Scott Adams was born in 1952 in Miami, Florida. Adams began programming in High Scool in the 1960s. He programmed his first computer game Colossal Cave on a PDP-10 mainframe computer it is said in 1977.
Scott Adams career as a game developer began in earnest in 1978. He created his first true video game/computer game on his own, Adventureland
, a TRS-80
game. This first game is considered to be among the first, if not in fact the very first computer or video game text-based
adventure game. Adams has said in interviews that he created the game in one month and that within two months of completing Adventureland he had commenced work on his next game. The first game was completly written in the BASIC computer language.
Adventureland had a classic fantasy background. Like most text-based adventure games we now know, the game was based on finding objects by looking in and around the environment that was desribed in text, and then using those objects in different areas of the game's environment. The game packaging read "You wander through an enchanted world trying to recover the 13 lost treasures. You'll encounter wild animals, magical beings, and many other perils and puzzles. Can you rescue the Blue Ox from the quicksand? Or find your way out of the maze of pits? Happy Adventuring..."
Adams also originally distributed the game himself. His first order for Adventureland was from a single Radio Shack store in the Chicago area that ordered fifty copies of the game. Adams had to make the the copies of the game himself, which was difficult at the time since TRS-80 games were on cassette tape.
Scott Adams went on to create many other text adventure games, Pirate Adventure
, Secret Mission
and The Count
among them. In addition Adams founded his own company with his wife, Alexis Adams, Adventure International
, to distribute his works. The company released many other games created by Adams. Many of Adam's early games later on went on to have versions on other computer platforms such as the Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64 and the Apple II among others. Some of these games were also re-released, including Adventureland, with graphics or as full scale graphic adventure games.
Adventure International and Adams' also designed and created unique games based on Marvel Comics characters Spiderman, the Fantastic Four and The Hulk. The games were called the Questprobe series. They were also written in a computer language that Adams and the company designed themselves specifically to create adventure games. The language was called SAGA for Scott Adams Graphic Adventures. Adams described the language like this to CRASH magazine, "It’s a full sentence and graphics interpreter designed to run on machines as small as 48K or as large as 400 megabytes. SAGA is an open ended language which is designed to take advantage of new machines as they come out — we are ready for the next two or three generations of machines."
Scott Adams also wrote a column a column for SoftSide magazine in the 1980s. The name of the regular column was "Say Yoho," which was also the magical phrase used in Adams' game Pirate Adventure.
Adventure International went out of business in the 1980's. Adams then became a computer programmer for the company Avista, Inc. In 2000 he returned to the computer and video game world with Return to Pirate's Island 2
Supposedly, Scott Adams' wife got so frustrated with him when he was making the Adventureland game that she placed the code discs in the oven of their home because he spent so much time working on the game, and the discs survived.
Adam's has stated in interviews that he is a great fan of the Zork
text-based games and loved the original game.