I just loved this article, I used to work at this company when they just had started up and it was an amazing place with some great artist, map creators and programmers. I was helping out with the Motion Capture of the creatures that were to be implemented into this awesome RPG game and belive me, it would have kicked ass if it would have been released but things went bad with the studio (Infogrames). Even though I left I still have fond memories of working from 9 in the evening to 6 in the morning and testing out new maps they had created or walking around like a goblin for the motion capture and calling it work, what more could I request… But do read the article, it’s a really good inside story on how things can go so wrong…
For the past few months, I’ve been digging into this high wire act via interviews with current and former employees, some speaking anonymously, to put together a picture of how the company has evolved since it made it big with 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. From its former CEO’s final interview before his departure, to details on cancelled projects, behind the scenes stories and a look at the company’s future, there’s a lot in here that you probably haven’t heard before.
“Magnus Was the Genius… He Was Their John Carmack, Essentially”
In the mid-’90s, Magnus Högdahl was a programmer who went by the name “Vogue” in Sweden’s PC demoscene. Over the next 10 years, he would found Starbreeze and develop the technology that would run Riddick and The Darkness, but at the time he was part of a group named Triton, making tech demos and picking away at a role-playing game called Into the Shadows.
Look around online, and you’ll find high praise for Into the Shadows’ technology; in 1995, Quake hadn’t been released and 3D game engines were rare, so hardcore fans were excited to see properly textured 3D characters moving around smoothly. But before it got far into development, the game ran into publishing troubles, putting the project in limbo — which would soon become a recurring theme for Högdahl.