TerraTools

  • TerraTools Computer Graphics Solutions (also later known as 'RadonLabs' and 'BigPoint Berlin') is the official German developer of Microsoft Urban Assault and Metropolis Dawn.
    (This article is currently under construction!)


    1 Overview

    TerraTools Computer Graphics Solutions (also later known as 'RadonLabs' and 'BigPoint Berlin') is the official German developer company of Microsoft Urban Assault and Metropolis Dawn that was initially based on Babelsberg, Potsdam; and later the German capital city of Berlin.


    2 Information

    TERRATOOLS was founded in 1993 by Professor Ulrich Weinberg. One of the progenitor figures of early computer graphics technology in Germany. The German company had around 30 employees who develop software products in the field of interactive 3D environments such as games, simulations, virtual TV applications, massive-multiplayer-environments and cross-media-projects (combinations of internet, TV, CD-ROM and other media).


    TERRATOOLS as a game developer was the only European partner of Microsoft Inc., Redmond, USA; who was the development partner and official publisher of the video game Microsoft Urban Assault in 1998.


    The company specialised in the following services:

    Quote

    Development, Creation & Production of

    • 3D Computer Games

    • Massive-multiplayer-environments

    • Cross - media - projects

    • Virtual TV Studios


    3 Location

    The initial headquarter of TerraTools was established at the famous Churchill Mansion (Churchill-Villa) in the media city of Babelsberg, Potsdam; close to the German capital city of Berlin. This was the same historical building where the illustrious British wartime Prime Minister, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill had stayed and lived during the Potsdam Conference (German: Potsdamer Konferenz) shortly after the end of World War II.

    TerraTools later moved their HQ into the heart of the city of Berlin and operated under the new company name: 'RadonLabs'.


    4 Projects


    5 Game Development

    TERRATOOLS INTERACTIVE 3D SCENARIOS
    (Game Development)

    Urban Assault

    URBAN ASSAULT combines diverse action game play with strategic depth. From a first-person cockpit perspective, players can control 44 types of combat vehicles, from airplanes, helicopters and satellites to jeeps and tanks. Gamers can simultaneously command and deploy their entire army from an overlayered transparent map as they manage resources and upgrade technologies. To win URBAN ASSAULT, players have to think like a general and perform like a frontline soldier. URBAN ASSAULT is set in a foreboding, post-apocalyptic 3D world with astounding high-quality graphics.

    Games under DevelopmentThe TERRATOOLS team is currently working on several new products including:
    * strategy games
    * action-simulation games
    * science fiction role play games

    Future Game DevelopmentWith the development of new games TERRATOOLS puts the main emphasis on following points:
    * development of 3D User Interfaces
    * development of massive multiplayer environments
    * server oriented games
    * artificial intelligence to control the opponents
    * physical simulation, inverse cinematics, 3D Morphing
    * combining games interactivity with virtual TV Sets


    6 Urban Assault Development

    Under Construction.


    7 Outcome

    Shortly after the final development phases of Urban Assault and its (unreleased) official expansion pack Metropolis Dawn, the company changed its name to 'RadonLabs'. Since then, RadonLabs had produced multiple different video game projects and titles. One of their most successful and widely recognised titles is the Drakensang series, which contains the same internal references from the developers that could be originally found in Urban Assault game data.


    In the year 2010, the company was eventually purchased by the Hamburg-based video game company called BigPoint, and it still operates under the title of 'BigPoint Berlin' to this day.


    8 Notable Key Members

    8.1 Prof. Ulrich Weinberg - CEO

    8.2 Andre Weißflog - Lead Programmer

    8.3 Andreas Flemming - Software Development

    8.4 Bernd Beyreuther - Graphics and Assets Designer


    9 Microsoft Interview

    Microsoft Game Studios also arranged the official interview session with several key TerraTools developers from Potsdam/Babelsberg, Germany when they visited the main Microsoft campus in Seattle, Washington during early 1998.


    The Microsoft interview with TerraTools developers can be found at here:

    Q-and-A (Microsoft Interview with TerraTools Developers)

    10 Urban Assault Credits (TerraTools)

    10.1 Terratools

    Terratools Management
    Producer, Owner, and PresidentUli Weinberg
    Project ManagerUta Kapp
    Development ManagerThomas Langhanki
    Terratools Production
    Lead ProgrammerAndre “FLOH” Weissflog
    Game Design, Graphics, and ModelingBernd Beyreuther
    ProgrammerAndreas Flemming
    Sound Design, In-game MusicSylvius Lack
    Level Design and In-house Test LeadStephan “OPTI” Karau
    Level Design, Testers, and Additional GraphicsSteffen Priebus, Stefan "3" Warias, Henrik Volkening, Nico Nitsch, Dietmar “DIDI” Köbelin, Dirk Mansbart
    Technical SupportStephan Bludau, Gregor Schmidt

    Special thanks to Steve "SARGIE" Sargent and Andre Schulze, aka "GÖTZ."


    ---


    Note: This is the official full credits of the TerraTools department for Urban Assault development. For the credits of the Microsoft department for Urban Assault development, please check the Microsoft Games Article.

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