On 8/20/01 Discreet made the following Press Release:
Microsoft and Discreet Sign Second Multi-Title Agreement to Build gmax game packs: Dungeon Siege Next in Line
Game players will be able to create, modify and share personal game content for an all-new gaming experience
San Francisco, CA -- August 20, 2001-Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK), announced today that it has signed a second licensing agreement with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) to create, publish and distribute Discreet gmax™ game packs for multiple Microsoft® game titles. The highly anticipated epic role-playing game (RPG) Dungeon Siege™, developed by Gas Powered Games, is the next confirmed title to be published by Microsoft to include support for gmax, and is scheduled for delivery in 2002.
“This is the support that mod makers have been waiting for! Discreet gmax gives people the ability to create cool new characters, outrageous weapons and fantastic new landscapes to be used with Dungeon Siege, our new action RPG,” said Chris Taylor, president of Gas Powered Games. “By combining the power of gmax with our Siege Editor, hard-core gamers and the Dungeon Siege mod community will have all the tools they need to create an unlimited number of adventures.”
“Discreet gmax enables game developers to leverage tool sets from Discreet 3ds max™ to give game players an unprecedented means to create game modifications (mods). Game companies win with gmax because their production tools become valuable components of the game experience. Game players win because they get a suite of free 3D tools to create, edit and share their own characters, scenery and levels,” said Paul Perreault, gmax product manager. “This agreement with Microsoft underlines Discreet’s commitment to allow gamers to personalize their game experiences.”
Dungeon Siege is expected to ship in 2002, with Discreet’s integrated gmax game pack and the downloadable gmax application. With gmax and the Dungeon Siege game pack loaded, users will be able to create and modify their game content for unique and extended experiences.
So what's this all about? Simply put, combining the massively customizable Dungeon Siege with the ability to create 3D models and animations with the gmax game pack at no cost will make Dungeon Siege the de facto Role Playing game engine gamers have been dreaming and hoping for! All it takes is the purchase of Dungeon Siege and the free downloads of DS tools and gmax - and a bit of imagination can take you to brand new worlds of your own creation that you can share with anyone on the face of the planet via the Internet! Am I excited about this? Hell yeah!
Let's talk a bit about who Discreet is. Discreet created 3DStudio Max, pretty much the industry standard for high quality 3D art. Also created by Discreet are Character Studio, Lightscape, Mental Ray, and high quality editing, effects, and design products that have firmly set them as an industry leader. These guys know what they're doing :)
Here are links to the official gmax goodies available at Discreet:
Here's a description of gmax directly from the FAQ:
gmax™ is Discreet’s free game development level editor based on the world’s best selling 3D animation platform, 3ds max™. Game companies can extend the life of a game with gmax by creating and distributing gmax "Game Packs" allowing players to create, customize, and trade game content through online gmax game communities.
And this Q&A really hits the nail on the head for why we should care about this:
Question: Why would a consumer choose a game with a gmax Game Pack?
For many gamers, it’s fun to create, edit and share custom game content—but historically this has been anything but easy to do. With gmax, players will enjoy using a proven tool based on 3ds max technology, a user manual, a support option, and one that significantly enhances their chances of future employment in the game industry. Players are also more likely to buy a new title if it supports a level editor they already know.
Bingo! That sounds like us :)
As more info becomes available check back here for more information and tutorials to get the ball rolling once we get this gem in our hands.