Serious Sam

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Serious Sam
Serious Sam logo.png
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Developer(s)Croteam[a]
Publisher(s)
Platform(s)
First releaseSerious Sam: The First Encounter
21 March 2001
Latest releaseSerious Sam 4
24 September 2020

Serious Sam is a video game series created and primarily developed by Croteam. It consists predominantly of first-person shooters. The series follows the advances of mercenary Sam "Serious" Stone against Mental, an extraterrestrial overlord who attempts to destroy humanity at various points in time. The first game, Serious Sam: The First Encounter, was released for Microsoft Windows in March 2001. Several spin-offs were developed by other developers, such as a Palm OS conversion of The First Encounter by InterActive Vision, Serious Sam: Next Encounter (on GameCube and PlayStation 2) by Climax Solent, and Serious Sam Advance (on Game Boy Advance) by Climax London. All three were published by Global Star Software.

Development[edit]

Croteam created a proprietary 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.[1] 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 kilometre, 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 the original Pentium CPUs could handle.[1] 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.[1]

Serious Engine 1 is available as open-source software.[2] 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 re-modelled 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.[3]

After the release of both HD remakes of the original Serious Sam episodes, Devolver Digital re-released both classic encounters in 2010 and Serious Sam 2 in 2011.

Games[edit]

Main series[edit]

Title Details

Original release date:
  • WW: 21 March 2001[4]
Release years by system:
2001 – Windows
2001 – Palm OS
2002 – Xbox
Notes:
  • First-person shooter
  • Published by Gathering of Developers
  • The Xbox version of the game is published by Gotham Games, which combines The First Encounter into one game
  • In 2003, both The First Encounter and The Second Encounter were compiled into one single collection titled Serious Sam: Gold
  • On 24 November 2009, The First Encounter was re-released with high-definition graphics titled Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter[5]
  • On 31 March 2017, The First Encounter was re-released with virtual reality support titled Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter[6]
  • A unified[clarification needed] version of the original game titled Serious Sam Classics: Revolution was developed by Alligator Pit and was on early access in 2014 until its full release in 2019[7]



Original release date:
  • WW: 5 February 2002[8]
Release years by system:
2002 – Windows
2002 – Xbox
Notes:
  • First-person shooter
  • Published by Gathering of Developers
  • The Xbox version of the game is published by Gotham Games, which combines The Second Encounter into one game
  • In 2003, both The First Encounter and The Second Encounter were compiled into one single collection titled Serious Sam: Gold
  • On 28 April 2010, The Second Encounter was re-released with high-definition graphics titled Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter[9]
  • On 4 April 2017, The Second Encounter was re-released with virtual reality support titled Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter[10]
  • A unified[clarification needed] version of the original game titled Serious Sam Classics: Revolution was developed by Alligator Pit and was on early access in 2014 until its full release in 2019[7]



Original release date:
  • WW: 11 October 2005[11]
Release years by system:
2005 – Windows, Xbox
Notes:



Original release date:
  • WW: 22 November 2011[12]
Release years by system:
2011 – Windows
2012 – Mac OS X, Xbox 360, Linux
2014 – PlayStation 3
Notes:
  • Developed by Croteam and published by Devolver Digital
  • Prequel to Serious Sam
  • On 10 November 2017, Serious Sam 3: BFE was re-released with virtual reality support titled Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE



Original release date:
  • WW: 24 September 2020
Release years by system:
2020 – Windows, Stadia
Notes:


Spin-offs[edit]

Title Details

Original release dates:
  • NA: 14 April 2004
  • EU: 30 April 2004
Release years by system:
2004 – GameCube, PlayStation 2
Notes:



Original release dates:
  • NA: 14 April 2004
  • EU: 30 April 2004
Release years by system:
2004 – Game Boy Advance
Notes:



Original release date:
  • WW: 30 August 2011
Release years by system:
2011 – Microsoft Windows
2013 – Xbox 360 (XXL)
Notes:
  • Developed by Mommy's Best Games and published by Devolver Digital
  • An expanded version, Serious Sam Double D XXL was released for Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade in February 2013, introducing a local cooperative multiplayer mode, the Windows version followed after as a free update for the original game



Original release date:
  • WW: 15 September 2011
Release years by system:
2011 – Android, iOS
2012 – Windows
Notes:



Original release date:
  • WW: 24 October 2011
Release years by system:
2011 – Windows
Notes:


Serious Sam: The Greek Encounter

Original release date:
  • WW: 24 January 2012
Release years by system:
2012 – Windows
Notes:



Original release date:
  • WW: 20 June 2017
Release years by system:
2017 – Windows, Linux
Notes:



Original release date:
  • WW: 20 September 2017
Release years by system:
2017 – Windows
Notes:



Original release date:
  • WW: 22 May 2018
Release years by system:
2018 – Windows, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Notes:



Proposed release date:
TBA
Proposed system release:
TBA – Windows
Notes:


Serious Sam Origins

Proposed release date:
TBA
Proposed system release:
TBA – Windows
Notes:
  • Developed by members of SeriousSite.ru, a Serious Sam fansite[14]
  • Sanctioned by Croteam[14]
  • A mod for The Second Encounter based on pre-alpha content of the game[14]


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Non-mainline entries were developed by InterActive Vision, Climax Solent, Climax London, Mommy's Best Games, Be-Rad Entertainment, Vlambeer, Eric Ruth Games, Crackshell, Croteam VR, Binx Interactive, and Gungrounds

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Mosettig, Nikola; Manansala, Lee (3 October 2018). "War Stories: Serious Sam almost didn't happen—until crates saved the day". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Serious Sam's Serious Engine source code released". Croteam. 11 March 2016. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  3. ^ Martin, Joe (12 August 2009). "Serious Sam voice actor for hire to fans". Bit-Tech.
  4. ^ "Serious Sam: The First Encounter". GameSpot. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter". Steam. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter". Steam. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Serious Sam Classics: Revolution". Steam. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  8. ^ "15th anniversary of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter". Croteam. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter". Steam. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter". Steam. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  11. ^ "Serious Sam 2". Croteam. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  12. ^ "Serious Sam 3: BFE". Croteam. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  13. ^ https://store.steampowered.com/app/272620/Serious_Sams_Bogus_Detour/
  14. ^ a b c "Serious Sam Origins, a Croteam backed indie..." Croteam. 13 October 2013 – via Facebook.

External links[edit]