Terminal Reality was a video game development and production company based in Lewisville, Texas. Founded in October 1994 by ex-Microsoft employee Mark Randel and former Mallard Software general manager Brett Combs, Terminal Reality developed a variety of games including racing games (such as 4x4 EVO 2), 3D action games (such as BloodRayne), and more.
|Industry||Computer and video games|
|Defunct||December 12, 2013|
|Products||See complete products listing|
Mark Randel began programming commercial software at age 15, but it was not until 1991 that Mark entered the computer game industry when he teamed with game programmer Bruce Artwick to write add-on products for the just released Microsoft Flight Simulator 4.0. This led to Mark becoming the co-designer and lead programmer for Flight Simulator 5.0 and designing the next generation flight technology standard. This technology is still in use today[when?] by Microsoft in various Flight Simulator releases.
After leaving the Bruce Artwick Organization in mid-1994, Mark and Brett founded Terminal Reality in October 1994, which required Mark leave Chicago where he had just finished up on his BSE and MS in electrical engineering from University of Illinois. The goal of Terminal Reality was to exploit texture mapped 3D game engines, with only $1000, and working out of Brett Combs' home. During that time they were developing their first release, Terminal Velocity, and pulled together $120,000, received advances on the game and were basically able to avoid giving up ownership and primary decision rights to venture capitalists. After that first year the company generated $1.2 Million and nearly doubled it the second year with $2.1 Million.
Terminal Reality's first game, Terminal Velocity, was a 3-D air combat game, Brett Combs pitched to Garland-based publisher 3D Realms. 3D Realms was the new division started by the popular Apogee Software known for its arcade style action shooters and titles such as Wolfenstein 3D. Scott Miller was intrigued by Randel's technology and Combs' management. Scott later said in a Dallas Business Journal report that "They had the backgrounds and track records with proven experience to pull off the game they were pitching to us."
Terminal Reality went on, after the success of Terminal Velocity with 3D Realms, to publish titles with Microsoft such as Fury3, Hellbender, Monster Truck Madness, CART Precision Racing and Monster Truck Madness 2. By January 1998, Terminal Reality became an equity partner and founding developer of Gathering of Developers, a Dallas, Texas based publisher in which Brett Combs sits on the Board of Directors.
In December 2013, Terminal Reality closed down and liquidated its office outside Dallas, TX.
On April 11, 2018, Infernal Technology, LLC and Terminal Reality, Inc. (“Infernal”) filed a complaint for patent infringement against Microsoft Corporation (“Microsoft”). The asserted patents, U.S. 6,362,822 and U.S. 7,061,488, relate to lighting and shadowing methods for graphics simulation. According to Infernal, both patents have already survived an Inter Partes Review challenge filed by Electronic Arts in 2016.
Terminal Reality technologyEdit
In addition to game development, Terminal Reality is also the creator of the Infernal Engine: a cross-platform, full-featured foundation for building video games that the company licenses to other developers and publishers. The Infernal Engine is a unified system, providing rendering, physics, sound, AI, and metrics.
A key component to the Infernal Engine is the VELOCITY Physics Engine: a physics simulator that offers an advanced collision system, dynamic destruction for scenery and environmental objects, accurate vehicle driving dynamics, real human body physics with anatomical joint constraints and simulated muscles/tendons, hair and cloth simulation for actors.
The Photex (Photo-texture) engine was the first photorealistic game engine created by Terminal Reality, developed from the Monster Truck Madness engine. The first game built on this technology was CART Precision Racing, and the final game was Fly! II, which used Photex3. Monster Truck Madness 2 was heavily promoted by Microsoft (its producer) for using the Photex2 engine, which, at the time of its release, was a cutting-edge rendering engine. Most of its games used the Terrain geometry engine. This engine was known for its very fast rendering in low-end pcs, photorealistic images and true color textures.
The Photex2 game engine was composed of two components: the Photex2 rendering engine and the Terrain5 geometry engine.
Developed by the now former TRI employee Paul Nettle, originally written using software rendering, but later adapted to use the OpenGL API.
List of gamesEdit
|1996||Monster Truck Madness||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|1997||CART Precision Racing||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|1998||Monster Truck Madness 2||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|2000||Blair Witch Volume I: Rustin Parr||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|2001||4x4 EVO 2||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes (EU only)||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|2006||The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|2006||Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|2006||Metal Slug Anthology||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|2008||SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|2009||Ghostbusters: The Video Game||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|2010||Def Jam Rapstar||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No||Yes|
|2012||Kinect Star Wars||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|2013||The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
- Visiting TRI page 1
- Visiting TRI page 2
- Thorsen, Tor. "Q&A: Ghostbustin' with Terminal Reality". GameSpot.
- 4x4 Evolution 2 Interview Actiontrip "We actually use the "EVO" engine for 4x4 EVO2"