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| title = BRender Power Rendering System
 
| title = BRender Power Rendering System
 
| developer = [[wikipedia:Argonaut_Games|Argonaut Technologies Ltd]]
 
| developer = [[wikipedia:Argonaut_Games|Argonaut Technologies Ltd]]
| designer = Sam Littlewood<br />Dan Piponi<br />Simon Everett<br />Philip Pratt
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| designer = [[wikipedia:Jez_San|Jez San]]<br />Sam Littlewood<br />Dan Piponi
| release = 1994: v1.0<br />1995: v1.1.2<ref>[http://www.martinreddy.net/pubs/pdf/vrs95b.pdf "A Survey of Level of Detail Support in Current Virtual Reality Solutions"], Martin Reddy, December 1995, ''p.2''</ref><br />1996: v1.2.1<br />1997: v1.3<br />1998: v1.4
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| release = 1995: v1.0<br />1996: v1.2.1<br />1997: v1.3<br />1998: v1.4
 
| platforms = Microsoft Windows<br />MS-DOS<br />Mac OS (Classic)<br />OS/2<br />Sony PlayStation<br />SEGA Saturn
 
| platforms = Microsoft Windows<br />MS-DOS<br />Mac OS (Classic)<br />OS/2<br />Sony PlayStation<br />SEGA Saturn
 
| genre = [[wikipedia:Game_engine#Rendering_engine|Graphics engines]]
 
| genre = [[wikipedia:Game_engine#Rendering_engine|Graphics engines]]
 
}}
 
}}
  
Argonaut's '''BRender''' (abbreviation of '''Blazing Renderer''') is one of the first development toolkits and a real-time 3D [[wikipedia:Game_engine#Rendering_engine|graphics engines]] for computer games, simulators and graphic tools. It appeared in the software-rendered engines era, during 1994, and was developed and licensed by now defunct [[wikipedia:Argonaut_Games|Argonaut Software]]. The engine had support for Intel's MMX instruction set, software drivers including DirectDraw, and in later years was able to make the jump to hardware-rendering via its 3D hardware device drivers. It supported Microsoft Windows, MS-DOS, Mac OS (Classic), OS/2, Sony PlayStation and SEGA Saturn platforms. It was competing at the time with two other graphics engines: Criterion's [[wikipedia:RenderWare|RenderWare]] and RenderMorphics' [[wikipedia:Reality_Lab|Reality Lab]].
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Argonaut's '''BRender''' (abbreviation of '''Blazing Renderer''') is one of the first development toolkits and a real-time 3D [[wikipedia:Game_engine#Rendering_engine|graphics engines]] for computer games, simulators and graphic tools. It appeared in the software-rendered engines era, around 1994, and was developed and licensed by now defunct [[wikipedia:Argonaut_Games|Argonaut Software]]. The engine had support for Intel's MMX instruction set, software drivers including DirectDraw, and in later years was able to make the jump to hardware-rendering via its 3D hardware device drivers. It supported Microsoft Windows, MS-DOS, Mac OS (Classic), OS/2, Sony PlayStation and SEGA Saturn platforms. It was competing at the time with two other graphics engines: Criterion's [[wikipedia:RenderWare|RenderWare]] and RenderMorphics' [[wikipedia:Reality_Lab|Reality Lab]].
  
Besides the performance and portability, part of the appeal is due to its accessibility as it came with standard support for popular 3D and image formats (especially [[wikipedia:Autodesk_3ds_Max|3D Studio Max]]), with extensive documentation and examples, and with a diverse licensing/pricing range as well as trial packages. Many industrial and entertainment softwares used BRender for rendering such as [[wikipedia:Silicon_Graphics|SGI]]'s FireWalker<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/19961029065116/http://www.argonaut.com:80/otherinf/press/sgifeb96.html#TopofPage "Silicon Studio to Integrate BRender into Firewalker Authoring System"], 04 March 1996</ref>, Microsoft's [[wikipedia:3D_Movie_Maker|3D Movie Maker]] and Electronic Arts' [[wikipedia:Wing_Commander:_Privateer#Sequel|Privateer 2]]. As consoles embraced graphics engines, its [[wikipedia:PlayStation_(console)|PlayStation]] support also ensured its use for many titles on the platform until the early 2000. While famous until the late 90s to the point of versions 1.1.2 and 1.2.1 being pirated<ref>[https://defacto2.net/f/a5496?dosmachine=svga&dosspeed=max DeFacto Emag, 8], 18 June 1996</ref><ref>[https://defacto2.net/f/a5496?dosmachine=svga&dosspeed=max Reality Check Network, 15], 26 May 1996</ref>, the development kit has completely vanished since then and most of the currently available resources have resurfaced thanks to archiving efforts such as the Internet Archive and its Wayback Machine.
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Besides the performance and portability, part of the appeal is due to its accessibility as it came with standard support for popular 3D and image formats (especially [[wikipedia:Autodesk_3ds_Max|3D Studio Max]]), with extensive documentation and examples, and with a diverse licensing/pricing range as well as trial packages. Many industrial and entertainment softwares used BRender for rendering such as [[wikipedia:Silicon_Graphics|SGI]]'s FireWalker<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/19961029065116/http://www.argonaut.com:80/otherinf/press/sgifeb96.html#TopofPage "Silicon Studio to Integrate BRender into Firewalker Authoring System"], 04 March 1996</ref>, Microsoft's [[wikipedia:3D_Movie_Maker|3D Movie Maker]] and Electronic Arts' [[wikipedia:Wing_Commander:_Privateer#Sequel|Privateer 2]]. As consoles embraced graphics engines, its [[wikipedia:PlayStation_(console)|PlayStation]] support also ensured its use for many titles on the platform until the early 2000. While famous until the late 90s to the point of version 1.2.1 being pirated<ref>[https://defacto2.net/f/a5496?dosmachine=svga&dosspeed=max Reality Check Network, 15], 26 May 1996</ref>, the development kit has completely vanished since then and most of the currently available resources have resurfaced thanks to archiving efforts such as the Internet Archive and its Wayback Machine.
  
 
Even though the retrogaming and modding generation didn't hit BRender-powered titles as hard as popular games such as [[wikipedia:Doom_(1993_video_game)|Doom]], in the 2010s BRender is still at the center of ongoing projects as the 3D Movie Maker, [[Carmageddon]] and [[wikipedia:Croc:_Legend_of_the_Gobbos|Croc]] online communities develop new content and tools according to the engine specifications.
 
Even though the retrogaming and modding generation didn't hit BRender-powered titles as hard as popular games such as [[wikipedia:Doom_(1993_video_game)|Doom]], in the 2010s BRender is still at the center of ongoing projects as the 3D Movie Maker, [[Carmageddon]] and [[wikipedia:Croc:_Legend_of_the_Gobbos|Croc]] online communities develop new content and tools according to the engine specifications.
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{{StoryBox|After trying various packages Stainless Software chose to write Carmageddon with BRender because it was the only rendering solution which allowed the features and the level of flexibility we needed.<br />The API was written by gamers for gamers, and that makes a great difference which we hope is reflected in the quality of our software.<ref>[http://web.archive.org/web/19980512054054/http://www.argonaut.com:80/html/body_brender_reviews.htm BRender Reviews], archived 12 May 1998</ref><br />'''-- Mat Sullivan'''}}
 
{{StoryBox|After trying various packages Stainless Software chose to write Carmageddon with BRender because it was the only rendering solution which allowed the features and the level of flexibility we needed.<br />The API was written by gamers for gamers, and that makes a great difference which we hope is reflected in the quality of our software.<ref>[http://web.archive.org/web/19980512054054/http://www.argonaut.com:80/html/body_brender_reviews.htm BRender Reviews], archived 12 May 1998</ref><br />'''-- Mat Sullivan'''}}
  
In the meantime, Stainless Software took advantage of their Mac port<ref>[https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/alt.games.carmageddon/u_OfUyOUiIs/EsE-dXTq0TQJ "Linux and Carmageddon"], comment by Andrew Scott (Carmageddon TDR2000 producer) in alt.games.carmageddon, 27 January 1999</ref> and knowledge of BRender to go on with their own effort, still titled ''[[3D Destruction Derby]]'' at the time they pitched it to [[wikipedia:The_Sales_Curve|Sales Curve Interactive]]<ref>[http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-06-01-the-cunning-stunts-of-stainless "The Cunning Stunts of Stainless"], Eurogamer.net, 01 June 2012</ref>. Adding their collision and deformation system upon BRender as well as a yet improved Plaything suiting the development needs, Carmageddon was on the way. The way the physics code and action replay system were added made them indissociable from the BRender graphics engine. Despite already implemented in the base game, BRender blend tables were only taken advantage of in the [[Carmageddon Splat Pack|Splat Pack]] expansion to achieve translucency in level materials. At first the game made use of the engine's flagship feature, the software rendering, in both 320x200 and 640x480 resolutions in MS-DOS. Both modes were made available from the Windows 95 environment some time later. And finally Voodoo and Voodoo2 support was painstakingly added even later as ''[[wikipedia:3dfx_Interactive|3dfx]] patches''.
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In the meantime, Stainless Software took advantage of their knowledge of BRender to go on with their own effort, still titled ''3D Destruction Derby'' at the time they pitched it to [[wikipedia:The_Sales_Curve|Sales Curve Interactive]]<ref>[http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-06-01-the-cunning-stunts-of-stainless "The Cunning Stunts of Stainless"], Eurogamer.net, 01 June 2012</ref>. Adding their collision and deformation system upon BRender as well as a yet improved Plaything suiting the development needs, Carmageddon was on the way. The way the physics code and action replay system were added made them indissociable from the BRender graphics engine. Despite already implemented in the base game, BRender blend tables were only taken advantage of in the [[Carmageddon Splat Pack|Splat Pack]] expansion to achieve translucency in level materials. At first the game made use of the engine's flagship feature, the software rendering, in both 320x200 and 640x480 resolutions in MS-DOS. Both modes were made available from the Windows 95 environment some time later. And finally Voodoo and Voodoo2 support was painstakingly added even later as ''[[wikipedia:3dfx_Interactive|3dfx]] patches''.
  
 
[[Image:Stainless_ad.jpg|thumb|200px|right|Stainless posted an ad in EDGE issue 26]]
 
[[Image:Stainless_ad.jpg|thumb|200px|right|Stainless posted an ad in EDGE issue 26]]
By then, [[Carmageddon II|Carmageddon 2]] was already in development. Again an enhanced version of Plaything, promoted to ''Plaything 2'' for the occasion, coupled to new 3D Studio Max 2 plugins helped the developers create and setup the levels, cars and pedestrians for the game. Carmageddon 2 put the emphasis on [[wikipedia:Graphics_processing_unit|hardware accelerated graphics]] by support of the [[wikipedia:Direct3D|Direct3D]], [[wikipedia:Glide_(API)|Glide]] and [[wikipedia:QuickDraw_3D|RAVE]] API. Software mode was also featured but this time only in 320x200 and within Windows. It must be noted that unlike Carmageddon 1, graphic assets for Carmageddon 2 weren't made with regard to the software mode 256 color limited palette. This is explained by the focus on 16 bit textures to map the environments.
+
By then, [[Carmageddon II|Carmageddon 2]] was already in development. Again an enhanced version of Plaything, promoted to ''Plaything 2'' for the occasion, coupled to new 3D Studio Max 2 plugins helped the developers create and setup the levels, cars and pedestrians for the game. Carmageddon 2 put the emphasis on [[wikipedia:Graphics_processing_unit|hardware accelerated graphics]] by support of both [[wikipedia:Direct3D|Direct3D]] and [[wikipedia:Glide_(API)|Glide]] API. Software mode was also featured but this time only in 320x200 and within Windows. It must be noted that unlike Carmageddon 1, graphic assets for Carmageddon 2 weren't made with regard to the software mode 256 color limited palette. This is explained by the focus on 16 bit textures to map the environments.
  
 
{{StoryBox|Carma was probably the highlight of working on BRender - they were a great team - I used to drive down to the Isle of Wight to do support, every visit would see more craziness.<br />They were unashamedly making something that they themselves wanted, with really very few concessions.<ref>[https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/2o2bh2/17_year_old_carmageddon_debugging_symbols_file/cmjdzl0/ Comment by BRender's ''guru'' Sam Littlewood], "17 year old 'Carmageddon' debugging symbols file dumped" in r/Gamedev on Reddit, 02 December 2014</ref><br />'''-- Sam Littlewood'''}}
 
{{StoryBox|Carma was probably the highlight of working on BRender - they were a great team - I used to drive down to the Isle of Wight to do support, every visit would see more craziness.<br />They were unashamedly making something that they themselves wanted, with really very few concessions.<ref>[https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/2o2bh2/17_year_old_carmageddon_debugging_symbols_file/cmjdzl0/ Comment by BRender's ''guru'' Sam Littlewood], "17 year old 'Carmageddon' debugging symbols file dumped" in r/Gamedev on Reddit, 02 December 2014</ref><br />'''-- Sam Littlewood'''}}
  
While not the last game to use BRender, Carmageddon 2 is probably to most ambitious and the one to take BRender the farthest. At that point, by the addition and update of their physics code, artificial intelligence, and development environment, Stainless Software had basically turned their heavily modified version of the BRender graphics engine<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/20021001184505/http://www.sci.co.uk:80/games/basic.asp?version_id=33&path=Developer_Interview.htm "Developer Interview"], SCi's Carmageddon 2 main page, archived 01 October 2002</ref> into a proper [[wikipedia:Game_engine|game engine]], nicknamed ''Beelzebub''<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/20050205080813/http://stainlessgames.com:80/technology/ "Our Technology"], Stainless Games website, archived 05 February 2005</ref>. This, with the early release of development tools, might explain the longevity of the modding scene for the game, each year pushing asset complexity a bit further. The game was patched a couple of times. Amongst other things, patch 1.02 (aka. v2) raised the resource limits greatly and allowed much larger fan-made levels.
+
While not the last game to use BRender, Carmageddon 2 is probably to most ambitious and the one to take BRender the farthest. At that point, by the addition and update of their physics code, artificial intelligence, and development environment, Stainless Software had basically turned the BRender graphics engine into a proper [[wikipedia:Game_engine|game engine]], nicknamed ''Beelzebub''<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/20050205080813/http://stainlessgames.com:80/technology/ "Our Technology"], Stainless Games website, archived 05 February 2005</ref>. This, with the early release of development tools, might explain the longevity of the modding scene for the game, each year pushing asset complexity a bit further. The game was patched a couple of times. Amongst other things, patch 1.02 (aka. v2) raised the resource limits greatly and allowed much larger fan-made levels.
  
 
After the release, they used a modified Carmageddon 2 as a base to pitch a [[wikipedia:Hot_Wheels|Hot Wheels]] game to [[wikipedia:Mattel|Mattel]] but it didn't go further. The ''Hot Room'' level and die-cast car ''Flashfire'' were available amongst the C2 development assets and brought back into the game by fans. Stainless Software then moved on to a gladiatorial 3D physics based combat game project using their BRender-based game engine: [[Arena AD]] was set to be released by late 1999 - early 2000 and seemed to be quite advanced when it was showcased at [[wikipedia:Electronic_Entertainment_Expo|E3]] '99<ref>[https://archive.org/stream/PC_Zone_Issue_080_1999-09_Dennis_Publishing_GB#page/n19/mode/2up/ "Bloody Stainless"], PC Zone issue #80, September 1999</ref>. However a mishap in development schedule tore apart the already tense Stainless-SCi business relationship and had financial consequences. This was not only the end for Arena AD but for Stainless Software as well, the team had to merge with [[wikipedia:VIS_Entertainment|VIS Entertainment]]. In late 2001, Patrick Buckland revived the studio as Stainless Games and the rest of the team was back by 2003, Neil Barnden included.<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.stainlessgames.com/history "History: Stainless Games' ride"], Stainless Games website</ref> They brought back their own ''Beelzebub'' technology elaborated through the Carmageddon series development, and little by little replaced the last remnants of the BRender engine in the code as they modernized the graphics engine features.
 
After the release, they used a modified Carmageddon 2 as a base to pitch a [[wikipedia:Hot_Wheels|Hot Wheels]] game to [[wikipedia:Mattel|Mattel]] but it didn't go further. The ''Hot Room'' level and die-cast car ''Flashfire'' were available amongst the C2 development assets and brought back into the game by fans. Stainless Software then moved on to a gladiatorial 3D physics based combat game project using their BRender-based game engine: [[Arena AD]] was set to be released by late 1999 - early 2000 and seemed to be quite advanced when it was showcased at [[wikipedia:Electronic_Entertainment_Expo|E3]] '99<ref>[https://archive.org/stream/PC_Zone_Issue_080_1999-09_Dennis_Publishing_GB#page/n19/mode/2up/ "Bloody Stainless"], PC Zone issue #80, September 1999</ref>. However a mishap in development schedule tore apart the already tense Stainless-SCi business relationship and had financial consequences. This was not only the end for Arena AD but for Stainless Software as well, the team had to merge with [[wikipedia:VIS_Entertainment|VIS Entertainment]]. In late 2001, Patrick Buckland revived the studio as Stainless Games and the rest of the team was back by 2003, Neil Barnden included.<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.stainlessgames.com/history "History: Stainless Games' ride"], Stainless Games website</ref> They brought back their own ''Beelzebub'' technology elaborated through the Carmageddon series development, and little by little replaced the last remnants of the BRender engine in the code as they modernized the graphics engine features.
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: ''The following doesn't necessarily apply to console ports of BRender''
 
: ''The following doesn't necessarily apply to console ports of BRender''
  
By default, actors, models, materials and textures (pixelmaps) are respectively stored as .ACT, .DAT, .MAT and .PIX files. Shade and blend tables as well as palettes are pixelmaps with .TAB and .PAL extensions. Some games might store information differently, modify the format specifications or use different formats altogether. All BRender formats but the actors can be aggregated into single, bigger files with their respective extension, serving then as libraries of sorts. Materials can be stored as [[wikipedia:Binary_file|binaries]] or as clear text, then called ''material scripts'', as seen in the example below:
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By default, actors, models, materials and textures (pixelmaps) are respectively stored as .ACT, .DAT, .MAT and .PIX files. Shade and blend tables as well as palettes are pixelmaps with .TAB and .PAL extensions. Some games might store information differently, modify the format specifications or use different formats altogether. All BRender formats but the actors can be aggregated into single, bigger files with their respective extension, serving then as libraries of sorts. Materials can be stored as [[wikipedia:Binary_file|binaries]] or as clear text as seen in the example below:
  
 
<pre style=" color: #f9f9f9; background-color: black;">material = [
 
<pre style=" color: #f9f9f9; background-color: black;">material = [
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|''[[Arena AD]]'' (cancelled) || 1999 || Windows || Stainless Software
 
|''[[Arena AD]]'' (cancelled) || 1999 || Windows || Stainless Software
 
|-
 
|-
|''Bob Bondurant's High Performance Driving''<ref>[http://www.vectorslave.com/alphadyme/MichaelSchlachterResume.html "Michael A. Schlachter - Graphics and Simulation Programmer"], curriculum vitae</ref> || 1996 || Mac || Fathom Pictures
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|''Bob Bondurant's High Performance Driving'' || 1996 || Mac || Fathom Pictures
 
|-
 
|-
 
|''Bundesliga Manager 97'' || 1996 || MS-DOS || Software 2000
 
|''Bundesliga Manager 97'' || 1996 || MS-DOS || Software 2000
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|-
 
|-
 
|''F1 Manager Professional'' || 1997 || MS-DOS || Software 2000
 
|''F1 Manager Professional'' || 1997 || MS-DOS || Software 2000
|-
 
|''Freelancer 2120'' (cancelled)<ref>[http://www.atarihq.com/jeo/jeo_0203.htm "Whatever Happened to Freelancer?"], Jaguar Explorer Online, Vol.2, Issue 3, 18 October 1998</ref> || 1994 || MS-DOS || Imagitec Design
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
|''[[wikipedia:FX_Fighter|FX Fighter]]'' || 1995 || MS-DOS || Argonaut Software
 
|''[[wikipedia:FX_Fighter|FX Fighter]]'' || 1995 || MS-DOS || Argonaut Software
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|''Kanaan'' (cancelled) || 1998 || Windows || Argonaut Software
 
|''Kanaan'' (cancelled) || 1998 || Windows || Argonaut Software
 
|-
 
|-
|''Motor Mash'' || 1997 || MS-DOS, Windows, PlayStation || Eutechnyx
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|''Motor Mash'' || 1997 || Windows, PlayStation || Eutechnyx
 
|-
 
|-
 
|''[[wikipedia:Pete_Sampras_Tennis_%2797|Pete Sampras Tennis 97]]'' || 1997 || MS-DOS, Windows, PlayStation || Codemasters
 
|''[[wikipedia:Pete_Sampras_Tennis_%2797|Pete Sampras Tennis 97]]'' || 1997 || MS-DOS, Windows, PlayStation || Codemasters
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|''[[wikipedia:Queen:_The_eYe|Queen: The eYe]]'' || 1998 || MS-DOS, Windows || Destination Design
 
|''[[wikipedia:Queen:_The_eYe|Queen: The eYe]]'' || 1998 || MS-DOS, Windows || Destination Design
 
|-
 
|-
|''Search And Rescue (SAR)'' || 1997 || Windows || Interactivision A/S
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|''Uprising X''<ref>[https://archive.org/stream/NextGeneration50Feb1999/Next_Generation_50_Feb_1999#page/n103/mode/2up/ "Finals: Uprising X"], Next Generation #50, February 1999</ref> || 1998 || PlayStation || 3DO
|-
+
|''Sensible Soccer '98'' || 1997 || Windows || Sensible Software
+
|-
+
|''Sensible Soccer: European Club Edition'' || 1997 || Windows, PlayStation || Sensible Software
+
 
|-
 
|-
|''Uprising X''<ref>[https://archive.org/stream/NextGeneration45Sep1998/Next_Generation_45_Sep_1998#page/n49/mode/2up/ "Alphas: Uprising X"], Next Generation #45, September 1998</ref><ref>[https://archive.org/stream/NextGeneration50Feb1999/Next_Generation_50_Feb_1999#page/n103/mode/2up/ "Finals: Uprising X"], Next Generation #50, February 1999</ref> || 1998 || PlayStation || 3DO
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|''VR Baseball '96'' || 1996 || MS-DOS, Windows || Interplay Productions
 
|}
 
|}
  
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==References==
 
==References==
{{reflist}}
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<references/>

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