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Top Game Developers Call on Microsoft to Actively Support OpenGL

SEATTLE, Wash., June 12, 1997 /PRNewswire/ -- An impressive list of game developers released an open letter to Microsoft Corporation today, calling on the company to actively support the OpenGL 3D API for games on Windows95 and WindowsNT. This letter -- included below -- makes it clear that top game developers want the choice to use OpenGL, and they want Microsoft to work with them to provide OpenGL on its platforms.

"We're using OpenGL as our hardware API for Descent III. It has all the functionality we need now, and because it's extensible, it can change as our needs change," said Matt Toschlog, of Outrage Entertainment and Parallax Software. `"The gaming industry would greatly benefit from a good interface between OpenGL and DirectDraw, and Microsoft is in the best position to provide one."

Commenting on OpenGL's stability and maturity as a proven high-performance 3D API, Greg Zeschuk, Producer on BioWare's Shattered Steel 2, says, "OpenGL allows BioWare to concentrate on game design and gameplay rather than worry that our 3D API will be radically altered before release of the final game."

John Carmack, Technical Director of id Software, reiterated id's commitment to OpenGL: "All of the Quake derived games being released over the next year and a half are written to OpenGL for 3D acceleration. Hopefully, OpenGL support will be a supported part of Win95, but third party solutions are available for us to use if necessary."

Carmack continued, "The best thing Microsoft could do for the game community would be to release the Win95 OpenGL MCD framework to allow hardware vendors to easily build robust, full featured drivers. Without Microsoft's help, there will be several partial implementations to satisfy specific requirements, resulting in version problems and incompatibilities. The strengths of OpenGL are important enough that it is going to be used one way or another, but life would be so much better if Microsoft cooperated."

The open letter to Microsoft Corporation follows:

We, the undersigned professional game developers, call on Microsoft to continue its active OpenGL development, to ship its DirectDraw bindings for OpenGL and the Windows95 MCD driver-enabled OpenGL, and to continue to improve its implementation of the OpenGL API and its driver models by aggressively supporting common extensions and future ARB-approved standard features. As developers, we believe the choice of which 3D API to support for our games should be ours alone.

We want any 3D API competition to happen on an open technical playing field, with us, the people who actually write the games, deciding which APIs we should and should not use. This open technical competition is healthy for the industry and will result in better games and 3D technology. We recognize Microsoft must take part in creating this technically competitive environment because of their control over the operating system, and we urge the company to be a positive force in doing so by actively supporting OpenGL. The entire PC game industry will benefit as a result.


   Bill Baldwin         Brian Hook          William Scarboro
   Sean Barrett         Andrew Howe         Jason Shankel
   Ken Birdwell         Brent Iverson       Zachary Simpson
   Seamus Blackley      Rick Johnson        David Stafford
   Stefan Boberg        Dave Kaemmer        Tim Sweeney
   John Carmack         Donavon Keithley    Chris Taylor
   Glenn Corpes         Jason Leighton      Dave Taylor
   Steve Crane          John Lemberger      Trey Taylor
   Mark Dochterman      Peter Lincroft      Cameron Tofer
   Jim Dose             Mike Linkovich      Matt Toschlog
   James Fleming        Jonathan Mavor      Neall Verheyde
   Rick Genter          Stan Melax          Charlie Wallace
   Ed Goldman           John Miles          Kevin Wasserman
   Chris Green          Doug Muir           Patrick Wilkinson
   Robin Green          Casey Muratori      David Wu
   Mike Harrington      John Nagle          Pat Wyatt
   Ryan Haveson         Mike Newhall        Billy Zelsnack
   Chris Hecker         Jay Patel           Greg Zeschuk
   Lawrence Holland     John Romero
This page was last edited on 22 January 2007, at 03:53.