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Will Harvey (born c. 1967) is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who, at the age of 15, achieved fame for writing Music Construction Set, the first commercial sheet music processor for home computers. Harvey also founded two consumer virtual world Internet companies: IMVU, an instant messaging company, and There, Inc., an MMOG company.
After high school, Harvey studied computer science at Stanford University, where he earned his Bachelor's, Master's, and Ph.D. During this period, he started two game development companies and published several additional titles through Electronic Arts.
Harvey went to the Nueva School for middle school. The first game Harvey developed was 1982's Lancaster. He said:
|“||When I wrote the video game I was just fifteen. I did not know any better, so I wrote this video game that I thought was as good as any other game being sold at the time. I wanted to find a publisher but I was only fifteen, so I did not know anything about publishers. I went to a local computer shop, looked at the back of the boxes on the games in the computer shop, and found the one that had the best package artwork. That is how I picked my publisher. The company was Sirius Software in Sacramento.||”|
He sold them the game, though it was not a great success. The need for music in this game led to his development of 1984's Music Construction Set (MCS), published by Electronic Arts (EA) and ported to the platforms of the era. It was a tremendous success.
In 1995, Harvey founded Sandcastle, an Internet technology company that addressed the network latency problems underlying virtual worlds and massively multiplayer games. Sandcastle was acquired by Adobe Systems.
Harvey was one of the chief technical architects at San Francisco game studio Rocket Science Games, which closed its doors in 1997.
In 2003, Harvey founded IMVU, which combined the idea of avatars with instant messaging.
- The Immortal (1990)
- Will Harvey's Zany Golf (1988)
- Marble Madness (1986)
- Music Construction Set (1984)
- Lancaster (1982)
- Duran, Michelle (March 5, 1992). "Computer whiz designs his own video games". The Stanford Daily, p. 3.
- Lohr, Steve (March 1, 1994). "Silver Disks Enter the Boom Phase". The New York Times, pp. A1, D6.
- "Making Music with a Joy Stick". (October 17, 1983). Time Magazine, p. 59.
- Mitra, Sramana (August 1, 2010). "Learning From Failures: IMVU Founder Will Harvey (Part 1)". sramanamitra.com. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- Dibbell, Julian (March 2003). "Meet Your Next Customer". Business 2.0, p. 71.
- Will Harvey's profile at MobyGames
- Interview with Harvey about There from GameSpot
- Interview with Harvey from ACM Queue
- 1984 episode of The Computer Chronicles, includes a segment of Harvey demonstrating the Music Construction Set, alongside John Chowning.