Northwest Synergistic Software

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Synergistic logo from Vengeance of Excalibur game

Northwest Synergistic Software is a contract software developer and a former video game developer. Founded in 1978 in Seattle under the name Synergistic Software, the company published some of the earliest available games and applications for the Apple II family of computers. They continued developing games for various platforms into the late 1990s.


Synergistic was founded in 1978 by Robert Clardy and Ann Dickens Clardy. One of the earliest successful third-party software developers for the Apple II platform, they are most well known for their Dungeons & Dragons-inspired Dungeon Campaign / Wilderness Campaign game, which was later expanded and repackaged as Odyssey: The Compleat Apventure. Dungeon Campaign / Wilderness Campaign is one of the earliest D&D-like games that is epic in scope (compared to the more commonplace "dungeon crawl" games, such as Temple of Apshai.

Synergistic also published a number of business applications, including a word processor and a simple database program.

PC revival[edit]

Unlike many other companies that could or did not make the jump to other platforms, Synergistic continued as an independent developer as the IBM PC DOS platform became dominant. Possibly the most successful titles they ported during this period were Thexder, a side-scrolling shooter game, and Silpheed, a 2D shooter (developed by Game Arts and published by Sega for the Sega CD console).

Merger and acquisition[edit]

Synergistic was acquired by Sierra in 1996. They maintained their identity as an independent development group within Sierra for several years. However, the studio was closed on February 22, 1999, as part of Sierra's restructuring under Activision.

In 1998, Robert and Ann Clardy, along with several other principals from Synergistic Software, began a new venture under the name of Eclectic Games, with plan to make the first game in early 1999, but Eclectic failed to obtain sufficient funding to begin development, and the project was subsequently abandoned.

Northwest Synergistic Software/My Pattern Designer era[edit]

No longer part of the Sierra group, a number of the development staff at Synergistic, returned to their previous name of Northwest Synergistic Software and left the entertainment software market in 2000 to devote their development resources to custom fit apparel pattern-drafting software, which continues to be their major focus at this time, under the name My Pattern Designer, LLC.


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