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Obituary: Renowned Atari ST programmer Steve Bak has passed away

Renowned programmer Steve Bak, who worked on titles including StarRay, Goldrunner, and Spitting Image, has passed away. 

Renowned programmer Steve Bak, who worked on titles including StarRay, Goldrunner, and Spitting Image, has passed away. 

Bak rose to prominence during the '80s after accomplishing breakthrough feats on the Atari ST, the most notable of which came when he proved smooth scrolling was possible on the console with the creation of vertical shooter Goldrunner

He also teamed up with Chris Sorrell to create James Pond for Millennium, which went on to spawn a successful franchise. 

Bak had been living with diabetes in recent years, and his son Philip broke news of his passing on Twitter alongside a touching obituary.  

"So this morning Dad died, He was at home and it was very fast. His diabetes had been a lot worse these last years. We became estranged in mid 90s, become more amicable years later, and the last time I saw him was my wedding day in 2004," he wrote.

"The golden memories were from the '80s, the times we spent playing (and making) video games. I can still smell the little clear plastic bags full of ten pence pieces we'd empty into arcade machines. 

He gave me my love of programming and would always let me get involved in whatever he was working (or playing) on. And whilst watching him being asked at computer shows for an autograph never stopped feeling silly, I was ever so proud. I hope he knew that. 

"See you on the other side Dad. When I run out of coins, I'm sure I'll find you by the celestial Mr Do machine."

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