Silicon Beach Software
Silicon Beach Software was an early developer of software products for the Macintosh personal computer. It was founded in San Diego, California in 1984 by Charlie Jackson and his wife Hallie. Jackson later co-founded FutureWave Software with Jonathan Gay, the company that produced the first version of what is now Adobe Flash. Although it began as a publisher of game software, it also published what was called "productivity software" at the time.
Silicon Beach's best known "productivity software" product was SuperPaint, a graphics program which combined features of Apple's MacDraw and MacPaint with several innovations of its own. SuperPaint2 and Digital Darkroom were the first programs on the Macintosh to offer a Plug-in Architecture, allowing outside software developers to extend both programs' capabilities.
Silicon Beach was a pioneer in graphic tools for desktop publishing. Not only was SuperPaint a tool that had advanced graphic editing capabilities for its day, but Digital Darkroom was also a pioneering photo editor. It was grayscale only, not color (like the early Macintosh computers), but had a number of interface innovations, including the Magic Wand tool, which also appeared later in Photoshop. It also had a proprietary option for printing grayscale content on dot matrix printers. Digital Darkroom was used professionally to clean up scanned images for clip art libraries.
Another innovative Silicon Beach product was SuperCard which, like SuperPaint, superseded the capabilities of an Apple-branded product (in this case, HyperCard). SuperCard used a superset of the HyperTalk programming language and addressed common complaints about HyperCard by adding native support for color, multiple windows, support for vector images, menus and other features.
Silicon Beach Software produced a number of innovative computer games for the Macintosh. The most well known is Dark Castle released in 1986. Unlike many games of the era, outside of simple rocks, the hero is largely empty-handed in the battle against his foes. It was ported to several other operating systems by other companies.
- Airborne! (1985) combat game.
- Banzai! (1985) teaser demo for Airborne!
- Enchanted Scepters (1985) Point-and-click adventure game made with the engine that later became World Builder.
- World Builder (1986) graphical adventure game authoring package.
- Apache Strike (1987) 3D helicopter game.
- Beyond Dark Castle (1988) Sequel to Dark Castle.
- Super 3D (1988) 3D modeling application.
- Silicon Press (1986) card and label printing software
- Personal Press (1988) easy to use desktop publishing software, later renamed Adobe Home Publisher
- Coverage of MacWorld Boston 1988 including SuperPaint and Digital Darkroom with founder Charlie Jackson from The Computer Chronicles
- Video review of Beyond Dark Castle and Apache Strike with Silicon Beach development V.P. Eric Zocher from The Computer Chronicles
- Silicon Beach Software profile at MobyGames