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John Harris

Developer Biography

John Harris is best known for Frogger, the famous Atari game. He also achieved many firsts in the gaming industry using the Atari platform including:
  • He created first copy-protection system for the Atari not duplicable with standard equipment.
  • He was the first to include continuous music score during gameplay, and included 10 different themes.
  • He was the first to multiplex hardware sprites by using interrupts.
  • He significantly surpassed the number of simultaneous on-screen colors with over 50 true, non-dithered colors.
  • He created advanced AI with pathing, prediction, LOS, and communication between enemies in 1983.
He created a 3D system for the Atari Jaguar that kept scalable 2D objects that didn't need to be re-rendered, amounting to a ten-fold increase in rendering speed. He created PDA games with multiple detailed worlds, animated characters, and digital sound in less than 100K. He also developed advanced techniques in Assembly language for enhancing the limited capabilities of the Game Boy Color platform, with its 2MHz Z80 CPU. Some of these techniques were:
  • He created his own multi-threaded kernel. Anything that can be called as a function can also be spawned as a separate process with all arguments intact.
  • He implemented the equivalent of object-oriented virtual functions.
  • He created the most advanced interrupt color generation, capable of moving sprite objects with interrupt colors through a background which also has interrupt colors, with minimal CPU time requirements. Overall, hundreds or even thousands of colors are possible on screen, without crippling the CPU time available for other tasks.
John is an expert in Assembly, C, and C++ programming as well as in advanced techniques of computer artificial intelligence and user interface design.

Game development experience Sole Designer and ProgrammerEmployment

Contributed by Sciere (580694) on Nov 13, 2006.