Tube: History

Total Entertainment Network (or TEN for short) is a company that provides various www portals (e.g. Excite) with light entertainment in the form of computer games. They are particularly looking for compact ones that are easy to get into and have a distinct "classic arcade" feeling without violating any copyrights.

They asked me if I was interested in developing some games for them. I accepted and started out with something ... shall we say "inspired" by a classic whose name I'm sure you have guessed already, so I won't have to mention it here. (Gotta watch out for those grumpy copyright lawyers.)

Actually, I made more than one first draft. "Tube" was the one that got approved. I also had an idea I had been wanting to try out for a long time, but it was deemed inappropriate for TEN's relatively young target audience. Below is my description of -- "Puke-Man."

"You control a green, hung-over character in an empty labyrinth. Basically, the idea is to vomit all over the place. The bad guys are pink elephants. Aspirin temporarily gives you enough strength to fight them off. The bonus items are various alcoholic beverages."

Perhaps it's for the best that it never got built.

Alas, I wasn't allowed to use this design.
During development we frequently ran into some really annoying browser incompatibility problems, but perhaps even worse was a sudden notification that the robot was too similar to "the real thing." Apparently, we couldn't have it "chomp" stuff. We had to think of something else. Eventually I came up with the idea to let it reach out and grab items with a claw. It was perhaps the only alternative devouring motion that looked OK when the robot was moving around.