Serious Sam

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Serious Sam
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, Palm OS, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Android, iOS
First releaseSerious Sam: The First Encounter
21 March 2001
Latest releaseSerious Sam VR: The Last Hope
20 September 2017

Serious Sam is a video game series created and developed by Croteam. The series started on Microsoft Windows and has been released on a number of different platforms, including the Xbox, Xbox 360, Palm OS, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2 and GameCube.

Direct spin-offs of the first title in the Serious Sam series were created for PlayStation 2, GameCube and Game Boy Advance by Climax Solent and for Palm OS by InterActive Vision. All of these spin-offs were published by Global Star Software. The fan-made game Serious Sam Classics: Revolution was developed by online community Alligator Pit and released onto Steam Early Access in 2014.

The series follows the adventures of protagonist Sam "Serious" Stone and his fight against the forces of the notorious extraterrestrial overlord Mental who seeks to destroy humanity.


Timeline of release years
2001Serious Sam: The First Encounter
2002Serious Sam: The Second Encounter
2004Serious Sam: Next Encounter
Serious Sam Advance
2005Serious Sam 2
2009Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter
2010Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter
2011Serious Sam 3: BFE
Serious Sam Double D
Serious Sam Kamikaze Attack!
Serious Sam: The Random Encounter
2012Serious Sam: The Greek Encounter
2013Serious Sam Double D XXL
2014Serious Sam Classics: Revolution
2017Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter
Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter
Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope
Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE
Serious Sam's Bogus Detour
2018I Hate Running Backwards
2019Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass

Main entries[edit]


Indie series[edit]


Croteam created their own engine for use in both Serious Sam: The First Encounter and Serious Sam: The Second Encounter. At the time Croteam was making Serious Sam, licensing other engines was costly (upwards of US$1 million), so they made their own from scratch, following the feature set of the first Doom engine, which simulated 3D spaces in 2D, and did not include up or down targeting. As they were creating their own, both Duke Nukem 3D (which added up-and-down freelook) and Quake (a fully 3D rendered environment) were released, requiring Croteam to incorporate these features into their engine for their game to be competitive. Development was further complicated when the first 3D accelerators were released, forcing Croteam to develop for hardware rendering over software.[2] Recognizing they needed to bring something new to what other games were pushing at that time, Croteam decided that they would make their Serious Engine support extremely large environments, with virtual view distances of over a kilometer, physics support, and capable of rendering up to a hundred enemies on screen at a time, and do this on the processing power of what current low-end computers using Pentium One CPUs could handle.[2] The team devised ways of doing object path caching so that they only had to perform collision detection with environmental features every few seconds rather than every cycle. Collision detection was also sped up by approximating the environment with spheres rather than boxes. This also enabled them to have multidirection gravity which was used for some of the game's secret areas.[2]

Serious Engine 1 is available as open-source software.[3] A more powerful iteration of the Serious Engine was developed for use in Serious Sam 2 and is known as Serious Engine 2. It supports many features of modern GPUs such as pixel and vertex shaders, HDR, bloom and parallax mapping. Serious Engine 3 was used in Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter and Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter. It includes detailed shading, and enemies are remodeled to look more realistic. This engine is also being developed to harness the full capacity of HDR and High Definition mapping. An updated version, Serious Engine 3.5, is used in Serious Sam 3.

Serious Sam is voiced by John J. Dick.

After the release of both HD remakes of the original Serious Sam episodes, the new publisher, Devolver Digital, acquired both classic encounters in 2010 and Serious Sam 2 in 2011.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "War Stories: Serious Sam almost didn't happen—until crates saved the day". Ars Technica. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Serious Sam's Serious Engine source code released". Croteam. Retrieved 12 March 2016.

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