Cathryn Mataga

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Cathryn Mataga
Known forfounder of Junglevision

Cathryn Mataga (born William Mataga)[1][2][3] is a game programmer and founder of independent video game company Junglevision.[4] Under the name William, she wrote Atari 8-bit computer games for Synapse Software in the early to mid 1980s, including Shamus, the flip-screen shooter video game.[5]


Mataga designed the game Shamus in 1982,[2] credited under the name William for the Atari 8-bit family.[1] Much of the game's appeal was said to come from Mataga's sense of humor, such as creating a "grand rendition" of the Alfred Hitchcock theme song in the game's introduction.[6] Mataga followed it with a sequel Shamus: Case II and scrolling shooter Zeppelin.

Steve Hales of Synapse Software, in an interview for the book Halcyon Days, states that he and Mataga convinced company founder Ihor Wolosenko to get the company into interactive fiction.[7]

Mataga developed an interactive fiction programming language known as BtZ (Better than Zork) for Broderbund, in the early 1980s.[3] Mataga worked with Hales and poet Robert Pinsky on the interactive fiction game Mindwheel (1984).[3]

Mataga was one of the programmers working at Stormfront Studios on the original Neverwinter Nights MMORPG.[8] Don Daglow credits Mataga as one of the programmers who made Daglow's assertion come true that he could make the game a success.[9]

Credited games[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shamus Manual (PDF). 1983.
  2. ^ a b "The Classic Game Shamus".
  3. ^ a b c Bateman, Selby (June 1985). "The Prose and the Parser: How Writers See Games". Compute!'s Gazette. 3 (24).
  4. ^ "Junglevision: Company". Junglevision.
  5. ^ "Game Designers Just Wanna Be Girls: Interview with Jamie Faye Fenton". Next Generation. June 21, 1999. Then there was the designer of the great 8-bit classic, Shamus, William Mataga. He recently wrapped-up work on a Color Game Boy version of that game and is looking for a publisher. Only he now goes by Cathryn.
  6. ^ David Small, Sandy Small and George Blank, ed. (1983). "Shamus". The Creative Atari. Creative Computing Press. p. 189. ISBN 978-0916688349.
  7. ^ Steve Hales. "Halcyon Days: Interviews with Classic Computer and Video Game Programmers". Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  8. ^ Marks, Robert (2003-01-01). Everquest Companion: The Inside Story. McGraw-Hill Osborne. ISBN 9780072229035.
  9. ^ Wallis, Alistair. "Column: 'Playing Catch Up: Stormfront Studios' Don Daglow'". Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  10. ^ a b "Mindwheel: An Electronic Novel". QuestBusters. 2 (3): 11. March 1985.
  11. ^ Kosek, Steven (July 21, 1985). "Poet Robert Pinsky goes hi-tech to give electronic novel a whirl", Chicago Tribune, p. 33.
  12. ^ "Pinsky, Robert (Neal)." Contemporary Poets. Gale. 2001. Retrieved May 21, 2014 from HighBeam Research: Archived 2014-06-29 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ van Looy, Jan (2010). Understanding computer game culture: the cultural shaping of a new medium. Lambert Academic Pub. p. 271. ISBN 9783838332130.
  14. ^ Marks, Robert (2003). Everquest Companion: The Inside Lore of a Game World. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 9780072229035.
  15. ^ Charla, Chris (November 2001). "Digital Eclipse's Rayman Advance", Game Developer 8 (11): 42–48.Archived

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