Totally Games About Us Games Jobs Links Contacts
  Larry Holland | Fact Sheet | Press Releases | White Paper
  White Paper - 4/27/2000
 

 

Totally Games Shares Plans for the Future:
A Statement on Opportunity and Technology

 

The electronic entertainment industry is changing rapidly: everyone is working on “Internet time" now. "Internet time", a buzzword with credibility, describes today's fast-paced technological change, the limited number of opportunities for leadership, and a continued industry consolidation at all levels. In our industry, an unprecedented number of new development houses are forming. Emerging development platforms present compelling new opportunities, but these must be balanced against their high development costs. Traditional publishers continue to consolidate and globalize.

These occurrences make this a critical time for everyone in the industry, and especially for independent developers such as Totally Games. As a result, while we're excited about the myriad new opportunities, we have been noticeably quiet as we explore them. Our purpose in this statement is to update our fans and the game playing public about our perceptions, while we lay the groundwork and refine our roadmap and forge ahead into this new digital century.

We're encouraged by the burgeoning of new consoles with increased power and functionality -- most of our game designs give fair consideration to them. Although in our recent past, our games have been primarily Windows-based, only a few years ago (when the market was much more fragmented), we were developing on the Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64/128, Mac and PC. Our strong, recent PC track record overshadows our previous multi-platform work, but it remains a cornerstone and we plan to build heavily on that cornerstone in our future games.

Totally Games is a registered Playstation2 developer. We are very excited about this groundbreaking platform. We're also keeping close tabs on the Xbox and we're impressed by Microsoft’s recent announcements and demos. Additionally, we are encouraged that Apple is, once again, focusing on the game market after neglecting it a bit while reinvigorating their company.

Another area we are watching is technology developments in general, especially in how they will be used to broadcast electronic entertainment in the future. So many opportunities are opening up on a daily basis: alternative operating systems Linux, BeOS and BeIA, and internet appliances such as the newly announced Indrema console. We're excited about the possibilities for games developed with Java, Macromedia's Shockwave or WildTangent technology delivered to gamers over the web via internet enabled hardware, not to mention the mobile network gaming possibilities for the masses through the convergence of WAP based cell phones and high quality PDA's.  

To attain a diverse multi-platform future, we've updated and augmented our proprietary technology approach by selecting a graphics rendering technology with the breadth to develop for next generation hardware. In selecting this technology, we conducted considerable research, answering for ourselves questions about technology capabilities, flexibility, ease of use, support, etc. We actively considered four options: 1) updating the technology that most recently supported Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance; 2) acquiring the proprietary game engine of an independent game programmer; 3) building our own new graphics engine from the ground up; and 4) licensing an engine already on the market. A lot of debate took place. After much hard work and soul searching, it was clear that we needed to select the best “middleware” solution for our needs that was also already "multi-platform friendly".

The decision to choose NDL’s NetImmerse 3.0 3D graphics rendering engine has proven to be a very wise decision. On a technical level, their solution met the majority of our needs, had an open and scaleable architecture and a complimentary set of plug-in tools. NetImmerse supports a number of advanced features such as curved surfaces, character skinning, a multi-resolution terrain engine and continuous level of detail (CLOD) for greater realism. Additionally NDL already supports or soon will support a growing number of platforms and technologies including: Linux, Mac, Playstation2, Windows 98/2000, X-Box, DirectX, OpenGL, software rendering and a few more. This broad platform support for graphics rendering will reduce our time to market, will help simplify our process to port titles and will even support simultaneous development for multiple platforms. Using NetImmerse for its excellent capabilities as a graphics engine has allowed us to save significant time in creating prototypes, thereby allowing our programmers to focus more intently on important aspects of game creation, namely, design of the overall game engine and systems. The association with NDL has also underscored for us the importance of great strategic partnerships as they demonstrate a strong commitment to creating and supporting well-designed, effective technology, a commitment which we also hold.

To maximize our overall designs, our teams are working more closely than ever to develop a strong code base of our own technology that we can transport to other platforms and potentially also to other graphics engines. We have not abandoned the thought of developing our own graphics engine in the future, At this point, we are happy to have this jumpstart on developing for next generation hardware.

Other technology developments: we are using open source solutions in our development, employing Python as the main scripting language within all of our upcoming games, and considering Linux and Linux-based tools to help us develop for all platforms. We are encouraged by development efforts of open source games and software including Crystal Space, The PenguinPlay Project and the WorldForge Project. We hope they bring a renaissance and a whole new generation of talent into the game industry.

In summary, we continue to march to the credo to create "totally involving games", and to broaden the often-limiting definition of what a game, or simulation, truly is. We will support a broader number of platforms to create these involving experiences. We continue to develop our own technology, while taking advantage of complementary technology modules developed from both commercial and open source communities. We are excited about the many mushrooming technological advances. We will continue to develop games that will be ranked among the best games of all time. We are happy to have great associations with some of the best publishers in the business, LucasArts and Activision, and as we continue to create world-class products, we are eager to work with additional world-class publishers to bring great content, whether ours or theirs, to people who love to totally involve themselves in top-notch games.

 


© 2003 Totally Games, Inc. | Privacy Policy