Joining the ever growing ranks of developers, Tyson Smith, age 19, plunged right in to be carried along with the glorious waves. And so forth began DEFinitive Gaming, a company which wasted no time and got down straight to business. After hiring three trusted programmers and designers, CEO Smith immediately laid out what was to be done. Though Atari 2600 was riding high for the moment, Tyson felt it would only be a matter of time before the public shifted their focus back upon the juggernaut known as Apple II. Trusting his intuitiveness, order to develop an engine was immediately put into action. "Project Code Name: Omni-Fortune" will be primarily focused upon the RPG genre, attempting to push the console's limit as far as the development team could program it into doing so. It would be a forty-six long and tedious weeks however before it could be deemed complete.
1980, 4th Quarter, Week 47 (HOLIDAY SEASON)
With less than four weeks away from Christmas, the team could finally call their project done. It was a long and strenuous task with just the four of them working on the engine, but in the end they were quite pleased. Technically saying, there was no better RPG engine for the Apple II on the market than the one they had created. Omni-Fortune, initially just the temporary code name that somehow stuck itself upon the staff, was guaranteed to turn heads.
DEFinitive Gaming would have no time to sit back and celebrate the completion of their mission however as they would soon have to follow up with an even more important one as soon as possible. Omni-Fortune's development took a whopping half a million out of their finances, leaving them with three quarters of its initial amount($1,500,000). Cash doesn't just sit their and remain unchanged in the Gaming Industry. It would just as soon dry itself out quick than be your everyday inanimate object. A game would have to be decided and developed immediately, to stamp DEFinitive Gaming's name into cement and make a big enough profit to make up for Omni-Fortune's expenses. All before their money well dried up.
As CEO Smith had predicted, Apple II was riding high at the time of their engine's completion. The same, however, couldn't have been said for the RPG genre. It didn't trouble him though. The Gaming Industry, just like the Music Business and Hollywood, was full of passing trends. RPG would soon find its way back into everyone's interests, he optimistically thought.
At that, the small four man band got together and started brainstorming ideas. Not any struck their fancy the couple of minutes and thirty minutes later it seemed like they were going no where. That was when Claude Elwood Shannon, the first of the three Tysonhad hired, happened to catch something out of the corner of his eye from the office window. The office window overlooked an old town street lined with shops. Standing in front of one of them was an ordinary, middle-aged man, who's hair seemed to be receding. The man was messing over a jelly-filled donut when Claude jumped up and walked towards the window, waving everyone to follow him. When he pointed to the man to show what had him so worked up he only received confused looks in reply. So he began to explain. Began to explain why that ordinary man had his attention fixed on him so. Explained why it had inspired him with such a whim of the moment game.
And so "Average Joe" was born.
Claude couldn't really explain much on the story at the time, but he gave everyone a rough idea on why he found the thought so interesting.
And so development was started on Average Joe. Only time will tell if their venturing gamble would succeed.
Development with just four people on staff was difficult as expected, but surprisingly expensive as the weeks moved on. CEO Smith knew he would eventually have to file out for a loan if he wanted to keep the company afloat.
During E3 they managed to garner some positive buzz for "Average Joe" and it filled the team with even more determination to get the game done as soon as possible. As they looked on as the annual winners were announced, "Space Invaders" winning both "Best Game of 1980" & "Best Selling Game of 1980", they knew it was no longer an option to drag things out any further.
3rd Quarter 1981
When the game was finally completed the crew was all up for releasing it on the market at that exact moment. However, reviews made them think otherwise. On a scale of ten, "Average Joe" scored a four. The critics noted that even with the visible effort that was put in, DEFinitive Gaming's first showing didn't impress, despite their unorthodox approach. Being cautious and not wanting to take the chance of a dud release, CEO Smith advised everyone to be patient and wait for the holiday season to approach. During that wait, however, he had to file for a loan just as he expected months beforehand. It was a fifthy thousand dollar loan and though chances were they'd make it up with the release of "Average Joe" during the holiday season, he was still worried.
4th Quarter 1981, Week 39 (HOLIDAY SEASON)
"Average Joe" was finally released, and with satisfying results. It managed to land the number ten spot on the North America charts and the number eight on the EU charts. There was no release date for Asia for financial reasons. It was the number one selling game of the RPG genre and the number three for the Apple II. Speaking of which, was still riding high at the moment. Work to develop a follow up was started without hesitation. They weren't out of hot water yet, not even close.