GP Advance was a Formula 1 game built by Prograph Research around their 3d engine called DR Advance in 2003. As you can see from the video the italian developer coded an impressive engine capable of features more inline with a PS1 than a GBA (Over 2.296 texture mapped polygons on screen at 20fps , more than 45.920 polygons per second, with 100% screen coverage). Sadly the promising DR Advance was never fully utilized in a commercial product.
Here what Massimiliano Calamai, Prograph Research developer at the time, recalls about the project:
GP Advance was born thanks to an idea developed by staff through an engine coded by Stefano Dragovina, exceptional low-level programmer.
The really interesting aspect of the game and in particular technology was really the power of Engine, in practice Stefano had coded at very low level only the processor as if it really does not care to be part of a Game Boy Advance … so much that while we were running our engine, we could stick on what we wanted in 2D!
The game was in very good progress, the video we proposed is actually taken out of gameplay in real time (in the office we had fun beating the record between us on the Sepang circuit).
Our idea was to generate interest in the engine and in case propose a formula-like without a license.
Unfortunately, though the interest was high, the profit margin offered was too low, as the GBA market become saturated very quickly and third-party products usually sold very few copies. So much so that EA, very interested in the project was reducing the number of their productions releasing titles ever more small and low quality.
Once the demo program was complete, after several months of negotiations with potential publishers, we had to give up the idea of completing the project, giving priority to other products under contract. Really a pity!
Watch for yourself how good the game looked:
U64 is an archive with articles, screens and videos for cancelled, beta & unseen videogames. Every change & cut creates a different gaming experience: we would like to save some documents about this evolution for curiosity, historic and artistic preservation.