"Davis, an International Video Game Hall of Fame inductee, reflects in this entertaining debut on his years as an influential creator at the forefront of the “video game revolution.” He recounts his “earliest exposure” to computers, in high school in Brooklyn in the 1970s, when he learned programming on a device “the size of a desk.” As a freshman at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he discovered Pong, and later created his first game, a simulated gin rummy that was done via punch cards. After graduating, Davis landed his first programming job in 1982 at the arcade game company Gottlieb, where he helped create Q*bert—one of the most popular video arcade games of the ’80s—an accomplishment that led him to later achieve breakthroughs in automating the digitizing of graphics used in such games as Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam. Even in his more granular descriptions, Davis’s enthusiasm brings to the page the palpable excitement of the “golden age” he’d been a part of. From deciding on Q*bert’s moves (“Should I just keep him stuck at the edge [of the pyramid], or allow him to fall into nothingness?”) to procuring the flying footage needed for the alien invasion game Us vs. Them, every detail is parsed to convey the rigorous thought underpinning some of history’s most successful video games. Gamers will be fascinated."
“Warren was part of a small team building Williams’ next generation of video arcade hardware and software. By the time I joined the video game department, they had built a development foundation upon which future classic arcade games like NARC, Smash TV, Terminator 2, NBA Jam, and Mortal Kombat would be created. . . . I can’t overstate the impact Warren had on the development of Mortal Kombat and so many other Williams/Midway games.”
—Ed Boon, Co-creator of Mortal Kombat and NetherRealm Studios creative director
“Q*bert may be Warren’s most famous creation, but his work at 1990’s Midway was instrumental in the parade of arcade smash hits that marched out of our studio. He is both humble and accurate in his behind-the-scenes recollections. If ever you wanted a peek behind our coin-op curtain and a window into the life of a true industry pioneer, this is it!”
—John Tobias, Co-creator of Mortal Kombat
"In retro-gaming circles, Warren Davis is something of an unheralded pioneer, one of many who laid a blocky 8-bit path to PlayStation, Wordle and an industry now pulling in $180 billion annually.”
"In his new book, Creating Q*bert and Other Classic Arcade Games, legendary game designer and programmer Warren Davis recalls his halycon days imagining and designing some of the biggest hits to ever grace an arcade."
“Working alongside Warren at Williams Electronics was one of those rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. He conjured magical code that introduced me to the world of digitization and video game programming. Not only a wise and entertaining designer/programmer, he impressed us all with his extra-curricular acting gigs. This book gave me a true appreciation for the man that was always positive, kind, and helpful to a young 'know it all' from Indiana."
—George Petro, founder of Play Mechanix, makers of Big Buck Hunter
“The impact Warren Davis has had on video game culture cannot be understated. It was great to learn so much more about one of the Godfathers of the industry.”
—Joshua Tsui, director of Insert Coin
“[Davis] takes us on an insightful journey through the ’80s and ’90s covering the birth and nearly two decades of arcade game development from a unique insider perspective. . . . For someone who has been an active gamer since 1980, I found this a highly enjoyable and surprisingly detailed journal of those times. . . . I went into this review hoping to learn a bit of the backstory on how Q*bert was created and came away with a much greater knowledge of the entire arcade industry from testing, building, and even marketing. . . . I highly recommend Creating Q*bert and Other Classic Video Arcade Games to anyone who enjoys (or has ever enjoyed) arcade video games regardless of your age. The games you play today on PC and console all got their roots during these two decades of innovation and chances are Warren Davis played some part in what we are all playing today.”
—Mark Smith, Game Chronicles
“Warren delivers a ringside peek into the Golden Age of arcade gaming. Art, science, and commerce merged to produce games which continue to delight and challenge aficionados, and Warren was smack dab in the middle of it. He tells his story in a clear, concise voice, all the while retaining a touch of awe reflecting the alchemy of the era.”
—Jeff Lee, Co-creator of Q*bert and curious earthling
“Warren was in the right place with the right stuff. We were fortunate to be at the beginning of a revolution in entertainment. It is great that an interactive entertainment pioneer has taken the time to write about his journey and Warren does it well.”
—David Thiel, interactive audio artist
“Warren’s book is a well-written, entertaining history of the early video game industry. Working with Warren, Dave, Rich, and others creating Us vs. Them was an interesting creative challenge. We had never done anything like this before, but we just dove in, solving problems as they came up. I have a lot of great memories of our time together working on Us vs. Them, and Warren’s writing reminded me of a few I had forgotten. Thanks, Warren, for documenting the history of our great adventure.”
—Dennis Nordman, pinball and coin-op game designer
“Warren’s wit, insights and self-depreciating humour make this a pleasure to read and as entertaining as the games he created.”—The Nottingham Post
“With a brilliant and friendly style, Warren Davis tells us his story full of interesting anecdotes.”—RetroMagazine
“Creating Q*bert is more than a compelling memoir: it is a vehicle that parks itself and delivers now-stalgia in Q*bert-style leaps and bounds. Warren Davis is your friendly, neighborhood, savant-like driver.”—Geek Insider