Epic Games and Human Head Studios Partner to Develop Rune
Gathering of Developers to Publish Nordic 3D Action-Adventure Game
Dallas, TX, January 19, 1999 - Epic Games and Human Head Studios today announced they will co-develop Rune, a 3D game of intense action and adventure steeped in a blend of Norse mythology and high-fantasy. Gathering of Developers, a developer-driven computer and video game publishing company, will publish and distribute Rune. Epic Games, best known for its blockbuster game Unreal and its technologically advanced engine, is a founding partner of The Gathering. Human Head Studios is comprised of the seven former Raven Software senior programmers and artists who developed Heretic and Hexen, as well as a former senior producer from FASA Interactive.Rune will be based on Unreal’s technologies and will raid the PC market in 2000.
“Human Head Studios has been given unprecedented access to the inner workings of Epic’s current and future Unreal technology. We are excited to partner with Epic on this game and share the tools, skills and talents of Epic’s staff, like Tim Sweeney and James Schmalz,” said Tim Gerritsen, business development director of Human Head. “We’ve been working with the Unreal technology for months and Rune’s fantasy environments and real world physics will showcase the engine’s amazing flexibility and power.”
Rune transports gamers into the Dark Ages, when the Vikings were the conquerors of a cold, dismal world, and paganism ruled all of the northern lands. Taking on the role of Ragnar, a rugged young Viking warrior, players are challenged to fight off Nordic creatures and uncover an evil perpetrator who is annihilating the Viking population. Rune combines melee combat and exploration, with a colossal story line and an active environment, to recreate a period in history characterized by savagery and the sword.
"The team at Epic has been working closely with Human Head and is blown away by the plans for Rune,” said Jay Wilbur, strategic advisor of Epic Games. "The game will feature dynamic environments, medieval weaponry and a perfect balance between action and adventure."
Rune will include a full single player game as well as several multi-player levels allowing players to cooperate or compete as Viking warriors. Human Head Studios has full access to all Unreal technology, including unreleased versions of the engine. The Unreal engine enables Human Head to create worlds with reactive elements and natural outdoor environments, and realistic cavern-like settings.
"Epic's Jay Wilbur and I worked with the Human Head team when we were at id and they were at Raven working on Heretic and Hexen,” said Mike Wilson, CEO of Gathering of Developers. “Many of the amazing artists, programmers, and designers from those games are the same individuals who are now working hand-in-hand with Epic's Unreal team for the Rune project. There is great potential."