Peter Langston

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Peter S. Langston
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Born 1946
Birth Place New York City
Nationality American   USA.svg
Website http://www.langston.com/

Peter Langston is an American game designer and composer, and co-founder of Lucasfilm Games, later known as LucasArts. He began as a freelancer developing games for Unix systems in 1972, while also performing in a New York-based band called The Metropolitan Opry, before being approached by George Lucas to establish a gaming division for Lucasfilm in 1982. The company's early projects were released on the ill-fated Atari 5200 (albeit they would later enjoy much greater success when ported to home computers), and one of Langston's duties was helping out with the music and sound effects.

Langston retired from the gaming industry in the early 1990s, though still works as a musician to this day.

Audio Development

Atari 5200

It's not known who first designed Lucasfilm Games' sound driver for the Atari 5200, though it was most likely Langston and/or Charlie Kellner, who between them handled most of the audio duties in the company's early days. For Ballblazer (A52), on which Langston provided the music, he created a special program that dynamically improvised music based on the situation in the game (albeit he composed the game's title music in the conventional manner). He described it as thus in 2005:

Among our innovations in game design [was] an increased focus on sound and music, One example is the music score for BALLBLAZER which not only responds to game-play and provides vital status cues, but is also constantly improvised by an algorithmic composition scheme. This use of music that never repeats itself, responds to game-play, and carries information is a first in the industry (and even now is only challenged by Microsoft on the hugely more-powerful Xbox).

C64

Langston and Charlie Kellner designed the first sound driver used for Lucasfilm Games' Commodore 64 games. The driver was soon superseded by one designed by Randy Farmer and Chris Grigg, though it's thought that some games, including Labyrinth: The Computer Game (C64) may have used both (the earlier driver for the music, and the newer one for the sound effects).

Gameography

Released Title Sample Notes
1984-04-?? Rescue on Fractalus (A52) Sound Effects
1984-04-?? Ballblazer (A52) Music, Sound Effects
1985-??-?? Ballblazer (C64) Sound Driver
1985-??-?? Rescue on Fractalus (C64) Sound Driver

External Links