Lara Croft: From Flatland to 3D (1999)
Tomb Raider's star becomes an "interactive playtool" online.
by IGN Staff - January 18th, 1999
Taking advantage of Lara Croft's massive universal popularity, Eidos and web development company Flatland agreed today to take Lara into unseen territories, and to turn her into a veritable Web-based Mrs. Potatohead.
Using Flatland's easy-to-use 3D building tools, Tomb Raider game fans can build virtual environments resembling the worlds found within this popular 3D game. Based on HTML, 3DML is Flatland's 3D Web publishing format that uses a basic building block metaphor for users to create 3D spaces by arranging ready-made blocks into complete environments. These environments can be seen with the Flatland Rover, a free software application extension to Netscape Navigator 3.0, 4.0,4.5 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0.
"The Flatland Rover has added a new kind of interactivity to our Tomb Raider web site and introduces an engaging tool to our online community," said Paul Baldwin, VP of Marketing at Eidos Interactive. "As a company that produces immersive environment games, we are excited about extending this new kind of 3D experience to our Tomb Raider fans online. Now they can build their own 3D Web pages based on the game they know and love."
One group of Tomb Raider fans, Team WittRaider, has already made use of the tools.
"The WittRaider spot is a stunning example of what can be easily created with the rich textures from Lara Croft's world and the Flatland Rover," said Michael Powers, President and CEO of Flatland. "We look forward to working with Eidos on other game titles and to helping them build their online community by providing their fan base with future 3DML features that are even more exciting and easier to use," he said.
The Flatland Rover combines a user interface, seamless integration with common web browsers and high-speed display of 3DML content using thousands of colors, dynamic lighting and sound. The Flatland Rover installer is only a 1MB download, which takes less than six minutes on a 28.8 modem and is easy to install.
Want to give it a shot? Check out the Flatland Rover from the Flatland site at www.flatland.com. Tutorials and 3DML building guides are also available online.
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