Overviewn-Space, Inc. was an independent US-based development studio founded in 1994 by Erick S. Dyke and Dan O’Leary. It is based in Orlando, Florida (USA). The studio developed many titles based on popular licenses.
Before n-Space, the three principals behind the establishment were employees of Martin Marietta’s Advanced Simulation Group who designed and developed 3D military simulators. They worked on Desert Tank (SEGA, Model2 Arcade, 1994) where they were responsible for key art and engineering, working along with Yu Suzuki.
Until 2002 the studio initially focused on games for the Sony PlayStation with a few additional titles for the Windows platform. The PSX game RazorWing (1995) for SCEA was n-Space’s initial project and a playable version was shown in Sony's booth at E3 to favorable previews, although the project was later terminated three months short of completion. It featured technologies such as a high-res mode, streaming gaming areas from CD, and writing directly to the PlayStation graphics chips.
The first official release was TigerShark (March 1997 - PSX/Windows) for GT Interactive. The Windows 95 version was the first full product to support MMX on the market, one of the first products to support Direct-Force and the code written by n-Space became part of Microsoft's official release. Sales were approximately 150k. Later that year, a second title was released: BugRiders: The Race of Kings (1997 - PSX/Windows) again for GT. This 3D race game placed the player on the back of giant insects.
In 1998 a PSX console game based on the Duke Nukem franchise was developed: Duke Nukem: Time To Kill, again for GT. Sales were approximately 2 million units worldwide. The studio's next two games were based on the popular Rugrats license: Rugrats: Search for Reptar (1998) and Rugrats: Studio Tour. The first game sold about 5 million units worldwide and the sequel half of that.
In 2000 the studio released no less than four titles. The first were Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas, and Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes as a sequel to Time to Kill. For the third title, Danger Girl, the team worked along with the original creators of the comic it was based on, J. Scott Campbell and Andy Hartnell. The last game for 2000 was the start of a new line of licensed adaptations: Mary-Kate and Ashley: Magical Mystery Mall. It was followed by Mary-Kate and Ashley: Crush Course in 2001.
In 2002 n-Space moved on to new console platforms and created their first game for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube: Mary-Kate and Ashley: Sweet 16: Licensed to Drive. It was a Mario Party-like board game featuring the Olsen twins.
No new titles were released until 2005 until the Nintendo DS version of GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. It was a quick work for hire project done in four months. During that time n-Space also created the DS version of their n-Gin technology. It was also the first Nintendo DS game to support 8-person play from a single card. Duke Nukem aside, the studio started to focus on more mature themes. After many years of licensed games the studio came with original IP with the game Geist (2005) for the GameCube. It took the team three years to complete the first-person title and they worked directly with the Nintendo legends Shigeru Miyamoto and Kensuke Tanabe. Approximately 300,000 units sold in the GameCube's twilight.
In 2007 three more titles were released: Winx: Join the Club, their first PSP title, the Nintendo DS version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (250,000 in sales), and the DS adaptation of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (200,000 in sales). The work on the Call of Duty franchise was continued with the DS title Call of Duty: World at War (2008), and also Hue Pixel Painter. It was a companion title packed on the same cart as Tony Hawk's Motion. Hue was developed to use a unique accelerometer cartridge that plugs into the GBA slot. Players could tilt the DS to guide Hue as he attacks the evil Drabs while painting color back into the black-and-white fantasy world.
In 2008 n-Space brought its first WiiWare title on the market: Target Toss Pro: Bags, as an adaptation of a popular arcade title about the backyard sport of "cornhole". Up to 16 players could compete in a variety of team and cutthroat modes.
The year before, in 2007, the studio was working on the survival horror Title for the Wii. In 2009 however it was announced the game would never be fully developed. According to O’Leary: "In almost every case we got hung up with the sales and marketing groups. They simply could not get behind a survival horror title on the Wii," [...] "In spite of great sales for Resident Evil 4 and the Umbrella Chronicles, these groups were unable to support the projections required to create a viable [profit and loss statement] for the title." [...] "The idea of an 'adult' game on what they perceived to be a 'kids' console was simply too big a leap for them, regardless of the enthusiastic support of the PD department and the Wii's total domination in the marketplace".
In 2009 n-Space employed about 130 employees.
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Related Web Sites
- n-Space, Inc. (official website)
- Wii's Lost Game: Winter (an in-depth overview of the Winter game that never came about, on IGN (20th January 2009))
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