Dragonflight: Chronicles of Pern [PC PSX Dreamcast – Beta]

Dragonflight: Chronicles of Pern [PC PSX Dreamcast – Beta]

Dragonflight: Chronicles of Pern is an action adventure based on the Dragonriders of Pern book series by Anne McCaffrey, that was in development in 1998 / 1999 by Grolier Interactive for PC and Playstation. Initially the game was going to have a style similar to Diablo, but after a couple of years of development, Dragonflight became an action game with a 3rd person view camera. In june 2000, Grolier Interactive stopped releasing videogames when they were bought by Scholastic.

Grolier Interactive’s game could have been doomed, but it seems that Ubisoft bought their assets, cancelled the Playstation version and moved the Dragonflight to Dreamcast and PC.  In 2001, they finally released this project as Dragon Riders: Chronicles of Pern.

An old interview with Grolier Interactive can still be read at RPG Vault:

Can you provide some details on development progress that has been made over this time?

Oliver Sykes: What people may remember from the previous incarnation of the game is a very isometric viewpoint, a bit like Diablo. One of the major changes in the game is the camera system. We can now script the camera to act very cinematically. It can track with the player, spin round him, drop from above to below. Any number of camera shots can linked to describe a location and the characters in it as well as adding a great deal of fluidity.

Could you explain the level of depth and interaction we can expect from NPCs? What kind of a conversation system is there?

Oliver Sykes: The conversation system is fairly linear in most places. This choice was employed as we have such a vast number of characters to converse with, the conversation choices would have gave our scripters headaches. However, at key moments during the game you can make choices and these choices will effect the outcome of events. One choice could give you bonuses and unlock new locations and characters, whereas another may lead you down an entirely different path with different consequences.

Thanks to Celine for the scans!

Images:

Videos:

Videos from the final version:


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monokoma

Editor in Chief at Unseen 64
I'm an Italian gamer with not enough free time to play as much as i'd like to and sadly not enough time to write about cancelled and beta games. Founder of Unseen64 in 2001, i'd like to sleep more than 5 hours a day, but i have to pay the bills. I'm currently working as a SEO Copywriter and Content Editor for various italian websites, you can add me on Google Plus, Last FM or contact me by email.




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6 thoughts on “Dragonflight: Chronicles of Pern [PC PSX Dreamcast – Beta]

  1. Gametrender

    What a pity I missed this when it came out as I loved the books. Hopefully some movie mogul will Harry Potterise it and a new and quality game will be brought out.

  2. Julian Scott

    Ah, I have a PSX demo of this somewhere. (I wrote that, as well as working on the Dreamcast version, and some of the PC systems) I think it was really nice, for the time, with multiple directional shadows being cast, etc.

    Damn, even if I find the disk I won’t be able to get it to work.

    This game was a mess. As Ollie says we changed direction half way through. We also did a lot of other bad things, including listening to what a small vocal number of fans were saying on the Dragonflight forums. That was no way to make a game.. Oh well!

  3. monokoma Post author

    Thanks for sharing Julian, it’s always interesting to read about the development of games from who worked on them :) If you’ll ever find that PSX demo and make it works, let us know!

  4. steph

    sad to think that this failed. I love the books and they would work nicely for a game…maybe they should do one in the future.

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