July 20, 2007

Zap! Some History Resurrected

Apogee Software was founded in 1987 by Scott Miller in the bedroom of his parents' house. He ran it there by himself for quite some time as a very small "mom & pop" type organization, until it became what it is today. Anyway, one of Scott's friends growing up was George Broussard. The two of them used to do all kinds of things before they became involved in video games. Worked at burger joints, miniature golf courses, but one other thing they did was manage video arcades. Kids who grew up in the early/mid 80's should remember the huge popularity of video game arcades. Another thing that was popular then were books on how to beat video games. This was something that was not lost on Scott & George, and the two of them set out to strike it rich with their own book on beating video games.

The book was titled "Shootout: Zap the Video Games", and it was released in 1982. Here's a few words from Scott (from an old plan file update) on the book, and the thought behind releasing it.

In '82, we formed the NVGPA (National Video Game Players Assoc.), and we were writing a newsletter, but then the opportunity came for us to write a strategy book on how to beat the top arcade games of the day, so we pursued that. too. We really thought the book was going to make us rich. I remember running the book's potential sale's figures though my mind: In each of the top 250 cities there must be a least an average of 10,000 game players, and if just 100 of them bought our book that would be 25,000 sales, plus in all the remaining cities we should count on at least 5 more books sold in each, which should add another 25,000 sales. And with each sale George and I get $1 each. Wow, that's more money than we can make in 5 real years of work--we'd be rich!

This book is virtually impossible to find, as only a very small number of copies were printed. If you want to try and track down a physical copy, the ISBN number for the book is 0941982017. If you are successful in doing that, we'd like to know how and where you actually found one.

Today in honor of the 25th anniversary of the book being released, we're bringing you a file you can download to check out. Scott sacrificed one of the few known existing copies left so we could scan it in, and make it available online. The few copies that survive aren't in great shape, but are good enough to be readable, so without further adieu, you can click here to download an 11Mb pdf file. If you don't have a pdf reader, go grab the Adobe Reader, it's free.

A few other notes.. The book mentions the NVGPA that Scott talks about, including a form you used to be able to mail in to join. Don't do that. It doesn't exist anymore. Also, unlike other books that have turned up on the Internet this week in pdf form, nothing exciting happens on page 631. ;)

Posted by Joe Siegler on July 20, 2007 at 5:15 PM | Permalink | Discuss this story on our forums
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