Video game industry
The video game industry is the economic sector involved in the development and monetization of video games. It encompasses dozens of job disciplines and its component parts employ thousands of people worldwide; the computer and video-game industry has grown from focused markets to mainstream. They took in about US$9.5 billion in the US in 2007, 11.7 billion in 2008, 25.1 billion in 2010. Modern personal computers owe many advances and innovations to the game industry: sound cards, graphics cards and 3D graphic accelerators, faster CPUs, dedicated co-processors like PhysX are a few of the more notable improvements. Sound cards were developed for addition of digital-quality sound to games and only improved for music and audiophiles. Early on, graphics cards were developed for more colors. Graphic cards were developed for graphical user interfaces and games, they are one of the only pieces of hardware to allow multiple hookups. CD- and DVD-ROMs developed for mass distribution of media in general. Ben Sawyer of Digitalmill observes that the game industry value chain is made up of six connected and distinctive layers: Capital and publishing layer: involved in paying for development of new titles and seeking returns through licensing of the titles.
Product and talent layer: includes developers and artists, who may be working under individual contracts or as part of in-house development teams. Production and tools layer: generates content production tools, game development middleware, customizable game engines, production management tools. Distribution layer: or the "publishing" industry, involved in generating and marketing catalogs of games for retail and online distribution. Hardware layer: or the providers of the underlying platform, which may be console-based, accessed through online media, or accessed through mobile devices such as smartphones; this layer now includes network infrastructure and non-hardware platforms such as virtual machines, or software platforms such as browsers or further Facebook, etc. End-users layer: or the users/players of the games; the game industry employs those experienced in other traditional businesses, but some have experience tailored to the game industry. Some of the disciplines specific to the game industry include: game programmer, game designer, level designer, game producer, game artist and game tester.
Most of these professionals are employed by video game publishers. However, many hobbyists produce computer games and sell them commercially. Game developers and publishers sometimes employ those with extensive or long-term experience within the modding communities. Prior to the 1970s, there was no significant commercial aspect of the video game industry, but many advances in computing would set the stage for the birth of the industry. Many early publicly-available interactive computer-based game machines used or other mechanisms to mimic a display; some examples of these included the 1940 "Nimatron", an electromagentic relay-based Nim-playing device designed by Edward Condon and built by Westinghouse Electric for the New York World's Fair, Bertie the Brain, an arcade game of tic-tac-toe, built by Josef Kates for the 1950 Canadian National Exhibition, Nimrod created by engineering firm Ferranti for the 1951 Festival of Britain,The development of cathode ray tube—the core technology behind televisions—created several of the first true video games.
In 1947 Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann filed a patent for a "cathode ray tube amusement device". Their game, which uses a cathode ray tube hooked to an oscilloscope display, challenges players to fire a gun at target. Between the 1950s and 1960s, with mainframe computers becoming available to campus colleges and others started to develop games that could be played at terminals that accessed the mainframe. One of the first known examples is Spacewar!, developed by Harvard and MIT employees Martin Graetz, Steve Russell, Wayne Wiitanen. The introduction of easy-to-program languages like BASIC for mainframes allowed for more simplistic games to be developed. In 1971, the arcade game, Computer Space was released; the following year, Inc. released the first commercially successful video game, the original arcade version of which sold over 19,000 arcade cabinets. That same year saw the introduction of video games to the home market with the release of the early video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey.
However, both the arcade and home markets would be dominated by Pong clones, which flooded the market and led to the video game crash of 1977. The crash came to an end with the success of Taito's Space Invaders, released in 1978, sparking a renaissance for the video game industry and paving the way for the golden age of video arcade games; the game's success inspired arcade machines to become prevalent in mainstream locations such as shopping malls, traditional storefronts and convenience stores during the golden age. Space Invaders would go on to sell over 360,000 arcade cabinets worldwide, by 1982, generate a revenue of $2 billion in quarters, equivalent to $4.6 billion in 2011. Soon after, Space Invaders was licensed for the Atari VCS, becoming the first "killer app" and quadrupling the console's sales; the success of the Atari 2600 in turn revived the home video game market dur
Trine (video game)
Trine is a side-scrolling, action platform-puzzle video game developed by Frozenbyte and published by Nobilis. The game was released for Microsoft Windows in 2009, has since been ported to Linux, OS X, the PlayStation Network; the game takes place in a medieval fantasy setting and allows players to take control of three separate characters who can battle enemies and solve environmental puzzles. A sequel, titled Trine 2, was released in 2011. A remake of Trine, titled Trine: Enchanted Edition, was released in 2014; the enchanted edition uses Trine 2's updated engine, includes online multiplayer. The third installment in the series, Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power, was released on August 20, 2015. A fourth installment, Trine 4 is in development; the player switches between three different characters to try to complete levels. There is a cooperative play feature, whereby multiple players can join in at any time to control different characters simultaneously; each character has their own energy meter.
Energy is used for certain weapons and abilities, is replenished by blue-colored bottles found throughout levels. Health is replenished by collecting heart-shaped containers, which result from destroying certain enemies; the player has a single experience rating, shared among all characters, is incremented by acquiring green-colored bottles found throughout levels. Every 50 experience points, each character is given one point towards the purchase of upgrades to their abilities. Treasure chests are spread throughout levels, each containing a charm that offers the bearing character new or upgraded abilities; the player can transfer these objects between characters, though some will only have an effect on certain characters. Checkpoints are spread in the form of silver orbs on pedestals. Upon crossing a checkpoint, any deceased characters are brought back to life, any characters below a certain amount of health and energy are replenished up to that amount; the amount of energy and health replenished is dependent upon the difficulty setting chosen by the player.
When a character dies, the player must choose another living character to continue playing the level. If all three characters die, the player is sent back to the last checkpoint crossed, all three characters are resurrected. Enemies include walking skeletons and bats, along with boss characters, like giant skeletons and other large creatures; some skeletons are armed with swords, others with bows and arrows, some spit fire, some have shields. Skeletons are capable of scaling walls. Other dangers include lava, giant sharp pendulums, various other booby traps. Trine uses Nvidia's PhysX physics engine to provide objects and characters with full physics interaction. Zoya the Thief, the first of the three heroes introduced in the game, is voiced by Vicky Krueger; the Thief's weapon is her arrow. The bow can be “charged” by holding down the fire button before releasing, longer charges make for farther, straighter shots; the Thief has a grappling hook which can be fired at wooden surfaces. Regular arrows and the grappling hook are unlimited, do not diminish the Thief's energy.
At some point during the game, the Thief can acquire the ability to shoot flaming arrows, which do diminish her energy. Flaming arrows inflict more damage on enemies, can break certain objects, can light torches found in certain dark areas of the game; the Thief's possible upgrades include shooting more arrows with each shot, faster charging of the bow, more damage inflicted with the flaming arrow. She is the quietest of the three heroes, takes a strong liking to the magical forest ruins presented towards the end of the game. Amadeus the Wizard, voiced by Kevin Howarth, has the ability to use sorcery to move objects remotely, as well as conjure new objects into existence; the Wizard is only able to conjure a cube-shaped object. At some point in the game, he acquires the ability to conjure an oblong platform; the box and plank behave as normal objects, obeying the laws of gravity. The Wizard acquires the ability to conjure a floating object shaped like a square pyramid, which remains at a fixed point in space unless the Wizard moves it.
Conjured objects are used to help overcome obstacles and reach difficult areas. The plank, for example, can be used to bridge gaps. All conjuring and remote moving drains the Wizard's energy; the Wizard has no traditional attacks, however he can crush certain enemies by hurling objects into them. He can block attacks by conjuring or moving objects in their path; the Wizard's possible upgrades include the ability to conjure more than one box or plank into simultaneous existence, changing future conjured floating platforms into wood, making the floating platform into an explosive that the Knight or thief can trigger. In the game, he is shown as being wise but foolish, cowardly but determined, imagines himself to be a bit of a ladies man. Pontius the Knight's initial weapons are his shield, he is voiced in the game by Brian Bowles, is presented as a brave and loyal companion despite the fact he is not that bright, has a strong love for food and drink. The player can at some point acquire a flaming sword during the game, which the Knight can use to inflict more damage as well as use to light torches.
The Knight has the ability to lift certain objects and hurl them, his shield can be used to deflect enemy attacks
Linux Game Publishing
Linux Game Publishing is a software company based in Nottingham in England. It ports and sells video games running on Linux operating systems; as well as porting games, LGP sponsors the development of Grapple, a free software network library for games. As well as acting as a Linux game porter in of themselves, they function as a publisher for other Linux game developers and porters; the company was founded on October 15, 2001 by Michael Simms when the oriented Loki Software filed for bankruptcy. Simms had founded the Tux Games retailer a few years earlier, the collapse of Loki would have gravely affected his available stock. Linux Game Publishing had tried to pick up the support rights to many of Loki's titles, but in the end it was only able to acquire the rights to MindRover: The Europa Project, it was able, however, to independently pick up the publishing rights to Creatures: Internet Edition as well as the rights to the port of Majesty: Gold Edition, being developed by Tribsoft. Empowered by the addition of former Loki employee Mike Phillips, LGP released its first title on December 21, 2001.
In 2002 Ryan C. Gordon started porting the puzzle game Candy Cruncher to Linux and he was looking for beta testers; the first Linux version of Candy Cruncher was released in 2002 by Pyrogon as a digital download. LGP took interest in publishing Pyrogon games on physical CDs, on September 10, 2002, LGP and Pyrogon announced a publishing partnership for Pyrogon's Linux titles. Upon learning about the release of Postal 2 in 2003, Ryan decided to contact the developer behind it wondering if they would be interested in him making a port of the game to Linux. Loki had ported the original Postal to Linux, he was interested in keeping the franchise compatible. Running With Scissors agreed, the finished port was shipped on February 14, 2005, with LGP handling the publishing of the Linux version. In 2003, Hyperion Entertainment and Metropolis Software have extended their existing license agreement for Gorky 17. Linux gaming developers Steven Fuller and Joe Tennies joined to the Hyperion Entertainment game development team and they ported Gorky 17 to Linux, which three years was published by LGP.
David Hedbor and main programmer of Eon Games—an independent game development company specializing in creating games for desktop computers and handheld devices, ported NingPo MahJong and Hyperspace Delivery Boy! to Linux, which were published by LGP.. Eon Games stopped development and porting of games for Linux and other platforms in 2005. In 2003, LGP began working with Epic Interactive, a German company specializing in porting and publishing games to alternative platforms. Epic Interactive ported Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom and Software Tycoon to Linux. In 2005 Epic Interactive has changed its name to Runesoft Entertainment. In 2005 Czech development studio Mindware Studios released the Linux demo of Cold War. Cold War was the first LGP game published on a DVD disc. LGP gained the publishing rights to several other game titles including Soul Ride, as well as Disciples II: Dark Prophecy; the latter has been described by Michael Simms as "LGP’s DNF" and "the game that refused to be ported" and has been said to have been the cause of several resignations from the company, including that of aforementioned employee Mike Phillips.
It has still, alongside another long delayed game Bandits: Phoenix Rising, yet to be released. In 2005, LGP has announced the opening of their beta test for Linux version of X2: The Threat. On March 13, 2008 Finnish game company Frozenbyte announced a partnership with Linux specialist IGIOS Ltd to port and release Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds Survivor on the Linux platform. Both ports were published by LGP, LGP was involved in developing the Shadowgrounds Survivor port alongside IGIOS. In December 2008, LGP released X3: Reunion and X3: Reunion Special Edition, which were first games using copy protection and the new installer written to use the GTK2 toolkit and support for using XDG menus. In December 2008, LGP launched PenguinPlay, a new website for Linux gamers, allowing matchmaking for multiplayer games, social networking. In June 2009 they began offering downloadable games and game rentals. In August 2009 they grudgingly dropped support for all PowerPC games, stating that "demand for PPC versions of LGP games has been non existent".
On August 10, 2009 Michael Simms confirmed that LGP is working on an original simple game based on Sudoku. In September 2009 Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds Survivor were released, the latter becoming the first commercial game for Linux using the Nvidia PhysX middleware. In late December 2010 IGIOS Linux team founded new Finnish company Alternative Games, focus upon porting games to Linux as well as to Mac OS X, they will be ported Linux version of Trine for Frozenbyte without Linux Game Publishing. In late September 2010 the Linux Game Publishing server suffered a massive hard drive failure which took down all of their online infrastructure, including related websites such as Tux Games and The Linux Game Tome. Various other unforeseen issues caused the recovery not to take place until late November, with partial service being restored on November 23, 2010, with full recovery not being made until December 8, 2010, they have since stated that work is going well on their current project, that they have a working bu
Microsoft Windows is a group of several graphical operating system families, all of which are developed and sold by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. Active Windows families include Windows Embedded. Defunct Windows families include Windows Mobile and Windows Phone. Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces. Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer market with over 90% market share, overtaking Mac OS, introduced in 1984. Apple came to see Windows as an unfair encroachment on their innovation in GUI development as implemented on products such as the Lisa and Macintosh. On PCs, Windows is still the most popular operating system. However, in 2014, Microsoft admitted losing the majority of the overall operating system market to Android, because of the massive growth in sales of Android smartphones.
In 2014, the number of Windows devices sold was less than 25 %. This comparison however may not be relevant, as the two operating systems traditionally target different platforms. Still, numbers for server use of Windows show one third market share, similar to that for end user use; as of October 2018, the most recent version of Windows for PCs, tablets and embedded devices is Windows 10. The most recent versions for server computers is Windows Server 2019. A specialized version of Windows runs on the Xbox One video game console. Microsoft, the developer of Windows, has registered several trademarks, each of which denote a family of Windows operating systems that target a specific sector of the computing industry; as of 2014, the following Windows families are being developed: Windows NT: Started as a family of operating systems with Windows NT 3.1, an operating system for server computers and workstations. It now consists of three operating system subfamilies that are released at the same time and share the same kernel: Windows: The operating system for mainstream personal computers and smartphones.
The latest version is Windows 10. The main competitor of this family is macOS by Apple for personal computers and Android for mobile devices. Windows Server: The operating system for server computers; the latest version is Windows Server 2019. Unlike its client sibling, it has adopted a strong naming scheme; the main competitor of this family is Linux. Windows PE: A lightweight version of its Windows sibling, meant to operate as a live operating system, used for installing Windows on bare-metal computers, recovery or troubleshooting purposes; the latest version is Windows PE 10. Windows IoT: Initially, Microsoft developed Windows CE as a general-purpose operating system for every device, too resource-limited to be called a full-fledged computer. However, Windows CE was renamed Windows Embedded Compact and was folded under Windows Compact trademark which consists of Windows Embedded Industry, Windows Embedded Professional, Windows Embedded Standard, Windows Embedded Handheld and Windows Embedded Automotive.
The following Windows families are no longer being developed: Windows 9x: An operating system that targeted consumers market. Discontinued because of suboptimal performance. Microsoft now caters to the consumer market with Windows NT. Windows Mobile: The predecessor to Windows Phone, it was a mobile phone operating system; the first version was called Pocket PC 2000. The last version is Windows Mobile 6.5. Windows Phone: An operating system sold only to manufacturers of smartphones; the first version was Windows Phone 7, followed by Windows Phone 8, the last version Windows Phone 8.1. It was succeeded by Windows 10 Mobile; the term Windows collectively describes any or all of several generations of Microsoft operating system products. These products are categorized as follows: The history of Windows dates back to 1981, when Microsoft started work on a program called "Interface Manager", it was announced in November 1983 under the name "Windows", but Windows 1.0 was not released until November 1985.
Windows 1.0 was to achieved little popularity. Windows 1.0 is not a complete operating system. The shell of Windows 1.0 is a program known as the MS-DOS Executive. Components included Calculator, Cardfile, Clipboard viewer, Control Panel, Paint, Reversi and Write. Windows 1.0 does not allow overlapping windows. Instead all windows are tiled. Only modal dialog boxes may appear over other windows. Microsoft sold as included Windows Development libraries with the C development environment, which included numerous windows samples. Windows 2.0 was released in December 1987, was more popular than its predecessor. It features several improvements to the user memory management. Windows 2.03 changed the OS from tiled windows to overlapping windows. The result of this change led to Apple Computer filing a suit against Microsoft alleging infringement on Apple's copyrights. Windows 2.0
A stealth game is a type of video game in which the player uses stealth to avoid or overcome antagonists. Games in the genre allow the player to remain undetected by hiding, sneaking, or using disguises; some games allow the player to choose between a stealthy approach or directly attacking antagonists, but rewarding the player for greater use of stealth. The genre has employed espionage, counter-terrorism, rogue themes, with protagonists who are special forces operatives, thieves, ninjas, or assassins; some games have combined stealth elements with other genres, such as first-person shooters and platformers. Elements of "stealth" gameplay, by way of avoiding confrontation with enemies, can be attributed to a diverse range of games, including Pac Man. Early maze games have been credited with spawning the genre, including Manbiki Shounen, Lupin III, Castle Wolfenstein, 005; the genre became a mainstream success in 1998, with Tenchu: Stealth Assassins, Metal Gear Solid, Thief: The Dark Project all being released in that year.
These games were followed by other successful stealth series, such as Splinter Cell. Unlike most action games, stealth games challenge the player to avoid alerting enemies altogether; the core gameplay elements of the modern stealth game are to avoid combat, minimize making noise, strike enemies from the shadows. Completing objectives without being detected by any enemy, sometimes referred to as "ghosting" is a common approach to stealth games. Avoiding detection may be the only way to complete a game, but there are multiple ways to achieve a goal with different pathways or styles of play. Players can hide behind objects or in shadows, can strike or run past an enemy when the enemy is facing the other way. If the player attracts the attention of enemies, they may be able to hide and wait until the enemies abandon their search. Thus, planning becomes important; some stealth games put more emphasis on physical combat skill. Some games offer a choice between killing or knocking out an enemy; when ghosting is optional, or not well-supported by a game, players may still attempt to avoid combat for moral reasons or as a demonstration of skill.
Early on in the development of the stealth genre these games were referred to. When hiding in the dark is a gameplay element and shadow become important parts of the level design; the player is able to disable certain light sources. Stealth games emphasize the audio design when players must be able to hear the subtle sound effects that may alert enemies to their actions. Players who move recklessly will attract more attention. In order for a game to include stealth gameplay, the knowledge of the artificial intelligence must be restricted to make it ignorant to parts of the game world; the AI in stealth games takes into specific consideration the enemies' reactions to the effects of the player's actions, such as turning off the lights, as opposed to reacting to the player directly. Enemies have a line of sight which the player can avoid by hiding behind objects, staying in the shadows or moving while the enemy is facing another direction. Enemies can typically detect when the player touches them or moves within a small, fixed distance.
Overall, stealth games vary in what player actions the AI will perceive and react to, with more recent games offering a wider range of enemy reactions. The AI's movements are predictable and regular, allowing the player to devise a strategy to overcome his adversaries. Players are given limited methods of engaging opponents directly in stealth games, either by restricting the player to ineffective or non-lethal weapons, equipping adversaries with far superior equipment and numbers, or providing the player with a limited amount of health that makes most combat scenarios dangerous. Stealth games sometimes overlap with the survival horror genre, in which players are forced to hide from and evade supernatural or mundane enemies as they attempt to track down the player. Examples of hybrid stealth/horror games include Amnesia: The Dark Descent and the Penumbra video game series. According to Retro Gamer's John Szczepaniak, the first stealth game was Manbiki Shounen, published in November 1979; the PET 2001 personal computer game was developed by Hiroshi Suzuki and involves a boy entering a convenience store and attempting to shoplift by stealing "$" symbols while avoiding the line-of-sight detection of the owner.
If caught, the player is led away by the police. Suzuki presented the game to developer Taito, which used it as inspiration for their similar stealth arcade game, Lupin III, released in April 1980. In November 1980, Suzuki developed Manbiki Shoujo. Castle Wolfenstein available in 1981, employed stealth elements as a focus of the gameplay. Players were charged with traversing the levels of Castle Wolfenstein, stealing secret plans and escaping. Players could acquire uniforms to walk by guards undetected. Beyond Castle Wolfenstein, released in 1984, included some additions to its predecessor, such as a dagger for close-range kills and a greater emphasis on disguising in enemy uniform. Id Software's updated 1992 remake Wolfenstein 3D was going to feature some of the original's stealth gameplay, such as body hiding, but this was cut to make the game faster paced; as a result of these changes, Wolfenstein would instead pave the way for late
Linux is a family of free and open-source software operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is packaged in a Linux distribution. Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word "Linux" in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy. Popular Linux distributions include Debian and Ubuntu. Commercial distributions include SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Desktop Linux distributions include a windowing system such as X11 or Wayland, a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE Plasma. Distributions intended for servers may omit graphics altogether, include a solution stack such as LAMP; because Linux is redistributable, anyone may create a distribution for any purpose. Linux was developed for personal computers based on the Intel x86 architecture, but has since been ported to more platforms than any other operating system.
Linux is the leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers, the only OS used on TOP500 supercomputers. It is used by around 2.3 percent of desktop computers. The Chromebook, which runs the Linux kernel-based Chrome OS, dominates the US K–12 education market and represents nearly 20 percent of sub-$300 notebook sales in the US. Linux runs on embedded systems, i.e. devices whose operating system is built into the firmware and is tailored to the system. This includes routers, automation controls, digital video recorders, video game consoles, smartwatches. Many smartphones and tablet computers run other Linux derivatives; because of the dominance of Android on smartphones, Linux has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems. Linux is one of the most prominent examples of open-source software collaboration; the source code may be used and distributed—commercially or non-commercially—by anyone under the terms of its respective licenses, such as the GNU General Public License.
The Unix operating system was conceived and implemented in 1969, at AT&T's Bell Laboratories in the United States by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Douglas McIlroy, Joe Ossanna. First released in 1971, Unix was written in assembly language, as was common practice at the time. In a key pioneering approach in 1973, it was rewritten in the C programming language by Dennis Ritchie; the availability of a high-level language implementation of Unix made its porting to different computer platforms easier. Due to an earlier antitrust case forbidding it from entering the computer business, AT&T was required to license the operating system's source code to anyone who asked; as a result, Unix grew and became adopted by academic institutions and businesses. In 1984, AT&T divested itself of Bell Labs; the GNU Project, started in 1983 by Richard Stallman, had the goal of creating a "complete Unix-compatible software system" composed of free software. Work began in 1984. In 1985, Stallman started the Free Software Foundation and wrote the GNU General Public License in 1989.
By the early 1990s, many of the programs required in an operating system were completed, although low-level elements such as device drivers and the kernel, called GNU/Hurd, were stalled and incomplete. Linus Torvalds has stated that if the GNU kernel had been available at the time, he would not have decided to write his own. Although not released until 1992, due to legal complications, development of 386BSD, from which NetBSD, OpenBSD and FreeBSD descended, predated that of Linux. Torvalds has stated that if 386BSD had been available at the time, he would not have created Linux. MINIX was created by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a computer science professor, released in 1987 as a minimal Unix-like operating system targeted at students and others who wanted to learn the operating system principles. Although the complete source code of MINIX was available, the licensing terms prevented it from being free software until the licensing changed in April 2000. In 1991, while attending the University of Helsinki, Torvalds became curious about operating systems.
Frustrated by the licensing of MINIX, which at the time limited it to educational use only, he began to work on his own operating system kernel, which became the Linux kernel. Torvalds began the development of the Linux kernel on MINIX and applications written for MINIX were used on Linux. Linux matured and further Linux kernel development took place on Linux systems. GNU applications replaced all MINIX components, because it was advantageous to use the available code from the GNU Project with the fledgling operating system. Torvalds initiated a switch from his original license, which prohibited commercial redistribution, to the GNU GPL. Developers worked to integrate GNU components with the Linux kernel, making a functional and free operating system. Linus Torvalds had wanted to call his invention "Freax", a portmant
Trine 2 is a side-scrolling and puzzle video game developed by Frozenbyte. It is the sequel to Trine and was released on Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 in December 2011, for Linux in March 2012. Trine 2 allows three players to play the iconic roles of a wizard, a thief, a knight in a simultaneous cooperative mode. A Director's Cut edition was released via the Wii U's eShop on the console's launch day in all regions except Australia and Japan; the game was released as a launch title for the PlayStation 4 in North America and Europe in 2013. On February 13, 2019, it was announced that a port to the Nintendo Switch would be released on February 18, 2019. Trine 2 is a puzzle platform video game, requiring the player to use the skills of the three characters, Amadeus the wizard, Zoya the thief, Pontius the knight, to navigate each game level; as with the first game, the mystical "Trine" has bound the three characters together into one common entity, thus the player controls only one character which can be switched to the other two at any time.
Each of the characters has unique abilities: Amadeus can use magic to grab onto certain objects in the game world, create boxes and planks to be used to get around. A combination of these elements is necessary to complete each stage in the game's world. Characters have individual life meters, if one character's meter depletes, that character cannot be used until the next checkpoint is reached. If all three characters lose their life meter, the player must start back at the last checkpoint. Throughout the game world are special magical vials, for every fifty of these collected, the player receives a skill point, which can be used to gain abilities through a skill tree for each character; these skill points can be used collectively for each of the three characters, can be traded between them. Trine 2 supports up to three players in a cooperative mode. In this mode, each player controls one of the three characters. Two players can switch characters as long. If a character dies, the other players can revive the character at the next checkpoint.
The skill tree is shared based on the hosting player's saved game. Story elements are incorporated into the game through the use of an all knowing narrator as well as in-game scripted sequences. Scattered throughout the levels are letters and documents which further flesh out the backstory and provide additional insight into the game's characters. Trine 2 takes places some years after the restoration of the kingdom of the previous game and opens with Amadeus sleeping after a long night trying to once again learn the elusive fireball spell. A strange light shines upon him, beckons him to follow. Although somewhat perturbed, the wizard's curiosity overcomes his fear as he pursues the unearthly glow, which reveals itself to be the Trine. Upon his arrival Pontius appears, the Trine having summoned him after he protected peasant farms from magically overgrown vines, informs Amadeus that they are needed once more; the wizard is less than thrilled, not wanting to leave his wife and kids, but the knight persuades Amadeus that he must come.
They reunite with Zoya and the Trine starts them on their adventure, taking them to a mysterious wilderness of which they had never heard of or seen before. The three heroes are thrown into action after being attacked by bands of goblins. Along the way they encounter, of all things, a talking flower, which tasks them with finding her sister at the other side of the forest; the three heroes discover the path out, while a mysterious figure is overlooking their progress. The trio enter an eerie tree house, which Amadeus believes to be the home of a witch. After bypassing several traps meant to keep out the goblins, they meet the mysterious person, watching them all this time, she reveals herself as the crown princess Rosabel, asks the heroes to help her rid the kingdom of all the evil that has befallen it, to which the three agree readily. This includes going to her once glamorous castle, taken over by the goblins, where the Goblin King now resides. After the three find and slay the great goblin, Zoya convinces the others to take a look around for treasure.
Through a series of book entries, looted poems, narrative scattered around the levels, a story of two sisters and Isabel, unfolds. They begin with the sisters at the ages of eight and nine, with both of them being quite close; the two were talented at magic, but as the stories progress into their years it becomes clear that it was Isabel that got the most attention, received nicer gifts, was chosen as Queen. Rosabel, looking on as her sister got the attention and increasing status, becomes jealous and a tad vengeful. On her birthday, Isabel is invited to a'surprise party' by her sister. Taken to a secret hiding place where they used to play as small children, she is imprisoned by Rosabel and is held captive by an enchanted tree under an irreversible sleep spell; the forest however, starts to rob Isabel of her magical powers, causing all plant and animal life to overgrow. This put the kingdom under unbalance. After observ