RAD Game Tools

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RAD Game Tools
Industry Video games
Founded Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. (1988; 27 years ago (1988))
Headquarters Kirkland, Washington, U.S.
Products Smacker, Bink, Iggy, Granny 3D, Telemetry, Miles, Pixomatic and Oodle, VOGL
Website www.radgametools.com

RAD Game Tools is a privately held company owned by Jeff Roberts and Mitch Soule based in Kirkland, Washington[1] that develops video and computer game software technologies which are licensed primarily by video game companies. RAD Game Tools is somewhat unusual among middleware companies as they generally hire one specific person to write, document and support each single product. RAD has not patented any of their technologies. VOGL is the result of a cooperation between RAD Game Tools and Valve.


  • Smacker video – a proprietary codec
  • Bink Video – proprietary codec
  • Iggy – a proprietary multi-platform graphical user interface for games, based on Flash and ActionScript[2]
  • Granny 3D – a proprietary Skeletal animation system.[3]
  • Telemetry – a proprietary performance tool to visualize CPU hotspots
  • Miles Sound System – a proprietary API for sound
  • Pixomatic and Oodle – a proprietary rendering technology and proprietary data compressor
  • VOGL – an MIT licensed debugger for OpenGL

Company history[edit]

RAD Game Tools began in 1988 as a Windows programming and consulting company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. They originally worked on many products, including Microsoft Golf, Under a Killing Moon, Norton Desktop, and Quattro Pro.

In 1993, the company began development of Smacker video, an 8-bit video codec. Smacker was their first product that was not written for any particular company, released in 1994, just as full motion videos in games took off with the standard inclusion of CD drives in PCs. By the end of that year, they had become the 63rd Fastest Growing Company in America,[4] and the fastest growing company in Utah.

In late 1995, they acquired the Miles Sound System from Miles Design.

Early 1999 marked the release of their latest video codec, Bink Video, which provided better than DVD quality compression in true color at up to three times the playback speed. Bink has gone on to be licensed for many games on most current platforms.

Also in 1999, RAD released Granny 3D, a 3D toolkit that includes runtime animation and 3D package exporting. Granny was originally written by Casey Muratori, and Tom Forsyth and Dave Moore have worked on it in recent years.

In 2002, RAD released Pixomatic, a software renderer for x86 machines written by Michael Abrash and Michael Sartain. Pixomatic was designed to be an alternative to broken 3D video hardware and video drivers. Pixomatic was acquired by Intel Corporation in 2004, and RAD has worked on the Larrabee project since then, consulting on the architecture and writing the 3D software stack.

In 2008, game industry veterans Sean Barrett and Charles Bloom went to work at RAD, working on Iggy[5] and Oodle,[6] respectively.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Washington Secretary of State". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  2. ^ "Iggy Game UI". Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  3. ^ "Granny 3D". Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  4. ^ Source: Inc.[citation needed]
  5. ^ Source: Barrett (2009). Photoshop-style blend equations with destination alpha
  6. ^ Source: Bloom (2012). Personal Info, personal homepage.

External links[edit]