I would like to extend my personal heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in the Personal Programming Kit survey. Your input has been invaluable and edifying, and will weigh heavily in our decision-making process.
You may still fill out the survey if you wish. Your responses will still be read by me and logged, but they will not be part of the data used to make our decision (though they may well be reviewed should we decide to move forward).
As soon as we have made a decision, we will announce it on the Net. Again, my sincerest thanks for your time.
Leo L. Schwab
The 3DO Company
As you know, we're working feverishly on our next-generation 64-bit system. While we're very excited about the totally new kinds of entertainment our system will make possible, we're also thinking about other kinds of applications our customers might be interested in.
One thing we've noticed about the much-vaunted "Early Adopters" is their high level of technological literacy. Many of them know or are interested in computer programming. Some of them are very talented (and a few are downright insane).
Those of you who've been around for a while may remember how highly talented individuals like these wrote "demos" for the Amiga computer. The sheer energy of these people, combined with the sophistication of their visual and musical extravaganzas, helped keep Amiga alive to this very day. It also drove other capable individuals to try to accomplish the same thing on their PCs; demos of startling sophistication are just now starting to appear for Intel-based platforms.
But more than just cool demos, they showed what was possible on these machines. And that helped other people think of other ideas, which in turn led to more discoveries of what was possible, and so on. The results of this upward spiral were astonishing. Games like Doom owe their heritage to this cycle of exploration.
Our sense is that this phenomenon wants to happen again; that people feel too constrained by existing platforms to explore their ideas fully, and may see our technology as a way to fully realize their concepts in a way that popular PC-hosted operating systems can't. We suspect that there are a lot of people that would like to explore the capabilities of a system that has been optimized for 3D graphics performance.
At 3DO, we're extremely interested in knowing what can be done with our systems. We have lots of highly talented people here. We have several other third-party developers. But even so, we can't possibly explore everything that is possible with our technology. We need more people to play with the machine to see what it can do.
So we're thinking about giving you the chance.
3DO is thinking about using the technology we've developed to create a low-cost system that could be purchased by anyone and used to write their own software.
Our current thinking is that the environment would be oriented primarily towards computer hobbyists and "geeks," and would not be like the professional environment we offer our commercial developers. (You would not, for example, be able to use this programming kit to cut CDs.) Thus, the proposed system and toolset you'll see below reflects this thinking. No whiz-bang Visual Java++ with Standard Network Object Framework Class Libraries and drag-and-drop decremental compiles; just real simple, real basic, real solid tools.
However, there are a few things we're not sure about, and that's what this survey is for. Our primary goal is to discover what the interest level would be for such a product. Our other major goal is to see if there are any components you think such a system should have that we haven't thought of. Or perhaps you think a basic toolset is too, well, basic, and would prefer something higher-level. Or perhaps you think we don't have both warp engines engaged... Whatever your view, we're interested in hearing it.
Please be clear: We are not committing to do this, we are simply thinking about it. Help us to know whether it's worth our time to do more than just think about it.
Our sincerest thanks for your time and help.
If your Web browser cannot handle HTML tables, follow this link instead.
If you have any questions or comments regarding this survey, please direct praise and flames alike to the guy at the bottom of the page.
If you're interested in learning more about The 3DO Company, please feel free to visit our home page.