February 8, 2008 4:00 PM | Simon Carless
Well, here's a wacky one. Having raided my local library's used book section a few weeks back, I'd repurchased a copy of Douglas Adams' practically psychedelic Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - one of the most delightfully out-there books of all time - and was happily re-reading it on the train, when I realized that the successful computer company in the book was called WayForward Technologies.
Wait, WayForward Technologies, the game developer that just finished Contra IV and is also famous for titles like Shantae and Sigma Star Saga?
Well, the Wikipedia page reveals noted that the real-life Southern California-based developer was "founded in 1990 by technology entrepreneur Voldi Way", adding "The name WayForward Technologies may reference the novel "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency", by Douglas Adams."
The software entrepreneur in Adams' book is called Gordon Way, incidentally, giving him the same last name as WayForward's founder - perhaps an obvious inspiration for the company name, but making the off-the-cuff reference even cuter!
Even odder, Voldi Way's small Wikipedia entry reveals that, "In 1980, at age 10, he starred in the film The Changeling" - where he played the title character opposite George C. Scott. From child horror actor to video game auteur? Neeto.
Meanwhile, one of the programmers elsewhere in Adams' book discusses his pile of beloved Byte magazines, another serendipitous coincidence, considering that I'm now in charge of the IP to Byte as part of my expanded responsibilities here at CMP - suggestions about wonderful things to do with the currently dormant property are welcome.
Anyhow, I sent an email over to WayForward's John Beck (who will be speaking at the Independent Games Summit at GDC, incidentally!) to see if he can pass me on to Voldi to confirm or deny the Dirk link and how it came about. We'll see what he says...