Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Entertainment Games

Shiny Founder Quits To Aid Sale 61

Posted by Zonk
from the sad-state-of-affairs dept.
Gamasutra reports that Dave Perry, the founder of Shiny Entertainment, quit his role with the company to aid its sale from floundering Atari. From the article: "Shiny Entertainment was founded in 1993 by Dave Perry, and produced the hit Earthworm Jim series, as well as the financially successful Enter The Matrix. It is also noted for more esoteric titles such as MDK, Messiah and Sacrifice. The studio was sold to French publisher Infogrames by Interplay in 2002 for an estimated $47 million, before the company bought the rights to the Atari name and logo." Sacrifice was a unique and under-rated strategy title. It was flawed, to be sure, but the immediacy of summoning your troops in the field was a lot of fun.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Shiny Founder Quits To Aid Sale

Comments Filter:
  • MDK (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Monday February 20, 2006 @02:29PM (#14762405) Homepage
    Ah, I remember it well. The 3d first game that I recall which used it's own engine's graphics to render it's introduction realtime; the first FPS that I ever played which gave a real sense of personality to its enemies; and still one of the most surreal games I ever played.
    • It certainly was a very strange game. I seem to remember the graphics were exceptional to the time as well. One of the rooms was all mirrored surfaces IIRC which was something I hadn't seen outside ray traced scenes before. I though the weird landscape really worked well though and gave the game something that most don't have. I certainly enjoyed it way back then.

      • Re:MDK (Score:1, Informative)

        "It certainly was a very strange game. I seem to remember the graphics were exceptional to the time as well."

        While that game was in development, they were saying that it was written almost entirely in assembly language. They wanted to squeeze out every resource of the CPU possible.
    • There was the occasional use of a sniper view, but MDK was definitely a 3D platformer, not an FPS.
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)
      First game besides a flight sim that I ever played that had force feedback support.
    • MDK would cycle its color palette faster than the human eye could perceive the shifts. This made the graphics appear to have more colors than the underlying hardware could handle at one time. Although 3D, it would auto-aim for you along the Y-axis, not too much different than how Doom II would do it. I played with a joystick that allowed me to circle strafe with the greatest of ease, and the AI couldn't cope. The smooth one-mile zoom on the sniper scope was a real marvel to see in action. Ah, such a great g
    • by Eil (82413)
      Oh yes, MDK. I was a junior in high school, I think. The day the demo was released, I started downloading it right before going to bed. We had 28.8k dialup with an... unreliable ISP. The next morning, I woke up, and found to my astonishment that it had all downloaded. Got ready for school EXTRA quick with 15 minutes to spare, so I began installing the demo.

      Installation took 5 minutes, leaving me 10 minutes to revel in beautful 640x480 3D bad-guy killing with exceptionally smooth control and frame rate. The
  • Matrix (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eightyford (893696) on Monday February 20, 2006 @02:30PM (#14762412) Homepage
    financially successful Enter The Matrix

    Which means the game wasn't succesful with fans. The only good part of the game was the cutscenes.
  • Scarifice was flawed in certain aspects, but the gameplay and story more than made up for any minor issues. On the whole, I found the game to be bug free, relatively balanced and a joy to play through (3 times actually).
    • Sacrifice is one game any aspiring game designer should play. It has its flaws, but it also has a wholeness, an overall perception of having been nurtured for by its makers.
    • I don't see any real major flaw with sacrifice. Never see a bug, and I'm playing it again at home forl ike the 16th time. I think its one of the most underrated games next to System Shock 2.

      If anyone is up for a networked game of sacrifice, gimmie a hollar.
    • Sacrifice is probably the best game of its generation. It's interesting how much it looks like Giants:Citizen Kabuto.... it shipped at very nearly the same time, and it has much of the same look, at least in spots. It's almost eerie.

      Sadly, Giants got all the press, even though it wasn't nearly as good a game. People liked the idea of playing the Giant more than they liked the idea of a really good game. And Walmart didn't like it.

      Sacrifice would have been better if the multiplayer were stronger... the
      • Oh, I need to take that back.... SECOND best game of its generation. "No One Lives Forever" shipped right around the same time, and it was, in my opinion, absolutely the best FPS ever done. Superb voice acting, incredible variety, good story, top-notch level design. If Sacrifice knocked one out of the park, NOLF made low orbit.

        NOLF2, on the other hand, just wasn't that good. Buy the first one, but skip the second. It has moments, but it's really not worth hunting down... a pale shadow of its predecess
        • Still think System Shock 2 is 'the' game of the last century. Incredible story, scary as hell voice acting, the graphics are good for the times (someone made new models to add to the game to 'update' it).
          I play SS2 and sacrifice when the newer games start getting boring. Both are still very playworthy!
          • I didn't like SS2 as well, mostly because I found it impossible to finish. :( I'm sure it's great, but I've never had the full experience.... with NOLF, using your brain and being sneaky, you could avoid most conflict and come through most levels nearly unscathed.

            What I've read suggests that the Psi track in SS2 was super-hard. That's what I was trying to do both times I've played it, so that may be part of the problem. I suppose a trainer or a cheat might have worked, but in a survival-horror type game,
            • by FortKnox (169099) * on Monday February 20, 2006 @03:58PM (#14762953) Homepage Journal
              Yeah, I've never finished the psi track (tried a few times, but its uber hard... probably a flaw on their side). The army track is too easy imho (with enough practice, you can just go guns blazing and kill the scary effect). Navy is the way to go. Use the computers to your advantage, you can use the guns, but not very well, so it becomes a major disadvantage at bad times. Can't tell you how many times I snuck into a corner of a room with a zombie hearing and searching for me, and I only have 1 or 2 shots before my gun is jammed. I actually shook with fear the first couple times...

              But the spawning only happens in the first couple levels were there are security cameras. A naval officer can disable security for long periods of time, and eventually you can start using your hacking skills to place turrents and stuff under your control...
          • Still the scariest game I've ever played....

            Jaysyn
      • "[Planet Moon] was founded in 1997 by the Shiny Entertainment team that created MDK." - Planet Moon's front page [planetmoon.com].

        That would tend to explain the similar art styles. Who knows how much design they did on Sacrifice before splitting, how amiable the split was or wasn't, and how much of the work they did stayed in the game? And how much of PM's art team was trained by Shiny's, or vice versa?

        And then there's the other studio that split off from Shiny, Neverhood.
      • > And that, as far as I know, killed its sales. There have been no further games involving sacrifices, if you'll notice.

        When I think back to the best RTS games, they are in this order:

        1. Sacrifice
        2. Total Annhilation
        3. Dungeon Keeper I
        4. Dungeon Keeper II
        5. Starcraft

        Note 3 of the 5 have unacceptable premises. In DK, you capture and convert, via torture, the good guys to your evil ways. Yet that was really just a small part and in all three cases, was not at the core of why the games were awesome to pla
  • Merger (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Shiny will be merging with this company:

    http://www.thehappycompany.com/ [thehappycompany.com]

    When the company particpates in Hands Across America, we will finally have our shiny happy people holding hands.

    • When the company particpates in Hands Across America, we will finally have our shiny happy people holding hands.


      When I hear that term, I think of psychotic yuppies off their meds, calmly grasping the freshly-severed limbs of their children. But then, I live in Texas. [courier-gazette.com]
    • that was a reach. Put down the silly juice and back away slowly.
  • Earthworm Jim 2 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Overneath42 (905500)
    Still one of the most distinctly unusual platformers ever developed. Sure, the controls were a little wonky at times, but the sense of design in that game still looks and feels fantastic, ten years after release.
    • Which means nothing if the game itself is terrible! The platforming levels were nothing special, compared to the first one; the isometric shmup levels were boring; and the bouncing puppies' levels were a chore.
  • by JVert (578547)
    He's quiting to rejoin once the company is sold? Is he trying to sell himself as a separate entity along with shiny so he'll have more power over the company then when he first sold it to atari?
    • From TFA:

      Perry suggests that facilitating the sale to another company was his main reason for quitting the developer, saying to the Register, "If I'm an employee of Atari, then I'd be stepping all over them. This way, I'm representing a buyer. I can act swiftly and get buyers on the table ... To be clear, I cannot sell the company but I can get publishers excited about the company enough to get a bidding war going on."

      It sounds more like he's doing a combination parenting and "F*ck you, Atari!" role.
    • He's quitting to avoid a conflict of interest with Atari since he wants to get investors to back him in buying back the company that he sold to Atari. It's a risky strategy since another company could buy Shiny and leave him out in the cold. Of course, if he still has any of that $47 million he got from Atari, he could always start a new company.
  • Dear Dave Perry,

    What ever happened to the realtime tesselation engine from Messiah? Can we have it in some game that's coming out some time later? How come the characters in Messiah and MDK were far more detailed then the characters in Enter the Matrix, which were modeled from actual people?
    • by JimTheta (115513) on Monday February 20, 2006 @03:01PM (#14762627) Homepage

      How come the characters in Messiah and MDK were far more detailed then the characters in Enter the Matrix, which were modeled from actual people?

      Are you suggesting that the video-game Neo wasn't as expressive or lifelike as Keanu Reeves?

    • And advanced version of the realtime tessellation was used in Sacrifice, last I heard.
      • But not in Messiah. They used the power of your machine as a guide to generate different LOD models for each character at the start of the level, but didn't tesselate in realtime.

        Also, apparently VR Baseball 2000 used the actual realtime tesselation engine (licensed from Messiah before the game ever came out) so they could more efficiently render 10 players on the field.
  • Since when was "Earthworm Jim" a classic? What's next: Claymation Fighters?
    • Since...it just was. Are you seriously saying you weren't aware that the first two EJ games are considered console classics? Wow.
    • i guess it is a classic platformer. if you're not into those, then it may not be a classic to you. both EJ1 and EJ2 had some of the most bizarre enemies and silly weapons how can it not be considered a classic? hell, the instruction manual for EJ2 should be on display at the smithsonian.
      • The problem is that, at least in EWJ2, there is no defining gameplay present. Each level plays like an entirely different game and the result feels like a disjointed mess. The platforming with guns levels seem to form the majority but they are still too few and too different for being called the main gameplay.
        • Eh, you can't go back and re-enjoy it with the same enthusiasm. Especially if you've never played them before.

          Both Lode Runner (an ancient Macintosh platformer -- how ancient? Note no qualifiers on the phrase "Macintosh") and Pitfall were stunners for their time. Yet both re-issues of them as well as re-envisionings in modern 3D always fall flat. You just can't live up to the original no matter how hard you try. For every Aliens, there's a dozen Matrix sequels. For every Terminator II, there's two doz
    • Pick Me! Pick ME!!

      Never played the game, but the cartoon was in the same league as The Tick, maybe a bit more surreal.

      Any cartoon featuring a fur-bearin' trout is an Instant Win(tm)!
    • People like to throw around the word "classic" whenever fits of nostalgia are induced. My guess is that Zonk enjoyed the game and naturally assumes that everyone else did(or should have) as well. I liked both Earthworm Jim games, but in reality, few video games can truly earn the title of "classic", such as Pac-Man, Doom, etc.

      On the plus side, Earthworm Jim's cartoon was better than the Pac-Man cartoon.
    • EWJ *not* a classic?? I hope you don't consider yourself an avid gamer or similar, because if you don't have nostalgic memories of one of the most creative and distinct platform games of all time, those labels just don't apply to you.
  • ....he was just sitting on a teeter-totter and someone shot the rope holding the cow up in the air.
  • The only memory I have of any Dave Perry game is that cheat code for Sega Genesis Aladdin which displays Dave Perry's face on the screen, then enters a cheat mode.

    Go to the options screen, move the cursor over Difficulty, and type out ACACACACBBBB.
  • Dave Perry, I believe, said the Gameboy Advance was an astronomically bad idea, and I think it was because he wanted 3D gaming on the go.

    At that point I basically tuned him out forever.
  • If you're interested in understanding the game biz, Perry's website [dperry.com] isn't a bad place to start.

    I recommend starting with his memory dump [dperry.com].

All this wheeling and dealing around, why, it isn't for money, it's for fun. Money's just the way we keep score. -- Henry Tyroon

Working...