|Interview: GarageGames' Tim Gift on V12|
July 16, 2001 | Andy Largent
IMG recently had the chance to sit down with Tim Gift, former Dynamix employee now working at GarageGames. Tim is helping to bring the powerful Tribes 2 engine to potential game makers at the extraordinary low price of $100. They've renamed the engine V12, and it will be available soon for both Mac and PC developers to use. Not only will V12 open up new game possibilities for the Mac, it could also mean big things as far as Tribes 2 for the Mac is concerned.
IMG: What's your position at GarageGames? Are you a programmer or do you also deal with the business side of things?
Tim Gift: Rick [Overman] and I are basically the programmers with Mark Frohnmayer as well. Jeff [Tunnell] does all of the licensing stuff and is our official contact with Sierra. We don't have a game to design yet, but if it was to happen, we'd all pretty much pitch in. We try to keep the company pretty small.
IMG: The GarageGames concept seemed to come around the same time as the dot-com bubble started to burst. Licensing an engine for $100 is incredibly cheap when compared with equivalent $100,000 engines. In the days of shaky business plans not panning out, how do you feel about GarageGames chances?
Tim Gift: Well we actually had the idea several years ago, so it's been a while that we've been working on this whole project. The first year was pretty much just negotiating with Sierra to get the rights to do this. That took some persuading at first. They weren't totally clear on what we were doing. Eventually they came around, and in the end a lot of our contacts there got into it and thought it was a great idea.
So that was several years ago, and then by the time we actually got around to launching it Rick and I left Dynamix and the whole dot-com thing began to fall apart. But we never actually took any venture capital. We almost did, but what they wanted in exchange for it just wasn't what we were willing to give up. So we kind of abandoned that and decided to fund it ourselves. So the dot-com stuff doesn't really affect us.
IMG: Why the $100 fee at all? It's so cheap, why not just give it away?
Tim Gift: We originally were going to give it away, but since we don't have venture capital, and we do have some expenses, our own server, online fees, and we decided to charge a minimum fee to help cover those expenses. I think Sierra was pretty happy also when we decided to put a minimum fee just because they thought at least it would -- I mean it's not much of a barrier to entry -- but at least it shows some commitment.