Dynamix company history
Dynamix: The Rise of a Dragon in Eugene, Oregon



Atrium building at 99 W. 10th Avenue (in 2009, after a fresh paint job)

Throughout these first few years as a development house, the staff at Dynamix slowly grew from roughly 10 people to a small group of 25 or so in 1989. A group that worked extremely hard: in 1989 eight products were released (if Project Firestart is included). The staff was housed in the so-called Atrium office in Downtown Eugene.

The picture below shows part of the staff at the front desk (1989).

From top left clockwise: Gregg Hango, Nick Skrepetos, Kevin Ryan, Dave Selle, Rich Rayl, Jeff Tunnell, Piotr Lukaszuk, Brian Hahn, and Dariusz Lukaszuk. Colleen, the name on the name plate, refers to the wife of Jeff Tunnell, who used to be a receptionist in the early days (see next picture).


Close to the Atrium office, at the intersection of Broadway and Willamette, stood the - now destroyed - pedestrian mall water fountain (also referred to as "The tank-trap"), which was used for a photo shoot of the crews of A-10 Tankkiller and David Wolf: Secret Agent.

The David Wolf main team (front and center) with supporting cast behind



Both games, A-10 Tankkiller and David Wolf: Secret Agent, became the first game titles of which Dynamix owned the IP, because the company had decided to self-publish its games. The games were shipped in 1989 as affiliated label products for Activision and the game boxes show the Dynamix's label for the first time.


Excerpt from Tunnel's 1989 journal, right after Dynamix shipped A-10 Tankkiller and David Wolf: Secret Agent
Though Tunnell's notes show some optimism over Dynamix's financial situation, it weren't easy times at all. In order to become a publisher and fund their own development, they had - according to Tunnell - to raise about $ 1.5 million. He brought in Tony Reyneke to help with the business end, and in August 1989 their 3-Space technology was licensed to Sierra to raise additional capital. Since this deal the companies stayed in close contact, and when Sierra's Ken Williams said "Hey, we should just buy you guys," they said yes, as they had become tired of the constant financial battles. So in 1990 the company became part of Sierra On-Line.

"Happy to be a part of the Sierra Family" (Sierra News Magazine, Vol. 3, No 2, 1990)
Josh Mandel (Sierra) recalls a similar story. According to Mandel, who was a sort of creative liaison between Sierra and Dynamix after the acquisition, Dynamix was on the verge of folding at the time of the acquisition. The two games that Dynamix had released, A-10 Tank Killer and David Wolf, weren't enough to keep them going. But Ken Williams loved their 3-Space technology. And Dynamix could put out simulations and games in other genres in which Sierra was weak. So Dynamix became the first in a number of acquisitions by Sierra in the early nineties.


(c) All artwork copyright Dynamix
(c) Text game-nostalgia.com