|Headquarters||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Other Names||Melbourne House, Teeny Weeny Games, Krome Studios, Laser Beam Entertainment|
Beam Software was an Australian video game developer. It was founded in 1980 by Naomi Besen and Alfred "Fred" Milgrom under the name Melbourne House. They later changed the company name to Beam Software, which was in reference to the founders' names, Naomi Besen and Alfred Milgrom. The company started off developing computer games for many home computers at the time including the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. They later started making their way to North America when they developed games for the NES. However, they received a cold reception in America at first due to the low-quality games they developed, which in turn was a result of the publishers rushing the developers to get games developed as quickly as possible. Some of these games include Back to the Future (NES), Back to the Future Part II & III (NES), and Airwolf (NES). Around this time, Beam Software started converting computer and arcade games to the NES including The Three Stooges, Defender of the Crown, Road Runner, RoadBlasters, and Smash T.V. Around the 1990s, Beam Software's games started to improve in quality with games such as Nightshade (NES) and Star Wars (NES). The company grew in popularity when they released the critically acclaimed title Shadowrun (SNES).
When they developed Nintendo games exclusively in Australia, they published the games themselves under the name Laser Beam Entertainment.
Beam also had a UK division called "Teeny Weeny Games" created by Angela Sutherland, who would sometimes contract Beam Software for audio.
Some games are so intensive in gameplay and graphics that they simply have no memory left for in-game credits. Oddly, some other games credit programmers and graphic artists on loading screens or in-game, but no musicians. A few manuals credit musicians, but many composers, arrangers and sound programmers are still unknown.
Most if not all games use the same sound driver. The original programmer is unidentified, but it may be Gregg Barnett. Neil Brennan stated in a 2012 interview that he designed and programmed a music language, which then would have been an update. Nigel Spencer, who joined Beam later, told C64.COM that he wrote Brennan a synth editor and a sound effects manager.
Regarding arrangements, Adrian Pertout told C64.COM he wrote numbers on paper and gave it to unidentified programmers.
Gavan Anderson had this to say regarding the people who designed the sound driver:
The only composers at Beam to write music on the NES were Neil Brennan, Gavan Anderson, Tania Smith, and Marshall Parker. The composers wrote the music in Music Macro Language using the NYNTH sound driver.
Music was sequenced and was converted to Beam Software's SNES sound engine written by Andrew Bailey. The first game to use the Beam Software SNES sound engine was Super Smash TV.
Game Gear/Sega Master System
Genesis / Mega Drive
Jason Page said that his sound driver was licenced to an Australian game developer, who is thought to have been Beam Software.
The following composers worked at Beam Software:
- Adrian Pertout - Composer for Fighting Warrior (C64).
- Brian Post - Sound driver programmer (1990-1999)
- Brian Uniacke - Sound designer for Caesars Palace (PS1).
- Domenic Morabito - Guitar samples, used for True Lies (SNES).
- Gavan Anderson - Arranger, sound designer.
- Gavin Parker - Composer and sound designer.
- Jimmy Tutton - Sound designer for Caesars Palace (PS1).
- Marshall Parker - Main composer (1991-2007)
- Neil Brennan - Composer, arranger, and sound programmer.
- Tania Smith - Composer and arranger.
- Trevor Nuridin - Genesis sound programmer.
Circa 1993. Standing row, second from the right is Marshall Parker.