Steve and Jeff Fulton. Twin Brothers, Atari Freaks (as our dad called us), and more…see below
What Are We Doing?
There was once a local store named “Some Things Fishy”. The store sold, among other things, tropical fish, and kid’s soccer equipment. In the 70’s, that store is where I got my first AYSO soccer cleats and shin-guards. It was a weird store, and it didn’t last very long. However, even as a kid I admired the idea: just make a place that holds all your favorite stuff. This site is basically dedicated to us writing about all of our favorite stuff. It’s the “Some Things Fishy” of blogs. It’s been about as successful.
In 2020 this site chnaged its named from 8bitrocket.com to “IntoTheVerticalBlank.com” as a home “Into The Vertical Blank: Generation Atari” podcast.
Some examples of what we write and podcast about: Atari, Gen-X nostalgia, retro game reviews, garage game development, maker gaming, modern gaming, retro game collecting, 80’s new wave, living a digital life, mid-core gaming, general web and software development, books & movies related to these topics, general nostalgia back through the 70’s, plus the games, books, web sites, toys, etc. that we have worked on in the past 30 or so years.
- 8bitrocket.com has been in operation since December 2006. It started as a blog about “indie” game development pretty much before there was any kind of real, organized “indie” game industry to speak-of. It doubled as a place for blog stories about Atari and Retro Video Games.
- We published our first “Atari Nerd Chronicles” article in early 2007 named “First Communion“. This is an on-going series of memoirs about “growing up Atari”.
- The blog was picked-up in 2007 by Simon Carless at Gamasutra.com after we published a story named “Where Is The Great, All Encompassing History Of Atari?” after which Mr. Carless linked to may of our stories from that web site.
- In 2007 we wrote some of the first “How-To Articles” for Mochi Games. Soon after, Mochi Games sparked the beginning of the “Viral Flash Game” Industry, which in-turned helped form the mobile game industry, and the era of self-publishing digital games. We Chronicled the rise and fall of Mochi Games and Mochi Media from 2007 through 2014 when it closed-down.
- In 2008 We published an article named “Am I A Mid-Core Gamer?” That Went Viral. We soon after created the “Mid-Core Manifesto“. For a while we thought we had struck-gold, but instead it was short-lived. What started as a term for “gamers in midlife” morphed into a term used by mobile game companies to support their ideas on monetization. We are a still kinda sad about that one.
- In 2010 we published the book “The Essential Guide To Flash Games” through FoEd publishing. We created a parody infomerical for it.
- In 2011 we published the book “HTML 5 Canvas” through O’Reilly Publishing. It was the first book to ever cover the HTML Canvas.
- In 2013 we published the book “HTML 5 Canvas” 2nd edition through O’Reilly Publishing.
- From 2013-2016 the site kind of floated on it’s own. We really didn’t know what direction to take it, but we didn’t want to get rid of it. The stories from that era are weird. Many of them are about running thanks to Jeff’s obsession with it, before he hurt his knee.
- In late 2016 we refocused the site back to hobbyist programming and retro games.
- Into The Vertical Blank podcast launched in 2018
- Site relaunched as “IntoTheVerticalBlank.com” in 2020
Who Are We?
Steve Fulton started programming games in 1979 when he was 9 years old. He has worked in the web and mobile game industry since 1995. He spent 15 years at Mattel Toys as developer and development manager for Barbie and Hot Wheels web sites, creating games for a kids’ audience before striking out on his own working on Facebook and mobile games. Steve has been an editor for the indie game development blog 8bitrocket.com since 2006, and has also written numerous articles for gamerdad.com, gamasutra.com, and armchairarcade.com. He has co-written three books on web and game development: The Essential Guide To Flash Games (2010) and HTML5 Canvas (2011)., and HTML5 Canvas 2nd Edition (2013) Steve is now the Senior Manager Of Architecture Innovation for a major toy company working n the connected toy and mixed-play space.
Jeff Fulton is Steve Fulton’s twin brother. We has worked in web and mobile games for over 20 years. With his brother, Jeff self-published his first public domain game “Price Is Right” in 1985 for the Atari 800, followed-up by his 2nd game, Zamboozal Poker Dice self-published for the Atari ST in 1989. Jeff spent 14 years at Mattel as the WebMaster for branded, kid’s entertainment web sites. He has co-written three books on web and game development: The Essential Guide To Flash Games (2010) and HTML5 Canvas (2011)., and HTML5 Canvas 2nd Edition (2013) . Jeff is currently employedas an Ecommerce Architect