The Making of Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars
The Making of Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars - "Paris in the Fall"



Besides the release of Steel Sky, two other noteworthy events happened in 1994. Virgin Interactive Entertainment (Europe) Ltd. that had published the previous games took a 25% stake in Revolution, and the company relocated from Hull to Kings House, 12 King Street in York.1

Revolution Software (1994), 12 King Street, York (first door on the left)

According to Cecil, it was always something they had wanted to do, but it made him feel guilty, because Hull had been very welcoming to them. However, like Sierra's Oakhurst, a place "in the middle of nowhere,"2 Hull was a difficult place to run a company, for nobody wanted to go there.3 It couldn't have been as tough as Steel Sky's "Union City" though.

In another, digital sense, Revolution went on a holiday, first stop being Paris, France ...


"The third title from Revolution is set in the present day, and combines strong historical aspects with an intense plot. While enjoying a vacation in Paris, young American George Stobbart is witness to a bombing. Investigating the mystery, he is drawn into a world of deceit and danger. The answer to the riddle of the Broken Sword is to be found in the distant past. Only George Stobbart can stop it from being used to alter the future..."4




The team for Revolution's new mission included most of the members that had been with the company since Steel Sky was in production: Noirin Carmody, Charles Cecil, David Cummins, Paul Humphreys, Steve Ince, James Long, Steve Oades, Jeremy Sallis, David Sykes, and Tony Warriner.

Adam Tween, who had already been a member of the Temptress team, left the company to work at Rage Software.5 Jeremy Sallis would leave the company in December 1995.6 However, the new team became much larger than the Steel Sky team, with more in-house and out-house members. Compared to Steel Sky, the new game was a very ambitious project, that would require a budget that was 25 times as large.



The name of the game became Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars. The origin of its name stays unknown, but it may have been influenced by the fact that a broken sword is a symbol of peace.7 The game was intended to be a trilogy, in the hope it would sell well enough to lead to a sequel, and if all went well, to a third game.8

Development of the game (published in 1996) didn't start around the time Steel Sky (March 1994) was completed. When Steve Ince became a member of Revolution's team in February 1993, he started to work on The Shadow of the Templars before moving over to help on the workload for Steel Sky,9 so the idea of a game with the Templars theme was conceived before he got his job. He specifically remembers that in his meeting with Cecil and Gibbons by the end of 1992 they spoke about it, as his first question was to ask if the game was based on the novel "The Broken Sword" by Poul Anderson."10 Ince's initial concept sketches were mostly replaced when the art style changed, and half way through the project he would become the producer of the game.11

The Knights Templar theme was also used in some other games at that time: Infogram's Time Gate: Le Secret du Templier (1995) and Mindscape's Azrael's Tear (1996).12

Asked about these games in an interview with Edge in 1996, Cecil claimed Revolution was the first though, and he had no doubt that the idea was copied, when, in a interview with the French magazine Génération 4 in 1992, he had foolishly mentioned that he was working on a Templars game. It wasn't a wild guess, as Infogram's game had more elements in common with The Shadow of the Templars, as it featured William Tibbs, a young American law student in Paris. But Revolution was beaten to it, as it took a lot of time doing painstaking research and making sure they got it all right.13




(c) All artwork copyright Revolution Software
(c) Text game-nostalgia.com