(…Or, if you prefer, Bride Of the Son Of the Friday Diversion)
If you had hung out with Deane and I in ‘99, you would have either played Tribes, heard mention of Tribes, wondered that ‘Tribes’ was and why we kept talking about ‘spinfusors’, or wished, for the love of God, that we would shut up about freaking Tribes.
Well, shortly after Tribes 2 came out, Dynamix spun off GarageGames, a company to help support small and independent game developers. The jewel in their product line was the Torque toolkit, the software engine used to create Tribes, Tribes 2, and, apparently, other Sierra Games like Trophy Bass (those must be some crazy, crazy bass).
Through GarageGames, Torque is available as full source code to small developers for as little as $100. Compared with the licensing arrangements made between big studios for untold sums for similar engines that drive games like Unreal and Quake3, that’s an unbelievable deal that really levels the playing field.
Legends is sort of a re-creation of the original Tribes on a more modern version of the Torque engine. I haven’t tried the game yet, but it looks like these guys are trying really hard to capture that delicious Tribes flavor, and that they really have a passion for the combination of action and strategy that stunted my social life around the turn of the century.