Indie Built

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Access Software / Indie Built
Industry Computer and video game industry
Fate Closed
Founded 1982
Defunct 2006
Headquarters Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Key people
Bruce Carver, Chris Jones
Products Video games
Parent Microsoft Game Studios (1999-2004)
Take-Two Interactive (2004-2006)

Indie Built, Inc. was a Salt Lake City, Utah based video game developer founded in 1982 by Bruce Carver as Access Software.[1]


After buying a Commodore 64 in 1982 from computers salesman and later Access Software employee Steve Witzel, Bruce Carver wrote a sprite editor called "Spritemaster" which became commercially successful. He next wrote an arcade game, Neutral Zone, and formed Access Software.

Access Software released Beach Head in 1983 which would be their first hit.[2]

In 1987, Access announced The Robotic Workshop, a toy kit that allowed users to build and program robots using a home computer. The kit was a precursor to the much more popular Lego Mindstorms kits released in the late 1990s. The Robotic Workshop included over 50 Capsela parts, including two motors, gears, wheels, and sensors.

In 1988, World Class Leader Board, the first game utilizing RealSound, was released.[3] Created by Steve Witzel, the technology allowed players to hear life-like sounds and speech with no additional sound hardware, just a standard PC speaker.

In 1989 with the release of Mean Streets, the Tex Murphy series was born. Being one of the first games to implement 256-color VGA graphics and the first to combine both RealSound and 256-color VGA graphics, Mean Streets impressed reviewers and in 1996 was recognized by Computer Gaming World as having set a new standard for 286 games.[4]

Access Software was acquired by Microsoft in 1999,[5] became part of Microsoft Game Studios and was renamed to "Salt Lake Games Studio". In 2003 it was renamed again to "Indie Games".

In October 2004, Microsoft sold the development studio to Take-Two Interactive and it took on the name Indie Built.[6] They became part of Take-Two's 2K Games/2K Sports labels. Indie shipped Amped 3 for the launch of Xbox 360 and worked on Top Spin 2 for Xbox 360 developed by Power and Magic. Take-Two suddenly closed Indie Built on April 28, 2006 without publicly stating any reasons for the closure.[7]

In 2007, Chris Jones, one of the three founding members of Access software and the actor of Tex Murphy, and Aaron Conners, a writer and designer who worked on many of the Tex Murphy games, founded Big Finish Games, which is staffed primarily by veterans of Access/Indie Built. In 2012, they commenced development on a new Tex Murphy game.

Games / Hardware[edit]


  1. ^ Carless, Simon (January 5, 2006). "Obituary: Access Software Founder Bruce Carver". Gamasutra. 
  2. ^ "ACCESS SOFTWARE". Retro Gamer. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Sipe, Russell (November 1992). "3900 Games Later...". Computer Gaming World. p. 8. Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  4. ^ "150 Best Games of All Time". Computer Gaming World. November 1996. pp. 64–80. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Microsoft Buys Access". April 19, 1999. 
  6. ^ Adams, David (December 17, 2004). "Take-Two Picks Up Amped Team". 
  7. ^ Hatfield, Daemon (May 1, 2006). "Take-Two Closes Indie Built". 

External links[edit]