Games Created or Co-created : Aztarac, Flash Attack, Fazuul, Fazuul 9001, Freezuul, Phazuul, Quest for Magic, Androids
Other Works: MajorBBS, Galacticomm, Think a Little, What Goes Around
Cause of Death: Self-inflicted gunshot wound
The games Fazuul, Quest for Magic (programmed with Scott Brinker), and Androids were all add-on modules for the MajorBBS system. The days of bulletin board systems predated the internet by years and Tim was one of the early pioneers of multi-machine, multi-player video games. In his Commodore PET days, in true hacker form, he designed a serial cable that connected two PETs together - something that had not been previously achieved.
Tim also wrote the book, Think a Little: Evolutionary Perspectives on the Future of Civilization. Though it did not become a major success, it does give the reader a bit of insight on the goings-on inside Mr. Stryker's mind. He really believed that the world could be improved through computers.
"That belief spawned the Superdemocracy movement, which aimed to connect all Americans with cyberspace so they could vote on national policy -- and eliminate Congress, state legislatures, city councils and the court systems."
-Scott Brinker, current president and chief technology officer of i-on interactive, inc, and former VP of Galacticomm
Tim wasn't too far off in his vision to create a world where voters could use their computer to research candidates, find out their stance on certain issues, and even vote for them without ever leaving their home. With today's internet, information is freely available on all public figures. And remote electronic voting is still in consideration, but will likely not be adopted until election fraud can be 100% prevented.
The bigger picture Tim wanted to achieve was a more compassionate world. One based on equality and not corruption. In a time before everyone was embracing technology however, some of his more grandiose ideas went more or less unnoticed.
"Most people listen to the radio while driving around in their cars. I think about things"
-Tim Stryker, from the book Think a Little
Tim was ahead of his time in many ways; However, he was battling something few people even knew about: Depression. Those who knew him, but didn't know about his condition, said he was a "happy" person. Hard to believe that someone who fit the definition of 'happy' was in such a dark place. For someone who seemed to know how to fix the world, he couldn't seem to fix himself.
If he were alive today, I'm sure he would be regarded as one of the few visionaries that really did have the answers to the world's problems. Without him, I believe the world is missing an important component to our technological evolution. We miss you Tim.
I found out about Tim Stryker's death when I researched the game Aztarac. I was excited to see if the designer of this colorful and unique vector game created any other games. I just thought that Aztarac was so well done. The graphics, especially during the attract mode, are quite stunning, and will mesmerize anyone who fires it up.
I read a wonderful article by someone who found one of Tim's arcade machines from the early 80s. It is well worth the read.
What you may not know:
- You can still download MajorBBS and its components here: http://www.bbsdocumentary.com/software/IBM/WINDOWS/MAJORBBS/
- Tim Stryker received a dedication in Jason Scott's film: BBS Documentary
Obituary - Timothy Stryker, 41, Galacticomm Founder
August 9, 1996 - Staff Report
Timothy Stryker, 41, of Salt Lake City, died Tuesday night.
Mr. Stryker founded Galacticomm, a Fort Lauderdale-based software company, in 1985 and served as chairman of the company.
"All of us at Galacticomm were extremely saddened to learn of the passing of our founder and chairman, Tim Stryker,'' said Robert Shaw, chief executive officer of the company. "Our condolences and our prayers go out to his family and friends.''
Details of his death were not available immediately.
Mr. Stryker, who founded Galacticomm and still owned a majority interest, sold part of the company to Shaw, who plans to take it public within a year.
Company: Mach 1 Software
Platform: Commodore PET
Company: Centuri, Inc.
Platform: Arcade .
Platform: Add-on module to MajorBBS