Memoirs of an Action 52 Programmer

In which I chronicle my memories of working on Action 52.
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The Cast of Characters

Albert Hernandez
United States
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Here's a brief description of everyone I remember that was relevant. I recall other folks coming and going into the office over time but they wouldn't have an impact on the story. I am sure I am being redundant across other posts regarding some of the memories I am sharing, but I'm okay with that.

Having made this list below, it is apparent to me that only the last two entries are folks that really knew what they were doing. Everyone else was in over their head and just fumbling along in the dark. That right there may be the real reason the cartridge was such a failure. It was a bunch of folks with a dream of making games but no idea how to really go about doing it.

Vince Perri - Vince is the guy that came up with the idea of the project. He came up with the idea for Action 52 when he saw a bootleg cartridge with 52 games. He didn't personally know anything about video games but was passionate about the project. Not being in the game industry, he didn't know any game programmers. That's why he ended up with us.

Publio - I don't recall his last name. Publio was Vince's right hand man. I recall that he has a nice guy. He would often come by with Vince when they were working on something or other. I recall he said he had learned a lot from Vince and was looking forward to use all those skills he learned in the future.

Al - Al was a programmer that Vince knew. He made business software but more than that I don't know. He helped us get the information we needed to make NES games and he was instrumental in getting us in touch with Sculptured Software.

Mikey - The office we had used was also a music studio before we took it over. Mikey worked for or owned that music business. I don't know. I think the first time I new we were in trouble was when he played ones of our games, Slashers, and was able to make it to the end of each level without trouble. All he did was click repeatedly and move right. He was legally blind and I don't think he had any sight. Yes, a blind guy could beat our games.

Me - Of course, there's myself. I did the bulk of the coding for all 52 games. I helped with art but in the most minimal way. I'm sure somewhere in those 52 games there are a handful of tiles that I drew.

Mario = Mario and I were friends from middle school. I used to go by his house all the time and we'd play games on his Atari computer. He came up with all 52 game ideas. Mario wrote most of the music for the games and did some graphics also.

Javier - I met Javier through Mario. We had Amigas and often shared software. Javier drew most of the art of the games and also helped out with the music.

Developer #4 - Developer #4 has kept his name private so I will continue not to share it. I also knew him from my school days. He joined the project through Mario and came later on to help with all the art. He may have also made music but I don't recall. He definitely could have.

Joey - Joey was an artist who joined the project to make the comic book for Action 52. I think he also made animation for the commercial but I'm not sure. He joined the project towards the end. I don't think he worked on game art but may have.

Investor #1 - We had a number of investors that each bought some number of shares in the company. I don't really know how many there were but I think it was around 20. I vaguely remember him coming by the office once in a while. Investor #1 is mentioned and "named" only because it's worth mentioning that folks invested money in this project.

Vince, the Programmer - There was a second person named Vince that was involved in the project. I don't know how Vince found him but he was brought on to help me make the games. In the end, all he did was work on the main menu and it looks like he didn't really do anything with that.

Cronos Engineering - Cronos was a firm that Vince contracted to reverse engineer the original cartridge that his some had gotten. Their job was to figure out how to make a 52 game cartridge possible.

Sculptured Software - Sculptured Software, of Salt Lake City, provided us with training, software and hardware to make it possible for us to make NES games.
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