A b o u t E p i c M e g a G a m e s 1
Marketing, Distribution and PR
Why Work With Epic
What Epic Looks for in Programmers, Developers,
Artists and Musicians
H o w t o S u b m i t Y o u r W o r k 7
J o i n i n g t h e E p i c T e a m 8
Appendix A: Suggestions for Artists on Creating Animation
by Nick Stadler
Appendix B: Guidelines for Making Soundtracks in your Epic Game
b y A l e x a n d e r B r a n d o n 1 3
A p p e n d i x C : A b o u t t h e G a l a x y M u s i c S y s t e m 1 6
Appendix D: Tips for Successful Shareware Game Development 19
A p p e n d i x E : L i s t i n g o f E p i c P r o d u c t s 2 1
A p p e n d i x F : A w a r d s , R e v i e w s a n d K u d o s 2 2
C o n t a c t i n g E p i c M e g a G a m e s 2 3
A u t h o r I n f o P a c k C r e d i t s 2 3
About Epic MegaGames
Epic MegaGames is a leading publisher of cutting-edge computer games. Our top goals are to develop
software that pushes PC technology to new limits, to achieve very high levels of customer satisfaction,
and to be recognized as a revolutionary new-technology and quality leader in computer games.
Epic was established in 1991 by Tim Sweeney, the designer and programmer of the ZZT series and
Jill of the Jungle, and the lead programmer for Unreal. What was to become Epic MegaGames began
as a hobby while Tim was studying mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland. That was
during the early days of shareware when games comprised only a small share of the software market.
Epic's ﬁrst two releases, ZZT and Super ZZT, were successful enough to fund sales for the company's
next project, Jill of the Jungle. By early 1992, several people had joined up with Tim to form Epic's
ﬁrst design team. Working part-time on Jill, late into the night and on weekends, the team strived to
build a top-notch game.
Their efforts paid off! In June of 1992, Jill was released and Epic began its rapid growth toward
worldwide recognition as a leader in shareware games. Since then, products like Epic Pinball have
smashed Jill's sales records and set new standards for Epic's success. Today, Epic is making new
technological as well as quality breakthroughs with games like Unreal. Our development teams have
grown to encompass more than 50 people worldwide, and we have a highly-qualiﬁed, growing ofﬁce
staff to serve our customers and manage Epic's business operations. Epic's shareware success is still
growing, and we're now branching out in new directions by expanding our development efforts into
the retail market as well.
Epic Growth and Change
In the last six years. Epic has built up tremendous resources for developing, publishing, and distribut
ing games. Recently, we have reached out into uncharted territory, moved from BBSs to the Internet,
changed development platforms from DOS to Windows 95, and embraced the retail market.
Even in a market becoming more saturated. Epic continues to have great success with its shareware
distribution and direct sales. For games which we license to retail companies. Epic's authors still
make a large portion of their proﬁt from Epic's direct sales.
Marketing, Distribution and PR
Shareware Marketing Strategy
Shareware is a unique way of marketing software. It needs to be approached with a good strategy to
be proﬁtable. The Epic MegaGames strategy is clear, simple, and works extremely well:
We make shareware successful by giving potential customers an excellent, complete,
top-quality product for FREE—then we sell them MORE of what they want: more
excellent, complete, top-quality products.
This simple strategy has played a major role in Epic's success—that is why a top Epic game can bring
in over 100 orders per day, while most other shareware typically gets a few orders per week. Most
shareware fails to sell because most shareware authors don't know how to use positive marketing—
but we do, and this awareness has brought us a great deal of success.
Most authors fail in that they do not make their potential customers happy. If they provide potential
customers with any means of sampling what they have to offer at all, it is usually in the form of
limited, scaled-down versions of their games which frequently lead to more frustration and boredom
than enjoyment. This isn't likely to inspire anyone to want to place an order. To make our potential
customers happy, we GIVE them great shareware games—fully working, top-quality products that
they can play and enjoy for free. Our potential customers, having greatly enjoyed the shareware
versions of our games, are eager to order more of the product that made him happy in the ﬁrst place.
Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack 1
Our next step is to sell them something. We do this by offering MORE games, game levels, and game
extras: hint sheets, cheat codes, bonus game disks, and more. These extras are incentives for our
customers to order.
Other shareware authors fail because:
• They cripple their products. For example, a game without a "save" feature—you have to register
if you want to save your game. This fails because customers end up being mad at the author
instead of appreciative and eager to order more.
• They don't offer any incentives to customers. Amazingly, many shareware authors basically say:
"If you like this program, please register it by sending $30. You will receive the
latest version of the program and the author's gratitude."
But what are they selling? For $30, the customer will receive something he already has! This is not
an incentive for ordering—you need to sell them something they do not have, and would like to have.
Epic's games sell so well in shareware because:
• We give customers great, fully-working software for FREE for them to enjoy, which puts them in
a good mood—they like us and they trust us, so they are glad to do business with us.
• We sell them something they want to buy: More games, game levels, hint sheets, cheat codes,
bonus games, etc. Customers love this stuff! Many of our games are trilogies—a three-volume
series of games. We give away part one as shareware, and we sell parts two and three. Yes, we
have to work harder to create three episodes of a game, but it pays off. Customers love the ﬁrst
episode of our games, and are happy to order the other episodes from us.
To summarize, our customers are what ultimately make shareware proﬁtable. By giving them the
best, top-quality games, we have the opportunity to sell them more great games and bonuses—by
keeping the customers happy, and wanting more, we'll stay successful.
The Changing Face of Shareware Distribution
Although the elements that make a successful shareware game have changed little over time, share
ware distribution has changed dramatically since Epic's infancy. In the past. Epic games were
distributed via Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs), shareware magazines, and in retail by anyone who
could put the games on store shelves (companies such as Titanium Seal, Gold Medallion, MicroStar
and many other smaller shareware distributors). Now that BBSs are no longer an efﬁcient means of
distribution, and the computer gaming market has become much more competitive, we've had to ﬁnd
new ways to help our shareware games reach potential customers.
Recently, Epic has chosen to work exclusively with larger retail distributors for quality distribution of
our shareware games. Epic has signed deals with companies such as The B&N Companies and
LaserSoft for domestic shareware distribution in retail stores. These companies not only get the
games into computer software stores, but also into other retail outlets like department stores, drug
stores and discount stores.
Getting greater distribution to the general public, as opposed to only hard-core gamers, is an impor
tant step in keeping Epic's direct sales strong. Epic does its best to get the shareware to as many
people as possible, which usually involves making [royalty-based] retail deals for the shareware
version with a local company as well as several international distributors who normally carry our full,
In addition to retail channels. Epic promotes distribution of its shareware games via online services
and the Internet, on cover disks of major gaming magazines, and any other place where game demos
can be found.
Due to massive shareware distribution, the Epic name is known by millions of game players and
computer users. For proof, ask ten of your friends if they've heard of Epic MegaGames, Epic Pinball,
Jazz Jackrabbit, One Must Fall, or Unreal.
2 Epic MegaGames Author Into Pack
Full-Version Retail Distribution
Epic has started teaming up with larger retail companies for wider distribution in the retail market.
Although less money is made per unit on the product in retail, the product reaches thousands more
potential customers than it could through online shareware distribution alone.Advances on royalties
from retail deals often help fund larger projects that Epic would not otherwise be able to support.
Two factors help Epic make deals that beneﬁt the developers and do not give away all rights and
control to the retail distributor. The ﬁrst is the experience Epic has gained over the years while
working with companies like Microleague, Electronic Arts, GT Interactive, and Spectrum Holobyte.
We've learned which rights to keep and which ones to give up; what kind of retail advances and
royalties make up for the subsequent decrease of direct sales due to the product being distributed in
retail stores; and many more intangible details about the deal-making process. The second factor is
that Epic has a track record for being able to produce high-quality, cutting-edge games from start to
ﬁnish. Quality games like Extreme Pinball, Fire Fight, and Unreal have paved the way for other Epic
games to get excellent retail distribution deals with large advances and high royalties.
Epic has solid relationships with several top international distributors around the world.
In the past, when Epic only distributed games online via the shareware model and through direct
sales, international distributors were of primary importance in getting top-notch distribution around
the world. Now, with some games being distributed under worldwide retail contracts and online
distribution moving to the Internet, the focus on Epic's international distribution may seem to have
decreased. Still, we have good relationships with many distributors around the world and when the
opportunity arises, they're glad to distribute (and pay advances on) the full/retail versions, shareware
versions, and/or any other special limited editions.
Epic has an ofﬁce in England, and works with the top international shareware distributors in other
territories such as Germany/Europe, Japan, Korea, Australia, and rising stars in several other
Epic has worked with and established relationships with several companies specializing in low-cost
retail, such as the B&N Companies, Wizard Works, and LaserSoft. These companies can often aid in
retail distribution of LE versions, shareware, third-party add-ons, and even full versions of older
games, getting the products into stores such as Walmart and drug stores, as well as mainstream
computer and game stores.
Since shareware's success is heavily dependent upon online distribution, whether via BBSs or the
Internet, Epic is always on the cutting edge of the online world. The Internet has proven much more
vast and harder to be heard on than the BBS scene of yesteryear, but Epic has some key partners and
plans to stay atop the online gaming world.
CompuServe: Epic has had an online forum on CompuServe for several years, and Epic games are
available for purchase online. Games small enough to download (all but the CD-only games) can be
purchased and downloaded immediately, and all games can be ordered online and shipped from Epic
America Online: AOL is the world's largest online service. Epic uploads it shareware games to
AGL's gaming forum where they are downloaded by thousands of gamers the world over.
Epic's Online & Web Ordering: Epic has been receiving orders by e-mail for some time now and
has also begun taking orders over its secure Web site. Ordering via the secure Web site has quickly
become one of our biggest sales avenues, and it has been bolstered by the monthly specials we
promote on the site.
Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack 3
CINet: CINet is one of the few sites that really stands out on the Internet. It is one of the Web's largest
and most visited sites and contains information pertaining to a range of interests, including everyday
news and industry news. Many of Epic's games can be purchased and downloaded directly via CINet.
At Once Software: One of Epic's key partners,At Once sells locked copies of Epic's games via
various online sources, such as Buydirect.com, Happy Puppy and America Online.
Online Gaming: With the soon-to-be-released Unreal, 7th Legion and Jazz Jackrabbit 2—both of
which will feature Internet play—Epic games will be played over the Internet more than ever before.
These releases, and future Net games, will strengthen Epic's presence on the Internet substantially,
and open up new possibilities for the future of online gaming and distribution.
Bundling deals have been very successful both in getting wider distribution for Epic games and
making a respectable proﬁt in some cases. Epic games have been bundled in the past with hardware
like Gravis gamepads, sound cards, modems, and Acer computers.
With each hit it turns out. Epic gets more coverage in the press. Epic's games have been reviewed and
featured in virtually all of the major computer magazines, including PC Gamer, Computer Gaming
World, PC Games, PC Magazine, Compute!, and nearly a hundred other major and minor publica
tions around the world.
The Internet and Epic's Web Site
The Internet and Epic's Web site have proven to be valuable marketing tools. Here, the public can
access free demos, get information on upcoming releases, and ﬁnd out more about their favorite
Why Work With Epic
Because of Epic's unique efﬁciency and marketing methods in shareware, we pay some of the best
royalties in the industry. For games published via shareware, our development teams earn 40 percent
of the total sales of the games they create. We call this the Development Team Royalty. Epic draws
from the remaining 60 percent of the sales amount to cover the cost of promoting, advertising,
distributing, selling the game, and doing business.
Positive Name Recognition
The ever-growing recognition of the Epic name is a beneﬁt to Epic and its developers on a few levels.
First, and most obviously, positive name recognition helps Epic sell games—it helps direct sales as
well as retail sales (when the Epic logo is spotted on the game box), and is the reason why our
customer base is continually growing.
In addition, positive name recognition goes a very long way toward making successful deals—in
particular, retail distribution deals. With Epic's reputation for being able to produce high-quality,
cutting-edge games from start to ﬁnish, we're able to get much better deals in terms of advances,
royalty rates and terms of the agreement (we don't give up rights that we don't want to) than develop
ment teams would be able to get on their own.
Financial Support: With a 60/40 royalty split. Epic is not able to ﬁnance many large projects that
require lots of funding over a long period of development. However, Epic is always willing to help a
team out however they can by sustaining them ﬁnancially until their game is released, obtaining
necessary equipment, etc. Though the numbers differ on each project. Epic has always invested
signiﬁcant amounts of money in developing almost every title. Of course, if a larger project makes it
to the point where it can be shown to major retail distributors, these distributors are often willing to
pay large advances to see that the game proceeds to completion in a timely manner.
4 Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack
Development: Epic can often provide developmental support in means other than money. For
example, Epic has several staff employees who may be deployed to a certain project that could use
help in a particular area. Epic has also been known to hire additional artists or programmers for
In addition to staff, Epic can often obtain development tools (computers, hardware, software, etc.) at a
signiﬁcantly reduced price to pass on to its developers.
Technology: Sharing of technology is another way Epic provides development support. Obviously,
not all technology is shared, such as the source code for Unreal, but many tricks of the trade and
optimizations are often discussed in Epic's online forums and e-mail discussions. In addition. Epic
pays for the license to use the Galaxy Music System in its games. This top-notch sound system is used
in all of Epic's recent games including Unreal, 7th Legion, Jazz 2, Age of Wonders and many others
currently in development. For more information on Galaxy, refer to Appendix C: About the Galaxy
Music System on page 16.
Producers: Epic will also assign a producer to your project to make sure development continues
smoothly and to aid the team by acting as a communication link between the team and the rest of
Epic. The producer's job is to coordinate and organize information between developers, marketing,
accountants, and operations. Basically, a producer helps in all aspects of project development, from
concept to creation to release. A producer is the main contact between Epic and developers, and helps
to provide them with everything they need to develop a successful product. For a breakdown of the
producer's responsibilities, see Joining the Epic Team on page 8.
Freedom and Input
A major advantage of working with Epic is that the project always remains the developers'. The
development team has the ﬁnal say on the content and direction of the game, although the producer
and retail publishers may try to guide your direction based on what sells in the market. Furthermore,
not only do the development aspects remain under developer control, but Epic often allows developer
input for advertisements, press releases, and marketing schemes, giving the developers even more say
in the way their game is ultimately presented.
No Relocation Needed
When you're working with Epic, there are no geographical bounds. Authors from Finland, Holland,
Canada, New Zealand, France, Germany, Poland and elsewhere have worked with us to create and
publish successful games. We do a lot of work by telephone, over the Internet, and through occasional
get-togethers in Rockville.
Epic is always looking for top-notch developers—development teams or individuals. For Epic to be
able to evaluate how talented you are, you must ﬁrst submit samples of your work for evaluation.
What Epic Looks for in Programmers, Developers, Artists and Musicians
Programmers and Development Teams
If you already have an Epic-quality game in the works or near completion, we can work with you to
improve it, create a marketing and distribution strategy, and prepare it for release through Epic's
channels. You'll beneﬁt by getting in touch with us early in the development process. We've made
quite a few successful games and we have some important tips and suggestions for making fun
games, optimizing them, coordinating artwork and music, and developing them swiftly.
If your game needs artwork or musical help, we can assist you by either putting an Epic staff artist on
the project or matching you up with an independent artist or musician to join your development team.
If you're not involved in a project currently, but you want to start one and you can show us that
you've got what it takes, we can put you on a newly-forming development team. This is a great way to
get started if you have talent, but want to work with others for game design, artwork, and music.
Epic MegaGames Author info Pack 5
As technology improves and games get bigger and better, the amount of time spent on art and
animation per project increases tremendously. Epic has often found itself in need of good artists and,
especially, animators. We're always on the lookout for talented artists and animators to help develop
current and future projects. Our games in development include scrolling platform games, adventure
games, strategy games, RPGs and ﬁrst-person 3-D action games.
We are looking for artists who posses the following skills/traits:
• High-resolution artwork in Fractal Painter or Photoshop
• Thorough knowledge of 2-D paint packages and 3-D modeling and/or animation and texture
• 3-D software experience, i.e.. Alias, 3-D Studio Max, Lightwave
• Professional in attitude and work standards
• Self motivated and quick to learn
• Computer game players
We are primarily looking for musicians with the following skills:
• Experience with digital trackers (i.e.. Impulse Tracker, Fast Tracker II, Scream Tracker)
• Capable of producing music of various styles—If you really excel in one area, that is to your
beneﬁt, but in order to be most easily placed on a project, talent in numerous styles helps greatly.
• Professional in attitude and work standards
With the rise of digital (tracked) music and Redbook music, MIDI is no longer in demand. However,
if you're a truly exceptional MIDI or General MIDI musician, go ahead and send us some samples
anyway—we may be able to put you to work or keep you in mind for the future.
A Word About Quality
Epic has been pushing the technological and gameplay envelope more and more with each release.
With the advent of the Unreal engine. Epic has jumped to the forefront of technology. With this in
mind, it is recommended that you only submit your work if it lives up to the standards set by Epic's
latest releases. Even then, our recruiting department sometimes will not be able to take a project
simply because we have something more promising (or conﬂicting) in development. A developer
should endeavor to ﬁnd the gaps in our, and the gaming industry's, technology and create a great
game that ﬁlls those gaps. Doing so allows us to say, "Hey, they've really got something innovative
here." For individual developers seeking a programmer, musician, or artist/animator position, make
sure that your techniques are up to date and your work is top-notch. Epic needs the best developers to
make ﬁrst rate games.
Epic has some requirements that all submissions must adhere to. Please make sure your demo is state-
of-the-art and meets the following requirements before submitting it to Epic:
• Native Windows 95 application which utilizes DirectX technology. We are no longer publishing
DOS or Win3.x games.
• Professional, high-resolution graphics. Almost every genre has moved to hi-res graphics
(640x480 or better resolution), and many are now making the switch to 16-bit color, with
MMX"^^ technology enhancements for 24- or 32-bit color quickly becoming a "must" as well.
• Originality. All too frequently, we get "similar" or "duplicate" types of games submitted. Please
try your best to make sure your game does not look or play exactly like another game out there.
For the most part, 2-D platform games, 2-D shooters, and 2-D ﬁghting games are dead. However,
6 Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack
if you've got a truly exceptional game in one of these genres, please feel free to submit it anyway;
a submission of this sort can reﬂect well on your team even if we're not interested in that
• Test your game and make sure that most features work and the game doesn't crash often. If your
demo has bugs, please note them, as well as any planned improvements, in a README.DOC.
Submitting Ideas or a Project Design
We often receive submissions of game ideas and design documents of potential products. While
design documents can aid in evaluating the potential of a project in conjunction with a playable
demo, they are not usually of any use alone. Furthermore, as Epic works primarily with independent
developers, we are not interested in developing a game to someone else's speciﬁcations or script. We
have been around long enough to know how to make great games, and we don't have the in-house
staff to make other people's games/designs.
We very much prefer to see a (playable) demo of your game and some artwork to get a feel for what
the game is and where it's headed. This is becoming more and more important because Epic has
become a technology-driven company. The core game is of course extremely important, but the
technology implemented must be cutting-edge in order to get recognition in this hit-driven market.
The exception is in the case that your are an experienced and proven development team seeking to
license Epic technology (for example, the Unreal engine). In this case, a design document and your
credentials and experience help us make the determination of whether or not to license the technology
and/or publish the ﬁnished product. It is often to your advantage if your team is somewhat self
A Note about Safari Software
Safari Software is a small division of Epic MegaGames dedicated to publishing small but high-quality
games. Our goal is to get Safari Software recognized as the leader in small, innovative shareware
games, while building up Epic's position as a leading-edge company with the largest, highest-quality
Safari Software can offer a great opportunity for new authors who are completing their ﬁrst major
game. By working with Safari, authors can gain experience working with a top team to produce a
great game. Safari games have high quality standards, which all authors must maintain. But, unlike
Epic, Safari is very interested in smaller games—games which customers will enjoy very much, but
games which don't have to be as large and complex as top Epic hits like Epic Pinball, Jazz Jackrab-
bit, and One Must Fall 2097.
Recently, we've found that, in this hit-driven market, only the top games are proﬁtable to sell. So,
unless we ﬁnd some small, innovative, high quality game that really catches our eye, we do not plan
to publish many games through Safari Software.
How to Submit Your Work
If you have never contacted Epic directly, the ﬁrst thing you must do is send some information about
yourself and some samples of your work—a prototype game, art samples, music, etc. A resume
without samples will NOT be considered. Anything you send will remain conﬁdential. Please send a
variety of samples that showcase your range of talents. Put your ﬁles on one or more 3.5" PC disks.
Zip disks, or PC CD-ROM (artists/animators can put their work on a VHS cassette; musicians can
include a cassette tape or audio CD), put them in a padded envelope (please include a SASE for
returns), and mail to:
Epic MegaGames, Inc.
Attn: Recruiting Department
3204 Tower Oaks Blvd., Suite 410
Rockville, MD 20852
Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack 7
Or, send your demo/samples to us over the Internet:
You can FTP your submission to us by doing the following: PKZIP your submission with a password
(use the -s option for the DOS version of PKZIP) and FTP your submission to ftp.epicgames.com, in
the /incoming directory. Then, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, detailing the ﬁle name,
description of the submission, and the password to uncompress the protected archive.
You can also e-mail your submission. To do so, encode the password-protected ZIP archive (bin-hex or
MIME are preferred, uuencode is also acceptable) and e-mail it to email@example.com. Leave
the password in the message portion of your e-mail. Please don't e-mail ﬁles larger than 10 MB.
If you have samples available for download on the Internet, or your own Web page showcasing your
work, we can download them and check them out. Just send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the site (FTP address or URL, and login/password if necessary) where we can ﬁnd and download
Or, contact us via e-mail, Internet, or fax:
Fax: (301) 299-3841 E-mail: email@example.com WWW: http://www.epicgames.com
In any case, include a brief cover letter describing your work, your goals, and how to contact you.
Getting a Response
We'll get back to you as soon as we have a chance to look at your submission. We are often ﬂooded
with submissions, so it might take awhile. In general, the better your submission is, the sooner we'll
get back to you.
If you're turned down the ﬁrst time, don't take it too hard. We receive hundreds of submissions every
month. Rather, take it as a challenge to boost your work to the next level. Take some time to hone your
skills, then resubmit your newer work. Almost all of the industry's successful people spent many years
experimenting and learning before their ﬁrst major hit. They just kept on trying and didn't give up.
Still, sometimes we'll receive an exceptional submission, but have no immediate use for the developer
(whether programmer, artist, or musician). In this case, we'll contact you and let you know that we
like your work and will keep you in mind for future projects. Then, if you're still available when we
have an opening, we'll contact you again.
Joining the Epic Team
Some developers come to Epic as a part of an existing team, and others come alone and join one of
the existing teams which need their help. We're glad to work with new developers either way. If your
work meets Epic's high standards, there's a good chance you'll be asked to work with Epic.
Musicians, Artists, and Programmers
If you're not already a part of a team, we'll try to place you on a team which could beneﬁt from your
skills. Artists are the easiest to place with teams because it's most apparent when an artist's style
matches the game's mood or other game artists' styles. In any case, we'll usually give you a small
"project" to work on as part of the game to make sure you'll ﬁt in on the project in that team.
Existing Development Teams
If you're already part of an existing team working on a project who is seeking a publisher, Epic can
publish your game and add a whole lot of value in other ways. We'll work with you to ﬁnish the
project and get good distribution through shareware and retail channels.
Working with Epic from Around the World
Several development teams are now working with Epic to create leading-edge games. Teams and
team members are spread around the world in the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, Finland, Germany,
Poland, and New Zealand.
We feel this is the way most software will be developed in the future—by hard-working, creative
people spread around the world, communicating by phone, e-mail, online chat and the occasional in-
8 Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack
person get-together. This way, developers are not limited by a commute to work every morning, and
are free to create great software and add their own personal touches to it.
The Publishing Agreement
The Publishing Agreement is a contract that is signed between Epic and the members of every
development team for a project. It outlines the responsibilities of each party and the royalty or
Realizing that the best way to keep people with Epic for many, many projects is to keep our authors
happy, the Publishing Agreement is fair and unintrusive. Most importantly for you, it applies only to
the game you develop for Epic, and it keeps your options open for the future.
NOTE: Because Epic covers all markets in the USA and overseas, we do require worldwide exclusive
marketing and distribution rights to games we publish.
As mentioned in the Why Work with Epic section. Epic pays some of the highest developer royalties in
the industry. On games published via shareware, our development teams earn 40 percent of the total
sales of the games they create. The Development Team Royalty is split among the members of the
development team according to a formula that is outlined in a game's Publishing Agreement. This
split varies from project to project because games require differing amounts of programming, artwork,
and other work.
For a typical game, the split might be as follows: Programmer (55%), Artist (38%), Musician (7%).
For most projects. Epic considers the amount of work to be done by each developer and the relative
value of that work, and proposes a royalty structure.
Development Team Formation
Development team formation can begin in several ways. In the past, a project often began with a
programmer's initial design and coding work. Then, everybody would spend a few weeks working
together, brainstorming with ideas and plugging new art, music, and ideas into a game. The most
common way to assemble a team now is for the designer to plan out a potential game design and
framework and ﬁnd skilled programmers, artists, and a musician to carry out his vision. Often the
designer is a programmer, artist, or musician himself and has some actual work on the game com
pleted beyond the design.
Contracts are usually signed several months into the project, once everybody is comfortable working
together, and a game plan is put together and being executed.
To work in an environment like this, you really need to enjoy what you're doing and be self-moti
vated. The most brilliant Epic games have come from this type of author, the author who works late
into the night and cherishes the reward of seeing a creative new idea go from concept to reality.
Once your development team has signed the necessary paperwork, you'll need an Epic contact person.
That contact person will be an Epic producer assigned to the project. The producer's job will be to
coordinate and organize information between developers, marketing, accountants, and operations.
The producer will also be responsible for the presentation of the project, human resources, production
management, content contribution, budgeting, contracts, and scheduling. Here is the breakdown of
the producers responsibilities:
• Information Pivot Point: Keeps information flowing among development team members, market
ing, accountants, operations, etc.
• Presentation of Product: Helps development teams achieve the best presentation possible for all
sales venues (retail, shareware, after-market, etc.). PR and marketing departments collaborate to
develop a marketing strategy that suits the individual game.
• Human Resources Management: Help locate and place developers with teams.
Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack 9
• Production Management: Keep development teams focused on the goal of creating awesome
games in a timely manner.
• Content Contribution: Although individual development teams have full creative control of their
projects, the producer makes suggestions, critiques, and "points developers in the right direction"
based on game, industry, and market analysis.
• Budgeting: Keep track of, and arrange advances and payments to development teams. Estimate
production costs, and look out for "the bottom line."
• Contracts: Mediate contract negotiations between Epic and developers to keep issues reasonable
• Scheduling: Develop a reasonable development time line and schedule materials creation
(manuals, advertising, etc.).
10 Epic MegaGames Author Into Pack
Appendix A: Suggestions for Artists on Creating Animation by Nick stabler
The following excerpt is from an article I wrote for the Epic MegaGames Author Newsletter shortly
after completing the animation for the sprites and cinematics in our release, Jazz Jackrabbit. It's
entitled "Suggestions for Artists on Creating Animation." I've volunteered it to you in hopes that
some of you may ﬁnd it helpful, or at least vaguely interesting and amusing.
I'd like to make a few suggestions on doing animation, or, more speciﬁcally, CHARACTER anima
tion, to any potential new artists coming into the Epic MegaGames fold. Many of you may be ex
tremely skillful artists, skillful either at VGA computer art, or "real world" hand-drawn art. In some
respects, you will need all of the skills you've learned in creating great animation, but for the most
part you may have to begin by throwing a lot of your learned skills out the window and starting from
scratch. The reason for this is that you may have already picked up bad habits in your ﬁgure drawing
as you've been developing your style.
One of the reasons I believe animation is such an important part of the artistic aspect of a game is
this: I've seen plenty of games which have gorgeous graphics, but employ extremely awful animation.
Artistically, this detracts tremendously from what would otherwise be a wonderful game. You may be
able to make a beautiful drawing which will look wonderful in a screen shot, but you won't get the
overall "feel" of the presentation from a graphic standpoint till it's put into motion.
W h a t i s A n i m a t i o n ?
That seems like a stupid question. Obviously, EVERYONE knows what "animation" is, right? Well,
that depends on your approach to it, especially if you're the animator. You may think that animating
is giving "motion" to an object. In a sense, I guess that's correct, but anybody can give an object
MOTION. It takes very little skill to move an object. The thing that separates a skillful animator from
just anyone is the aspect, or illusion, of LIFE. Your task as an ANIMATOR is to bring LIFE to
something which has none. When you are talking about something which has life, you are talking
about a character with personality, attitude, and motivations. It's very important to get to "know" the
subject before beginning to animate him or her. What is his/her personality, attitude, motivation? And
how do I bring those out in EVERY SINGLE DRAWING that I do?
As an animator, you have to be more than an artist or a draftsman. You have to be an actor, a director,
a puppeteer, and to some degree, a writer as well. You have to suspend your real world beliefs
somewhat, and temporarily come to believe that your subject is "real" and that you aren't creating his
actions but translating them. You may ﬁnd yourself saying that stereotypical actor line: "But this
character wouldn't DO that!" Believability is not all that outrageous of a concept for a video game
character: if you can't suspend your beliefs in acknowledging the character's "existence," then how
can you expect your audience to?
The pose is the most important aspect of getting the character to exude the kinds of personality traits
you want it to possess. You want to get all aspects of the character's anatomy in check, but you also
want to put the right curves and angles in its stance. Is the character going to lean forward, arch back,
droop downward, stand straight upward? If I make him stand a certain way, where will his weight
shift, how will his legs be bent, what will his arms be doing?
A common approach to ﬁnding whether a particular pose "works" or not is often referred to as the
"silhouette test." What you would do is take the drawing and make a "mask" of the character so that
all you will see is a dark, one color silhouette of the ﬁgure. If you can see clearly in the silhouette
what exactly the character is doing, then chances are you have come up with a successful pose. My
rule of thumb here is to push the characters pose to the extreme.
Start simply with a rough sketch (either by hand or by mouse) of the outline, or wireframe of the
character. Try not to think of this outline as a two-dimensional drawing, but as a representation of a
three-dimensional object. You should always be aware of what every limb and every joint of the
Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack 11
character is doing, even when that particular part of the body is hidden behind the character. Though
that part may not be visible, it IS either affecting or being affected by the parts we do see.
A r c o f M o t i o n
Keep in mind when animating a character, that all motion should take place on an arc. Really,
smooth animation is NOT always determined by the number of frames (although that helps), but by
the proper ARG OF MOTION. The shortest distance between two points may be a straight line, but
while animating, the straight line should be avoided at all times! If you animate a head turn or an
arm movement along the path of a straight line, the motion will look stiff and robotic. IT WILL
CONTINUE TO LOOK STIFF AND ROBOTIC NO MATTER HOW MANY IN-BETWEEN
F R A M E S Y O U D R A W !
A c c e l e r a t i o n a n d D e c e l e r a t i o n
The properties of acceleration and deceleration should also be considered while animating a ﬁgure.
When you are doing "in-between" drawings between two "extreme" poses, remember that the
movement will gradually pick up speed and gradually slow down.
Don't Be Afraid to Break the Rules!
Animation is a fantastic process, with many rules. But like all other art forms, these rules are not only
breakable, they're ENCOURAGED to be broken! It's a continuous learning process if you allow
yourself to be open to it. Some of your most joyous discoveries may be made through trial and error,
your mistakes may be discoveries within themselves. So enjoy! -N.S.
Books of interest:
HOW TO ANIMATE FILM CARTOONS by Preston Blair, published by Walter Foster
CARTOON ANIMATION by Preston Blair, published by Walter Foster
ANIMATION FROM SCRIPT TO SCREEN by Shamus Culhane, St. Martin's Press
THE ANIMATOR'S WORKBOOK by Tony White, Watson Guptill
DRAWING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN by Betty Edwards, Tarcher Putnam
Cartoon Animation speciﬁcally:
CHUCK AMUCK by Chuck Jones, Avon Biography
TEX AVERY KING OF CARTOONS by Joe Adamson
OF MICE AND MAGIC by Leonard Malten
REAL CARTOONS, editorial in Animation magazine by John Kricfalusi
12 Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack
Appendix B: Guidelines for Making Soundtracks in your Epic Game by Alexander Brandon
Choosing a System
Before you can start thinking about what music you'd like to write for your game, you have to choose
a system to play it with. There are three ways to go here: General MIDI, digital "tracked" music, or
Redbook audio. Each system has its advantages and drawbacks:
General MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)
• Supports 128 Instruments
• Must MIDI controller, such as a keyboard or guitar, to write the music
• Instruments are supported on Wavetable and General MIDI cards
• Special effects (like echo and flanging) are not necessarily supported on all sound cards
• Songs take up about 20-50kb maximum
Digital System (example: Galaxy)
• Supports any number of instruments
• Supports numerous effects such as vibrato and flanging
• Supported by all digital sound cards (Sound Blasters compatibles) and cards with DSP chips
• Songs usually take up about 100-600kb
• Instruments are not readily available and must be sampled separately
R e d b o o k A u d i o
• Allows for the freedom to record music in a "traditional" manner, using any number of instru
ments, synthesizers or sounds you want, as well as post-production editing.
• Supported by any sound card with a standard CD-audio cable hooked to it.
• Songs take up very large amounts of space and must be stored and played from CD-ROM.
• Requires expensive recording equipment or access to a recording studio.
Using a MIDI System
The ﬁrst method of music production for your PC, MIDI, is the worst method in terms of quality and
ﬂexibility, but the best in terms of saving memory and disk space. A MIDI music ﬁle only contains
the instructions for playback —the sound samples themselves are stored in the sound card. For
example, a SoundBlaster AWE32 uses an EMU 8000 series synthesizer with 128 General MIDI
instruments stored in RAM memory. The samples can be edited and changed, but not very easily
since they are in a format speciﬁc to the card.
In order to write MIDI music, you need to use a MIDI-capable keyboard that connects to your sound
card's joystick port via a MIDI adapter (available at most retail computer hardware stores), and a
software sequencer such as Cakewalk Pro or Cakewalk Pro Audio (with the ability to mix WAV ﬁles
and MIDI instruments for songs).
If you are working on a speciﬁc game title, you must decide which system to use to incorporate MIDI
music into your game. There are many systems, most of which are pretty old and outdated, such as
the original HMI which has been used since Origin released "Wing Commander." However, times
have changed and companies are stepping up their standards.
For cards which do not support General MIDI, such as Sound Blaster 1.0/2.0, Sound Blaster Pro and
Sound Blaster 16s, the only music support available is in the form of FM sound, as we are used to
hearing so often in older games. The only MIDI system which takes full advantage of FM sound is
the "Loudness" sound system programmed by Andreas Molnar in Germany. Epic's Tyrian uses the
Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack 13
Loudness system with success and has gotten good response. The Loudness system supports nine
channels for music and eight channels for digital sound effects. For information on Loudness, contact
Andreas Molnar at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you have the MIDI system of your choice, simply make MID ﬂies using a synthesizer (recom
mended synths are the Roland JW-30 and the Korg OlAV series) and a sequencer such as Cake Walk
Pro for Windows 95. The total cost of such a system starting from scratch can reach a few thousand
dollars, however. So unless you are already using General MIDI, I would suggest going with a digital
system, since the cost is much less.
Using a Digital System
Digital music has been used since around 1990 when the Commodore Amigas began supporting
games with four-channel digital music. Such old greats as Shadow of the Beast by Psygnosis and
Lemmings (by the same company) had excellent soundtracks when IBM machines were using tinny
Adlib FM sounds. Compare the Amiga and PC versions of the Bullfrog hit Populus and you'll
instantly hear the difference.
Though digital sound is high quality, there is a high price to pay. Songs can take up to a megabyte or
more of space because the instruments are actually contained within each song and loaded into
memory when the song plays. MIDI soundtracks, on the other hand, can be hours long and not take
up more than 50k, since all of the instruments are contained on the card itself and songs only contain
the information needed to play them.
Writing MODs with trackers can also be annoyingly hard to learn. For now, e-mail me at
email@example.com and I'll answer any questions you might have about using ScreamTracker or
Fasttracker. (A full tutorial on ScreamTracker and Fasttracker will follow and be mailed to all
However, if you learn the tricks of tracking digital music, you can create songs of CD quality or better
using nothing but your PC - no external equipment is required. Then you can have the exact music
that you want instead of dealing with poor sound on non-Wavetable cards and different GM instru
ments on each card. You can even get thousands of samples FREE online to make whatever type of
music you want.
Visit the Hornet demo page (www.homet.com) and do a search for "trackers" and "samples." You can
request music samples from me as well—I have several hundred thousand available, from weird bell
noises to screaming lead guitars.
Also, since even new Wavetable cards have digital chips (called Digital Signal Processors or DSPs)
digital music is possible on every card except General MIDI-speciﬁc ones such as the Roland RAP
ID, Sound Canvas, and other GM-supporting sound modules.
There are two trackers that I recommend for use: Impulse Tracker and Fasttracker II. Trackers such
as Impulse Tracker use "step time" composition, which means that you write your notes in each
rhythmical step in a piano-roll-style editor rather than playing them in using a keyboard. This makes
editing extremely easy and powerful since you have complete control over where the notes go and
how they are played.
Both formats, MIDI and MOD, are supported by the system Epic uses, the Galaxy Music System (See
Appendix C). Galaxy provides up to 32 channels of digital sound and supports nearly every existing
module format in Windows 95.
R e d b o o k A u d i o
Redbook audio is used by professionals all over the world, but is essentially limited only to those with
stacks of equipment and 120-channel automated mixing consoles. Redbook Audio means making
music by any means you see ﬁt, recording it to WAV format, and writing it directly to CD. Redbook
audio takes up by far the most space of all of the methods of recording PC music. Only 73 minutes
(average) of music can be stored on a single CD, as opposed to dozens of hours worth of MIDI ﬁles..
However, the main advantage of Redbook is that it is simple to make 44khz, 16-bit sound and master
it, making it sound as clean as the music you buy off the shelves.
14 Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack
A F i n a l W o r d
Most of us don't yet have the luxury of studio editing for games. But if you want to come close, learn
to write MODs. Some of the best MODs out there have astounded professional artists in terms of
quality and realism. For techniques and tricks in any of these composing methods, feel free to write
me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll be happy to answer any questions.
Editor's note: As mentioned under the Submitting Your Work section, Epic is (currently) primarily
interested in top-notch digital (MOD) musicians who use high-quality 16-bit samples. The reason for
this being that all of Epic's current games and games in development use the high quality Galaxy
Music System. Read the next section for more detailed information about Galaxy.
Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack 15
Appendix C: About the Galaxy Music System
The Galaxy Music System (Galaxy) is a digital audio system that offers high-quality (CD-like) music
and digital sound effects on virtually all major sound boards available. An advantage of Galaxy is that
the CPU calculates the music, so specialized hardware is not needed. In this way, Galaxy will always
provide the same quality of music and sound effects regardless of hardware, and it's available for 32-
bit DOS and Win32 (Win95AVinNT).
What makes Galaxy particularly appealing to Epic and its developers? There are many things, but the
most important are:
• It is about the most versatile sound system available.
• It is highly optimized and about the fastest (in cpu load) of its kind—this is VERY important for
all (game) developers.
• Fast and reliable developer support is available, either over the Internet or by telephone. This is a
highly specialized area in which Galaxy's developers have over ﬁve years of experience, and
everybody using Galaxy can beneﬁt from this experience and ongoing research activities.
Normally, much time would be required for each game developer to "reinvent the wheel," but by
using Galaxy, much precious time can be saved and spent on other important matters.
• Developers will be assured of working with cutting-edge audio technology, which is constantly
being enhanced and updated to meet the top standards of audio market technology.
The current version of Digital Dreams' Galaxy Music System, at the time of this publication, is v3.00b.
It's a brand new rewrite of the old Galaxy Music Library used in the well known Galaxy Music Player
up to version 2.14. This is a completely NEW rewrite, which means totally different replay routines,
new software mixing routines, higher mixing resolution and better sound provided through the new
and updated LightSpeed(TM) ]I[ High performance Software-DSP. Based on state-of-the-art audio
techniques learned by the author after experimenting for over three years, it offers you a complete and
easy-to-use sound solution based on cutting-edge audio technology. The Galaxy Music System is
constantly being enhanced and updated to keep up with the latest audio and hardware developments.
By using the Galaxy Music System you will beneﬁt from the experience, experimentation and
technical support of the author. This includes a wide range of supported audio hardware, which has
been tested extensively and found working on numerous systems.
Features and Support:
• Available as 32-bit static-library for Extended-DOS and Windows 95/NT (TM).
• Available with the tuned LightSpeed (TM) ]I[ High performance Software-DSP.
• Features Dolby Surround (TM) Pro-logic-compatible mixing, for true 3-D Sound placement.
• Features advanced mixing routines for Intel's MMX™ technology.
• Features professional software mixing routines with digital filtering.
• Features 65 panning positions to allow for accurate stereo placement.
• Features 32-bit mixing resolution to provide superior dynamic resolution.
• Features low mixing latency, for good responsive music and sound effects.
• Features up to 32 audio channels, either through software or hardware mixing.
• Supports 8- and 16-bit output (16-bit output needs appropriate hardware).
• Supports up to 48 kHz mixing-rates, depending on the hardware of course.
• Supports direct output to a file, for a crystal clear digital copy.
16 Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack
• Supports full and partial auto detection (user setup also possible).
• Supports music and/or simultaneous sound effects (up to 32 channels).
• Supports sound-effects-only mode, for combination with CD-Audio.
• Supports simultaneous use of CD-Audio playing AND digital output.
• Supports multi-sample instruments, for maximum music quality.
• Supports 8- and 16-bit samples, for maximum sample sound quality.
• Supports volume and panning envelopes, for professional composing.
• Supports sample sizes up to as much (sample) memory as you have.
• Supports up to 8 octaves, for maximum music composing/replaying quality.
• Supports all important and widely used module file formats.
Features that go without saying (but we'll say them here anyway):
• Excellent, clear, well-optimized, speedy and compatible code.
• Demands as little memory as possible by storing all note data packed.
• Easy implementation into your 32-bit C/C++ applications.
M o d u l e ﬁ l e f o r m a t s
Modules are composed in so called "Trackers." Since there are numerous trackers, there are a lot of
DIEEERENT module formats. The Galaxy Music System offers an extensive loader library, which
will allow you to load a wide range of modules DIRECILY into the music system. This allows you to
import musical data from almost any tracker, either Amiga- or PC-based. A list of the recognized and
supported module ﬁle formats follows:
T r a c k e r n a m e D e f a u l t ﬁ l e e x t e n s i o n M a x . C h a n n e l s
C o m p o s e r 6 6 9 . 6 6 9 8
G a l a x y M u s i c S y s t e m 3 . x . A M ( * ) 3 2
F a r a n d o l e C o m p o s e r 1 . x . F A R 16
F a s t T r a c k e r 1 . x . M O D 8
F a s t T r a c k e r 2 . x . X M ( * ) 3 2
I m p u l s e T r a c k e r 2 . x . I T ( * ) 3 2
M u l t i T r a c k e r 1 . x . M T M 3 2
P o l y T r a c k e r 1 . x . P T M 3 2
P r o T r a c k e r 2 . x . M O D 4
S c r e a m T r a c k e r 3 . x . S 3 M 3 2
S c r e a m T r a c k e r 2 . x . S T M 4
T a k e T r a c k e r 2 . x . M O D 3 2
U l t r a T r a c k e r 1 . x . U L T 3 2
U n i s 6 6 9 . 6 6 9 8
(*) These formats offer instrument capabilities (Split-points, Envelopes, etc.)
Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack 17
Please note that due to the fact that some trackers work with a completely different internal structure,
some things might be lost during the conversion to the Galaxy Music System's internal AM-Format.
Overall, the loaders are constructed in such a way, that as much as possible will be preserved.
If you would like to contact the author of the Galaxy Music System for licensing, suggestions, bug
reports etc., you can do so through any of the means mentioned below:
Digital Dreams Multi-Media
Department of Digital Audio Technology
Witbreuksweg 377 suite 309
7 5 2 2 Z A E n s c h e d e
+31-(0)53-431-1187 (Available from 10:00 to 22:00 GET)
Internet : email@example.com
18 Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack
Appendix D: Tips for Successful Shareware Game Development
Three factors-quality, technology, and gameplay-are absolutely the most important ingredients in a
successful shareware game. Fortunes are made or lost based on quality, gameplay, and technology.
Thousands of games are released every year, but only a select few make it to the top. These are the
highest quality games produced with the most advanced technology available.
Quality: Games need to be designed 100 percent bug-free, compatible, easy to operate, and extremely
"clean" in terms of graphics, sound, and gameplay. When the time comes to ready a game for release,
our authors are not just coders, they are Software Engineers, with the responsibility to test, debug,
test, polish, test, and test their product (Epic testers do test the games also, but the developers are
usually the best testers and capable of ﬁnding bugs that others would never ﬁnd). Customers expect
only the best from the Epic MegaGames team, and we will work to deliver.
Technology: Dazzling graphics, music, sound effects, and ground-breaking state-of-the-art tech
niques are the common factors linking all shareware success stories. In terms of graphics, customers
will come from around the world for crisp, high-resolution, high-color, animated SVGA graphics that
exploit their CPUs to the limit. Regarding technology, if you've seen a technique used before, it's not
good enough. We need to push the PC to it's limits, then push it some more. That is how we'll leave
the competition behind.
Gameplay: No matter how much quality and technology a game has, it can only be successful if you
have a great core game. Customers want fun and innovative gameplay that will keep them enter
tained for many days, with new twists of plot around every corner, new scenarios being revealed every
step of the way, and vivid variety.
If you've got a game or a design to make a game with these three qualities, there's a good chance
you've got a winner!
However, we all know that development rarely goes smoothly, without a hitch. Good design and
planning can not only help keep your project on track, but it can also ensure that you make the most
money on your project with the least amount of effort.
Assuming you know what type of game you're going to make—action, shooter, RPG, turn-based
strategy, real-time strategy, etc.—several things must be planned for before the real work (coding and
art) begins. You must decide on the technical aspects, such as view (side/vertically scrolling, top view,
isometric view, ﬁrst person, movable camera, etc.), game resolution and color depth. In addition,
RPGs and strategy games require a large amount of game and interface design before the actual
implementation should begin.
Which language to program the game in is also very important. The choice of programming language
affects several things, such as speed of compiling, speed of execution, and, most importantly, portabil
ity. Portable code is especially important these days, because we're seriously looking at ports for Mac,
Sony Play Station, N64, and future home systems. Having code that isn't easily portable can cost a lot
of extra money down the line, either to have it rewritten or in potential deals lost for other platforms.
The most portable code is produced by regular C. C++ is easily portable between Mac and PC, but not
to console systems. Other languages such as Borland Pascal or Delphi and ASM are usually not
portable to any other platform and have to be entirely rewritten to move a game to other platforms
than the PC.
Other gameplay features should be planned fairly early in development: multiplayer modes, alterna
tive gameplay modes, bonus levels, etc. should also be considered very early in the design process.
Games that are multiplayer should be built around this feature from the start. Adding multiplayer
support after most of the game/engine has already been coded usually proves to be problematic and
time consuming. For example, there were extensive delays while adding multiplayer, modem and
network support for both One Must Fall 2097 and Tyrian.
Several other things about the game's functionality must always be planned early in the coding
process. In order to make sure that your game can be successfully translated to other languages
Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack 19
(important for large retail distribution deals!), you must keep all in-game text and error messages in
resource ﬁles. Also, think about how the game will perform best, running off of CD-ROM or hard
drive, what kind of music will be used (Redbook, tracked digital, compressed WAVs, etc.), and how
this will affect game performance with the different installation options.
Rarely does a game get released that doesn't need any sort of update, so take into consideration how
to patch the program with these different install options in mind. If the game runs from CD-ROM, it
should be able to look to a user-speciﬁed path on the hard drive for updates. Make use of Windows'
registry for storing such details (this prevents clutter in the hard drive's root directory). In addition to
accepting patches, your game should readily accept add-on or expansion packs. In this hit-driven
market, only the top games can make money from add-ons. But those games can make a lot more
money with expansion packs and add-ons. A user-fﬁendly level/map/game editor is also nice to keep
users interested because then they can create and share levels. Again, this requires that the game sell
well in the ﬁrst place, but if that's the case, an editor can greatly add to a game's longevity. Even if
only a few of these possibilities come true, planning for them will make things much easier and less
painful in the long run.
Last, but not least, in following with the shareware model, it's also recommended to plan a shareware
version which is a small but self-contained portion of the game. This is often done by breaking your
game up into parts or episodes. Epic's most successful games have been trilogies, in which the ﬁrst
episode of the game was distributed freely as shareware. Due to the size of games now, we tend not to
release a whole third of a game, but do encourage releasing enough of the game to give the potential
customer a good feel for what the game is like (20-25 percent of the game's content). An important
factor in making shareware successful is to give the user a feeling of accomplishment when he
completes the shareware version. Whether or not the game is split into episodes, it is important for
the shareware version to end at a crucial part of the story in the game, where the player is rewarded
for his victory, but must "buy the rest of the game to continue the mission." Simply throwing together
a number of levels in a meaningless fashion does not create a good shareware release and is no better
than retail "demos" which only give a taste of the game, often without full functionality. Shareware is
rewarding, gives difeel for the entire game, and sells the game (only good games sell in shareware).
20 Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack
Appendix E; Listing of Epic Products
ZZT (1991) PC DOS
Super ZZT (1992) PC DOS
Jill of the Jungle (1992) PC DOS
Castle of the Winds (1992) PC WIN3.X
Kiloblaster (1992) PC DOS
Revenge of ZZT (1992) PC DOS
Drum Blaster (1992) PC DOS
Overkill (1992) PC DOS
Adventure Math (1992) PC DOS
Brix (1992) PC DOS
Ancients (1993) PC DOS
Ken's Labyrinth (1993) PC DOS
Solar Winds (1993) PC DOS
Dare to Dream (1993) PC WIN3.X
Zone 66 (1993) PC DOS
Epic Pinball Packs 1&2 (1993) PC DOS
Xargon (1994) PC DOS
Epic Puzzle Pack: (1994) PC DOS
E l e c t r o m a n
R o b b o
Epic Pinball Pack 3 (1994) PC DOS
Jazz Jackrabbit (1994) PC DOS
One Must Fall 2097 (1994) PC DOS
Tyrian (1995) PC DOS
Radix: Beyond the Void (1995) PC DOS
Extreme Pinball (1995) PC DOS
Fire Fight (1996) PC WIN95
Jason Storm (re-released 1994/discontinued) PC DOS
Trafﬁc Department 2192 (1994) PC DOS
LineWars II (1994) PC DOS
Highway Hunter (1994) PC DOS
Seek and Destroy (1996) PC DOS
Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack 21
Appendix F; Awards, Reviews and Kudos
Epic Pinbail (1993-1994) PC DOS
Best Entertainment Software 1994 (Shareware Industry Award)
1994 Computer Gaming World Shareware Awards, winner of Best Arcade Game
Jazz Jackrabbit (1994) PC DOS
PC Format Best Action Game 1994
PC Gamer 87%
One Must Fall 2097 (1994) PC DOS
PC Format Best Action Game 1994 runner up
Computer Game Review 89%
PC Gamer 84%
Home PC (UK) 85%
Clicked.com Top 20 Shareware 1996
TVrian (1995) PC DOS
PC Gamer 87%
1996 Computer Gaming World Shareware Awards, nominated Best Arcade Game
Clicked.com Top 20 Shareware 1996
Radix: Beyond the Void (1995) PC DOS
1996 Computer Gaming World Shareware Awards, nominated Best Action Game
Clicked.com Top 20 Shareware 1996
Extreme Pinbail (1995) PC DOS
1996 Computer Gaming World Shareware Awards, nominated Best Arcade Game
Clicked.com Top 20 Shareware 1996
Seek and Destroy (1996) PC DOS
Computer Games 4/5 stars
Fire Fight (1996) PC W1N95
Winner of PC Gamer Best Arcade Game of 1996
Adrenaline Vault Best Arcade Game of 1996
PC Gamer Editor's Choice (90%)
Computer Player Recommended (9/10)
Strategy Plus Stamp of Approval
Intelligent Gamer R+
PC Games R+
22 Epic MegaGames Author Into Pack
Contacting Epic MegaGames
3204 Tower Oaks Blvd., Suite 410
Rockville, MD 20852
Customer Service: (800) 972-7434; +1 (301) 468-6012 (internationally)
Technical Support: -h1 (301) 983-9771
-hi (301) 299-3841
Orders/Customer Service: firstname.lastname@example.org
Technical Support: email@example.com
O n l i n e F o r u m s
Compuserve: GO EPIC
America Online: keyword "PCGAMES"
Author Info Pack Credits
Prepared by: Doug Gibson, Vincent Cavin
Additional content provided by: Tim Sweeney, Mark Rein, Nick Stadler, Alexander Brandon
Editing and layout: Mike Forge
Epic MegaGames Author Info Pack 23