Red Baron creator seeks to revives franchise, hints at Red Baron 4

Posted by David on October 20, 2009 11:15 PM

Red Baron (1990) coverIf you were at all paying attention, last month Mad Otter Games acquired to rights to the Red Baron series.  So what is Mad Otter?  It's a gaming company headed by Damon Slye, who co-founded Dynamix and created the original Red Baron series back in 1990.  This acquisition gives them the rights to Red Baron, Red Baron II, and Red Baron 3D.

Here's what Damon has to say about it, related to us via longtime RB3D veteran Flybert:

"I'm trying to figure out how to reconstruct this game and make it viable in 2009. We weren't looking for the Red Baron rights, it just suddenly dropped in my lap unexpectedly. .. rights bounced around from Dynamix to Sierra to Vivendi to Activision to GarageGames before unexpectedly finding its way back to me, like some crazy boomerang."
There's one small problem - as you may recall from one of my earlier updates, no one knows exactly where the source code is.  Because of this, Mad Otter has offered $1,500 for the first person to deliver the original C/C++ code to any of the games.

Red Baron II source code surfaces

Then our old friend Flybert popped up and claimed to have the source code:
Now that I can't get in trouble for having it ..

I've had, for a few years now, the source code for RBII circa rb2_1.5 sans graphics module

I'm in touch with Damon and have this available to him to download

also made him aware I/we have MCU.exe, Matilda.exe and TED.exe

I also have 'source' objects CD .. and of course all the original .3ds files

I'm not particularly interested in the $1500 as much as either helping to re-issuing RB3D in a more modern form OR more importantly, being involved with making a new Red Baron sim

-Flybert on the SWWISA forums
He posted this to both the SWISSA forums and the forums at Wings of Honour, who has been monitoring these developments quite closely.

Meanwhile, after these developments Mad Otter made Red Baron 1 and Red Baron 3D available for purchase for $9.99.

Flybert has been in communication with Damon and offered the possibility of future additions to Red Baron 3D: "Damon definitely wants the entire community involved in a positive way .. Chances are a new official forum and website will be set up for community input and testing of development betas *if* this goes forward".

Red Baron 4?

If that's not enough news for you, there's one more juicy tidbit from Eurogamer last week that strongly hints at the possibility of Red Baron 4 becoming a reality:

Red Baron creator Damon Slye has told Eurogamer he wants to build "a new version [of the game] with a modern engine", now that he has re-acquired the licence from Activision Blizzard.

"I have a lot of ideas for the design," said Slye. "There is a lot of value in the name Red Baron. It's one of a kind."

This is quite exciting!  I really hope I will soon have more to report on this, as Red Baron is and remains my favorite franchise.

Background info on Mad Otter (from Gamasutra)

Mad Otter Games logo
"Mad Otter was founded by Damon Slye, co-founder of Dynamix and designer of 1990's original Red Baron. The Mad Otter team includes numerous other former Dynamix staffers.

Slye himself left game development in 1994, before the release of 1997's Red Baron II, but returned in 1997 to start up Mad Otter.

The company has developed the game Ace of Aces for InstantAction, the web-based game platform created by GarageGames -- another company with considerable Dynamix heritage, including having been originally founded by Slye's fellow Dynamix co-founder Jeff Tunnell."

Gamasutra, Eurogamer, Wings of Honour