Space Jelly, also known as Moon Jelly (and originally called “A Fist Full of Credits”), is a cancelled game that was in development for the Nintendo 64 by Software Creations. The game’s world and settings were created by the Pickford Brothers as an original game concept, with concept arts by Steve Hanson. Initially Space Jelly / Moon Jelly wasn’t really a platform-specific game, it was more about designing a main character, their world, backstory and art style, with the intention of creating a franchise which would lead to a series of games. Ste and John Pickford put together a reference book of characters, art, locations, while Richard Kay (Software Creations managing director) was trying to sell the concept to various publishers, before any actual game development began.
In 1995/1996 the Pickford Brothers left Software Creations and were no longer involved in Space Jelly, but Software Creations continued to work on the game, with Steve Hanson taking over as game designer. With only some concept arts and a design doc, it seems that Software Creations was not able to find a publisher for Space Jelly yet. In 1995 Nintendo of America announced that Software Creations entered in their “Dream Team” and as SC’s knowledge of the N64 hardware became more and more deep (SC also created the sound tools for the N64), they started to work on a Nintendo 64 prototype using the Space Jelly concept, with 3D models done by Deborah Graham. In the gallery below you can see one Space Jelly character, Johnny Forbidden, modeled by Francis O’Brien in his spare time inbetween other Software Creations projects.
Space Jelly became a self-funded Nintendo 64 project, a 3D platformer / action game, with ingame graphics tailored to the strengths / weaknesses of the N64 hardware. As we can read from the comments by journalists that saw a video of Space Jelly when Software Creations was showing it at gaming expos, the graphics were great, like a colorful Tim Burton game, with animations done by ex Cosgrove Hall staff.
Sadly Space Jelly was later cancelled, along with many others Software Creations projects for the N64, as Forever Dragonz, Dead Ahead and Creator. Even with various teams full of talented people, probably Software Creations at that time had too many original prototypes in development and they had to cut some of them to switch resources to those project that had more chances to be profitable. In the end, the only games developed by Software Creations that were released on the Nintendo 64 were Carmageddon, FIFA 99, Hexen, World Cup 98 and a couple of Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey: all their more interesting and original games were never released.
Thanks to Francis O’Brien and Ste Pickford for their contributions! Thanks to Celine for some of the scans!