Origin Software Technology Entertainment Report

Courtesy of Pioneer Dragon, The Origin Gallery is pleased to present a technology report/industry brochure from Origin Systems — which has been broken out into over a dozen images — profiling the company’s corporate culture and spotlighting several of its new and upcoming games (such as Ultima 7 and Wing Commander 2).

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This “software entertainment technology report” gives some details about the founding of Origin Systems and looks at the state of the company in 1991 (when the report was authored). It goes into detail about a number of new and upcoming games at the time — Ultima UnderworldMartian DreamsUltima 7Wing Commander 2, and Strike Commander — and looks at the “electronic games revolution” and the changes in the gaming industry.

It also echoes the verbiage that Pioneer Dragon encountered in the letter he received from Origin concerning a job inquiry:

Gone are the days when a single programmer can sit in his room and create all of the design, code, artwork, sound and testing required to complete a product. Today’s typical state-of-the-art product requires a team of 15 to 25 specialists working for 12 to 18 months.

Once again, Origin both anticipated and was at the forefront of a trend that has continued, in the gaming industry, into the modern era, in which top-tier games are produced now by teams (and with budgets) rivaling those of Hollywood productions.

Other topics, like a section on “cinematic game design”, anticipate trends in both game development and movie-making. The report also gives short biographies of both Richard Garriott and Chris Roberts, Origin’s “top two visionaries” before devoting its remaining pages to examining the above-listed games.

Much of the brochure is written in the form of a dialogue, posing questions and giving answers. Because it’s an industry-focused piece, the writing is a bit more technical and not quite as laden with sales jargon as one might otherwise expect (although it is not free from same, to be sure). It’s a fascinating glimpse at both the corporate culture at Origin immediately prior to their acquisition by Electronic Arts, and also a fine look at the development styles that they nurtured and espoused.

Anyhow, enjoy. Pull up the images or the PDF — although I would recommend downloading the PDF if your intent is to print anything — and pore over them. Find all the little details and revelations you can, and just enjoy reading about Origin in its heyday. The Origin Gallery is indebted to Pioneer Dragon for providing this material, and to everyone who worked at Origin Systems for creating the company they did.

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