Creature Shock [Atari Jaguar – Cancelled?]

Creature Shock [Atari Jaguar – Cancelled?]

Creature Shock is one of the games noted on the (back)cover box of the Jaguar CD attachment. The game was developed by Argonaut Games and released on 3DO and PC in 1994 and ported to the Philips CD-i, Sega Saturn and PlayStation in 1996.

As noted by Ross Sillifant:

I’ve ‘spoken to’ Alexander Holland-Ex-Argonaught-YES they had a Jag CD dev.System, but as Jez San told EDGE in an interview, Argonaught NEVER did ANY Jaguar games as system was too big a commercial risk.

I interviewed Darryl Still Atari UK PR at the time.Atari UK WANTED CREATURE SHOCK, but could’nt PIN Jez down, and COULD NOT AFFORD to code game themselves-So Atari were NEVER working on it.

I also spoke to Mike Fulton, Atari UK, he did all the Jag.dev.tools. He converted some generic FMV code from the game to a video format Jag CD could read, to see how it handled the data transfer rate, but that was all. No game coding by Atari, ever.

Darryl Still (Ex-Atari UK told me Atari WANTED the game, but could’nt pin Jez down) and Mike Fullton, Ex-Atari told: “I seem to remember we wanted to get Creature Shock going for Jaguar, but I don’t recall that it ever got anywhere, with the possible exception of maybe having converted some video footage to play on Jaguar.   And it’s possible we did that ourselves from assets they sent us, using our generic video player code.”

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26 thoughts on “Creature Shock [Atari Jaguar – Cancelled?]

  1. Ross sillifant

    I’m the person going by the username of The Furthest Man From Home.I’ve looked into many Lost Jaguar Game claims.I interviewed Darryl Still for Volume 1 of ST Gamer and asked him a few follow on questions regarding what happened to various Lost Jaguar games.He put me in touch with various sources, but was able to answer the issue of wether Atari UK themselves ever started developing Creature Shock.Simple answer was no, they simply did’nt have the resources to commit to such a project and had been trying to get Jez San signed up to bring game to the Jaguar, as it was designed (as Jez himself told Edge) to be easily ported to ANY CD based console that could handle the data transfer.

    Jez (as he told Edge in a later interview), never signed on to develop anything for the Jaguar, as his company knew Atari did’nt have the money (or track record) to market and support the Jaguar, the platform was far too big a risk to back.

    Ex-argonaught coder Alexander Holland was also happy to chat via email, saying whilst he was with Argonaught, he’d seen a Jaguar CD development system, with various misc labelled CD’s which might of had potential early work on Jag CD Creature Shock, if it had been started.

    This lead me onto contacting Mike Fulton, who was happy to chat and he said he’d converted some generic FMV from Creature Shock into a video format the Jaguar could run, just to see how the Jaguar CD handled it, but NO actual game coding was ever started.

    So as in case of so many Jaguar games, planned conversions were annouced, but NO actual deals signed and thus no actual game coding started.

    It’s far from uncommon for compamies to see IF a game is possible on a system, before signing it up for ‘work proper’ to actually start, Plus ATARI have a track record for putting up fake screens on boxes and in adverts, to give impression big name games are on the way.

  2. Ross Sillifant

    Creature Shock has taken a lot of flak over the years, it’s worth noting despite very mixed reviews, some quarters of the European Press took to it better than others.Edge gave it the ‘fairest’ review i’d seen (6/10 on PC CD) praising Argonaught for the atmosphere, way story flowed, superb music etc and how it was another step towards a complete game/film exp.

    But warned buyers and other potential developers of what to be wary of-There simply was’nt enough interaction for the player to make the game anything special.All well and good padding game out with lush visuals and sound, but there had to be a stormer of a game beneath all this.

  3. Ross Sillifant

    Jez’s interview can be found in EDGE Sept’89 (Issue 62), i’ll quote him here:

    ‘We did’nt do any Jaguar Games.You have to make the right bets-but we still like to take risks.’

  4. ross sillifant

    When i’d shared the quotes from Darryl Still, Mike Fulton etc, plus put up the EDGE interview with Jez San (no Jaguar games) etc to show just what had happened regarding it, there were ‘howls’ elsewhere that it mean nothing, Virgin were developing it.
     
    Well lets see what Vigin thought of the Jaguar shall wse:
     
    Steve Clarke New Media Manager at Virgin at the time:
     
    ‘Marketing always wins out in the end and you’ve got to question Atari’s ability to compete.Virgin is a global company and it’s got to look at global penetration.At the moment, who’s heard of Atari in the states?’.
     
    Yeah, so i really could like see Virgin saying well Atari want it, but can’t afford it, Jez San/Argonaught won’t touch it, as Jaguar far too risky a platform, ohh go on, we’ll invest time and money in it and get our teams to code it instead……’

  5. Ross Sillifant

    I ‘recently’ had a friend of mine, Crusto over on RG forums, put the question of Jaguar Creature Shock to Jez San in an interview RG mag were doing, Jez admits his memory is hazy and goes along with idea game was nearly finished (as Crusto SUGGESTED) and says they did some ‘work’ on Jaguar…

    Now given Jez FLAT OUT denied doing ANYTHING on Jaguar, as platform was too risky, years before in the EDGE interview, i’d say his memory is indeed hazy, but apparently he goes on (n answering another forumites question) to describe the sega MD as a ‘2D Only Box’ Gasp, ohhh Jez…how could you say this?

    Have you never seen:F-22, Corporation, F-15 II, Mig-29, LHX, F117, Whirlwind Snooker, the F1 Polygon game who’s name escapes me, etc etc.there are plenty of Polygon games on MD.Hell it uses a similar CPU to the ST and a lot of those polygon games are ST/Amiga conversions.

    Maybe he’s still hurting over the fact his claims in C+VG that in the future you’d see widespread use of the SFX chip in SNES games.

    Not sure i can count Jez as a credible source if his memory is THAT bad.

    Least Darryl Still could remember Atari wanting the game, not being able to afford it, NOT being able to sign Jez up and Mike can remember converting generic FMV, but Jez, ohh mate, things got very muddled in there it seems.

    :-)

  6. ross sillifant

    Nic Cusworth:As for the Jag. I know we had dev kit/s. I remember them coming in. I remember the tech department were looking at them but I’m not sure they went out to the dev teams. Creature Shock was being ported to anything with a CD and I do think porting work probably started for the Jag.

    I can’t speak for Jez but I would assume it never surfaced for a few reasons. We were probably asking a bunch of money for the port and also Jez was smart in always seeing the next thing, and the Jag wasn’t it.

  7. Ross Sillifant

    http://cdii.blogspot.co.uk/2006/05/creature-shock-on-cd-i.html

    Very interesting interview here from the person who converted game to the CDi, took 3 years, total nightmare by sounds of it, plus details how/why the 3D Sections had to be cut from the PC version as hardware could’nt handle it, which is at odds to those who’ve claimed CDi handled conversion with ‘ease’…maybe they’ve never played PC orig?.

    Also details of Lost conversion of Alien Odd. as well.

    Enjoy.

    :-)

  8. Ross Sillifant

    :-)

    Just read the FULL Readers Questions put to Jez San by RG readers, Jez asked why he enhanced SNES with SFX chip when MD had similar CPU power to the ST/Amiga were he’d done the 3D he was famous for…

    Jez starts banging on about the Mega CD being a failure (true) being the enhancement device Sega launched (err yes, but only in terms of 2D, Sprite scaling etc) and how powerful the SFX chip was etc.

    Not a single mention of Sega’s faster SVP chip or Virtua Racing.

    I love Jezs games but his answers to many questions in that interview? lack credibility.

    Its almost as if he’s bitter SFX chip was’nt used more widely on SNES and that Sega came up with a faster (Samsung ?) Chip…

    :-)

  9. Ross Sillifant

    And yet again CONFIRMATION from a 2nd Ex-Argonaut coder who worked on Creature shock himself that whils Argonaut had Jaguar CD dev.kits, NOTHING was done on Jaguar Creature Shock beyond mere Tech Demos.

    Over to Martin Piper himself (who i’ve interviewed for Classic Console Magazine):

    A)There was a 3DO version of Creature Shock being developed by Jon Wolff
    (IIRC). I thin kit was released. :)
    There were Jaguar dev kits in the office. I know some technical demos were
    produced showing 3D textured graphics and I think some FMV demos as well. I
    don’t remember any serious work being done for Jaguar Creature Shock though.

  10. Ross Sillifant

    Just to add closure to this one.way before i ‘spoke’ to Atari UK’s Darryl Still the issue of Atari wanting the game, it never happening, being talked about on Atari Age forums, back at start of Jan’2000.

    Poster called Creecy Silok, who said he’d worked on both Dragon+Cannon Fodder for the Jaguar, whilst at Virgin, said exactly what Darryl confirmed.Since then further sources have simply been able to talk through what was converted/coded (Texture-mapping demo’s, FMV code converted etc) and what became of the CD-R’s they were stored on and we’ve learnt why CD-i version never had the 3D stages.

    But again, as with many Lost jag games, it’s something that was never ‘all-that- to start with and if you want to try a version now, take yer pick of formats :-)

  11. Ross Sillifant

    The version Atari had running on video at the 1995 ECTS show was the MPEG version it seems and they appeared to be promising the only differences in planned Jaguar version would be it ran at a lower resolution.

  12. Ross Sillifant

    Martin Piper interview in FULL:

    http://www.grumpyoldgamers.co.uk/index.php?/topic/3986-the-martin-piper-interview/

    Also Alexander H.responded to it and makes clear he just found misc CDR’s with Creature shock marked on them, in same skip as the Jaguar dev.kits, the disc’s were not stated as Jaguar code, not recovered so could of been any version, just thrown out in same clear out, plus has some fantastic insights from his time at Argonaut:

    http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=28757&sid=cfa33f59c88a0cf9419c7419f4daf03d

  13. Ross Sillifant

    My last bit of research and snippet from our full exchange:

    John Edelson (He ran the teams at Argonaut for a few years):

    ‘As to your question of the Atari Jaguar, we certainly didn’t have any active projects when I was there. There might have been some exploratory work or even active projects prior to my time there, I wouldn’t know. It’s unlikely Jez would have embraced the Jaguar because he was such a technical visionary, I would have trouble seeing him embrace it.  He was always realistic about the 3DO saying that it was a huge step forward in architecture but he thought it had too many tech problems from the start. Plus, he really didn’t like the Mac development platform.  The Mac development platform was popular really only in the Siilcon Valley area, everyone else and particularly in Europe and Japan thought the Mac was a poor choice for development.’

  14. Ross sillifant

    I found the original ST Format announcement of the game headed to Jaguar CD…

    PC screens used as they were for likes of Return To zork, Hardball III etc

    Argonaut pointing out at time of announcement they were still waiting for a Jaguar CD development system from Atari UK.

    I wonder just how many Jaguar titles were annouced before deals properly signed, Dev kits even recieved,let alone any coding started?

  15. Ross sillifant

    ken Love has also gone on record to say that when Atari decided to scale down,Creature Shock and Demolition Man on Jaguar CD went the way of the Dodo, very quickly.

  16. Ross Sillifant

    You have the internal Atari Documents, but final confirmation is in…

    Bob Gleadow and Sam Tramiel pulled plug on Creature Shock, after the ECTS demo Argonaut supplied Bob was seen as dissapointing, Atari concerned game was already a year late and thus dated, Atari concerned quality would be cut further still to get game finished, were given no completition dates etc and if contract could not be terminated, royalty payments would have to be reduced.

    Demolition Man which was supposedly 5 weeks away from completion! terminated at same time.

  17. Ross Sillifant

    Like I said, Unseen 64 have the mail between Atari and Virgin, all of them, all named, dated, signed off etc.

    As official as they come, you clearly don’t..

    Proof is in the pudding.

    Just because you or who you represent was given access doesn’t mean it’s going to change final outcome.

    Luca knows me well enough to know I do my research and we both question claims, no matter who makes them or on what format.

    jaguar isn’t treated any different than PS1,Saturn or anyone else.

    Say hi to Kieran though won’t you?.

  18. Ross Sillifant

    Atarimania now been sent all internal documentation relating to Demolition Man and Creature Shock, between Atari and Virgin.

    So, as with the Commander Blood fiasco, any doubting Thomas types can pick the bones out of it when it comes up on there or anywhere else.

    Looks like tail is wagging the dog again..

  19. Ross Sillifant

    As promised, Atarimania have put up all the internal documentation between Atari and the developers of Jaguar Creature Shock, explains why Game was cancelled and not finished, but lost as had been claimed elsewhere.

    Time to draw a line under this entry I think..

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