Ordinary Joe is a cancelled prototype for a new survival horror game, that was in early development for Xbox 360 at Rare LTD, designed by Chris Seavor. There are basically no info about this project, apart from a short interview with Chris at Rare FanDaBase:
As for projects finished or otherwise, well first there was Killer Instinct (called Brute Force for a time).. then Killer 2, Killer Gold, Twelve Tales, Bad Fur Day, Other Bad Day, Arc Angel, Getting Medieval, Urchin (really regret not pushing harder on this one), PD Core, and a small team prototype my last job as a designer called Ordinary Joe which despite the innocuous name was my take on the survival horror genre (nothing to do with Jo Dark) .
Chris Seavor: Yeah. We did some tech for it. It was all right. It was okay. But I knew at that point I was never going to get a team to finish this, so it was just a matter of time. I only worked on it for three or four months, and there were three of us in a corner with a big sign saying, keep out. I really enjoyed that period because we were just being really creative. Even though no-one else could give a s**t, we were being really creative and doing some really good stuff. It’s a pity no-one really seemed that bothered, certainly Microsoft, who were only interested in Banjo. That was fair enough I guess.
We hope that in the future someone that worked on this Ordinary Joe prototype could share some images or videos, to preserve the existence of the project.
Arc Angel is a cancelled futuristic racing game prototype that was in development in 2003 for the Xbox, by a team lead by Chris Seavor at Rare LTD. There are just a few info about this lost project as a nice article at Pure Rarity:
Chris said that for the record Conker 2 was never scrapped; he just didn’t want to do it at the time and that was how Arc Angel was conceived. A nice easy racing game, or so he thought. During the four months he headed it a fair amount of design was nailed down but it eventually proved to be too ambitious. Also, some team members left the company or moved to other projects leaving Arc Angel with a lack of resources. Eventually the game was cancelled and Chris was put on Quest as lead artist.
Sadly there are no preserved images or videos about Arc Angel. If you know someone that worked on this prototype, please let us know! We would love to save some screens in the archive.
Killer Instinct 2 is a fighting game developed by Rare, licensed by Nintendo and manufactured by Midway in 1996. A modified version of KI2 appeared on the Nintendo 64 as Killer Instinct: Gold, but a SNES version of KI2 was also developed and completed but never released. [Info from Wikipedia]
Banjo-Karting was a game prototype for Xbox 360, started by Rare Ltd. just before Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts was finished in late 2008. The prototype took advantage of classic Banjo-Kazooie characters and built upon the racing parts of Nuts and Bolts. With Rare’s shift to Kinect projects only, this prototype was cancelled.
One of the cars created specifically for this prototype later made it into the Xbox 360 version of Sonic & Sega Allstar Racing.
SoulCatcher is a cancelled game that was in development by Rare LTD for the Xbox 360. The project was meant to be a prototype for a fantasy action adventure game in first person view, that used the Xbox Vision Camera and a customized proto-wand for motion-controls to attack and do magics. At Develop 2011, Rare’s Nick Burton talked shown a video of this game, but sadly it seems that noone recored it. If you know someone that partecipated at the event and was able to do some photos / videos of SoulCatcher, please let us know!
Banjo-Kazoomie was a prototype for the original Xbox which was started at Rare Ltd. in 2004. Players were able to construct their karts out of different parts, therefore after it was cancelled the concept may have evolved into Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, which was released on Xbox 360 four years later.
Brendan Gunn about this project:
“I’ve always wanted to do a racing game. I got to spend two weeks working on a prototype racing game for the Xbox. It was codenamed ‘Banjo-Kazoomie’, and it was a kind of kart racer, but you constructed the karts out of different parts, so I guess it was kind of a precursor to ‘Nuts & Bolts’. But for those two weeks I was doing the driving mechanics for it”
Cascade was an unreleased fantasy Massive Multiplater Online game in production at British software house Rare Ltd. The project started after Perfect Dark Zero by Mark Edmonds and Chris Tilston, it built upon early work from a post-Perfect Dark 64 prototype titled Quest. In 2007, Cascade was cancelled and the team started to work on an unreleased HD port of their N64 classic GoldenEye foy XBLA.
Jeton Grajqevci from Pure Rarity was able to talk to Mark Edmonds about this project:
He [Mark Edmonds] said Quest was a side project as MMOs are a big interest of his. It supposedly went through several variations and names over the years. No finished game ever came from it but it did lead to the networking code that was used in Conker: Live & Reloaded and Perfect Dark Zero. He also gave me a detailed timeline of the MMO:
Quest started around 2000 after Perfect Dark N64 as a mixed fantasy MMO. One name it had for a while was Elements of 3 Powers but it wasn’t related to Kameo (the other team probably took over the name when it was abandoned). Around 2001 Quest was a space shooter for the Gamecube and in 2002 it was converted to the Xbox and shortly thereafter put on hold. After Perfect Dark Zero a fantasy MMO version came back, this time titled Cascade. It was however cancelled in 2007 when the team did GoldenEye 007 for the XBLA instead. As you all know, the latter was finished but never released.
Avatar Sports was a sports game in development at Rare Ltd. in 2007 / 2008 before Kinect development started. It used an unpublished motion controller that can be compared to the Wii Remote. Little is known about this title apart from the use of Microsoft’s Avatars and the inclusion of tennis. Development was halted when the motion controller was abandoned and first Kinect/Natal prototypes emerged. Rare then started to create their Kinect Sports, released in november 2010.
Grabbed by The Ghoulies is an action game that was developed by Rare and released for the original Xbox in 2003. As we can read on Wikipedia, before any details of the game were publicised, it was widely considered that Grabbed by the Ghoulies would be the subtitle to the next Conker the Squirrel game, after Conker’s Bad Fur Day. The game was originally intended to be a much larger in scope open-world platformer but due to the Microsoft buyout in 2002 and time constraints a simpler design and concept was adopted.
Grabbed by The Ghoulies was initially going to be released on the Nintendo GameCube and in the final Xbox game you can unlock a trailer from E3 2001, that should show the project when it was still on the Nintendo console (you can find it below). Thanks to Rareware Archives we can see many concept arts and beta screens, that show early designes of the characters, unused enemies and other interesting differences. As we can read in their description for the Grabbed by The Ghoulies beta 2001 video:
A lot has certainly changed from the game we’re familiar with, as the video includes a few cut enemies mucking about, early working models for the Zombie Ghoulies and Coopers girlfriend Amber and a surprise from Gweneth, the sneering Ghouly at the end, who was ultimately cut as well.
The Butcher was one of many character prototypes created by Rare Ltd. in 2008. When the company’s direction shifted to Kinect software, all work on this prototype was abandoned. Currently we don’t know what kind of game Rare planned to use the Butcher into, or even if it would ever be used in some commercial project. As far as we know, this could have been a character study, without any gameplay connected at all. Only a few images and animations remain, to preserve the existence of this project.
Thanks to Moren for the contribution!
Videos (please note that parts of the video contain animations that do not directly relate to the original prototype) :