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Bill Budge collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: 113.2210
The Bill Budge collection contains computer programming and reference manuals, a binder of printed source codes, two disks, and printouts of early programs created by Budge in the 1970s. The bulk of the materials are published manuals, released between 1976 and 1980, including one manual signed by Steve Wozniak of Apple Computer, Inc.

The collection is arranged into two series and housed in one archival document box.


  • 1971-1985


Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, he has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.


1 Linear Feet (1 box)


This is a compilation of published computer manuals and printouts of early programs created by Bill Budge. The materials are from 1971 through 1985.

Biographical Note

Bill Budge is an American computer game programmer and designer. While at the University of California at Berkeley, Budge acquired an interest in programming and worked primarily on the Apple II computer. He joined Apple Computer, Inc. in 1980, focusing on graphics drivers. His main interest was in creating tools for others to make games. In 1981, Budge designed the popular early pinball game Raster Blaster. He also founded his own company, BudgeCo., for printing copies of his games and distributing them directly to consumers.

Budge developed Pinball Construction Set in 1983. This program allowed users to craft their own pinball playing field without any prior programming knowledge. After Electronic Arts published the game, it sold over 300,000 copies across several platforms. Budge also wrote the original source code for MousePaint, a bitmap-based graphics painting software for Apple Computer, issued in 1984.

Over the next two decades, Budge worked for The 3do Company, Electronic Arts, Sony Computer, and Google. Budge received the 2011 Pioneer Award from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences for his work with Pinball Construction Set, considered the first computer game to feature user-generated content as part of the game design. Budge’s innovation has influenced both game developers and players in the “construction” genre of video games.

System of Arrangement

Series I: Computer manuals and guides, 1976-1980

Series II: Programming printouts, 1971-1985

Custodial History

The Bill Budge Collection was donated to The Strong in April 2012 as a gift from Bill Budge. The papers were accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 113.2210. The materials were received from Bill Budge in one box.

Related Materials

Bill Budge’s original Apple II computer is part of the holdings in the International Center for the History of Electronic Games at The Strong.


Finding Aid to the Bill Budge Collection
Julia Novakovic
10 May 2013
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)