Realtime Games Software

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Fast facts on Realtime Games Software
Founded: 1984-05-08
Headquarters: Leeds, United Kingdom

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Realtime Games Software[1] was a video game development company founded in Leeds, United Kingdom on May 8th 1984 by Ian Oliver, Andrew Onions and Graeme Baird. It was the very first third-party software developer hired by Sega of America, for developing games, expecially for porting the MS-DOS version of M-1 Abrams Battle Tank to his 16-bit console (Realtime Games Software founders had been making games since college[2] having developed a wireframe tank simullation called 3D Tank Duel for ZX Spectrum based on the Atari arcade game Battlezone). It was during the development of M-1 Abrams Battle Tank, that Ian Oliver, facing dificulties in porting the MS-DOS version of the game to the Mega Drive, created the command-line assembler SNASM68K, which made porting games more easier and gave developers high speed download to target machines and remote debugging (replacing developers reliance on the limited PDS Programmers Development System[3]), thus expanding his relationship with Sega, which turned out to be the largest costumer of Cross Products, a company founded by Oliver in 1989 that Sega ended up buying in 1994, as part of his ongoing development tools strategy at the time.

Realtime Games Software was hired by Sega for two projects, though only M-1 Abrams Battle Tank would see completion. The other, a racing game based on 70's police show Streets of San Francisco[4] was cancelled because developers couldn't get the frame rate to a level high enough to make it enjoyable. The game was 75% complete when it was discarded for not meeting Realtimes's standards for quality.


Mega Drive


  2. Interview: Ian Oliver (2012-05-10) by Bohemia Interactive