If anyone's been in the computer gaming industry for a long time, it's the Brit known as Graeme Devine. In the 1970's, at the age of eight, his father brought home a Tandy TRS-80. Showing ambition at an early age, he learned to code Z80 assembly language, and he self-published several games under simple names such as "Firebirds" and "Castle".

At age fourteen, Graeme started working for Atari where he ported "Pole Position" to the Amstrad, Commodore 64, MSX, Spectrum, and the Apple IIe. His development system of choice at that time was an Apple IIe with 128 KB of RAM and a CP/M plug-in card. He was so zealous about his Atari work that he was was expelled from school around age sixteen:

"...I was working for Atari in the UK... but I was also in school doing my "A" levels (like college here in the USA). I was working on various British and Japanese ports of Pole Position to all the various machines. Anyway, Atari was threatening to break my legs if I didn't finish the game (well, not literally, but they were, uh, anxious) ..and I decided to take a week off school to finish the thing. I worked away, slaved on the game, and almost got it done. When I went back to school, my parents decided it was best to always be truthful... so in I went with my note saying I had taken a week off to work on a computer game. We had assembly, and at the end, I was publicly called to the head master's office. He told me what a terrible person I was, and finished up with 'we're going to have to let you go over this, this is unacceptable. Hand all of your books back today and go home.' "

Degreeless, he took his first job in the United States with Lucas Films’ game division (prior to the creation of Lucas Arts). There he programmed "Ballblazer" for the C64, MSX, and Atari platforms. (After classic status had been achieved, he later developed this game for the Sony Playstation.)

After working at several other game development companies, Graeme’s next milestone came in 1990 when he founded Trilobyte with the American artist known as Rob Landeros. In 1993, their project was the ground-breaking immersive puzzle known as "The 7th Guest". He was given the blessing to develop T7G by Virgin Interactive’s CEO, and it went on to become one of the best-selling games of all time. With over 2 million copies sold, it popularized the use of CD-ROM for games so much that it came bundled with many of the premiere CD-ROM drives at that time.

In 1999, id Software’s search for a "project manager/programmer" ended when they hired Graeme Devine:

Name: Graeme Devine
Email: zaphod@idsoftware.com
Description: Designer / Project Manager

In my best John Romero style..

Friday marked the birthday of a particularly hard game that I worked on, The 11th Hour."

The 11th Hour, a long-awaited sequel to T7G, was not nearly as successful as its predecessor, but it had a loyal following.

Since then, as a vocal proponent of the Apple Macintosh, Graeme made himself partially responsible for bringing Quake 3 to the Mac. He also programmed the Quake 3 authentication and master servers for this machine. Some of Graeme’s more recent achievements were the demos of the new DOOM engine at MacWorld Tokyo and QuakeCon 2001. His latest projects include implementing a 5.1 sound system in the DOOM engine, general programming issues, and porting Q3 to Mac OS X.


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