The Art of Making Games at IGN (by Matt Casamassina)
- 19 Oct 2000
- By Matt Casamassina, Denis Dyack, and IGN
It wasn't until 1996, however, that the name Silicon Knights would be recognized by mainstream gamers and it was all due to a huge PlayStation hit called Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. The brainchild of Dyack and company art director and writer Ken McCulloch, Kain was an isometric RPG published by Crystal Dynamics that stood out thanks to some beautifully crafted visuals and a very westernized storyline. In a period when nearly all RPGs came from Japan, the title proved that a North American take on the genre could be executed with exactly the right balance of content and gameplay.With Kain a franchise was born, but unfortunately for Silicon Knights it was a franchise fraught with outside politics and a fight for ownership. In 1997 the relationship between Silicon Knights and publisher Crystal Dynamics dissolved and one year later reports surfaced that the Canadian development house had filed a lawsuit against its former partner. The suit alleged that Crystal Dynamics, then at work on its own sequel in the Kain franchise, had stolen the concept for Kain 2 from a secret project that Silicon Knights had been working on, and it also proposed an injunction to keep Crystal Dynamics from marketing its follow-up.
The suit was privately settled, enabling Crystal Dynamics the rights to use the franchise and its characters for future sequels, so long as it was noted that developer Silicon Knights was the series' original creator. Rather than dwell on the subject, Silicon Knights reluctantly made a company decision to leave its beloved franchise in the hands of its former partner and press forward with a new franchise of its own. That's exactly what it did and In 1998 Too Human, a massive, four-disc, futuristic PlayStation RPG was born to life. ...