The Snowblind engine also referred to as Snowblind Studios engine or Dark Alliance engine is a game engine created by Snowblind Studios and used by Interplay Entertainment for Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. It was also intended to be used for canceled Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2.
History[edit | edit source]
The first game to use the engine was Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, a joint collaboration between Interplay Entertainment and Snowblind Studios. Interplay then used the engine for all their ports of the game except the Game Boy version, which used its own game engine. These ports of the game greatly expanded on how much content the game was able to use and the amount of saving slots present in the game.
The game was then used by Snowblind Studios in its EverQuest starting with Champions of Norrath. Snowblind improved the engine in their own ways, such as adding new features such as character creation and online multiplayer. Interplay, however, continued to use the engine, due to the fact they partly owned the engine, for their console games. Interplay used the engine for their sequel to Dark Alliance, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II, which was developed by Black Isle Studios. This sequel once again improved on the engine's capabilities and added more features, improved graphics and better audio; it added features from the Infinity Engine Baldur's Gate games such as Companions. Interplay then released Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, improving the engine by adding a reputation system to the game. The Bard's Tale developed by inXile Entertainment in 2004 was the Dark Alliance Engine's first PC release, further improving some features of the engine, such as audio.
Interplay was developing a sequel to Brotherhood of Steel, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2. This game would have added the features of sniping, stealth and a more advanced reputation system, it would have still been simpler compared to other Fallout games, it was, however, canceled.
Snowblind Studios then released Champions: Return to Arms, which refined the online multiplayer and changed the linear portion of the game's released for the engine and allowed characters to change the ending. Around this time, Snowblind began to license the engine out to indie developers, however, of these developers, only one could make a game. The game was met with a lawsuit by Titus Software, the owners of Interplay, and Acclaim Entertainment but in the end, it was ultimately released as Combat Elite: WWII Paratroopers. Combat Elite is the only game made using the Dark Alliance Engine to have gotten an extremely negative review.
Snowblind then created Justice League Heroes with the same engine in 2006. The game was released around the time the next gen of video game consoles was out, but due to it being created for the previous gen, it was released for Xbox and PlayStation 2. A portable version of the engine was used for the PlayStation Portable but the Game Boy and Nintendo DS versions used their own engine. To fit the superhero theme of the game, Snowblind Studio's put most of their effort into the length of the game, thereby taking out many features of the engine.
The engine was not used again until the 2011 release of The Lord of the Rings: War in the North. The engine has been massively upgraded and as revealed by Snowblind Studios employee, the engine used in War in the North is an updated version of the Dark Alliance one as it uses an updated version of the toolset featured.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
We started out using the engine from Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, but this was more of a stepping stone or framework for the technology that comprises F:BoS. Aside from DA's rendering engine and some of the core systems, most everything else was revised or rewritten. When we set about to design the gameplay, we looked at what the engine had to offer and worked from there. The engine's graphical capabilities are phenomenal, and we're pushing as much as possible through the pipelines to ensure that the game looks awesome. DA is a great game, but for our game play needs the engine was fairly limited. F:BoS, for instance, has a lot more focus on ranged combat. Targeting, strafing, dodging, using cover and using explosives were fairly new to the game landscape. We had to make some sweeping changes in how some things worked. In the end, F:BoS will be very different from DA and DA2.”— Chris Pasetto, 
One of the best things about the engine is that it's so artist friendly. Within reason, artists can pretty much build and light things however they like, and it'll all work in the game. This allows us the freedom to create incredibly complex and realistic environments without many of the headaches commonly associated with developing games. [...] another great aspect was the ease with which we could rapidly prototype stuff and see it in the game.”— Eric DeMilt, 
Games[edit | edit source]
Released[edit | edit source]
- Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (2001) - Developed by Snowblind Studios.
- Champions of Norrath (2004) - Developed by Snowblind Studios.
- Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (2004) - Developed by Black Isle Studios.
- Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (2004) - Developed by Interplay Entertainment.
- The Bard's Tale (2004) - Developed by InXile Entertainment.
- Champions: Return to Arms (2005) - Developed by Snowblind Studios.
- Combat Elite: WWII Paratroopers (2005) - Developed by Battlebourne Entertainment.
- Justice League Heroes (2006) - Developed by Snowblind Studios.
- The Lord of the Rings: War in the North (2011) - Developed by Snowblind Studios.
Canceled[edit | edit source]
- Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2 (2004)
- Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance III (2005)
References[edit | edit source]
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