John W. Ratcliff
John W. Ratcliff is a long time game industry veteran. He began programming game based educational software for Milliken Publishing Company in 1982. At Milliken John developed ten separate educational products and games; mostly in 6502 assembly language.
In 1983 John went to work for Saint Louis University Hospital developing software in support for the Cardiology Department. His work led to the development of two commercial medical diagnostic systems as well as advanced research for the diagnosis of a number of cardiovascular diseases; from Holter EKG, to Echocardiography including Doppler analysis, as well as image processing software in support of cardiac catheterization.
In 1984 John signed a contract with Electronic Arts
and began developing a military simulation game called '688 Attack Sub'. This was the first game ever with extensive digital sound and music and the first to support the recently released MCGA 256 color graphics. It was also the first game ever to give away a ‘free demo’ copy, having been included in millions of boxes of Maxel disks. This game was number one in the country when it was released and stayed on the top ten for almost a year.
Next John developed a sequel titled 'SSN-21 Seawolf' which was also a commercial success. During the development of Seawolf John started a company called 'Audio Solutions' to market a suite of digital and MIDI sound drivers that eventually made their way into over 300 commercial games.
John provided additional technical support for a number of Electronic Arts titles including, 'Car and Driver', 'The Horde', 'Gary Kasparov's Chess' and several others.
John's last game published by Electronic Arts was titled 'S.C.A.R.A.B.' and had a number of unique technologies including extensive multiplayer support over the Internet as well as advanced AI.
After leaving Electronic Arts John joined the Saint Charles based game company Simutronics
where he was the lead developer for 'Cyberstrike 2' published by 989 Studios a division of Sony Computer Games.
In 2000 John established the Saint Louis office for Sony Online Entertainment
ultimately building a team of 25 artists and engineers. This team produced the world’s first massively multiplayer first person shooter called 'Planetside'. The office and the game were featured in the Saint Louis Business Journal twice as well as being profiled by local television stations.
In 2004 John joined Ageia Technologies
to provided tools and technology in support of their physics-processing unit. As a member of the technical board of advisors John was instrumental in the acquisition, support, and distribution of the SDK middleware that enables the hardware.
Then John worked once again for Simutronics Corporation
as Senior Programmer. There, he worked incorporating client and server based physics into their flagship product Hero Engine
, a MMO game engine.
John now does consulting for Nvidia.
Also Known As
- John Ratcliffe
- John Ratcliff
- Painkiller: Hell & Damnation (2012), Nordic Games Publishing AB
- Bet on Soldier: Black-out Saigon (2006), Eclypse
- PlanetSide (2003), Sony Online Entertainment Inc.
- CyberStrike 2 (1998), 989 Studios
- SCARAB (1997), Electronic Arts, Inc.
- MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat (1995), Activision, Inc.
- CyberStrike (1994), MicroProse Software, Inc.
- SSN-21 Seawolf (1994), Electronic Arts, Inc.
- Car and Driver (1992), Electronic Arts, Inc.
- Wayne Gretzky Hockey 3 (1992), Bethesda Softworks LLC
- 688 Attack Sub (1989), Electronic Arts, Inc.