The History of Intelligentvision

The Beginning

In 1998, Dan B. met David W., who was an original programmer at Mattel. David was very talkative and hinted that there were quite a few unreleased Intellivision games they had worked on back in the day. After communicating by email for a period of time David eventually told Dan that a former colleague of his had many T-Cards (used by programmers to test their games) with unreleased games (some finished, others unfinished). After about 4 years of email correspondence, Dan flew out to Los Angeles and purchased a sealed, boxed, Keyboard Component (a.k.a. Blue Whale) computer for the Intellivision. Dan also picked up all of the ultra-rare cassettes for the KC. A few weeks later, Chris N. was brought in to help pick-up and borrow the T-Cards of the unreleased games for the purpose of mailing them to Joe Z. and having Joe save off the contents of the T-Cards.

Planning it out

At the 2003 Classic Game Exposition in Las Vegas, Dan B. and Chris N. were discussing the desire to produce the games Dan had found. David H. joined in the conversation and began discussing logistic issues. In an attempt to build up a client base, it was decided to start producing homebrew games before the unreleased games. Chris and Dan planned on contacting homebrew programmers to finish their games. At the time, the only games ready for cart were Minehunter and 4-Tris (previously released by Joe Z.). In September, Chris began researching what was needed to have physical carts made.
David wanted to be part of the project and proposed to Chris to allow him to be part of the team if he could get Stonix completed. David contacted Arnauld C. who was willing to work together to update/finish his demo. Now being part of Chris’ team, David began doing more behind-the-scenes work. Having made other commitments, Dan decided not to continue working on the project.

Getting ready for production

With the team in place, Chris began taking care of the requirements for the hardware working with Joe Z. and Chad S. while David took care of the manuals, boxes and working on Stonix with Arnauld. After many hours over weeks of discussing what the presentation of the games would be like, Chris and David decided that the games should have the feel of the 83’ games as the ultimate goal was to release the unreleased games. Burgertime was used as the foundation for the design.
Needing overlays, David attempted to contact Roger M. whom produced the Orphan overlays. Roger was unavailable so it was decided not to include overlays with the games. For the fun of it, David and his wife tried to design an overlay. (See the prototype under Stonix History.) Luckily, Roger became available and his experience at making overlays was used. Roger also performed the work of creating the artwork and box layout with David creating the stories and artwork concepts for each game.
Chris was bogged down with getting the hardware needed together. Organizing the board designs and programming the chips took longer than anticipated. David was still working with Arnauld to complete Stonix but programming, designing 100 levels, and testing was taking longer also.

The games start to roll out

It seemed that things were coming together, but then it also seemed that a road block was around every corner. It was a step by step process, and then after 9 hard months of work, the game programming, manual, overlay, box, and board assembly were completed for Stonix. With the game selling well, it was obvious there was a demand and that more games should be produced.
Minehunter was queued up to be next. Chris wanted SameGame & Robots (programmed by Mike H.) to be the 3rd title but David did not believe it was good enough to be put on cart. It was decided to re-release 4-Tris to give David enough time to finish programming SG&R. 4-Tris was released and SG&R was still not done. As the release date for SG&R was nearing, David had a falling out with Chris due to fiscal management. Instead of waiting for David to complete the programming, Chris put a prototype of SG&R on cart and began sales.
After realizing that Joe Z was not going to help in producing the unreleased games and unable to convince Chris to keep promises made, David left the team giving Chris the “completed” version of SG&R which was included in the games over serial number 100.
Joe had a change of heart helping Chris and Roger with producing League of Light and Robot Rubble. It was a challenge to get Chris to help so Roger ended up with most of the production responsibilities. These two titles were not widely available as Joe had reservations on programming the boards. By the end of 2005, Intelligentvision had come to an end as Roger quit also.

More homebrews

At one of the Classic Gaming Expo shows, David had offered to help Joe finish Lunar MP which had been in the programming stage for 4 plus years. In 2006, Joe took up David’s offer. Joe’s focus was to continue programming the game and David’s was to design the game levels. The game was originally going to have the same levels as the arcade game, Moon Patrol, but David convinced Joe to include more. The name of the game changed to Space Patrol and Joe made the game with 8 different levels/4 planets. After 9 months of hard work, the game was done. David had no intention of starting up Intelligentvision again so Joe released the game in 2007 under his name of Left Turn Only.

Finishing what we started

David was contacted by Carl M. and Willy M. in 2010. They discussed getting Carl’s Donkey Kong released on cart. David’s only interest in helping getting this game produced was because he knew collectors would cherish the release and that it would show that Coleco’s release was not what it could have been. It was agreed that Carl would finish the game and David would fund and produce it.
After about 1 year of negotiating with Joe to use his game board, David realized that he had to take Joe’s advice and have his own game board designed. Not having to rely on Joe anymore, David assembled a new team. With so much work going into producing Donkey Kong, it was realized that it was time to produce the unreleased games under the Intelligentvision name as planned on in 2003.
Wanting to do a better job than the first round of games produced, David sought the help of true artists using Gil G (an old friend), and Chris S. The team was rounded out with Oliver P. that would take care of the final box designs, overlays, and cart labels. In 2011, Intelligentvision released 4 titles. 2012 saw 9 more titles. With threats being made, Intelligentvision saw it best to shut down.

The reason for games

The reason David produced games was for the desire to have a 1 player version of Tennis released. He realized that if the dream was to come true, he was going to have to program it. Coding started in 12/2012 and was some what completed by 2/2013. For a diversion, David played around with Burgertime adding 70 new mazes. Super Chef Burgertime was not planned to be released as another game was to be released with Super Pro Tennis.
Later that year, Carl contacted Intelligentvision wanting to team up and release Ms Pac Man. As Carl worked on the game engine, David worked on designing mazes. Not all the mazes were included in the game due to memory limitations. Again, for a diversion as he designed mazes, David updated another of his favorite games; Nightstalker. When Carl saw the demo, he suggested to change the man to a woman; Ms Nightstalker was born.
With many others producing Intellivision games, Intelligentvision stoped production of games until 2016 when it decided to release Super Pro Baseball.

Intelligentvision Credits

2004 - Stonix
2004 - Minehunter
2005 - 4-Tris
2005 - SameGame & Robots
2007 - Space Patrol (a LTO release with Intelligentvision assisting in production)
2007 - 4-Tris (a LTO release with Intelligentvision assisting in production)
2011 - Donkey Kong Arcade
2011 - Rocky and Bullwinkle
2011 - Yogi's Frustration
2011 - Adventures of Tron
2012 - SameGame & Robots (updated with true voices and other enhancements)
2012 - Spina the Bee
2012 - Illusions
2012 - King of the Mountain
2012 - Flinstones Keyboard Fun
2012 - Super NFL Football
2012 - Scarfinger
2012 - Choplifter
2012 - Deep Pockets (box, manual, overlays, and cart label)
2013 - Super Chef BT (a.k.a. Beef Drop and Burgertime)
2013 - Super Pro Tennis
2014 - Ms Pac Man
2014 - Ms Night Stalker
2016 - Super Pro Baseball