Patrick Buckland

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Patrick Buckland
Nationality British
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 and is a direct descendant of renowned geologist/palaeontologist William Buckland and his son, renowned zoologist Frank Buckland.[1]


Early career[edit]

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”.

Crystal Quest[edit]

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.

Stainless Software[edit]

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 to by the publisher to be a licensed Mad Max title, though this plan later ran into trouble when SCi couldn’t actually get their hands on the license. Next, in anticipation of a sequel to the cult 1975 film Death Race 2000 film, the game was titled Death Race 2020. “This is where running people over came from,” Buckland notes.

The film license fell through, and it was decided to just do it without a 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.

VIS entertainment[edit]

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 mid-way 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 into VIS Isle Of Wight and laid off half the staff – Patrick Buckland included. As such the new Stainless Games was a spin-off from the VIS company, which was financed by Les Edgar, founder of Bullfrog and ex-chairman of VIS.

Stainless Games[edit]

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 and Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now. 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

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.


  1. ^ "IGN: Stainless Games". Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  2. ^ "Classic PC Game: Carmageddon | Total PC Gaming Magazine". Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  3. ^ "Patrick Buckland". MobyGames. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 

External links[edit]