Synergistic Software: The Early Games released by A.P.P.L.E.

Seattle, Washington — June 19, 2017 — Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) and Robert Clardy are proud to announce the immediate availability of the book Synergistic Software: The Early Games.

Synergistic Software, founded by Robert C. Clardy, established itself as a computer game company in 1978 and produced more than 160 titles over the next 20 years, encompassing games, business, educational, and utility software.  This book focuses on Synergistic’s early games between 1978 and 1982, primarily for the Apple II computer, and includes enhanced manuals for:

Apventure to Atlantis, Bolo, Crisis Mountain, Death Run, Doom Cavern, Dungeon Campaign, Escape From Arcturus, Microbe, Nightmare Gallery, Odyssey, Procyon Warrior, Sorcerer’s Challenge, Tank Attack, U-Boat Command, and Wilderness Campaign.  Additionally, two manuals for the Atari 800 are included: Probe One and Warlock’s Revenge.  As a bonus, Clardy shares detailed insights into what makes a good computer game and the programming challenges he experienced.

 

Availability

Synergistic Software: The Early Games is available through the A.P.P.L.E. bookstore with production and fulfillment by Lulu.com.  Disk images for these games can be downloaded here.

 

 

Robert Clardy’s autobiography:  Cyber Jack: The Adventures of Robert Clardy and Synergistic Software

 

 

 

Features

  • 245 pages of vintage Synergistic Software enhanced game manuals, complete with screenshots and cover art.
  • 9 page Forward from Robert C. Clardy, written in 1986, that was originally included with a compilation of his adventure games. It describes how he started Synergistic Software as well as his insights into what makes a good computer game and the programming challenges he experienced.

 


Author

Robert C. Clardy has been a computer game developer and programmer for home desktop computers and video game machines during the entire lifespan that those devices have existed – over 20 years from the late 1970s through the 1990s and beyond.  His experiences encompass birth pains, growth pains, triumphs, failures of the industry, and the many businesses that sprang up and thrived or died during those years. In 1979, Robert quit his stable and secure-career job with Boeing Aerospace, founded Synergistic Software, and devoted his life to writing software for the Apple II as well as other new home desktop computers as they appeared. Robert wrote adventure games first, but later, the search for change encouraged him to also write utility, business, and educational software. Synergistic’s computer software development included systems such as the Apple II, Apple IIGS, Atari 800, Atari ST, Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Macintosh, and the IBM PC, along with video game systems such as the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis.

Synergistic Software was well-known for their variety of games, including:  Dungeon Campaign, Wilderness Campaign, Bolo, Crisis Mountain, Odyssey: The Compleat Apventure, Apventure to Atlantis, Microbe, and many others.  Beyond Synergistic’s own published games, Robert adapted, produced, and programmed noteworthy computer titles published by other companies such as:  Aargh, New York Warriors, Sidewinder, Thexder, War In Middle Earth, Spirit of Excalibur, Conan: The Cimmerian, and many others.  Memorable arcade game adaptations include:  Donkey Kong Jr., Jungle Hunt, Pole Position, and Pitstop II.  He produced software not only for his own company, but also for other major publishers such as Atari, Activision, Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Epyx, Sierra On-Line, Mindscape, Sony Imageworks, Time Warner, and Virgin Games.

That pursuit of new experiences colored the rest of Robert’s life as well, as he sought out personal adventures in the real world.  While never the most extreme at anything he tried, Robert has always been comfortable with where he was, what he did, and the sheer exuberance that comes from trying new things and finding he truly loved every minute of it.  If there is a motto for his life, it would have to be, “That was fun, what’s next?”


Producers

Brian Wiser — Apple consultant, historian and archivist.  Designer, editor, and co-producer of several books including: Cyber Jack: The Adventures of Robert Clardy and Synergistic Software, Synergistic Software: The Early Games, Nibble Viewpoints: Business Insights From the Computing Revolution, The WOZPAK Special Edition: Steve Wozniak’s Apple-1 & Apple II Computers, The Colossal Computer Cartoon Book: Enhanced Edition, and What’s Where in the Apple: Enhanced Edition.  Producer/Director of the documentary film Done The Impossible: The Fans’ Tale of Firefly & Serenity, Beagle Bros and Applied Engineering webmaster.  Brian also co-produced the retro iOS game Structris, and is a co-producer/writer for CallApple.org and Call-A.P.P.L.E. magazine.

Bill Martens — Apple historian and enthusiast, Programmer, President of Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) and co-producer of Call-A.P.P.L.E. magazine, Cyber Jack, Synergistic Software: The Early Games, Nibble Viewpoints, The WOZPAK Special Edition, and What’s Where in the Apple: Enhanced Edition. Bill also co-produced and co-programmed the retro iOS game Structris.

 

Publisher

Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) has been a global Apple user group since 1978, with membership peaking near 50,000 in 1985.  Offering many services, A.P.P.L.E. is also a book publisher and game developer, and has produced over a dozen new book titles since 2013 in addition to over 100 Apple software titles.

A.PP.L.E. produced and published the The WOZPAK Special Edition – a detailed book containing Steve Wozniak’s restored handwritten notes and printouts about his Apple II computer, as well as a forward from Steve Wozniak and other Apple legends. They also published:  Cyber Jack: The Adventures of Robert Clardy and Synergistic Software, Synergistic Software: The Early Games, Nibble Viewpoints: Business Insights From the Computing Revolution by Mike Harvey, What’s Where in The Apple: Enhanced Edition, The Colossal Computer Cartoon Book: Enhanced Edition by David H. Ahl, The A.P.P.L.E. 1978 and 1979 Compendiums, and the retro iOS game Structris.

Press Information is available at:  www.callapple.org/press

About the Author

Brian Wiser

Brian is an A.P.P.L.E. Board member and Managing Editor of Call-A.P.P.L.E. magazine. He is a long-time Apple consultant, historian and archivist. Brian designed, edited, and co-produced several books including: "Cyber Jack: The Adventures of Robert Clardy and Synergistic Software", "Synergistic Software: The Early Games", "Nibble Viewpoints: Business Insights From The Computing Revolution", "What's Where in the Apple: Enhanced Edition", and "The WOZPAK: Special Edition" – an important Apple II historical book with Steve Wozniak's restored original, technical handwritten notes as well as a forward from Steve Wozniak and other Apple legends. Brian also co-produced the retro iOS game "Structris." Brian was an extra in Joss Whedon’s movie “Serenity,” leading him to being a producer/director for the documentary film “Done The Impossible: The Fans’ Tale of Firefly & Serenity.” He brought some of the Firefly cast aboard his Browncoat Cruise and recruited several of the Firefly cast to appear in a film for charity. Brian speaks about his adventures at conventions around the country.