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|Known for||Video games|
Patrick Buckland is a British computer programmer and chief executive officer of Stainless Games, which he co-founded with Neil Barnden in 1994. He was born in London and moved to the Isle of Wight at the age of 2. Buckland still lives on the Isle of Wight with his wife and two children (Jules Buckland and Sean Buckland) and is a direct descendant of renowned geologist/palaeontologist William Buckland and his son, renowned zoologist Frank Buckland.
His first experiences with computers occurred in 1978 while at school on the Isle of Wight, at the age of 15. In 1979 he began working at modifying the Lemonade and Breakout games that came with the system and, two years later, had finished his first full game, Liberator, for "the wonderfully titled Thorn EMI Video Programmes Ltd on his Apple II.
From there, he became a freelance programmer, taking on "whatever work was available on the Apple II and the Mac." This resulted in working on a shooter game called Crystal Raider which he notes came from "the observation of people messing around in applications such as MacPaint".
Soon after the game's release, Buckland decided to work on a follow up, Crystal Quest, which would take the gameplay of its predecessor, and add new features. The game ended up ported to numerous other platforms, including the Apple IIgs, Amiga, Nintendo Game Boy and Palm.
In 1993, Along with Neil Barnden, Buckland started up Stainless Software "in order to concentrate on games". Among their first clients was Argonaut Games, who contracted the team to work on 3D engine development. Two years later, in 1995, the company landed their first games contract, with British publisher SCi, after pitching a title called "3D Destruction Derby" in 1994. Originally, the game was intended by the publisher to be a licensed Mad Max title, but SCi couldn't get their hands on the licence. Next, in anticipation of a sequel to the cult 1975 film Death Race 2000, the game was titled Death Race 2020.
The film sequel fell through, and it was decided to just do it without the license. Carmageddon was released in mid 1997 – using the BRender engine – and immediately topped the UK games charts, with other charts worldwide following suit soon after.
In 1999 the company was absorbed into Scottish based developer VIS Entertainment. Most notable among the many projects that Buckland worked on as part of VIS was 2001's State of Emergency (video game), which saw him attached to the game midway through development as executive director and design consultant. In 2001 a rally project at VIS for Electronic Arts was cancelled, and VIS began restructuring itself. As part of this process, Patrick Buckland spun-off Stainless Games as an independent company again, which was financed by Les Edgar, founder of Bullfrog and ex-chairman of VIS.
Since 2006 has seen the company release a number of titles, including a port of Crystal Quest, Scrabble 2007 edition, Red Baron, Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm, Warlords, Tempest, Battlezone, Asteroids, Missile Command, Centipede & Millipede, Novadrome, RISK: Factions and most notable Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers.
He was wholly or partly responsible for the production of videogames such as Crystal Quest, Carmageddon, Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now, Carmageddon: Reincarnation and Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers. He also produced a range of non-game software over the years, including AME, a security system used by (amongst others) the CIA and NASA, Crash Barrier, a crash recovery utility for the Macintosh, a Teletext authoring system, CAD software for the marine industry, retail packaging CAD systems, LeLisp for the French government, Structured BASIC or the Apple // and various other software packages.
Games and other major products produced by or including code written by Buckland include
- Structured Basic (Apple //) – UMicro
- Liberator (Apple //) – Thorn EMI
- Submarine Commander (Apple //) – Thorn EMI
- MacCharlie (Mac) – Dayna Communications
- LeLisp (Mac) – ACT Informatique
- Crystal Raider (Mac) – Shareware
- Crystal Quest (Mac/Amiga/GS/DS/PocketPC/Palm/Mobile/XBLA) – Casady & Greene/Infinite Ventures/HandsOn/Stainless
- Telewriter (Mac) – Teletext
- Nest (Mac) – ICS
- Axxon (Mac) – Axxon
- Sky Shadow (Mac) – Casady & Greene
- Crash Barrier (Mac) – Casady & Greene
- AME (Mac) – Casady & Greene
- Crystal Crazy (Mac) – Casady & Greene
- Mercury (Mac) – Aaron
- Medical reference multimedia (PC) – Times Mirror Group
- BRender (Mac + PC Demo software etc.) – Argonaut
- Carmageddon (PC/Mac) – SCi
- Carmageddon: Splat Pack (PC) – SCi
- Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now (PC/Mac) – SCi
- State of Emergency (PS2) – Rockstar
- Novadrome (XBLA) – Stainless/Disney
- Pocket Bike Racer (Xbox/X360) – Blitz
- Centipede (XBLA)/Millipede (XBLA) – Atari
- Missile Command (XBLA) – Atari
- Asteroids (XBLA)/Asteroids Deluxe (XBLA) – Atari
- Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm (XBLA) – Sega
- Tempest (XBLA) – Atari
- Warlords (XBLA) – Atari
- Battlezone (XBLA) – Atari
- Atari Classics (PSP) – Atari
- Red Baron (PC/PS3-PSN) – Sierra Online
- Scrabble (DS/PSP – EA version) – EA
- Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers (XBLA + PC/PS3 Announced) – Wizards of the Coast
- RISK: Factions (XBLA) – EA
- Carmageddon: Reincarnation – Stainless Games self-published
The above list excludes a number of cancelled projects (some of which were major and near completion), minor contract work, and confidential projects.
Crystal Quest received a number of awards when released on the Mac in 1987, as did Carmageddon and Carmageddon II in 1997 and 1998 respectively. Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers broke all sales records on the XBLA platform when it was released in June 2009, although these records were broken again by other titles shortly afterward.
In 2013, Buckland was one of a consortium of British individuals who bought the rights back to the sports car manufacturer TVR, from Nikolay Smolensky. The new company, TVR Manufacturing Ltd, is already taking deposits for an all-new vehicle developed in conjunction with Gordon Murray and Cosworth.
- "IGN: Stainless Games". Games.ign.com. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "Classic PC Game: Carmageddon | Total PC Gaming Magazine". Totalpcgaming.com. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "Patrick Buckland". MobyGames. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- Sam Philip (7 June 2013). "TVR's back!". BBC. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "Reborn TVR plans new sports car family for 2017". Autocar. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- Stainless Games website
- "Playing Catch Up: Stainless Games' Patrick Buckland", Alistair Wallis Gamasutra, 14 December 2006
- Official website