The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers / organizational details


Originally the names and games on the Giant List came from contemporary magazines and from memory. Later, as it gained exposure, I heard from many of the people included and asked them to verify their entries. These days there are quite a few game databases on the web, and they cross-pollinate. I know several of them have incorporated information from the Giant List, and I make use of others, including Atari Mania, Lemon 64, and L. Curtis Boyle's Tandy Color Computer Games.

One thing most other databases don't include is which system a game was originally written for and which systems received ports. Tracking that is a key point of the Giant List.

The list is intended to be both dense and readable to encourage browsing and seeing the overall picture of someone's game history. Some of the conventions below focus on removing verbosity.


Only programmers and designers are listed, not artists, composers, or producers.

Once someone meets the inclusion criteria, all of their subsequent, released game projects can also be included, even for non-classic systems.

When there are three or fewer developers for a title, I list them all. More than that and everyone gets a [G] code (and sometimes one person gets [L]).

For non-classic systems, I only list 1-2 authors before going to [G]. [L] here is tricky, as there can be many leads and directors, so I use it sparingly.

[G] codes stand alone. There's no attempt at distinguishing designer from programmer, so no [GD] or [GP]. There's one exception: for a port done by a group (such as Dragon's Lair for the ZX Spectrum), I'm using [PG]. These are both rare and uninteresting.

Clone markers (e.g., Frogger-like) are not duplicated for ports.

I only use the unreleased [U] tag in specific situations, as there's no indication of how far in development a title was when it was abandoned.

An author's entries are in order of release, with the caveat that it's often difficult to sort the works of people who released multiple games in the same year.

Subtitles are omitted unless helpful. The at the start of a title is dropped unless, sometimes, when a title is short. "The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight" is listed as "Bard's Tale II," but "The Immortal" is unchanged. Similarly for publishers, trailing noise words are omitted, like Inc., Software, and Games. The one exception is when this would confuse the company with another.

The publisher is listed per game, but not the company (if any) that developed the game. That's often not public facing information, and it isn't as interesting as the author or publisher.

Bracketed biographical notes are only used for RIP dates and founding of companies that published games for classic systems.