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Hays Games Company was a programming group that was notorious in the TI community for releasing other programmers' works as their own (simply changing the name and listing themselves as the author) as well as releasing their own programs under other peoples' names. They tended to target the established programmers, among them Bill Nagel, Sam Heald, Joe Wingbermuehle, Kirk Meyer, and Ed Fry.
Some of their most well-known knock-offs include Tetris Gold (original Ztetris by Sam Heald/Ahmed El-Helw), Duckhunt 83 (original Duckhunt by Andrew Ungvarsky), Doorways (original Aurora by Bill Nagel), and NBA Hangtime (original NBA Jam by Ed Fry). They also released Grand Car Stealer 83 with Kirk Meyer listed as the author, even though Kirk Meyer only programmed for the TI-86 at that time.
Although the group was basically disowned from the TI community, having their programs and games removed from the major TI sites and even having their site deleted by their hosting company Geocities after being petitioned by the TI community, they continued on and reinvented themselves as a new programming group multiple times, using a new name each time. Their names included Hays Corporation, New Programmers Order (NPO), Producers Productions, Ellis Industries, and Lipid Inc.
The TI community disdain and dislike of Hays Games Company eventually caused them to post a news article on their site in the summer of 2005 in which they issued a challenge to the community: if the community could organize and submit a petition containing 100 unique signatures within a week, they would leave the TI community for good with no questions asked. So, a stop Hays petition was started on http://www.petitionspot.com (URL: http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/nohays) and they got 186 signatures.
After the petition by the TI community, one of the members of Hays Games Company posted a response on the CalcGames forum. He said they would honor the results of the petition and leave the TI community. He also stated that the true intent of the group was to be a parody group pulling a prank on the TI community, and that they were simply trying to liven up the community. Whether that is true or not is unknown, but most of the members on the forum were incredulous.
In the July 1999 ticalc.org newsletter, the letter to the editor written by (KSA)Tekken details the Hays Games Company wrong doings, proposes that the TI community boycott their programs, and also provides a brief history of the group.
Around the same time that the aforementioned ticalc.org newsletter came out, George Limpert wrote up an agreement (URL: http://www.calc.org/piracy.txt) that all of the major TI community sites would adhere to, in which they would stand together against piracy and code theft.
Ed Fry of Fryed Software lampooned Hays Games Company on multiple occasions. He made a game for the TI-86 called nPo vs Hays Games Co., in which you "walk into the Hays Game Co. Stronghold as a nPo member and destroy all resistance inside the compound, foiling Derrick Stephens Plan to take over the world!" For April 1st, 2002, he did an April Fools joke by changing his website to say that Fryed Software has been acquired by Hays Corporation. He also wrote a lengthy article (URL: http://fryedsoft.bluecrimson.com/rants/hays.htm) detailing the internal structure and plans of Hays Games Company and posted it on his site on 6/21/2002.
Hays Games Company used various URLs for their site over the years. Their first site was hosted on Geocities and the URL was http://www.geocities.org/haysgames/. The site was deleted, however, when the TI community petitioned Geocities to delete it, accusing Hays Games of piracy and theft. For a year or so, they got their own domain name and the site URL became simply http://www.haysgames.com. When they changed their name to Hays Corporation, they used the URL http://www.geocities.com/hayscorporation/. Eventually, the site was placed on Oocities, and the URL became http://www.oocities.org/haysgames/ where it can still be found today.
- http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Bunker/9901/ — Ellis Industries
(taken from http://www.haysgames.com/history.html)
It all started in mid 1997 with an aspiring Ti83 programmer named Mike Smith. The assembly language for the Ti83 was just being pioneered by such programmers as Bill Nagel, and many exciting programs were starting to emerge, such as Nibbles and Penguins. Mike Smith learned of this calculator assembly language and began programming a daring new shell called Doorways '95. The goal in Doorways '95 was to bring a Windows '95 type interface to the Ti83. In late 1997, Bill Nagel was selected by Mike Smith to become the beta tester for Doorways '95. One week later, Bill Nagel had hacked the source code for Doorways '95 and released it to the Ti-Files and ticalc.org under a different name: Aurora. Mike Smith vowed revenge.
Fast forward 5 months to March 1998. In a Yahoo chat room, 6 guys: Mike Smith, Mike Delsi, Derrek Stevens, Hulk Kuhn, Ron States, and Chuck Taylors were discussing who knows what and the subject of calculator games came up. Somehow, the decision to create a Ti83 programming group was born. When coming up with a name for the new programming group, Mike Smith remembered how Bill Nagel had stolen Doorways '95 and renamed it to "Aurora", his home town. So they decided they would name their programming group after their home town in Kansas: Hays. On April 1, 1998, the Hays Games Company was born.
Hays needed a "killer app" to break onto the Ti scene with. Smith and Delsi got to work on Hays' first operating system: Doorways NT. Doorways NT was also the Ti83's first network enabled operating system. It was an instant success. Soon after came Hays' first game, San Francisco V: Extreme Driving.
Hays' big break onto the scene however came with the release of Doorways '98. Doorways '98 combined a load of features with ease of use to create the ultimate operating system of the time. It was instantly rated "Better then Aurora (Doorways '95) by the masses. Soon after this big success however, trouble struck the Hays Games Co.
In May 1998, Delsi, Kuhn, States, and Taylors quit the Hays Games Company to start a rival coding group, the NPO, which stands for New Programmers Order. This created a rivalry which would last until early 2000, when Hays would actually acquire the NPO and end it's reign.
In June 1998, more disaster struck for Hays as the NPO and other members of the Ti-Community filed a petition with Geocities and had the Hays Games Co. webpage deleted, along with all of it's archives. All Hays programs were deleted from Dimension Ti (now calc.org) and the Ti-files. To the community it appeared as if Hays would be gone for good. Instead a 3 month "hibernation" began.
In September 1998, Mike Smith and Derrek Stevens needed to break back onto the Ti scene, but they felt that the Hays name was too tainted. Together they formed Ellis Industries, cover for the Hays Games Company. As Ellis Industries, they released Doorways NT² and Doorways NT3, as well as many other innovative Ti83 programs. Then in November 1998, the NPO, now allied with Joe Wingbermuehle, once again struck and had the Ellis Industries name tainted and their page deleted.
After another hibernation, Mike Smith and Derrek Stevens returned in May 1999 as the Hays Games Company once again. This time, programmer Sam Heald joined up with Hays. As a Hays Programmer, Sam Heald "coded" Hays' first Assembly programs, Tetris Gold and Duckhunt 83. Mike thought they looked a little familiar but let them slide anyway. Turns out, those programs were hacks of other Assembly programs. Sam Heald was fired from the Hays staff, but the damage had already been done. Hays programs had been banned from ticalc.org. Soon after, the Hays homepage was hacked by the NPO and their allies at z80 AC. Then, ticalc.org released a news article accusing the Hays Games Company of software piracy. The Hays name was in shambles, so another hibernation came about.
In late 1999/early 2000, Mike and Derrek joined up with programmer Josh Willis and formed another front for the Hays Games Co., Lipid Inc. Lipid Inc. released several programs such as Pro OS, Billy the Monkey Boxing, and Men in Tights archery contest, but more importantly, Lipid Inc. acquired the NPO, which was now run by Mike Delsi, Chuck Taylors, and Patrick Lime. After the acquisition, Chuck Taylors and Patrick lime left the Hays family, but Mike Delsi agreed to stay onboard as a programmer. The Hays vs. NPO war was over.
There wasn't too much activity in 2000, but in June 2001, Hays came back in full force. Now calling ourselves the Hays Corporation, Doorways '98 Gold Edition was released, and the blockbuster game Name That Nine, both for the Ti83-. Then in November 2001, after several lawsuit threats, Hays was forced to change the name back to Hays Games Company.
2002 was a golden year for the Hays Games Company, and 2003 is gearing up to be even better. Hays is now churning out more programs then ever before, and without the NPO in it's way, Hays is on the road to success, with many quality programs such as Doorways Professional, Name That Nine Advanced, and the popular Halo 83.