Free Fall Games

Who We Are

Free Fall® Games (formerly Free Fall Associates) is a 26-year-old game company whose name is derived from the last names of its founders: Jon Freeman and Anne Westfall.

Back in the computer Stone Age, Jon Freeman cofounded the first general computer-game publisher, Automated Simulations (later called Epyx); developed its first game, Starfleet Orion, and collaborated on a dozen others before leaving to form Free Fall Associates. At various times, he's also been a teacher, a consultant to SmartForce and IMSC, a columnist ("The Name of the Game") for Computer Gaming World, a videogame columnist ("GAME.VIEW") for SGI's Web magazine, i on Visual Computing, a contributor to Games magazine and other publications, the principal author and editor of several books on games, an expert witness in games litigation, and a speaker and panelist at game, computer, and science-fiction conferences and conventions.

Anne Westfall helped manage a Sonoma County estate, raising kids and grapes in California's wine country, before going back to school to learn programming. At Disco-Tech, essentially a startup although a division of a civil engineering firm, she developed (on the TRS-80!) the first microcomputer-based program designed to help layout subdivisions. After working as programmer and then Programming Director at Automated Simulations, where she collaborated on a number of ASI games, she left with Jon to start Free Fall Associates. She has done a variety of conversions for Mirage Graphics, Software Toolworks, and Crystal Dynamics; has programmed in BASIC, 6502 assembly language, C, C++, HTML, and Java; served for six years as Director, initially as Program Director, and later as Treasurer of the Computer Game Developers Conference (now the Game Developers Conference); and has spent much of the last several years as a medical transcriptionist.

As partners in Free Fall Associates--now called Free Fall Games--the pair made videogame history... several times. They created the first product (Tax Dodge) published by Island Graphics, a company started by Steve Dompier, one of the original members of the Homebrew Computer Club (see the March 5th entry here). They were the first developers contacted and the first signed by then-unknown Electronic Arts. With associates Paul Reiche III and Robert Leyland, they created two of EA's initial releases: Murder on the Zinderneuf and the now-classic Archon. They worked on the pre-release (black box) Amiga and created two of the first products released for that fabulous but doomed platform (enhanced versions of Archon and Archon II: Adept). They have been featured in dozens of magazines and were on the cover of the very first issue of MicroTimes. For the past several decades, Free Fall Games has created multiple versions of dozens of original computer games, including those previously mentioned, Swords of Twilight, Archon Ultra, half a dozen games for GameTV, the five games that compose TRIPLICARDSTM Volume One, and others still unreleased.

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