The adoption of Karma marks Lionhead's first use of middleware, as the studio has previously written all of its own game development tools and code 'in-house'. Lionhead's technical decision-makers carried out a thorough evaluation of all of the currently-available middleware physics solutions before opting to licence Karma from MathEngine.
“It is a massive feather in our cap that Lionhead has chosen to use Karma in the console versions of Black and White, not least because the original game's 'home grown' physics code was so impressive,” says Mike Gamble, Development Director of MathEngine. "We are very pleased to have been chosen above all of the competition for such an auspicious project and look forward to this being the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with one of the world's finest game developers."
It was a difficult decision for us to use middleware on the console versions of Black and White, but the tight development schedule and steep learning curve which we would have had to master to bring the game to two new platforms eventually gave us little option," says Peter Molyneux, Managing Director of Lionhead Studios.
"Once we had made the decision to go down the middleware route, however, Karma was the only logical choice, as it was the only solution which produced results which were comparable to those which we would have achieved through our own efforts."
The original version of Black & White, which was developed for Windows-based personal computers and released in April 2001 has sold more than 2,000,000 copies worldwide. The two game console versions are expected to achieve similar levels of success.