Shattering: The End Of Looking Glass

By Kieron Gillen on June 22nd, 2010 at 4:39 pm.

A pilgrimage there, one day.

This is turning into an oddly sad day here at RPS. Pete Closs forwards this footage of the last day at Looking Glass: May 25th 2000. About 40 minutes of the last seconds of one of the greatest developers of all time. Impromptu silly interviews with everyone you care to mention. Discover who will play everyone in the inevitable Looking Glass movie and see Lulu Lamer brag about her Unreal Tournament skills. Hurrah! But mainly sniff.

(Actually, I have vague, vague, vague memories of maybe some of this footage being online before… but not mentioned on RPS, so fuck it. I know it’s OLD so be gentle)

“Right, go for it. Go.”
“Go where?”
“Go anywhere you want. Just go home.”

.

54 Comments »

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  1. Joe Martin says:

    This is a bit old, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen it too. Bought a tear to my eye – or, it would…but my eyes have been augmented.

    • KeenanW says:

      What a shame.

    • Ryan Holtz says:

      This is not correct – these videos only went live on the 21st of this month. I know this because I was the guy who Mike – the Looking Glass designer who shot the video – gave the video to to cut up and put on YouTube.

    • Ehcmier says:

      Thanks Ryan Holtz and Mike Chrzanowski!

  2. Hidden_7 says:

    I remember coming home from school, going online, and seeing this news, and just being devastated. I think I was about 13 or so at the time. Looking Glass Studios made all my favorite games, who would make me games now that they were gone. It was one of those moments where you come face to face with your first experience of real loss, and suddenly the world is a very different place from the one you woke up in.

  3. Pete Closs says:

    Then your eyes shall cry servo fluid Joe.

    Gone but not forgotten.

  4. Vivian says:

    you make-a me sad

  5. Ted says:

    You posting this made me well up too – it’s amazing that after all this time Looking Glass Studios still have such an emotional affect on me.

    They made all my favourite games too.

    Ultima Underworld
    System Shock
    Thief
    Deus Ex

    to name a few.

    I played Ultima Underworld after months spent addicted to Doom. I was blown away by the graphics and this seemingly never ending incredibly detailed world. I had to fish, eat. Their magic system of runes filled a notebook as I tried to figure out its alphabet and predict new spells as I came across scrawled notes on the bodies of dead explorers. My actions in the world had consequences. I hacked at doors in frustration at times and discovered that they would actually break open…

    To date no other game has yet come close, not if you strip away the graphics. I’ve always thought of Morrowind & Oblivion as being spiritual successors, but neither have yet got to the end of the path first trod by UU.

    Don’t even get me started on the rest of the games.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      (They didn’t make Deus Ex, btw)

      KG

    • Ted says:

      Well done that man!

      I was subconsciously plotting the trajectory of all things Looking Glass awesomeness and then fired Warren Spector from the bowels of their offices (orifices?) and into Ion Storm thus adding Deus Ex onto my list ;)

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      (They didn’t make Deus Ex…

      Yes, and it shows.

      Ultima Underworld, Thief and System Shock (1 AND 2) are all still completely and utterly enjoyable today, and display a far greater pooling of talent, imagination, design and sheer greatness than pretty much any other game available on PC. Yes I am going to make that generalisation. (For what it’s worth, I’d shove in Doom, Descent, Realms Of The Haunting and Blood in that list as well.)

    • TheTingler says:

      Technically speaking they didn’t make System Shock 2 either…

    • TheSombreroKid says:

      although they didn’t make system shock 2 or deus ex both the teams were entirely populated by looking glass vertans and would never have made htose games without having spent time at origin and looking glass & the irrational guy made system shock 2 from the same office.

  6. hmfr says:

    now your tear ducts are redirected to your mouth. so you have to spit (or swallow) if you need to cry. which makes it awesomely philosophical. and gibsony.

  7. Jahova says:

    My anus is bleeding

  8. Fergus says:

    Amazing that a team that created so many classic games could go out of business. But then they never were the sort to milk a franchise, as so many modern games corporations do to turn their profit.

  9. YogSo says:

    “We intentionally charted new game design territory … to thrive and grow the game industry must take some creative risks and continue to innovate. Although Looking Glass has fallen, we pass on the flag to those who are up to the challenge.”

    R.I.P. Looking Glass. The game industry may have failed your legacy, but we haven’t forgotten you.

    Also, related to Kieron’s post: Final Days, a photographic tribute to Looking Glass Studios.

  10. Krikey! says:

    LGS was (and still is) one of my favourite devs. I was really shocked to see them go out of business. I don’t remember playing a single game from them that I didn’t like. Well, I didn’t really play much of Terra Nova, but the rest are classics, and well-deserved too.

  11. Mojo says:

    The end of an era.

  12. Taillefer says:

    Awww, this is gold, and so sad. I remember them joining us on IRC, as they did occasionally, to confirm the bad news. Miss you, Looking Glass.

    Totally should have posted this 12 minutes later, Kieron.

  13. Tei says:

    o7

  14. Tang says:

    Terra Nova was brilliant. That is all.

    • Doctor_Hellsturm says:

      So, so, soooo brilliant. SNIFF!

    • Zerotonine says:

      TO THE SQUAD!

      What a brilliant game, too short though :(.

    • TheSombreroKid says:

      i will remake terra nova one day that is all.

    • MadMatty says:

      Terra Nova was absolutely fantastic at the time.
      Whats wrong with society when people as good as these shut down?!?

  15. Lucas says:

    You can hear LG guys talking about “Deus Ex” and “how it’s coming along” while Steve Pearsall is on camera. http://is.gd/cZoYQ

  16. Cpt. Sqweky says:

    I will always remember Looking Glass Studios. So few developers could compete with the quality of their game. I also remember the fateful day when their closing was announced. Stupid Eidos… grumble, grumble.

  17. Jonas says:

    Can anybody tell what they’re saying about Deus Ex just before 5:20 in the second clip? All I can make out is something like “How’s it looking?” “Pretty good, I think they have some issues with the […?]”

    • stahlwerk says:

      “They are having some issues with Nicholas Cage

    • The Dark One says:

      The less fun answer is “accessibility and-“, before it cuts to later on in the day.

  18. Maale says:

    I still have their farewell message on my wall, printed a decade a go.

  19. Justin Keverne says:

    Woah… This did very nearly bring tears to my eyes… Jeez.

  20. Dominus says:

    MORE ON LOOKING GLASS STUDIOS OVER HERE

    http://lgsgames.wordpress.com/

  21. dspair says:

    The movie never came out, unfortunately.

  22. Ehcmier says:

    Thanks Pete! Thanks Kieron! Thanks Dominus! Thanks Looking Glass!

  23. The Dark One says:

    My grandmother still has the same dinky speakers hooked up to her PC as the guy 5:50 into the third video.

  24. TheTingler says:

    Two of the biggest losses that have hit me hardest in my life (not counting relatives, friends and pets): 1. Douglas Adams, and 2. Looking Glass.

  25. Bart Stewart says:

    DOOM was a blast (especially on the 486), but Ultima Underworld was the game I’d been waiting my whole life to play… or so I thought until System Shock blew my mind. Thief was pretty amazing, too.

    No one else has made games like LGS. And now that consoles rule the world, it’s unlikely that anyone else ever will.

    On the other hand, the alumni of Looking Glass have gone on to spread good game-making elsewhere: Irrational (System Shock 2), Harmonix (Guitar Hero, Rock Band), and of course Ion Storm (Deus Ex). I wish someone would write a book like Hackers or The Soul of a New Machine to tell the whole LGS story.

    That would be a good read.

  26. diebroken says:

    Sic transit gloria LGS…

  27. Ehcmier says:

    The Looking Glass Memorial Chat: http://www.sshock2.com/articles/00.htm

    Viridian is the username of the awesome forum member that sent them the beer. :)
    I don’t know who that is, since it’s not his/her TTLG username.

  28. newt says:

    “Salt the fries.”

    btw Randy Smith is TOTALLY Jeff Anderson from Clerks.

  29. demagogue says:

    I really connect with the LGS philosophy on games, and the current market seems so out of touch with it when Farmville is the big new paradigm. But at least the legacy of LGS will always be there, percolating, being quietly influential. “Keep playing games.”

  30. Office Casual says:

    I don’t know how many of you are simmers, but LG’s Flight Unlimited series included two of the best civilian flightsims I have ever encountered. Satellite imagery and fully functional ATC years ahead of Microsoft along with a feeling of flight that is right of there with more modern sims. The series played a large role in me getting my pilot’s license, and it was quite a blow when I heard the news of LG’s demise.

    Long live Flight Unlimited and Looking Glass…

  31. whaaa says:

    What is odd for me is that I didn’t exactly play (or even finish when I did) any of their games. I but I would read a lot about them in gaming mags like CGW and I would be always wowed at the mechanics of their game.

    Odd part is that without playing and all I always felt sad when I learned LGS was no more. The same goes for Ion Storm.

    Anyways, going to wait for next COD, Crysis and GenericFPS3000 sequel now.

  32. Christian says:

    Man, Looking Glass was the BEST!
    I have fond memories of playing Ultima Underworld for the first time. I recently played it through for the second time in my life and it´s still an awesome experience. My favorite game of all times is Thief 1 though. I recently sold off all my games (too little time to actually play them), but I kept Thief 1. It´s just so deep! I will always return to it from time to time. Come back Looking Glass!!!!

  33. Kdawg88 says:

    An iconic games development company. More people need to know about these games.