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Background
Abstract Worlds Ltd. was formed in 1998 by Paul Ireland, a software developer with development experience spanning back to 1982.
 
Graduating from Aston University with a degree in Computer Science, Paul moved on to the business community to develop a wide range of software including multimedia products, financial systems, commercial database systems, user interfaces, executive information systems, websites and development tools.  A variety of development tools were used from lower level languages to higher level rapid application development environments, and the varied nature of the work brought Paul into contact with many different team structures, software tools, methodologies, architectures, companies and people.
 
Building on past experiences, Abstract Worlds was formed with a simple philosophy:
  • Bigger isn't better.  Throwing more people and more money at a project is no guarantee of success, in fact it is more likely to cause problems.  On the other hand, small, highly focused teams can achieve great things.
  • Work smart not hard.  Make the right product using the right people, the right architectural design and the right tool - in that order of importance.  If the right tools do not exist then those tools should be created first.
These ideas are applied to the way Abstract Worlds does business, allowing the company to:
  • Produce high quality innovative products
  • Remain small, independent, lean and mean
In November 1998, 6 months after the company was formed, we released our first PC game called Close Approach.  This game was a 3D accelerated, first person asteroids shooter and the world's first 3D accelerated action game developed in Visual Basic.  By developing our own 3D engine in VB, C, and DirectX versions 3, 5, and 6, we had started to develop 3D games in VB over a year before Microsoft eventually added a VB interface to DirectX with the release of DirectX 7.
 
We have made mistakes too.  Our main blunder was signing Close Approach on a 2 year exclusive publishing contract with a publisher who turned out to be incapable of making distribution deals.  This meant that Close Approach generated zero revenue during that period, and Abstract Worlds had to focus on general consultancy and development for other companies in order to keep a healthy cash-flow.
 
Since then Abstract Worlds has been making a steady comeback.  At the start of 2002 Close Approach v2 finally made it to retail shelves at CompUSA, the leading retailer and reseller of personal computer-related products and services in the US.  Since 1998, we have been steadily improving our original game Close Approach and it's underlying high-end 3D engine.   Since 2000, we have been quietly researching and developing new technology and new products for both the PC and Java mobile phone market, including an entirely new low-end 3D engine.  February 2003 saw the launch of our first 3D Java mobile game, StrangeMaze 3D, based on our new low-end 3D engine.  2003 also saw a new release and re-launch of Close Approach available to buy online. Since 2004 we have been working on a variety of web projects for other clients, whilst reinvesting in the R&D of our core tools in readiness for new product releases... watch this space.
Sun 26 Mar 2017Copyright © 2017 Abstract Worlds Ltd.