under HEAVY construction

This is an adaption of an RVL Forum post.


Re-Volt was originally designed by Simon Harrison and Paul Phippen who have put a lot of work into it. Re-Volt was programmed once, but its parts and models were reprogrammed several times.


Re-Volt was going to be named DOH! There is an extensive list of potential titles for that game that did not make it.

Re-Volt was initially designed in 1997 based on Paul Phippen’s and Simon Harrison’s work. The game did not have any proper physics until Chris Caulfield (who just acquired his PhD from University College London back then) joined.
The initial first physics were very realistic, however, they were too realistic so that cars would flip very often.
An early build from 1998 contained the following tracks: Toy world, Rooftops (initially named ‘Fiddlers on the Roof’), Spirit Cave (also known as Poo, which was a test track), Museum, Dirt 1, Council Estate 1, 2 and 3 and another test track called Prix.
Contained cars (found in game folders) : R5, RC, Flag, dino, phat, moss, beatall, mite, gencar.


There were few tracks made back in 1997, the first ever if “Roof 1” (released as ‘Fiddlers on the Roof’ by Marv), and “Council Estate”.
The quality was so low (textures), the tracks were too dark. Thus they were dropped later in 1998.
Here, the pickups and weapons were added

QUOTE (Simon Harrison)
I came up with the original idea along with paul phippen, who now lives in cambodia! the final game wasn’t quite as i imagined it, the original idea was more realistic, no weapons or speedups. the original level was set in a tower block in london, racing around the dirty walkways and dodging old mattresses and pools of piss. nice.

(he meant Roof,Council Estate)

Acclaim puts its hand on the game

All was well until Acclaim finally decided to force the developers to change the logo from … to …

<insert information from post mortem document>


Redesigning After Acclaim’s interfering with the Team’s plans

The game had an overall redesigning and recoding on different parts. The main changes were made to Physics which were overall renewed (from .col file extension and structure to .ncp/.hul). Also addition in different domains
The game was also replanned so it would contain “in the hood, market, ship, toyvolt, garden and rooftops”. All of those was almost fully finished except: “Garden 2” (a japanese Zen garden) which was never finished.

BAD Unfortunately, Rooftops (the one in DC version) was finished yet, had problems (poor game experience in the clear sky) as quoted from Paul Phippen

QUOTE (Paul Phippen)
Simon and I chucked the rooftop level because it was a poor racing experience, and the draw distance was abysmal, we had to use a dense fog to hide the missing sections of map. This was improved by Jim Vale for the Sega Dreamcast level, but it could only be achieved with a night setting/low draw distance

Thus, it was only included in the Dreamcast version.

Deadline: Summer ’99

Even if almost many themes were finished, remained a lot of other themes which kept out of designers’ hands such as:
– sewers
– Construction Yard (the first Re-Volt plan ever)
– hospitals
– playgrounds
– car park

also, it contained a lot of problems and bugs

Release: August’1999
The game was released, contained bugs.
Weapons were added, new style of racing, new physics, new tastes.
Developers remained unsatisfied


As technical support was still there and the numerous bugs found in Re-Volt. The programmers decided to fix and add some features to the game that’s including gateway, Patch 09.16 and Patch 12.07.

While Patch 09.16 forces user to have the CD on the tray, Patch 12.07 eliminate check CD routine. The reason keeps unknown

Patch 09.16 adds max pickups 20 in the track editor, double size exporting in addition of many bug fixes.
Also it introduced Voodoo gfx card fixes in addition of adding “-sli” (for fixing Voodoo SLI problems).
It also allowed users to host and join custom tracks.
Patch 12.07 include the first and only 3D Audio patch, in addition of CD check’s removal. In addition of supporting “Rooftops” track internally (most likely copy paste from DC code source)

Re-Volt 2, myth or truth?

After the release date, the developers weren’t so proud of what they’ve done. Thus, they tried to make sequel to the game. Yet, Acclaim wasn’t interested at all.
From the original Re-Volt developers team, only Paul, Simon, Bliz, James Vale and Shahid were left. Others have already been forced/quit by their will Probe Entertainment.

Road to Re-Volt 2 (2000)

After optimizing more the engine, and after adding some new features, Re-Volt 2 was meant to be released under the name RE-VOLT GOLD
Re-Volt Gold was supposed to bring new cars and tracks (for example the Clean Labs) quoted from Paul Phippen
QUOTE (Paul Phippen)
I was working on a hi-tech laboratory track, (clean rooms), and there were already some semi-finished urban tracks.

However, it didn’t turn well. Main programmers have already exited the studio and Re-Volt’s source code was more like Chinese/hieroglyphic to the new programmers, much more like a nightmare to be figured out. However, the community was very capable of doing things with the code…
Acclaim already planned the shut down of Probe Entertainment (Acclaim London), so they tried their best to fade the hope of the people and so force them to quit by themselves.
As Acclaim ordered Re-Volt Gold team to have the game finished, bug-free and fully programmed/modeled within 3 months, it was insupportable and impossible work has to be done.

Paul Phippen has quit the company in 2000

QUOTE (Paul Phippen)
We had been given orders to finish Re-Volt Gold within three months! smile.gif I mean fully tested and delivered, bug free. Then we knew something very dodgy was up, maybe New York was trying to squeeze one last good thing out of us with the least development expenses necessary, before closing the studio down. I tried to reason with the studio bosses, but they said the orders were from on high, and they kept insisting that it was an achievable deadline. It was a nightmare, and I knew it was impossible, (at least to do it to the same standard as the original), so I quit.

Closing the studio, end of a Dream

The studio was closed, with many great games were done (from Re-Volt to Extreme-G) in 2000.

QUOTE (Paul Phippen)
…and …yeah…about two months later the studio was closed, and everyone was laid off. Generally, Acclaim viewed our studio as the black sheep of the family, and they tolerated us up to a point, with low key marketing to match – strange considering that our studio gave them some of their biggest critical hits, Re-Volt, Forsaken, Alien Trilogy, Die Hard trilogy, Extreme-G, …list goes on…So that’s the back story 🙂

Re-Volt and XBOX: (Acclaim, 2002)

Xbox used directly DirectX 8.0. Thus, it’s known that DirectX changed its strategy and APIs from Dx 6.0 to Dx 8.0 most likely to fit XBOX.
Many tools were made to convert .prm, .w to .xdx: default XML file structure for Xbox. Yet the compilation of the executable failed because of different incompatibilities and since Re-Volt source code was complicated to be understood, the project was sadly dropped and few alpha releases were out for public/tests.

** Acclaim: September’1st 2004 was filed to closure because of debts

Re-Volt and Arcade (Tsunami Visual Technologies, 2004)

After 23 days of Acclaim’s closure (Sep’24th 2004). Tsunami Visual Tech finally released a Re-Volt Arcade version of the game.
It’s also known that it includes community-made tracks (most likely Gabor’s tracks were included) after they come to Re-Volt community.
The arcade version of the game contains the main game with vibration, driving wheel and brakes.


** 2005/2006: re-volt source code was leaked to the internet MORE INFORMATION ON THAT, REFER TO THE FORUM POST RV DEVS

Re-Volt 1.2 (2011)

Re-Volt’s development is finally resumed, this time on the hand of Huki and Jigebren, two elite members of Re-Volt community.
Re-Volt 1.2 adds numerous fixes to the game, in addition of allowing 512×512, 1024×1024 textures, custom car boxes, different aspect ratio support, multi-screen support, MP3 support, Ghost car’s getback.
Later development evolved to RVGL, a port of the game to open source libraries. This enables the game to run on a wider range of operating systems.

WeGoI acquires the Re-Volt Franchise amongst some other Acclaim Titles.

This is where the sad part begins.

Busting old Myths:


Ghost car

since I’ve got an early DEV (demo) version of Re-Volt which has developers’ names and ghost car (with mp3 support) which was later removed, I asked why and why it was removed?
people told me that the ghost car were trademarked. Yes, it’s true
QUOTE (Paul Phippen)
The ghost car was in until someone noticed that Atari held a copyright on “ghost cars”, – so we either had to pay royalties to Atari or come up with something different.
Grateful to project producer

Re-Volt developers were so grateful to Robert ‘Barg’ O’Farrell who brought Chris to the point they inserted his face into Re-Volt game WHY
Poo Track in Re-Volt source code

That was a physics testing track. It’s known as “Spirit Cave”.
The in-house made game editor was having a lot of bugs, even crash while saving
also, the Gouraud shading (ENV map)’s poly assign was done poly by poly

PSM file
A PSX Re-Volt mesh, analogous to PRM

.rpl file
a reply file, used in gamegauge. dropped due to problems and limits

Patch 12.07: The sounds aren’t working?


Acoustics zone was never got to be working in Re-Volt. Thus, only the 3D sound (used to be 2D sounds in 09.16, gateway and 1.0 with volume/pan modification) was implemented
Dreamcast and PC version of Re-Volt had the same code, right?
Not actually, Dreamcast’s code was forked from PC_PS_N64 version of Re-Volt.
while N64, PSX and PC version share the same source code (with different loadings etc…) [for example, 256×256 (16-bits) .bmp and .pcx was used by N64 ONE MODEL = ONE BITMAP (26 bitmaps). PSX only used 1 256×256 .bmp (16-bits) : this translates why the PSX version wasn’t very good)

TOY WORLD of 1998, is it the same of 1999?


No, different textures but similar models
Acoustic zones, what are they?
It’s about a small 3D Audio effect place. for example, let’s say you entered a cave and you’re hearing water drops: they’re not like kitchen’s [echo, deep / soft, closed room effect].
The acoustic zone is just for that, emulating place effects.
.P3D files, what are they?
Acclaim’s in-house made game editor. composed from database, textures and 3D files.
How the models were made
Using Maya (for levels : burning shadows) and 3Ds max. Texturing, collision etc.. were thanks to the in-house game editor.

Re-Volt’s  TV Commercial?


There also was a commercial for Xbox Live that featured Re-Volt:



Sources: Simon Harrison 2009, e-mail; Paul Phippen 2011, revolt.wikia.com

Footer of the original post:
This work is a one-day work, wouldn’t be done without the help of Paul and his gentle volunteering for telling all those infos about Re-Volt. Thanks
Also, thanks for Mr X (who leaked the code) and ADX (who shared it). without them, it wouldn’t be possible to deduce anything at all

Special thanks to:

– Simon Harrison (JiffySquid)
– Paul Phippen [He’s the one who made me understand everything. Thanks smile.gif ] (mozchops)

Additional thanks to:

– Phantom for additional suggestions
– Nero and Balint for commenting
– Zipperrulez (for this wonderful forum)
– Re-Volt Live team (Nero, MarvTheM, balint, Halo, Phantom and everyone here [sorry very long list])
– miromiro (for being here all the time)