Power Crystal [M2 – Tech Demo / Proto / Cancelled]

Power Crystal [M2 – Tech Demo / Proto / Cancelled]

ENG: This entry in the archive doesn’t have a description yet. If you want to add some info about the beta / cancelled stuff that you see in these images, just write a comment or send us an email! We’ll add your info in this page and your name in the contributors list. Thanks a lot for your help! :)

ITA: Questa pagina dell’archivio non ha ancora una descrizione. Se vuoi aggiungere delle informazioni riguardo le differenze della beta o la descrizione di un gioco cancellato, lasciaci un commento o mandaci una email! Inseriremo le tue informazioni nella pagina ed il tuo nome nella lista dei collaboratori. Grazie per il tuo aiuto! :)


What do you think about this unseen game? Give your vote!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Would you like to add more info, screens or videos to this page? Add a comment below!

(your first comment will be moderated before to be published)

U64 Staff & Contributors

28 thoughts on “Power Crystal [M2 – Tech Demo / Proto / Cancelled]

  1. Ross Sillifant

    Power Crystal’s developers, Perceptions, became an early choice to be a 3DO M2 developer because of the teams track record (everyone taken on had to have a major game to their credit-although exceptions were made for 2 team memembers) and because co-founder Andrew Whittaker had worked on Jaguar AVP, which was one of 3DO’s favourite titles!.

  2. Ross Sillifant

    Screens you see here were done using a early M2 development kit, which only had 1X Power PC Chip, final version was to use 2 and perception were told the 2X chips would run at least twice the speed the PowerPC chip they were using so far ran at, but even on the early kit, game was seen running at 60 FPS, every in-game object would of eatured Goiuraud shading, been effected by sunlight, shadows etc.

    Power Crystal engine was also being used on an un-named 3D puzzle game and a 3D tank-Shooter called Flagfight (working title).

  3. Ross Sillifant

    Game actually started out under codename of ‘Artemis’

    Once Jaguar AVP was finished, Andrew Whittaker left Rebellion and joined with John Taylor to form Springer SpanielSoftware.

    The team’s first was what Andrew has classed as ‘a revolutionary, fantasy role-playing game’ planned initally for PC CD ROM and had a planned release date of early ’96 with conversions to:Jaguar CD/Playstation and Saturn by end of ’96.

    These plans changed when 3DO gave support and the game underwent a transformation as did the company.

  4. Ross Sillifant

    I’ve seen this game, in it’s original, Artemis form, crop up online on various sites listing it as a Lost Jaguar CD game (janatari.de etc)

    But that’s really streching it as it’s no more a Lost Jaguar CD game than it is a Lost PS1 or Saturn title, as like i said earlier all 3 of these versions were only planned and would’nt of been started until the PC CD version was finished.

    So, Artemis is nothing more than a lost PC CD game that switched formats and ended up a revamped title and became a lost 3DO M2 title.

    How much of the original design concepts for the PC CD game remained in the 3DO M2 revamp i’d love to know, but no, you cannot class this a Lost Jaguar etc title IMO as it’s not like it was signed, coding started or game itself even finished on original planned format.

    It’s streching the claim way too far and wide.

  5. Ross Sillifant

    Um, you are aware some of the more ‘Eye-Candy’ screens your using here (and appeared in UK Press at the time) are mock-ups?.

    All rendered in 3DS and done in a higher resolution than actual 3DO M2 game would of run at.

  6. monokoma

    From: http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=811435

    Preview of POWER CRYSTAL for M2 (Feb 6/97)

    Following the completion of Alien vs. Predator for Jaguar
    , Andrew Whittaker left Rebellion (the company which
    developed it) and joined John Taylor to form Springer
    Spaniel Software, a new development outfit.

    At that time, Whittaker had in his mind a new and, as he
    saw it, revolutionary orthogonal RPG. The original
    project name was Artemis. A PC version was expected
    first with 32-bit console versions to follow, but when
    3DO (which at the time still owned the M2 hardware
    rights) extended some support, the project underwent a
    transformation as did the company.

    Whittaker became the managing director of a new
    development team called Perceptions. The game itself
    changed from an orthogonal design to a complete 3D
    realm and the name was changed to Power Crystal.
    Whittaker was completely floored by the M2’s hardware
    (which at that time possessed only a single PPC 602 CPU
    as compared to the dual processor set-up it now
    possesses). “M2 really is the single finest piece of
    hardware we’ve worked with. Its power will hit the world
    of entertainment software like a tidal wave.” said
    Whittaker. “To call it a quantum leap forward is such a
    gross understatement that it does it injustice.”

    At this point in time, Power Crystal is one of the few
    known M2 projects being developed in the UK. Take a
    look at today’s Special for more M2 information.

    From: http://assemblergames.com/l/threads/list-of-all-m2-games.11454/

    “On a side note, the game “Power Crystal” is lost forever, sadly. :-( Still need to get in contact with Andrew Whittaker, but it’s unlikely that he has something left. The programmer which I talked to hadn’t, and since the dev systems went into liquidation and are long scrapped, there’s virtually no chance that something survived. ”

    From: https://stiggyblog.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/panasonic-3do-hits-the-desk/

    “Yep, great post. I was part of the Perceptions development team creating ‘Power Crystal’ for the 3DO – M2, it was pretty amazing for the time. Shame the M2 died before release…”

    From: https://archive.org/stream/ng_unedited/ng_29_unedited_djvu.txt

    Every object in Power Crystal will feature Gourard shading and will be
    affected by sunlight and shadows, which is a breeze for the M2

    Miles of game area have been put together using single tiles. A contour map
    converts the data into tables. All the graphics are 3D polygons except lamp
    posts, bushes, and birds which are implemented as sprites

    around six months perfecting their
    skills. Once mastered, however,
    Whittaker insists that it’s a
    programmer’s dream. The majority of
    Power Crystal is being created in C
    using M2’s own compiler, while the
    polygon graphics are created using 3D
    Studio and 3D Studio Max. The only
    part of the game written in assembly
    language is a small section of the 3D
    engine, though even that is mostly in C.

    From: http://twvideo01.ubm-us.net/o1/vault/GD_Mag_Archives/GDM_June_1997.pdf

    Matsushita wants its M2 machine to be a major RPG platform. It recently showed off a M2 RPG, POWER CRYSTAL, from U.K. devel-opment house Perceptions. The screen shots alone should spark many fans’ inter-est in RPGs on the M2.
    Interplay and Sierra are planning several big RPG products, too. Sierra has DAEMON ISLE and BETRAYAL AT ANTARA, and Interplay
    has a major AD&D product, IRON THRONE, that will be launched online.
    The RPG category benefits from larger storage capacity on consoles. The demand for persistant and interactive worlds and
    perhaps just a general pendulum swing back to deeper titles is also helping the genre’s popularity. In any case it’s interest-
    ing to note how important the specific RPG titles are to a number of heavyweights.

  7. Ross Sillifant

    The Next Generation Mag.text seems nigh on identical to wording that UK equiv.magazine EDGE, had, along with those Fake/Mocked Up higher resolution M2 images.

    M2 would of been an interesting platform, for a while at least until Dreamcast eclipsed it….

    Read on Atari Age the other day that in Ps1 Tempest X’s hidden T2K cheat mode there’s a message saying a version of Tempest 2000 was ported in part to the M2, just for fun of it, now that i’d loved to of seen running.

    Also going from what World Tour Racing Jaguar CD coder has said in online interviews, M2 would of been far more impressive than what Atari’s Jaguar MK 2 would of been (coder talks of rival systems planned for same time, which really brings M2 into play).

  8. Hazy

    In issue 92 of GamesTM (Oct 17) there’s an interview with Jane Whitaker (Andrew’s real name) where he states that Power Crystal was “finished and got 100% reviews in Edge and stuff like that”. Hmm I think he’s mistaken to be very generous to him.

  9. Ross Sillifant

    As an avid Edge subscriber right up until the PS4 era, there was no such review and Edge scores are out of 10, not 100…

    He must be confusing it with something else, understandable given amount of titles worked on and number of years passed.

  10. Alex

    From Retro Gamer Magazine Issue 178:

    RG: Just so we’re clear, since there’s no release to check, was the cancelled M2 game Power Crystal something you did for MGM?

    Jane Whittaker:
    No, that was a side project for 3DO, because in those days you could still do projects in your own time. I was approached by Trip Hawkins and Dave Maynard, and they said, ‘We’ve got this new M2 console coming, you did the best game for the Jaguar, do you want to come and do the launch game for the M2?’ I was already in the process of moving across to MGM, so I told MGM about this and they said, ‘As long as you do your day job with us, this isn’t competitive so it’s fine.’

    RG: Power Crystal was an open world RPG – how much of that was drawn from your Midwinter experience?

    Jane Whittaker:
    Oh a ton of it. The whole way of building 3D worlds, I’d learned how to do quest structure from Mike Singleton. It didn’t play like Midwinter, it was a traditional fantasy RPG. People who played it later said it was like an early Zelda – not Wind Waker… Ocarina of Time? That’s sort of how it played like. It was finished and ready to go out, and they cancelled the console. They had some really quality stuff, it was a lovely console – it wasn’t the quality of the console or the games, it was purely a financial decision, and it was really sad.

  11. Ross Sillifant

    Luca and myself have put the question of why Jane now chooses to say Power Crystal WAS finished. .when (as Andrew) they claimed the exact opposite some years ago.

    But Jane has yet to reply.

    Here’s Andrew talking about it at the time when asked:

    Q.Hi, Andrew! I was wondering…what happened to Power Crystal? It looked like
    an interesting game. Will you be resurrecting it for any of the newer systems, or has it been put on the shelf?.

    9/1/98 Andrew Whittaker
    Still to be decided. I still own all the rights to the code and graphics etc, so it may well find a home in a new product.

    It was either unfinished as Andrew stated back then or it was finished…

    Going on fact it’s previews used fake screens and as an avid Edge reader at the time, the game was not reviewed as Jane now claims. .i know which version of events i believe.

  12. Ross Sillifant

    Just to be clear (and i did attempt to post this earlier, but comments haven’t appeared)..The following comments from (then Andrew) Whittaker are what have made me question accounts given and put Q’s about them direct to the source:

    Whittaker at 1 stage was publically warning people not to become involved with Atari and the Jaguar, as pay hadn’t been forth coming on work done on AVP:

    Andrew Whittaker
    Alien Vs Predator Programmer, now signed to your local friendly 3do corp.

    Well minor little things to consider like getting paid, despite Atari promises
    I still havent received any income from AVP sales..

    I for one am not telling all my friends to sign up for the Jaguar, I want them to be able to feed their families

    Andrew Whittaker
    Coder AVP

    That’s a pretty strong allegation to make in itself.

    Atari’s response:

    For the record, I have forwarded this statement internally at Atari and it was received with surprise and disappointment. Upon review of any and all materials related to AvP and Andrew’s relationship to that project, no one at Atari believes the above statement to be true. In more blunt terms, the statements relating to Atari owing Andrew money are untrue.

    Atari has an obligation to protect Andrew’s rights to privacy regarding his personal matters, however, I felt I should respond to the public remarks on the net as they were passed on to me.

    — Don Thomas
    Atari Corporation

    And it was met with an equally strong response.

    Andrew replied with:

    Dear all,
    I want to clear up some confusion after reading this.

    There is no argument between myself and Atari, neither did I criticise the machine,in fact I am an ardent supporter of it. I left Atari simply because they;thought it cheaper to buy product from independants than to pay monthly
    salaries to development teams in the UK.
    There is no animosity between myself and Atari. I am not the sort of person to bear a grudge. They made the decision on cost saving alone with no ill-will between either party. I am of-course bitterly disappointed that I cannot continue to do what I love doing with Atari but wish the machine well in the,future and it deserves to do well as you all deserve good games for your
    thank you for taking the time to read this.

    Andrew Whittaker
    Ardent Jaguar Fan

    It’s hard to know what to make of it.

    Whittaker’s claims on non-payment strongly denied by Atari and for someone who didn’t hold a grudge, Whittaker made a pretty strong claim at the time about warning his friends not to get involved with Atari.

    And rather than try and resolve the issue in private, posted the warning online for all to see.

    Something just doesn’t ring right with a lot of the material on Janes bio online…

    So at this stage we have given Jane the opportunity to clear up any and all confusion over several claims.

  13. Ross Sillifant

    Andrew Whittaker:
    AvP really can be considered an Atari product rather than a Rebellion one. I was intially asked to write AvP by Rebellion, but I had so much problem with Rebellion, and Atari did too, I wrote the code as an Atari employee, and
    stayed on at Atari after completion in a senior position. If you look at the credits you will notice the Rebellion people are credited as Name
    (Rebellion). The other programmer Mike Beaton, although on the Rebellion payroll also had huge problems with Rebellion and relocated to Sunnyvale to complete the project with me, and left Rebellion shortly after completion..
    I wont go into the details of the difficulties Mike, myself and Atari had with Rebellion, but that explains why you see those (Rebellion) comments
    after peoples names. Much of the art also got retouched at Sunnyvale.

  14. Ross Sillifant

    Rebellions Response:

    Jason Kingsley, Rebellion MD here, just in case anyone was wondering:

    “We currently have no plans to rehire Andrew Whittaker.

    He did his job on the alien AI in AvP, and that’s what he was hired to
    do; he was no longer needed at Rebellion, and went back to being
    freelance, and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.”

    So Whittaker attacks Rebellion, tries to claim AVP was an Atari product more than Rebellion one.

    Then attacks Atari claiming he was never paid for his work on AVP. .Atari rebuke that and Whittaker does a complete U-turn.

    So i have doubts about what was claimed in RetroGamer based on past experience.

  15. Ross Sillifant

    I also think Andrew over stated his role on AVP..he was asked to write the A.I routines and the computer text logs,but stating he was asked to write AVP for Rebellion didn’t make that clear.

    Rebellion did publicly put things straight :

    Just to make this clear (and feel free to object, Andrew, if you think this isn’t fair):

    Andrew Whittaker wrote the alien (marine, predator, as appropriate) AI
    code, and the code for the computers.

    A programmer at Atari wrote part of the startup code.

    Mike Beaton wrote everything else (graphics engine, HUD code, etc).
    Calling either of them ‘lead coder’ isn’t really fair.

    — dan @ Rebellion

  16. Ross Sillifant

    Andrew/Jane has been kind enough to explain the comments made about not being paid by Atari for AVP did not come from themselves,but some idiot pretending to be them,just to cause trouble at Atari.

    I would like to thank Jane for the time and manner in which they put the record straight this afternoon.

    So much lost games research sadly involves sorting false claims out.

  17. Ross Sillifant

    Jane Whittaker Again been kind enough to answer a few Q’s put by myself:

    Jane Whittaker

    On Power Crystal, it was in fact reviewed by a number of magazines, including Edge, although those reviews were never printed. Most magazines, as you know, have a significant lead time so they review ahead of time. 3DO had all the reviews pulled from publication once it was announced they were no longer going ahead with the hardware console. Yes, it did get top marks in the Edge review, I am really proud of that, although to this day really sad that the M2 console itself was scrapped. We had the reviewer from Edge visit us regularly in the office and I got to know him really well. (although it earned me the worst dressed developer award in Edge! but that is another story :) ) On Artemis, there is a misconception that it was an early version of Power Crystal. In fact, the two games are totally unrelated. Artemis never stretched beyond paper design for Jaguar CD and wasn’t actually a fantasy RPG. Artemis was open world exploration but in a modern setting. Actual production of Artemis was never started beyond initial concept ideas. Artemis actually was a joint idea with my friend Jon from New York, with Artemis being the working title as that was the name of his dog! So Project Artemis was always a bit of an in-joke.

    1. Anthony Edwards


      Email me @ VideoGameEsoterica @ Gmail if you can. I am the guy who put up the recent entire series of M2 videos on YouTube, from my ten plus years of collecting for the platform.

      I’d love to chat a bit

  18. Ross Sillifant

    We must now sadly discredit Andrew Whittaker as a reliable source on any project he was involved in.

    This is the real story regarding Power Crystal.

    Source details passed onto Luca in private.

    “As for Power Crystal on the M2, the game was never finished. We had several parts of the game in development, such as the terrain system, some of the global commerce tracking and a parts of the UI. The artwork was also progressing but wasn’t even 10% done. It was a massive project and would have take a lot more time to complete than the time we spent on it before 3DO pulled the plug on the system.”

  19. The Crestfallen

    A second member of the Perceptions team who worked on Power Crystal has confirmed the game was nowhere near finished.

    Not coding
    Not in terms of manual written
    Boxes produced.
    No reviews done.

    He wishes to remain anonymous,but said it was only a matter of time before Janes lies found Jane out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *