Scott Adams

Video Game Designer

1952 –


Who is Scott Adams?

Scott Adams is the co-founder, with ex-wife Alexis, of Adventure International, an early publisher of games for home computers.

Born in Miami, Florida and currently living in Platteville, Wisconsin, Adams was the first person known to create an adventure-style game for personal computers, in 1978 on a 16KB Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I, written in the BASIC programming language. Colossal Cave was a year earlier, but on a mainframe, the PDP-10. These early text adventure games use a minimal parser, recognizing 2-word commands of the form VERB NOUN. The parser only scanned the first three letters of each command, so inputting SCREAM BEAR, SCRATCH BEAR or SCREW BEAR would be treated identically. Scott had access to an advanced 16-bit computer at home, built by his brother Richard Adams, that gave him a jump on game programming in his leisure time.

Adams' work was very influential on the adventure-gaming industry. In 1990 Computer Gaming World reported a "respected designer"'s statement that it was impossible to design new and more difficult adventure puzzles, because Adams had already created them all in his early games. The games from his company, Adventure International, were subsequently released on most of the major home PC platforms of the day, including TRS-80, Apple II series, Atari 8-bit series and Commodore PET. Versions of the games were also made for later platforms such as Vic-20 and some also had versions produced with rudimentary graphics.

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Jul 10, 1952
  • United States of America

on July 23, 2013


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