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Subatomic Studios Chooses Autodesk for 'Fieldrunners 2'

Autodesk 3D animation software speeds up mobile game development for Subatomic Studios.

SAN RAFAEL, CA -- Subatomic Studios turned to Autodesk 3ds Max 3D animation software to create Fieldrunners 2, available now for the iPhone. This long-awaited sequel to the award-winning tower defense mobile game is recognized as one of the Apple App Store's earliest successes. 3ds Max helped the studio deliver an enhanced sequel to the hit title, while reducing development costs and shortening the time it took Subatomic to bring the new game to market.

"With mobile game development, it's all about balancing high-quality and speed of execution. This marketplace evolves so fast, you have to make a game in nine months; otherwise, it's going to be history. As a company we have evolved to create games faster and Autodesk has made that job a lot easier for us," said Sergei Gourski, chief financial officer and lead technical artist at Subatomic Studios.

"I think a lot of developers underestimate the amount of time and money they can save working with 3ds Max. The software pays for itself very quickly," added Jamie Gotch, CEO of Subatomic Studios.

Although Fieldrunners 2 looks two-dimensional, Subatomic Studios developed the title on a 3D game engine and built all of its assets in 3D with 3ds Max software. This enabled the studio to create stand-out graphics and more fluid animation. The third dimension added depth to the game's scenes, which enhanced the gameplay by creating a new approach to maze-building.

"It would have taken anywhere from several weeks to several months to animate a single game asset by hand, depending on its complexity. By using 3ds Max we were able to compress this down to just a few weeks per asset. Plus, we found even bigger time savings when it came to iterating. The software let us try things out very quickly and see our work in-game with just the click of a button," explained Gotch.

The software also helped Subatomic optimize "Fieldrunners 2" for iOS, and it can be used to more easily prepare the game for release on additional platforms in the future.

"3ds Max allows our engineers to very quickly tweak the animations to fit the memory needs of a device or platform. We are able to cut a game's size down by 30 to 50 percent, by selectively exporting animations. This is hugely beneficial for mobile game development, when you can make a big impact on the game with just a few extra kilobytes," said Derrick Barth, technical artist.

To learn more about how Subatomic Studios used 3ds Max to develop Fieldrunners 2, visit

Source: Autodesk

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.