Tales of the Rampant Coyote

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GarageGames / InstantAction / TorquePowered Closing Doors?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 11, 2010

Looks like InstantAction – including The Company Formerly Known As GarageGames – is now shuttered and looking for buyers. Don’t think I can afford it. 🙂

InstantAction Ceasing Operations, Looking For a Buyer…

Dang. Kind of a bummer, but not totally surprising. I blame Unity. That sucker is pretty much taking over indie development (the part that wasn’t consumed by Flash, at least).

I guess I should quit holding my breath for a new improved version of Torque 2D, now, huh?

Filed Under: Biz, Indie Evangelism - Comments: 13 Comments to Read

  • eedok said,

    I don’t think it’s so much Unity’s fault for being better, but Garage Games fault for not keeping Torque up to par, out of all the tools/engines I’ve used Torque3D is by far the most frustrating

  • eedok said,

    also appears gamebryo is dead too: http://www.gamingbusinessreview.com/emergentsellsassets.htm

  • Andy_Panthro said,

    Surely Bethesda alone should have filled Gamebryo’s coffers?

    How many on-going projects is this going to affect?

  • McTeddy said,

    That is indeed sad news.

    Eric was my optimization teacher in college. He really loved what they were doing there. He was of those few people who really believed in Indy Developers. It’s sad to see his part coming to an end.

    As for unity, I’ve heard nothing but good things. An artist I’ve worked with in the past has been trying to make his own games for a long time. He’s used everything from ogre to Torque… but Unity is the first one that he’s been successful.

    If nothing else, at least we know that people still have tools to make games.

  • getter77 said,

    Wow, I’d figured if anything the competition with Unity would have both be MORE lively in turn than otherwise. What’s next Shiva3D?

    A best case would be some sort of open source foundation dealie if some quality buyer can’t be reckoned—but it seems like a crazy time indeed for the lot of it. Here’s hoping all that tech doesn’t go to waste.

  • Greg Tedder said,

    That’s not good. I hate to see good competition die. Though I do agree they kinda sunk themselves.

    And I quit holding my breath for that new T2D a long time ago. A shame, all the existing one needed was a few more months of intensive TLC, and for them to listen to their existing customers on the features that they wanted.

    And even though I am bought and sold on unity at the moment, I could get a basic game up and working faster in TGB than with any other method I have used. I do lament this loss.

  • Gareth said,

    I don’t think it’s Unity killing Torque so much as that InstantAction failed. I think Torque was considered a sideline to the business that bought them both, with IA being the focus. When IA wasn’t making enough profit the parent company gave it the chop and Torque ended up on the block with it.

    I won’t deny that Unity seems to be dominating the indie engine market right now though.

  • eedok said,

    Talked with someone I used to collaborate using Torque with to see what they were up to these days, and they’re using the free UDK from Epic, so Unity was definitely not alone with this

  • LateWhiteRabbit said,

    Yeah. Eedok hit the nail on the head. The Unreal Engine is now free with the UDK, and offers cutting edge AAA game development at no cost on the front-end for indie developers. New advances in game engine tech are even incorporated into the UDK on nearly a month by month basis as well. Combine that with Unity, with its free license and cheap license for full features, well . . . .

    I think the biggest think to kill Torque (at least for me) was lack of documentation. It is criminally hard to find good documentation for all of its features. If a new user has to depend on help from other users to do even basic things, the engine is doomed to fail.

    Compare that to the UDK which has a massive wiki that is easily searchable and constantly updated with new features and kept up to date with source code and fresh examples each time a change is made to the engine and it is no surprise that indie development is flocking to it and Unity for 3D game creation.

  • Xenovore said,

    @ LateWhiteRabbit: That is a good point — Torque’s documentation was actually pretty decent; the problem was finding it. When the wiki was created (years ago now), it was supposed to be the place to go, but received only infrequent updates and has largely been ignored. The only recourse left for new devs was the forums, but getting answers was often a crapshoot there.

  • Meh said,

    In another two years I predict Indy as we know it won’t exist, it might be replaced by individuals running industry strength tools. Not to say they aren’t already available but you have to look at the larger picture, it will take time to evolve into something robust.

    Assuming the world doesn’t turn into a steaming pile of cloud trash!

  • Carlos said,


    this is better

  • Boston said,


    Who did not see this coming? I have a few title made with TGB, but I would not use Torque again.

    There is better stuff out there for casual games. Like the PlayGround SDK from PlayFirst, and other. It’s free.

    BTW Unity also sucks.