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In August of this year, Utopia Technologies opened its east coast operations in Hoboken, NJ, a ferry ride away from New York City. Robert Jaeger, co-founder and creator of the video game classic, Montezuma's Revenge, will head Utopia's east coast operations. WAVE interviewed both Mr. Jaeger and the Vice-President, Mr. Bergenholtzs. Utopia began as a virtual company working over the Internet in 1992. Since its beginning, Utopia has experienced success in the coin-op industry, and now looks to the PC market. Among Utopia's coin-op successes are Countertop Champion's 1 and 2, and a variety of other touch-screen machines. Today the company is 50% virtual and 50% headquartered with its licensing office in Plano, Texas. The company has created its new headquarters in order to develop a new real-time 3D engine, UVision, which Mr. Bergenholtz explained offers advantages unlike any other previous engines. The engine, which has been in development for over 2 years, will support most new emerging technologies such as MMX, Win95, and worthy video cards. Mr. Jaeger explained that they are currently considering support of Rendition's and 3Dfx's accelerator cards. The engine does not currently support Direct3D, because as Mr. Bergenholtz put it, "it is a bit immature". But he feels Direct3D is an ambitious effort that they will continue to track and possibly support in the next year or so. Advantages of this new 3D engine include: Six degrees of freedom in movement, fast phong shaded, perspective corrected texture mapped polygons, multiple, movable cameras and view ports, multiple, real-time movable light sources, support for multiple resolutions and color depth up to 65,536 colors, support for all VESA linear frame buffer modes up to 800x600, surface attributes (sticky, slippery, bouncy, surface forces, chrome mapping, facet smoothing on models, jointed models, morphing models, full freedom in swim modes, opacity, texture turbulence, and more. Mr. Bergenholtz feels that three of the key features included; phong shading, 3D models which have jointed hierarchies which fuses joints together, and multiple moving light sources. They regard this last feature as creating an evident advantage over other 3D engines, such as Quake's 3D engine. The first game that will incorporate Utopia's technology will be Montezuma's Return. Mr. Jaeger explained that, "much like the original game, Montezuma's Revenge, Return combines arcade with adventure, allowing the player to explore a giant universe within a story. This first person, 3D action game will be available sometime around April of 1997. Mr. Jaeger has an optimistic goal for three more titles, not including Montezuma's Return, during the new year. All of the titles would include the UVision engine and be solely designed and developed by the company. The company currently is a small team of about ten, but is currently seeking new employees in the New York/New Jersey area. To learn more about Utopia's new 3D engine and Montezuma's Return visit http://www.utopiatech.com or call the company directly at their Texas office at (972)517-3377.

New (Old) N64 Developer: Sandbox Studios Montezuma's Revenge developer announces new studio and new technology to accelerate game creation. January 29, 1999 by IGN Staff Steve Bergenholtz, co-founder of Utopia Technologies has announced the formation of Sandbox Studios, a new licensed developer for the Nintendo 64. According to a press release issued by the new development house today, Sandbox has already come up with an "advanced physics engine for the Nintendo 64." This technology will be used in its yet to be announced self-funded title. Sandbox has also sub-licensed the physics engine for another secret title to be developed by an outside company. Bergenholtz is confident that the one to two year development process for games will be a thing of the past with the tools his studio has created. "Sandbox and other developers who license our technology will be able to create software titles from conception to completion in three to six months." Beregenholtz's former company, Utopia Technologies is best known for its 1984 title Montezuma's Revenge. Sandbox will be announcing several projects in the coming weeks that it plans to release in 1999.

Utopia Technologies. Utopia's offices where located at Hoboken, NJ, which was an easy trip. I went for the interview for the hell of it, thinking I had nothing to loose.. I landed the job, and spent the next ~1.5 years working on "Montezuma's Return", the sequel to the 80's game "Montezuma's Revenge". I worked on the Win32 port, DirectX code, creature pathfinding, AI's, and scripting logic.  Unfortunately, Monte's 3D engine and gameplay where too dated by the time it was released in early '98, so it didn't go anywhere. Utopia folded, but out of its ashes was born Sandbox Studios. Sandbox was later acquired by Digital Illusions CE (www.dice.se).

Robert Jaeger: Utopia Technologies was a game development company I had started in the 90's. We had a series of successful coin-op tavern touch screen games called Countertop Champion.

Редакция от 17.06.2011 18:50