From:  "xbally guy"
Date:  Thu Jan 18, 2001  8:29 pm
Subject:  Tron Arcade design documents online

Hi.  I'm new here, call me xBallyGuy.

I never worked for Bally, but I worked for the company that assumed 
what was left of Bally in 1986.  Some of you know who that is, some 
don't.  It doesn't matter now, in fact I'm kind of happy to be 
liberating this material since they don't give a flying hoot about 
things like this anymore.  Not unless it could be ported to the PS2 
and sold in tens of millions of units.

ANYWAY, about a year ago I came across some documents that were 
destined for eventual destruction.  One group of files in particular 
belonged to a middle manager at Bally, and this is where I found some 
copies of the original Tron design documents dating back to 1981.

There wasn't much there, but there _was_ the original design document 
proposed by Bill Adams and George Gomez during the early phases of
project.  More interesting than that is a memo that I also found from 
Dave Nutting with his critique of the Adams/Gomez proposal.  These 
have been uploaded to the Files section in the eGroups/Tron section.

There are a few tidbits that will make some of this stuff clearer:

+ There were actually two groups designing a Tron video game at the 
same time.  Adams/Gomez were from a Bally in-house team, and Dave 
Nutting & Associates was the outside design firm (that did games like 
Gorf and Wizard of Wor) contracted by Bally to design video games.  
Some of you may recognize DNA as a very influential group in the 
history of video games.

+ Whether the two teams started at the same time or not is unclear.  
From the Nutting memo, it looks like they might have been called in 
later to save the company from potential embarassment if the first 
team could not be completed on time since it was going to appear in 
the film.

+ The Adams/Gomez design won out with Discs of Tron broken out into a 
later game because it could not be completed on time and/or was fun 
enough to warrant it's own treatment.  Or was it because of Dave 
Nutting's suggestion?  We may never know.

I didn't find much more than this in the file except for a collection 
of 14 8x10" color movie stills and computer display captures that
used as reference for the programmers.  I'm not sure what to do with 
that yet.  They could make good screen wallpaper, I suppose.

I also have some documentation from the Tron video game tournament, 
but I'll upload that some other time.

I don't have permission from anyone to upload this so please don't 
tell the whole world this is here.  I'm sure the Bally guys would
no problem here, I know Bill and George personally and they're pretty 
cool guys.  This was the first Tron group on the net that I found
 seemed to have their act together and would enjoy sharing this stuff.

I don't know much more about the history of the game and/or the
involved so I apologize in advance for not being to answer any 
questions about this stuff.  I just thought it should be documented 
for posterity.