Atari: Space Invaders

"Space Invaders is considered one of the most influential video games of all time. It helped expand the video game industry from a novelty to a global industry, and ushered in the golden age of arcade video games. It was the inspiration for numerous video games and game designers across different genres, and has been ported and re-released in various forms. The 1980 Atari VCS version quadrupled sales of the VCS, thereby becoming the first killer app for video game consoles. More broadly, the pixelated enemy alien has become a pop culture icon, often representing video games as a whole." (source: “Marilyn Churchill: I had a really good time working on Space Invaders with Eric Manghise, who was the programmer. He was very artistic himself and we tried to really finesse some new graphics for this classic game. I was experimenting with a new animation technique that I called “Matrix Animation.” I would design a looping animation sequence and place it horizontally on a grid. Below that, I created a similar but distinctly different looping animation that was cross-animated with the level above. I then added more levels below that - each with unique and cross-animated action. Eric’s program ran the animation sequence with a randomly-generated option to skip one level up or down at every step in the sequence. The result simulated real, unpredictable behavior. It was challenging to design and pretty cool at the time.” (Source: