, this is now a religious debate.

The fact that everyone on this planet agrees that the development of Breakout took four days, and it was solely Jobs/Woz...you're now saying that their design was up for constant scrutiny/changes/suggestions from the rest of Atari? Creationists and Defense Lawyers play that type of argument.

Also, if you haven't played Breakout: It's an incredibly simple game, the location of the score is a pretty big decision to make. The fact that Woz took %100 of instructions from Jobs, as well as Jobs claiming he designed the game/recent Steve Jobs Atari documents leads towards one basic conclusion: Jobs added in a lot of his own design ideas to the game, he didn't simple "Service Tech" the game, he DESIGNED it. Woz if anything was the 'grunt' who took orders from Jobs.

Jobs always had design at the heart of everything he did, and you're basically saying the guy had no clue as to where something should go somewhere on a screen.

Either way, this whole coverup stinks to high heaven. Is this really just to protect Goldman's upcoming book?

Finally: Thanks for ignoring the amount Jobs got as bonus, $5,000 - $7,000 - $30,000 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Claimsfour (talkcontribs) 07:32, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Wow, you sure like to twist words and misinterpret comments, though this should not surprise me: if you cannot understand the sources then I don't see why you should understand me. Now lets try this again. If Jobs suggested where to put the score, and that is a big if since Jobs himself said it came from Bushnell, then it is a similar level of design input to an engineer walking by, playtesting a game, and offering a suggestion. Its called an analogy if that helps your comprehension. Making one suggestion in the design of a game does not make one the designer of the game. Woz designed that hardware, which two of the sources you brought here state unequivocally, and it sounds like Jobs felt he had no input on the game design if he invoked Nolan's name. Since we know from multiple sources also presented by you here that Nolan "sketched out" and "blocked out" the game though, there is no good reason to believe that Nolan did not actually tell him where he wanted the score. Its really that simple. Bushnell was responsible for game design, and Woz designed the hardware; every single source that you have tried to use to refute these points only reinforces them. Jobs was the middle man who passed along the design from Bushnell to Wozniak. If you really think that Bushnell, Alcorn, Bristow, Wozniak, and the writers of all the books and articles discussing the making of the game are involved in a massive "coverup" to deny Jobs credit for the design of this game, then you have far bigger problems than I can help you with on this talk page. Indrian (talk) 14:07, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Is "Design" now a blanket term for "game designer, except for Steve Jobs where he's just a service tech" -- The assertion that "design" only means "game design" is sheer crankery. It's good to see that this extremely disruptive, abusive person has left Wikipedia. -- 96.247.231.243 (talk) 04:30, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

are Transistor–transistor logic chips the same as the chips Jobs and Woz used?[edit]

Some sources say they got it down from 50 to 45 chips, then elsewhere it says they needed 42 Transistor–transistor logic chips. "by designing the board with as few chips as possible, he also reduced the number of TTL (transistor-transistor logic) chips to 42." Did the breadboard prototype chips differ than the TTL chips? Dream Focus 16:27, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

"Emulator" Line[edit]

I noticed this line in the lead section, and it just doesn't seem to fit the style of the article. Would this be close to something like fancruft, or is it legitimate for this article? (Sorry if this seems obvious, but I'm kind of new here.) Radioactivated (talk) 22:06, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Good catch. It's not strictly cruft, but it's unsourced & undated, plus wrongly placed (if it goes in at all, it should be in the "re-releases" somewhere). You can change that yourself; that's what a wiki's about. :D And welcome. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 03:18, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

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