Snowblind Studios game engine
|Operating system||PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Windows, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
The Snowblind engine also referred to as the Dark Alliance game engine is a game engine created by Snowblind Studios for perspective correct overhead third person view role-playing games. It was first used by Snowblind Studios to create Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. The previous Baldur's Gate games used the Infinity Engine which was created by BioWare for isometric role-playing games.
The first game to use the engine was Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, a joint collaboration between Interplay Entertainment and Snowblind Studios. Interplay then used the engine for all their ports of the game except the Game Boy version, which used its own game engine. These ports of the game greatly expanded on how much content the game was able to use and the amount of saving slots present in the game.
The engine was then used by Snowblind Studios in its EverQuest games starting with Champions of Norrath. Snowblind improved the engine in their own ways, such as adding new features such as character creation and online multiplayer. Interplay, however, continued to use the engine, due to the fact they partly owned the engine, for their console games. Interplay used the engine for their sequel to Dark Alliance, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II, which was developed by Black Isle Studios. This sequel once again improved on the engine's capabilities and added more features, improved graphics and better audio; it added features from the Infinity Engine Baldur's Gate games such as Companions. Interplay then released Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and The Bard's Tale; both games improved on the engine in their own way. Brotherhood of Steel added a reputation system to the game and The Bard's Tale improved on other features of the engine, such as audio. The Bard's Tale was the Dark Alliance Engine's first PC release. Interplay was developing a sequel to Brotherhood of Steel, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2. This game would have added the features of sniping, stealth and a more advanced reputation system. It was, however, canceled.
Snowblind Studios then released Champions: Return to Arms, which refined the online multiplayer and changed the linear portion of the games released for the engine and allowed characters to change the ending. Around this time, Snowblind began to license the engine out to indie developers; however, of these developers, only one could make a game. The game was met with a lawsuit by Titus Software, the owners of Interplay, and Acclaim Entertainment but in the end, it was ultimately released as Combat Elite: WWII Paratroopers.
Snowblind then created Justice League Heroes with the same engine in 2006. The game was released around the time the next gen of video game consoles was out, but due to it being created for the previous gen, it was released for Xbox and PlayStation 2. A portable version of the engine was used for the PlayStation Portable, but the Game Boy and Nintendo DS versions used their own engine. To fit the superhero theme of the game, Snowblind Studios put most of their effort into the length of the game, thereby taking out many features of the engine.
The engine was not used again until the 2011 release of The Lord of the Rings: War in the North. The engine has been massively upgraded, and as revealed by Snowblind Studios employee, the engine used in War in the North is an updated version of the Dark Alliance one, as it uses an updated version of the toolset featured.
- Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (2001) - Developed by Snowblind Studios.
- Champions of Norrath (2004) - Developed by Snowblind Studios.
- Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (2004) - Developed by Black Isle Studios.
- Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (2004) - Developed by Interplay Entertainment.
- The Bard's Tale (2004) - Developed by InXile Entertainment.
- Champions: Return to Arms (2005) - Developed by Snowblind Studios.
- Combat Elite: WWII Paratroopers (2005) - Developed by Battlebourne Entertainment.
- Justice League Heroes (2006) - Developed by Snowblind Studios.
- The Lord of the Rings: War in the North (2011) - Developed by Snowblind Studios.
- "JLA Heroes, Snowblind uses the Dark Alliance Engine". Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- Nutt, Christian; Andre Maguire (October 31, 2011). "War in the North's all-new engine". Earth: Gamasutra. Retrieved 15 November 2011.