Oh, I've noticed this trend as well. i think everyone has that has
been around this community long enough. Obviously, I've been hear a
lot longer than you have, at least 10 years or so, and I've seen a lot
of developers come and go. Some of them were pretty major for a while.
Back when I discovered the Audyssey magazine and this list, this would
have been around 1999 or 2000, game developers were just beginning to
make the switch from Dos to Windows based games. The major developers
at the time were PCS Games, Kitchens Inc, GMA Games, and ESP. I think
BSC Games was just getting started too.
At the time PCS Games had created a rather impressive catalog of Dos
games like Monopoly, Kick Boxing, Panzers in North Africa, etc.
Unfortunately, Kevin left PCS Games, and the market was shifting to
Windows based games. Phil eventually acquired the GMA Engine and
produced Packman Talks, Sarah, and Super Dog Bone Hunt. All good
games, and is still an active member of our community. However, PCS
isn't as active as it once was.
As for ESP I think we all know the story there. James North decided to
quit, turned control over to Josh, and it was renamed Adora
Entertainment. Eventually Josh has some personal issues with a former
girl friend, I believe it was, and he ended up renaming it Draconis
Entertainment. While the software has been faithfully maintained and
sold via Josh under one company name or another Draconis really hasn't
yet put out anything truly new in years. All of their releases like
ESP Pinball Extreme, the ESP Pinball Party Pack, Christmas Whoopass,
and Ten Pin Alley, were all released quite a long time ago. I know
they have something in the works for Mac, but still the fact remains
when the company was still ESP James North was cranking out games left
and right. Most of the Draconis product catalog is all James North's
As for GMA I think David has been fairly active over the past 10
years. Considering the types of games he's produced like Tank
Commander, Shades of Doom, Time of Conflict, etc I can certainly
understand why there are long delays between releases. They are not
the types of games a developer can slap together in a couple of weeks
and sell left and right. They take considerable time and effort so I
still see GMA as pretty major even if they aren't producing games left
As for BSC you said yourself what the problem is there. When Justin
started out he and Dan were cranking out games like Pipe, Troopenum,
and Hunter. Then, eventually Dan whent off to make DanZ Games and
Justin got a real job, and no longer has time to devote to BSC like
the old days. However, there for a couple of years or so Justin and
Dan had a pretty good run. I doubt we'll see BSC make a come back any
time soon unless Justin has a drastic change in employment/change in
his work schedule.
In fact, out of all the game developers the only one who has
consistantly released games practically on a yearly basis and is the
bedrock of audio gaming is Jim Kitchen. His Dos games were the first
accessible games I had ever heard of, and he is still producing games
on a somewhat regular basis. I have to give Jim a lot of credit for
hanging in here as long as he has. I know far too many accessible game
developers who have came and went over the past 10 years or so.
First, there is the now infamous Bavisoft. For a couple of years they
made a name for themselves when they put out Grizzly Gulch and
Chillingham. That was around 2003/2004 or so. After that they
basically fell off the face of the earth, and haven't done anything of
Second, there was LightTech Interactive. That was a company that was
going very far very fast. It is true they had very simple games like
Light Cars, Light Locator, The Horse Racing Game, etc but they were
learning. Their games were improving, getting better, more advanced
and suddenly the developer doesn't want to do it any more. End of
Third, there is Alchemy Game Studios. As many here will remember James
North briefly tried to make a come back had a pretty impressive list
of game projects in the works like Montezuma's Revenge, ESP Raceway, a
mouse demo, and Max Shrapnal. However, after a number of personal
problems, plus an angry mob of upset customers, I took his game
projects off his hands, and he dropped out of site. Probibly never to
be heard from again I figure.
Finally, we have DanZ Games. As I said before I remember Dan got
started helping Justin with BSC Games and then he split off and
created DanZ Games with a few projects of his own like Super Deecout.
However, recently after getting a full time job etc he hung up the
game programming gig, released everything as freeware, and dropped out
of sight. Not sure if he will ever return or not.
And sadly those are just the major game companies I can remember that
have come and gone. I don't count PB Games amung there number because
obviously Philip Bennefall is still around, but PB Games has become
Blastbay Studios. Not to mention of late Philip has been catching up
for time lost, and is bigger and better than before.
Anyway, to cut this very long post short i know exactly what you mean.
The people who I thought were pretty major at times haven't turned out
to be so major in the long hall. If you look to the 90's PCS and
Kitchens Inc were the major developers of the time. Look to early 2000
to 2005 GMA, ESP, BSC, PB Games, and Jim Kitchen were the major
developers of the period. After 2005 until present the major
developers were Lighttech Interactive until they quit, Jim Kitchen,
L-Works, Blind Adrenaline, 7-128 Software, and very recently Philip
Bennifall has become an extremely important developer with BGT, Q9,
and Kryngal Crash. Although I fit in to the 2005 to 2010 catagory
myself I really haven't played a very big roll contributing to the
community having had more bad luck than good. However, I have
consistantly put out test builds which is something I guess.
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