On August 26, the UT Videogame Archive visited George Sanger’s North Austin studio, where we acquired over 60 boxes of The Fat Man’s archival materials. After George and I finally finished packing up the UT van, there was hardly room for me in the driver’s seat!
With such a sizable donation, it should come as no surprise that we acquired a wide range of materials that document several phases of The Fat Man’s life and career. Most importantly, the materials in this donation (as seen in the blue boxes at right) documents Sanger’s work and progress through various videogame audio assignments. These boxes contain audio recordings at various stages of the game audio composition process, as well as correspondence with the client developers, musical notation, game demos, contracts, and other files. The recordings come in several different formats: CDs, DAT tapes, ADAT files on S-VHS tapes, cassette tapes, and reel-to-reel tapes, among others. Some of the games documented in these boxes included The 7th Guest, “information warfare” training games developed by the Air Force Information Warfare Center, NASCAR Racing, Tanarus, U.S. Navy Fighters ’97. The boxes also include unreleased recordings made for Microsoft,Trilobyte, Ted Shred, and the television producers of King of the Hill.
Besides the documentation covering The Fat Man’s audio work, the donation also contained personal files (one such box intriguingly labeled “Early & Pre-Fat Man”), files and soundcards from Fat Labs (Team Fat’s non-commercial venture aimed at standardizing soundcard technology), albums and unreleased tracks recorded by Team Fat, documents produced during the first two Project BBQ meetings, press clippings, publicity materials, and even some film reels that Sanger produced while a USC film student.
The sheer amount of this particular donation has been a great gift from The Fat Man to the UT Videogame Archive, but even more encouraging is the quality of the material. With The Fat Man’s audio work files, in particular, researchers will be able to study the game audio creation process at a high level of detail. And many of the auxilliary activities that go along with that creation process will be observable as well in the records.