Snowblind Studios

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Snowblind Studios
Subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Industry Interactive entertainment
Computer and video games
Fate Merged into Monolith Productions
Successor Monolith Productions
Founded 1997
Defunct 2012
Headquarters Kirkland, Washington, USA[1]
Products Video games
Owner Time Warner
Number of employees
80+
Parent Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Website http://www.snowblind.com/

Snowblind Studios was a video game developer located in Kirkland, Washington.[1] They were founded in 1997, specializing in role-playing video games. In 2009, Snowblind Studios was acquired by Time Warner, through its Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment division. In 2010, the studio (along with studio Surreal Software) was physically relocated to Monolith. After the release of The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, the team was merged in with Monolith Productions to develop Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which was released in September 30, 2014.

Game engine[edit]

The Snowblind engine, also referred to as the Dark Alliance game engine, is a game engine created by Snowblind Studios for perspective correct overhead third person view role-playing games. It was first used by Snowblind Studios to create Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. The previous Baldur's Gate games used the Infinity Engine which was created by BioWare for isometric role-playing games.

The first game to use the engine was Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, a joint collaboration between Interplay Entertainment and Snowblind Studios. Interplay then used the engine for all their ports of the game except the Game Boy version, which used its own game engine. These ports of the game greatly expanded on how much content the game was able to use and the amount of saving slots present in the game.

The engine was then used by Snowblind Studios in its EverQuest games starting with Champions of Norrath. Snowblind improved the engine in their own ways, such as adding new features such as character creation and online multiplayer. Interplay, however, continued to use the engine, due to the fact they partly owned the engine, for their console games. Interplay used the engine for their sequel to Dark Alliance, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II, which was developed by Black Isle Studios. This sequel once again improved on the engine's capabilities and added more features, improved graphics and better audio; it added features from the Infinity Engine Baldur's Gate games such as Companions. Interplay then released Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and The Bard's Tale; both games improved on the engine in their own way. Brotherhood of Steel added a reputation system to the game and The Bard's Tale improved on other features of the engine, such as audio. The Bard's Tale was the Dark Alliance Engine's first PC release. Interplay was developing a sequel to Brotherhood of Steel, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2. This game would have added the features of sniping, stealth and a more advanced reputation system. It was, however, canceled.

Snowblind Studios then released Champions: Return to Arms, which refined the online multiplayer and changed the linear portion of the games released for the engine and allowed characters to change the ending. Around this time, Snowblind began to license the engine out to indie developers; however, of these developers, only one could make a game. The game was met with a lawsuit by Titus Software, the owners of Interplay, and Acclaim Entertainment but in the end, it was ultimately released as Combat Elite: WWII Paratroopers.

Snowblind then created Justice League Heroes with the same engine in 2006. The game was released around the time the next gen of video game consoles was out, but due to it being created for the previous gen, it was released for Xbox and PlayStation 2. A portable version of the engine was used for the PlayStation Portable, but the Game Boy and Nintendo DS versions used their own engine. To fit the superhero theme of the game, Snowblind Studios put most of their effort into the length of the game, thereby taking out many features of the engine.[2]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Platform(s)
1998 Top Gear Overdrive Nintendo 64
2000 Top Gear Hyper Bike Nintendo 64
2001 Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox
2004 Champions of Norrath: Realms of EverQuest PlayStation 2
2005 Champions: Return to Arms PlayStation 2
2006 Justice League Heroes Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox
2011 The Lord of the Rings: War in the North OS X, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About Snowblind Studios". Snowblind Studios. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  2. ^ "JLA Heroes, Snowblind uses the Dark Alliance Engine". Retrieved 24 June 2011. 

External links[edit]