|Domark #9 |
Games developed: 19
Games published: 38
Period: 1988 - 1997
One of the most obscure PC game developers ever, Incentive Software was a UK-based company who developed several 3D games for Domark (for distribution in Europe) and Epyx (for distribution in the U.S). Incentive is arguably the world's first 3D-only computer games developer - long before id's phenomenal success of Wolfenstein 3D, Incentive forged ahead with their revolutionary but overlooked 3D engine (called "FreeScape") that offer smooth movement, great graphics and level design for its time that is a far cry from Wolfenstein's blocky layout, and innovative mouse-based gameplay.
Unfortunately, Incentive's revolutionary game engine is not fitted with enough "game" elements to elevate them beyond technological marvels. As a result, playing their games become a tiresome action / exploration (i.e. explore and find keys for locked doors) ordeal that gets old quickly after the initial "wow" effect wears off. Had Incentive concentrate as much efforts on the plot and puzzles, these games may have been what Hard Life is to the 3D genre today. Still, they do stand as one of the true pioneers of 3D programming that arguably deserve the recognition as "creator" of the field much more than more well-known upstarts that merely "popularized" the concept (e.g. id Software).
Perhaps finally recognizing that their strength lies more in the game engine than in the game design department, Incentive released 3D Construction Kit, a comprehensive 3D world creation tool that was more sophisticated than most anything on the market at the time. This was their last release before changing their name to Superscape and wisely abandoned the games industry to focus on 3D creation tools.
Related companies: Domark, EpyxRelated companies: Domark Epyx