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  • Game Development Community

    dev|Pro Game Development Curriculum

    Introducing GG Interactive

    by Eric Preisz · 02/25/2014 (4:22 pm) · 26 comments

    It’s always funny. I was at a local tech meet up the other day when I ran into a game developer. My normal answer when asked what I do is to reply with vagaries about running a game-related technology company. Most people get confused when I get into the details but this developer inquired more deeply. When I told him I ran GarageGames, he looked surprised and asked, “Didn’t GarageGames close down?”

    When our parent company closed the business in 2010, the announcement was a ‘shot heard round the world’. Many people knew about the closure but not the reopen. And this scenario I describe was not the first time someone asked me if the company, I just told them I was running, was still open. This is not all bad though – it gives me an opportunity to tell people what we are doing now.

    Like that developer, I’m guessing many of you don’t know what we are doing either. A year ago it would have been hard for me to describe it – the cast was set but the mortar wasn’t firm; today we have more direction and momentum. I feel I’m past due to give an explanation to the community.

    Our metamorphosis over the past year is more about a change in how we make money than it is about a change of heart. The same people who were here a year ago are the same people that are here today, with the exception of a few new additional faces. We are still passionate game developers that appreciate and respect the community but we are making money in completely new ways.

    We are now a professional services business. We are working on many projects and are building inroads into several sectors, namely education and themed-entertainment.

    In education, we have several efforts in flight. The first has been development of game-based learning experiences for companies like Microsoft and other educational institutions. A game-based course is one where your core learning experience is a game: which differs greatly from gamification, a term we don’t use to identify our services. Another education effort of ours is building game development curriculum for schools and colleges. We already helped the state of Nevada to define a framework for game development curriculum and we are on the review board for another state. A third state is reviewing our material, as well.

    In themed-entertainment, we are on the cutting edge of new technology innovation; and also having a lot of fun. We are in the support phase of a multi-year effort to build a world-class entertainment platform for a world-class theme park. It’s a truly revolutionary effort and as is typical in these types of projects, we are contractually required to not name our customer or any details. In addition to this effort, we have also built an augmented reality prototype for a mobile application for air shows.

    As you can see, our horizon is much wider than that of our lineage as a game-middleware developer. Because of that, we are also launching a new brand. But don’t worry…a new brand doesn’t mean that GarageGames is going away. We are committed to the pioneering new work being done here, but we also see dramatic growth potential in Torque as an open source project. This is encouraged by the fact that www.twsanpi.cn’s web-traffic has remained relatively steady over the past three years.

    Our new brand is called GG Interactive: a name that reflects and respects the heritage of GarageGames. And while we are proud of our past, we are excited about the opportunity to grow under an additional image in a new direction.

    At some point, every parent must allow its offspring to leave the nest and grow on their own. That’s our philosophy with Torque. Launching it as an open source project is only one step towards giving this product to the community. In order for it to truly be in the hands of the community you need to give people in the community a seat at the table. We originally chaired the open source committee and we are now in the process of giving up more control. A new committee and charter are forming and while we are happy to play a role supporting the committee, it will be driven by you and the community.

    Where Torque goes from here is in largely your hands. We are happy to run the site and give everyone a forum. We have no plans to shut it down. We will continue to use Torque and we encourage you to do so as well. We firmly believe it is the best open source game engine available. In looking back I think community contribution is what made Torque great. And that is a great sign of things to come!

    About the author

    Manager, Programmer, Author, Professor, Small Business Owner, and Marketer.

    Page «Previous 1 2
    02/25/2014 (4:47 pm)
    Wow Awsome Eric The Sounds great man

    02/25/2014 (5:41 pm)
    Congrats GarageGames, thanks Eric for the clarifications!

    I do have a question for you however, is there any reason why TGE and TGEA can't be open sourced?
    02/25/2014 (6:34 pm)
    Great to hear what you guys are up to, and that the GG forums are staying around ;). Will there be a site theme update?
    02/25/2014 (6:42 pm)
    ***At some point, every parent must allow its offspring to leave the nest and grow on their own. That's our philosophy with Torque.***

    I like that:)
    02/25/2014 (6:42 pm)
    Really good to hear about what you are doing now days. Are you using Torque 2D/3D in your projects?

    Also glad to here GG is here to stay as the place for Torque 2D/3D :-)
    02/25/2014 (7:07 pm)
    Great to hear! Looking forward to hearing more about the projects!

    @Jeff H
    There was a lot of proprietary code from a number of sources that made it impossible to release. If we stripped out everything we *thought* had been committed over many years and missed something it would be a legal liability...as well as the same as randomly pulling out chunks of text throughout the entire code base and leaving a completely uncompilable engine.

    With Torque 3D, we had an engine that we could release in the same form as the last commercial version so projects could continue.
    02/25/2014 (8:18 pm)
    Thanks for the clarification David.
    02/25/2014 (8:30 pm)
    jeez eric, the way you disappeared, almost thought you had been locked away somewhere.

    However... I honestly feel that currently T3D needs some form of shepherd to tend the flock... you may have noticed that theres a bit of a divide starting to form, tensions rising over some differing views ... in my opinion it needs either someone or a group of people to reign things in and give it an over view and some direction ...
    02/25/2014 (8:46 pm)
    Quote:Are you using Torque 2D/3D in your projects?

    In some yes, in some no. The theme park work included Torque. We actually worked on an augmented reality project for air shows. For that we used Unity. We all hope to use Torque more but like every good thread on this vs. that engine...no engine solves all problems the best. The good news is that we are using other people's engines which makes us much better at authoring engines.

    Quote:you may have noticed that theres a bit of a divide starting to form, tensions rising over some differing views

    That's the sign of a healthy open source project. You should start to worry if people stop acting that way.
    02/25/2014 (9:45 pm)
    Removed myself - Ignore me Eric, pissed off by someone else within the community, not fair of me to aim that bitterness at yourself
    02/25/2014 (10:17 pm)
    Thank you @Eric and your team, to give us some confidence for the future of Torque products. Hopefully there will be a moment in the near future that Torque is your 1st option to choose from for your own projects. The community is very nervous lately, and if I can speak for my self; anxiously looking for reasons not to break off projects running on T3D that are currently in development.

    I, and I believe most other studios here, fully understand the steps you're making and the turns you're taking. Making money and continuity are the main reasons to run a biz at all. We, the indie game developers, are finding us in the same situation. Me, my self, I'm taking on projects that don't have much to do with games (graphic design, branding, webdesign). They're always causing huge delays in my favourite long term project, but I simply can't do without the cashflow. It's a simple fact! Knowing that, I sincerely hope that find the time and recourses to keep on cherishing Torque and its community in years to come, beside there's a committee doing a good job. You're the parent of it, and with every elderly, a natural influence on siblings.

    Congratulations with your new brand! Wish you and your team, all the luck and Godspeed in developing this further into a very fruitful biz!

    Cheers, Nils

    Edit one of many typos
    02/26/2014 (1:25 am)
    Thank you Eric. I really admire what you and your team have done and although I haven't always agreed with some of the decisions ... you have always had my support.

    Good luck with the future and once again, thank you.
    02/26/2014 (7:29 am)

    GarageGames is dead, long live GG Interactive!

    Congratulations and good luck :D

    Quote:We are in the support phase of a multi-year effort to build a world-class entertainment platform for a world-class theme park.
    Looks like a fun project.

    02/26/2014 (7:44 am)
    We are happy to run the site and give everyone a forum. We have no plans to shut it down.

    Thanks @Eric, that is very generous of you. And congratulations on your new weapon shield/coat of arms(Brand) :o)

    02/26/2014 (8:12 am)
    @Luis - No...GG isn't dead. We will still be doing things under the GG label when appropriate.

    @Quinton - Heh...I have always agreed with my decisions.

    Torque is still our first choice engine it's just not always the right tool for every project especially in a world where a single game can be on a dozen platforms. Every engine developer should concede the belief that no engine does all things for all platforms and all developers.
    02/26/2014 (10:49 am)
    Good Luck with your new brand and thanks for continuing to support the community. I still use Torque 1.2 and haven't migrated to the open source version yet but I do watch its progress with great interest.
    02/26/2014 (12:02 pm)
    I think that differentiating the Open-sourced game engines part of the business from the professional services business is a smart move; I personally felt like the name GarageGames didn`t represent your current activities.

    As long as the name lives on to reflect the independent game-making effort, I`m one happy giant robot.
    02/26/2014 (7:01 pm)
    Welcom good Sound....
    GarageGames be Best!!!
    Happy see Eric in GG....

    Hope T3d be best!!! keep up.
    02/27/2014 (9:50 am)
    This is amazing!
    I glad that GarageGames found a new way to evolve!
    You Rock!
    02/27/2014 (7:23 pm)
    Thank you. I admire Eric very much, your experience let me learn a lot!

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