Although interested in computers since high school, Tim Skelly graduated with a degree in Radio, Television and Film, but struggled to find satisfying work in this field.
A chance meeting led to him working with a fledgling games company in Kansas; from there he moved to California to join Cinematronics, where he single-handedly created Starhawk (1977), Warrior (1979) and the classic Rip Off (1980), the first game to feature two-player cooperative play.
Frustrated at not being paid a percentage of the substantial earnings his games made for the company, he developed Reactor (1982) independently for Gottleib, writing into his contract the condition that his name be displayed on the screen. This was the first time that a designer had been credited with their full name in a game.
Since 1983, Skelly has pursued his interests in screenwriting, animation and motion graphics, as well as working for Microsoft Research on the design of 3D desktop interfaces.