Return to Castle Wolfenstein – Creators

 

RtCW – Original PC version

Credit screens

RtCW credit screen - Gray Matter RtCW credit screen - Nerve Software RtCW credit screen - id Software RtCW credit screen - Activision RtCW credit screen - Q&A

 

Development

Gray Matter Interactive Studios (solo game)

Gray Matter Interactive StudiosFounded by former employees of Xatrix Entertainment – creators of Redneck Rampage and Kingpin -, the GMIS developers are FPS veterans. This company has been created in 2001 by Activision for the Return To Castle Wolfenstein project, which owned 60% from the company with options on the remaining 40%,  as their ideas where considered as better than the project from Raven Software (which later created – in 2009 – the Wolfenstein game).

Gray Matter Interactive StudiosId Software was working closely with GMIS by giving them technical assistance, but also some materials, internal testers, programmers, and other employees. The game used the latest technology from id – that is, it was running on the updated Quake III Team Arena engine (id Tech 3), with some parts from the future Doom 3 engine too (id Tech 4). The game is officially an id Software game created by GMIS, with Kevin Cloud supervising the development of the solo part for id Software.

The studio was located in Santa-Monica (California – USA) while id Software was in Mesquite (Texas – USA).

TreyarchNerve Software (see below) has been assigned on the development of the multiplayer part in June, 2001, leaving GMIS focused on the solo game. After the release of RtCW, GMIS worked on game Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, before being merged with Treyarch in 2005 by Activision. Some former GMIS employees stayed in Treyarch to work mainly on Call of Duty series, on World at War then Black Ops games, while others moved to EA. Note that RtCW appears as one of the games created by Treyarch on their website.

More info: Wikipedia page – Treyarch website – RtCW page on Treyarch website – GiantBomb page

 

Nerve Software (multiplayer game)

Nerve SoftwareThe company was founded in 2001 by a ex-id Software employee, Brandon James – who also worked for Rogue Entertainement, like many of his colleagues -, and by Chris Cummings, and was hired by id Software. The company is located in Dallas, Texas, close to id Software, which was helpful for the two companies to work together. After “id” and “gray matter”, “nerve” is another company name related to the human brain…

rtcw-nerve_logo_fxThe multiplayer part was a big success, and critically acclaimed. Subsequently, the company did the porting of RtCW to the X-Box console with exclusive content under the name “RtCW : Tides of War”. In 2009, Nerve also worked on the porting of Wolfenstein 3-D on the X-Box Live Arcade (XBLA) and PlayStation Network, along with Doom 1 and 2 porting on XBLA. And recently, the studio has worked on the game Call of Duty: Black Ops (helping main developers Treyarch, which is made of former GMIS employees…), and their own game based on the James Bond franchise, Quantum of Solace.

More info: Wikipedia page – Official website – GiantBomb page

 

Splash Damage (GOTY edition multiplayer maps pack)

Splash Damage

Created in 2001 by modders who worked on various games, including some from id Software (Quake 3 Fortress), the company built in 2002 a multiplayer map for RtCW for the Games Domain website – inspired by Operation: Market Garden during World War II -, which became one of the most played non-official map of the game. Therefore, id Software hired them to created 3 multiplayer maps for the Game of the Year edition of the game, which were later included in game updates.

Their work was appreciated so much that they were hired in 2003 to create the complete multiplayer part of a new extension for RtCW named Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, which later became a successful free multiplayer game when the solo part development was canceled. Note that ET is what RtCW should have been, meaning that most of the concepts of ET come from the original design book of RtCW.

Then, the success story continued, and Splash and id worked together on the Doom 3 multiplayer part, before releasing the game Enemy Territory: Quake Wars in 2007, an ET game based on the Quake universe using the Doom 3 (aka id Tech 4) engine with the new MegaTexture technology, and well received by critics. The studio is currently working on Dirty Bombs, a game with a gameplay similar to ET.

More info: Wikipedia page – Official website

 

id Software (production)

id Softwareid is the owner of the Wolfenstein licence. It produced and supervised the development of Return to Castle Wolfenstein in 2001 while providing the id Tech 3 technology (Quake III Team Arena engine) and support. id is credited as executive producer of the game.

See the special page about the studio.

 

Publisher & Distributor

Activision (production, publishing and distribution)

Activision

Producer and publisher of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, the company was founded in 1979, and is a pioneer of the video games industry. Since it merged with Vivendi Games – which also owned Blizzard Entertainment -, the Activision Blizzard group is the top publisher in the world.

More info: Official website – RtCW page on the official website – Wikipedia page

 

 

Steam – Valve Software (software distribution)

steam

Created in 2003 by the Valve studio in order to distribute its own games and their mods, and be independent from its publisher Sierra, the tool Steam had some tough first years because of recurrent technical issues forbidding access to the games, and the fact that it was mandatory to install and launch this tool before being able to play to the Valve games.

But thanks to many improvements and to the distribution of games from other studios since 2005, Steam became a prevalent distribution platform on PC with plenty of games available – from big publishers or small independent companies.

In 2007, games from the Wolfenstein series became to appear on Steam, with updated versions of Wolf3D and SoD using DosBox (in order to be able to launch them on recent Windows systems), and the WolfPack compilation where you can find these two games along with RtCW for less than 15 euros. From 2009 to 2011, the latest Wolfenstein game had been also distributed on that platform.

More info: Wolfenstein series on Steam – WolfPack on Steam – Wikipedia page about Steam

 

Musique

Bill Brown

Bill BrownBill Brown IV, born 1969 in California (USA), is a music composer for movies, television and video games. Graduated in 1991 from the Berklee College of Music, he started his career by working on games like Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon, Clive Barker’s Undying, Lineage II, Command&Conquer : Generals, Tom Hall‘s Anachronox, Enemy Territory : Quake Wars, and most notably on Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Wolfenstein : Enemy Territory, Wolfenstein RPG and Wolfenstein in 2009. He’s also worked on the soundtrack of movies like Ali, or television series like CSI:NY. He received many nominations and awards, like a nomination at BAFTA 2003 for the RtCW score.

More info: Official website – Wikipedia page – IMDB page – GiantBomb page

 

RtCW – Mac OS X version

Porting

Aspyr Media

Aspyr Media

Created in 1996 in Austin, Texas (USA), Aspyr Media is mainly focused on porting video games to Mac OS X systems, but also to Game Boy Advance and Pocket PC. The list of ported games is huge, and contains many best-selling hits from the last 15 years, including RtCW in 2002 and most of the id Software games. The company is also active in movies and music publishing.

More infos: Wikipedia page – MobyGames page – GiantBomb page – Official website

 

RtCW – Console versions

Porting

Raster Productions (PS2)

Raster ProductionsThe Raster Productions studios did the porting – between 1999 and 2003 – of many games from id Software to consoles, including Quake 2 on Nintendo 64, Quake 3 on Sega DreamCast, and mainly RtCW on PS2 as Return to Castle Wolfenstein : Operation Resurrection, released in 2003 with exclusive content (like for the X-Box port) but without any multiplayer mode. The company closed its doors shortly after that.

More info: MobyGames page – Spong page – BoardGameGeek page

 

Nerve Software (X-Box)

Nerve SoftwareAlong with the development of the multiplayer part of RtCW, Nerve Software worked on the porting of the game on the Microsoft X-Box console as Return to Castle Wolfenstein : Tides of War.

See above

 

Exclusive content (PS2 & X-Box)

Threewave Software

Threewave SoftwareCreated in 1994 in Vancouver, Canada, the Threewave Software studio made itself known by creating the Capture the Flag (CTF) mod for Quake, from id Software. Then, it worked on development and/or porting of many games on various engines, like Turok, Jedi Knight or the recent Ghostbusters, and with id on Quake 3 and Doom 3, and Raven Software on Soldier of Fortune 2.

In 2003, the studio worked on the console (PS2 and X-Box) version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein by creating exclusive solo content (not available on the original PC release) happening in Egypt along with multiplayer maps. In 2009, the company started to create such maps for Wolfenstein, but they had to stop their collaboration with Raven before the end of development, their work being redone by Endrant afterwards (without much success).

End of 2009, the studio had to fire most of its employees due to lack of work, but it still exists without having any announced project nowadays.

More info: Official website – Page about RtCW on the official site – Wikipedia page GiantBomb page]MobyGames page

 

 

 

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