Sebring - Atari Inc.
As Told By Jed Margolin

Sebring was developed in early 1979, ostensibly to use up a supply of 25" color monitors.

It was a sitdown game with a curved projection mirror.

The monitor was mounted on top of the cabinet.

It was a first person game, using the stamp hardware that was used back then.

The game designer/programmer was Owen Rubin, one of the great early game designers. Owen came up with several innovations that were copied by later generations of driving games:

1. The player drove around a circular track; the hardware made it look like the objects that were farther away were smaller.

2. The player saw the front of his own car, which shook as the car was driven.

3. There were other cars on the track which the player had to get around.

4. The player started the game by starting the engine, which started with a bang, a hardware bug that we liked, so we kept it in.

5. There were probably more innovations of Owen that I have forgotten.

The Hardware Engineer was Jed Margolin (me). Paul Mancuso was the tech. That was the entire team, aided only by Karen Bjorquist (assembler).

The cabinet was designed by the Cabinet Department.

Paul and I put a large speaker in the front of the seat, between the player's legs which gave the player a nice buzz from the engine sound. Years later, this feature was used by others, who patented it. (grrr).

Although Sebring did very well in field test, it was cancelled because, supposedly, the vender who made Atari's cabinets didn't want to make it. (Perhaps he wanted too much money.)

I believe there was only one prototype, last seen in Paul's possession.

And that's the story of Sebring.

You can read more about this game in a web interview with me that was conducted in 1998 by the Webmaster. Click here for the interview.

Thanks to Brian Duel for fnding this picture