GarageGames

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GarageGames
Type Limited liability company
Industry Computer software
Interactive entertainment
Founded Eugene, Oregon, U.S. (2000)
Founders Jeff Tunnell
Tim Gift
Rick Overman
Mark Frohnmayer
Headquarters Vancouver, WA, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people Eric Preisz (CEO)
Products Torque 3D
Torque 2D
iTorque 2D
Torque X
Website www.garagegames.com

GarageGames is a game technology and software developer. GarageGames is also the parent company to GG Interactive, developers of educational technology in the areas of computer science, video game development and programming. In addition, the company has been a video game developer and publisher. GarageGames created several game engines targeted for indie development. Originally founded in Eugene, Oregon, the company now has offices in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA and its headquarters in Vancouver, WA. In 2007, GarageGames was acquired by IAC[1] and the company was renamed InstantAction. In 2011, the company was purchased by Graham Software Development and reverted back to the original name GarageGames.

History[edit]

GarageGames was founded in Eugene, Oregon in 2000 by Jeff Tunnell, Tim Gift, Rick Overman, and Mark Frohnmayer. Working in their garage on severance checks, the founders derived the name GarageGames as a play off the term "garage band", and is meant to evoke a similar attitude in game development. The stated goal of the original founders of GarageGames was to offer licensing of game engines to virtually anyone, allowing independent game-makers more options in developing and publishing video games.

In 2001, GarageGames released the Torque game engine. It was used to create the Tribes game series and was released at an initial price point to allow independent game developers access. Later the company expanded its product lines with additional tools, and more advanced engines and introduced tiered licensing. In 2005, the company introduced Enterprise licenses for large companies and educational institutions available for annual fees ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. In 2006, its developer community surpassed 100,000 users.

Over its history, the company launched several of its own games, including Marble Blast Ultra for Microsoft Windows and Xbox Live Arcade.

In 2006, GarageGames acquired BraveTree Technologies, developers of Think Tanks and real-time networked multiplayer physics technology.

In 2007, the GarageGames was acquired by Barry Diller and InterActive Corporation (NASD: IACI) and renamed InstantAction.[2]

On July 15, 2009, Louis Castle, notable for his Command & Conquer series, would become the CEO of GarageGames.[3] The company headquarters were subsequently moved to Las Vegas with some employees relocating to Portland, Oregon. Shortly after the move, the "GarageGames" brand was retired.

On November 11, 2010 it was announced that IAC was shutting down InstantAction, and the intellectual property for the Torque game engine would be sold off.[4] On January 20, 2011, the Torque engine and GarageGames brand was purchased and the company was re-launched, as GarageGames once again, with new CEO Eric Preisz. The company moved to a new office in Las Vegas, Nevada.[5]

In 2011, GarageGames began doing game and technology-based service work. The company created the Microsoft Digital Literacy Program for Windows 8 and an undisclosed project for a World Famous Theme Park. The company also created game-based learning courses for online colleges in the areas of criminal justice, customer service and career development.

In 2014, GarageGames CEO Eric Preisz announced the establishment of GG|Interactive, a subsidiary of GarageGames that would focus on bringing game design, game programming and game development courses to middle schools, high schools and colleges. Under the product name Dev|Pro: Game Development Curriculum, the company offers digital education courses in the areas of computer science, game design and programming. Offices for GG|Interactive were established in Vancouver, Washington while the Las Vegas offices remained open.

Game development technology[edit]

Licensing[edit]

GarageGames originally offered the Torque Game Engine for sale in 2000, offering the technology under a per-seat "Indie" license.[6] GarageGames also offered "Commercial" licensing options to companies with more than $250,000 in annual revenues. In September of 2012, GarageGames announced that both the Torque 2D Engine and Torque 3D Engine would be offered free as an open source MIT license.

Products[edit]

GarageGames.com also sells more than 100 third party game development products.

Applications[edit]

Torque is primarily a video game development technology. Various versions of the engine have been used to develop more than 200 published games.[7] It has been licensed by Electronic Arts, NC Soft, Sony, Disney, Vivendi Universal, Hasbro, and many other game teams and publishers and it's officially supported middleware for Microsoft and Nintendo.

Torque is also used for non-game applications like serious games and virtual worlds. It's been licensed by NASA, L3, Lockheed Martin and it has been used for dozens of virtual worlds applications like Onverse[8] and by IBM for internal and external training simulations.[9] Torque is currently used for education in more than 200 schools and universities worldwide.[10]

Game development[edit]

Title System Release date Genre Ref(s)
Chain Reaction Windows Puzzle [citation needed]
Fallen Empire: Legions Windows 2008 Action [citation needed]
Legions: Overdrive Windows December 20, 2010 Action [citation needed]
Marble Blast Gold Linux September 1, 2002 Platform, puzzle [citation needed]
Macintosh [citation needed]
Windows [citation needed]
Xbox Live Arcade [citation needed]
Marble Blast Ultra Xbox 360 January 25, 2006 Platform, puzzle [citation needed]
Rack'em Up Roadtrip Windows Sport [citation needed]
Rokkitball Windows April 2008 Action, sport [citation needed]
Think Tanks Windows 2005 Action [11]
Xbox Live Arcade [12]
Z.A.P. Windows March 2008 Action [13]

Game publishing[edit]

Early in the company's history, GarageGames offered publishing terms to independent developers for distribution through its website game. To date, GarageGames has helped publish more than 50 titles in their game store. GarageGames has also self-published a number of titles on console platforms.

InstantAction.com[edit]

With its 2007 acquisition of GarageGames, IAC announced the development of a new online gaming platform called InstantAction. The platform offered console quality games in a streaming play experience inside a web browser. InstantAction.com launched with a closed beta in January 2008. On February 2008, the beta became invitation based. On March 6, 2008, InstantAction.com went into full open beta. The site featured a total of eight games, four of which were from independent developers (Galcon, Lore: Aftermath, Ace of Aces, and ZAP!) with the other four being first-party games (Fallen Empire: Legions, Rokkitball, Marble Blast Online, and ThinkTanks).

In March 2010, it was announced that InstantAction would also become a digital distributor and had developed a way to bring any game to the browser, and embed them on any website.[14] On April 29, 2010, InstantAction released The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, while the rest of the site, specifically the games they hosted, remained offline.[15]

On November 11, 2010, InstantAction announced that they would be shutting down, along with all of their games. However Torquepowered.com (garagegames.com) would continue to operate while InstantAction explored opportunities with potential buyers for Torque. The Torque business unit was eventually bought by Graham Software Development in January 2011, which restored the GarageGames name and brand.

Educational Technology[edit]

GG|Interactive[edit]

GG|Interactive was established as a subsidiary of GarageGames in 2014 to create and produce Dev|Pro: Game Development Curriculum. The company is focused on providing computer science courses as lessons in video game design, development and programming. This educational curriculum is partially crowd sourced and offers an Early Access Program. Teachers, students and educators participating in this program are able to review the curriculum and add suggestions or corrections to the lessons. The digital curriculum is developed in the style of Silicon Valley software and is able to live update regularly without interruption to the course or the need for new printed books or the purchase of new editions.

At its launch in 2014, the curriculum is being tested in schools in Nevada and California.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "GarageGames blog - Welcome back, GarageGames!". Garagegames.com. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  2. ^ "IAC's Grand Acquisitor". Fast Company. 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  3. ^ 1 Comments. "Lou Castle to Head Up InstantAction as New CEO". Industrygamers.com. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  4. ^ "November Update | Eric Preisz | Blogs | Community | GarageGames.com". Torquepowered.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  5. ^ "Welcome Back GarageGames!". Garagegames.com. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  6. ^ "Torque Game Engine - Engine Details". DevMaster.net. 
  7. ^ "Products : Torque : Powered". . GarageGames. 2006-09-21. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  8. ^ "The World is your Playground with Onverse". Garagegames.com. 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  9. ^ "Blog Archive » The IBM Innovate Quick internal metaverse project". eightbar. 2007-05-08. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  10. ^ "Solutions : Education". . GarageGames. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  11. ^ . IGN http://www.ign.com/games/thinktanks/pc-664193.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "GarageGames Acquires BraveTree". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  13. ^ . IGN http://www.ign.com/games/zap/pc-14345198.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "GDC 10: Gaikai and InstantAction Team Up to Fix 'Broken' Game Industry". Industrygamers.com. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  15. ^ by JC Fletcher on Apr 29th 2010 10:50PM (2010-04-29). "InstantAction streaming service launches: play Monkey Island in this post". Joystiq.com. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 

External links[edit]