Keighley on the Life and Death of Trilobyte

“I think Graeme’s e-mails got a little harsh at times,” explains artist Mark Peasley. To many inside the company, the e-mails were downright caddish. Devine admits he went through an “acid period” after his migraine attack in late 1994, and his e-mail exchanges were in part mandated by the fact that his hours were usually 4pm to 4am, quite different from the normal 9-to-5 schedule of some employees (making face-to-face communication difficult). “I really don’t think Graeme meant any harm with them,” explains programmer Sherman Archibald, Devine’s best friend. “I think he was just dealing with the stress in his own way.”

However, the e-mail exchanges were troublesome to Landeros, who admits he and Devine had different opinions of how to run a company. “I was more of a stickler for running the company on a more professional level,” explains Landeros, “but Graeme wanted a more friendly collaborative environment – sort of a mini-utopia. I don’t think his mode of operation is necessarily wrong, but it was tough for me to handle.” Indeed, this difference in protocol was something that came out of the woodwork as Trilobyte grew. With some 50 employees at the company, Trilobyte was even publishing its own glossy newsletter – Devine had a large audience over e-mail. To Mitsu Hadeishi, 32, project leader of Dog Eat Dog, it was a clear generation gap fueled by the 17-year age difference between the founders: “Rob wanted to do things in a very old-fashioned hierarchical way, and Graeme wanted a more consensus-driven business.”

Geoff Keighley, “Haunted Glory: The Rise and Fall of Trilobyte

via the internet archive. The article is about Trilobyte, developers of The 7th Guest. It deserves a good Aramis-style analysis.

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