About Playnet / Cornered Rat Software
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Written by RAFTER   
Monday, 16 June 2008 22:32

 Playnet
 ABOUT PLAYNET

Playnet Inc., a privately held corporation, was organized and started business operations in May 1999 and is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas.

Playnet specializes in design and development of the full range of 3D technologies and development tools required to build as well as operate its own and 3rd-party massively multi-player online games (MMOGs) as part of an Internet-based, international, subscription service.

Proprietary technologies include a (CRS) MMOG engine, terrain engine, physics engine (including proprietary flight modeling, ballistics and damage models, special effects and particle system, and collision detection), 3D sound system, FPS animation middleware and our TeulKit and TeulServer Internet networking code for which Playnet has a US patent-pending application. 

CORE TECHNOLOGIES 

Core technologies, developed and proven with real-world application delivery, include:

Game client architecture supporting an advanced physics loop, real-time, complex object integration (weapons, troops, vehicles, aircraft, ships etc), advanced rendering and special effects technologies such as multi-source lighting, particle effects, 3D sound, and many more features.
Host-Client transport layer supporting 128 visible avatars per single scene delivered in a low bandwidth / low cost per customer data stream via a proprietary patent pending distributed architecture.
Proprietary content creation toolsets for game object attribute modeling, character animation creation, terrain and environment creation, advanced scenario construction and special event design/delivery.
Web interfaced billing, customer service, and data mining database toolsets allowing for accurate customer tracking and streamlined administration; plus many more client applications and host processes.
Most of the abovementioned applications/systems are currently in second/third generation internal development with focus on advancing the graphical presentation qualities and increasing the fidelity of the terrain and environmental details and game play features for our current project, World War II Online - Battleground Europe, and for use in other MMOG projects.

ABOUT CORNERED RAT SOFTWARE

Playnet operates an internal software design and development studio called, "Cornered Rat Software". This studio is responsible for game project development as well as feature updates and support for existing titles.

The staff includes true MMOG pioneers, with several members of the creative, programming and production teams having previous development and operational experience with up to 6 MMOG titles before the start of Playnet, dating back to 1995.

In June 2001, Playnet launched the industry's first MMOG First Person Shooter, delivered as a combined-arms virtual battlefield (World War II Online - Blitzkrieg). A ton of new ground was broken in regards to network code, physics and weapon modeling as well as support for an online, zoneless 3D world measuring 354,889 square miles with an in-game visibility limit of 20 kilometers. With more than 350,000 registered users over its 8+ year history, the game continues to maintain a steady subscriber base and continues to benefit from on-going updates (40+ major feature/content updates).

ABOUT WWII ONLINE: BATTLEGROUND EUROPE

The product plan for World War II Online includes several expansion packs. The first release in the newly titled, Virtual Battlefield Series (VBS), "Battleground Europe", was published in December 2005 for retail distribution in the UK, Australia and several European countries. It greatly expanded the geography and the timeline, the available equipment and weapons, features and gameplay mechanics from the "Blitzkrieg" release in 2001.

Our development and production teams have planned a series of expansion packs to follow Battleground Europe, first for the European Theatre then eventually taking gameplay outside of Western Europe and into new theaters such as North Africa and the Pacific.

OTHER BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
Technology Licensing and “Serious Games” Projects

In July 2001 representatives of the US Defense Science Board conducted a technology review of Playnet's core MMOG technologies. Their ‘Summer Study on Science and Technology’ included specific emphasis on current game industry technologies that could benefit or advance the state-of-the-art of certain military simulations for tactical and strategic training and related applications for the US military’s future.  According to a key study participant, Playnet’s was one of only four companies’ technology from the games industry specifically referenced in the final report made to the Office of The US Secretary of Defense in October 2001.

Early in 2002 this exposure led to a contract with AT&T Government Systems Group . Playnet performed as part of a 4 company team under sub-contract to AT&T for a client in the Pentagon, office of Assistant Secretary of Defense. The client only funded the 1st two phases of the project and did not exercise their option to fund full production.

In 2006 Playnet was again approached by a defense industry contractor in the UK to explore licensing Playnet’s technologies and to hire Playnet to develop a PC-based modern-day battlefield simulator for a client in the UK Ministry of Defense. This UK-based defense contractor signed a licensing and support agreement to use Playnet’s MMOG technologies in their project, and Playnet was hired and successfully delivered, on-time and on-budget, a development services contract for that modern/future battlefield simulator project.

As of the 4th quarter of 2009 Playnet is still actively pursuing several highly targeted opportunities for contract and/or licensing opportunities in the 'Serious Games' market.  Potential, near-term business is currently being investigated for teaming arrangements with government contractors and one direct contract with a US Navy client for "advanced traing systems" and 3D visualization projects. 

Playnet has a licensing agreement with a Chinese company that has organized to participate as an online games operator in the fast-growing MMOG market in greater China (China, Macao, Hong Kong, and Taiwan). This licensing partner has successfully received full Operational publishing authority, which is required by the Chinese Government.  They are preparing a modified, Chinese-localized version of Battleground Europe for a Chinese market open beta test, scheduled for late 2009 and the start of commercial operations, scheduled to begin around January 2010.  Playnet will supply ongoing game content development support in exchange for a significant percentage of Gross Revenue share. 

Playnet is currently seeking partners for marketing, distribution and publishing, and/or a "strategic partner" to provide "studio/development funding" for:

Acceleration of market expansion for Battleground Europe and new MMOG product development projects; and extension/advancement of Playnet's next-generation core technologies.

 

 

Contact Information

Jim Mesteller
President and CEO
Playnet Inc.
1901 Central Drive, Suite 400
Bedford, Texas 76021
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