Paul Norman (game designer)

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Paul Norman (born December 18, 1951) has been a professional musician and composer since 1970. He has been involved with the development of computer entertainment and information since 1982.


After fifteen years as a professional touring and studio musician, Paul Norman set out on his first major computer program during the 1980s, Forbidden Forest, to create a movie experience, which relied on 6502 machine language programming. It was originally developed for a company called Synchro but they went out of business when the game was around three-quarters complete. Synchro was bought out by Cosmi who saw the game to completion.[1] One year after release, Forbidden Forest was selling hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide. At this time he completed a second title Aztec Challenge and the first success created a receptive audience. In 1989, Personal Computing magazine stated: "In his very first game, Paul Norman created a classic. The atmosphere is overwhelming and the music score remains one of the best ever made for the C64. "

Europeans seemed particularly fond of the graphic adventure games he was producing. So he pressed on with another moody, movie-like experience called Caverns of Khafka,[2] which was based on an Atari 8-bit computer game of the same name by Robert Bonifacio.[3] Though he did not consider himself a 'programmer' type, he did need to do it to make his little 16-color 'films'. His growing expertise with computer languages and their logic made it easier to work on the story and special effects. The popularity of TV's Airwolf and the movie Blue Thunder were an inspiration for the very first helicopter simulator: Super Huey, which sold two million copies.

He joined a CD-ROM development team at Tiger Media[4] in 1990, acting as script writer, audio and music producer, creator and engineer. After two years as design consultant for Sega, he was contracted to produce audio and video content for the Discovery Channel Software title "Carriers: Fortress at Sea". In 1995, he became a consultant and contributor on internet projects as well as interim contracts for Java programming. In 1999, he produced a complete website for a retail Internet startup, from GUI to database processing, He has spent the next two years developing ideas and methods for a better model of Internet presentations and entertainment employing Adobe Flash and Caligari Truespace as tools.

He has developed numerous websites for a variety of businesses and celebrities. Currently (2014) he is completing development of a web system for learning to play musical instruments, starting with guitar, piano, and harmonica, based on the theories of Phil Sardo. The website is to be officially launched in July of this year.[when?][5]

Games Developed[edit]

Year Title
1983 Forbidden Forest
1983 Aztec Challenge
1984 Caverns of Kafka
1985 Monster Trivia
1985 Beyond the Forbidden Forest
1986 Def Con 5
1987 Chernobyl
1989 The President Is Missing
1989 Navy Seal
1991 Murder Makes Strange Deadfellows
1995 The Umbra Conspiracy
2003 Super Huey III


  1. ^
  2. ^ "IMDB: Caverns of Khafka". IMDb. 2 January 1984. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  3. ^ Caverns of Khafka credits for Commodore 64
  4. ^
  5. ^ Paul Norman

External links[edit]