Alien Vs. Predator [Jaguar – Proto]

Alien Vs. Predator [Jaguar – Proto]

Thanks to Robert Seddon we got a scan from an old issue of Retro Gamer, were they shown a screen from a prototype version of Alien VS Predator, in which there were lives rather than an healt bar, an early HUD and slighty different character models.

Image:

jaguar_alien_vs_predator


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monokoma

monokoma

Editor in Chief, UX & SE Optimization at Unseen64
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 for various italian & international websites for a better User Experience & Search Engine Optimization, you can add me on Twitter, Last FM or contact me by email.
monokoma




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26 thoughts on “Alien Vs. Predator [Jaguar – Proto]

  1. Matt

    The Beta for this game was released last year (through a deal with Rebellion), I have a copy myself. The gun graphics in the beta are much different then the final artwork. The beta shotgun looked more like a modern day double barreled shotgun.

    1. monokoma Post author

      Interesting.. is the beta available somewhere for download? Probably i’m not going to play it, but i hope that it can be preserved somewhere

  2. Ross Sillifant

    Talking of earlier versions:

    Andrew Whittaker has been quoted as saying that before all of the objects and creatures were placed,the 3D engine was running at about 50-60 frames per second. Due to the tracking and AI of all of these creatures (not all at once mind you) the engine slowed down to its present pace and he was willing to sacrifice speed for more realistic (and devious) AI…..

  3. Ross Sillifant

    Andrews also quoted as saying (in an interview which i can link to if you want?) that he also slowed the frame rate down on purpose, to make players think a bit more, ie did’nt want people rushing about like they did in other FPS, so it looks like the reduced frame rate was a result of 2 factors:Hardware limitations and game design.

  4. Ross Sillifant

    :-) As is always the nature with looking into why changes were made on various games, if you asked each of the team involved, i’m sure everyone would have their own version of events.

    Here’s Lance Lewis talking about the speed reduction in AVP:

    Greg: Was it really faster in a prev version than the final?
    Lance: As long as there were no objects in the game, the engine was FLYING. As soon as the sprites were there…. Ugh. ;)
    K3V: Yeah it’s rumored to have been slowed down on purpose… Was that true?
    Peter: I thought it was so slow because it had to calculate all those aliens running around
    Lance: K3V, I don’t think that was totally true, only that the alien had faster speed, that was about it.

    Source:

    http://www.ataritimes.com/index.php?ArticleIDX=499

  5. Ross Sillifant

    Any truth to claims earlier/proto version had a slightly different looking Xenomorph and the Predator had a few more, maybe even a lot more frames of animation?.

    It’d be nice to see a side by side comparison video of the 2 as it’s been so many years since i played AVP, let alone saw the inital footage of the rolling demo.on Gamesmaster TV show.

    It’d be great to see just how much changed and if game was better for all the changes.

  6. Ross Sillifant

    Apparently Rebellion claimed Gamesmaster TV show reviewed a Beta copy of AVP, some 3 months before the retail version and they were not at all happy:
    Statement from Rebellion at the time:

    ‘ Gamesmaster [the television program] is produced about three months
    ahead of time – so the version they were reviewing then was three
    months old. What they had at that time was a pre-alpha version of
    the game. We told them what else was going to be put into the game,
    but the reviewers were, for some reason, not given this information
    by the people who run Gamesmaster.

    In fact, large areas of the map were not populated at that time;
    the game was only two meg rather than four, so the majority of the
    samples were absent.’

  7. Ross Sillifant

    :-) Last info burst on this one:

    Developers talked of the Aliens+Predators fighting each other in the early versions of the game, but as the graphics ate into the processing ‘budget’ (as they refer to it) along with fact that, once the 2 species had gone at each other hammer and tongs and killed each other off, the player would be left walking around a very empty base looking for something to fight.

    Also they wanted more ‘faces’ for the Alien, but there simply was’nt room on the cart.

  8. Ross Sillifant

    Regarding the proposed Jaguar CD version…

    Forwarded Atari internal documents to you, but…

    Atari put forward list of suggestions for features, likes of Alexandria and Beyond Games asked to submit proposals, though given how coder from Alexandria doing Jaguar Return Fire hated Jaguar hardware and Beyond Games never got far with Battlewheels on Jaguar, no surprise project was terminated.

  9. R

    On one of the RetroGamer magazines, you can see the unused Alien model from the proposed sequel. In fact, even before RG reiterated it, AVP was never planned to be a FPS, it was going to be something like a beat’em up similar to the SNES game. It’s on a old magazine besides RG…

  10. Ross Sillifant

    The model shown in RG was just a standard Xenomorph action figure model, available for anyone to buy..

    (Unlike the resin and femoral Predator model, Rebellion built for the Jaguar title or those built for Legions Of The Undead.)

    Not something built specifically for proposed sequel.

    Fox Entertainment went out of their way to assist Rebellion with props to be used for the game,including the Alien Slime, It’s called Methacel :-D

    This was detailed in several UK magazines, scans of which have been sent to Yourselves here on Unseen 64, Atarimania, AVP Galaxy etc.

    I’d been sat on some of them for over 20 years,finally decided to pay Mort to scan them so they could be shared with the greater community.

    GTW have already put up the C+VG coverage.

    If the images appear anywhere else online from now on,other than sites listed above, they are done so without my permission.

    These are images from my own personal collection i paid to have scanned so i am protecting my own property here.

  11. Ross Sillifant

    Rebellion talked about how Atari had wanted Jaguar AVP to be similar to the SNES title..a side scrolling 2D affair, in numerous interviews before and after games release and how it had been them who had convinced Atari otherwise.

    Seemed something they were rightfully proud of doing..

  12. Ross Sillifant

    Regarding the RG feature on Beyond Games and AVP II..

    Kris Johnson briefly talked of Atari inviting them over to gauge interest in doing a sequel to AVP, but this time on Jaguar CD.

    Project became studios main focus..all other projects put on hold

    Beyond were progressing towards a contract when Tramiels exited the games industry.

    So it just confirmed what Edge magazine had reported on, way back in the March 1996 issue.

    As for the Xenomorph model shown…
    Small photo of Alien Warrior on black base agains’t a green background.

    It’s not wort trying to track a copy of the magazine down just for conformation of what was already known and a stock Alien Warrior model.

    Scott Stilphen’s internal Atari documentation showed AVP CD as Terminated on 12/11/95

  13. Ross Sillifant

    There has been misleading information appearing online of late, suggesting there was a custom version of AVP built to run on VR Headsets..not quite 😁

    This from Jane Whittaker:

    There was no coded for VR headsets version of AVP, Just VR headsets modified to work WITH Jaguar AVP.

    This from Jane Whittaker:
    There was also a lot of VR equipment modified for AvP by Virtuality labs in the UK (Doctor Robert Waldren) including a virtual reality headset which could sense head movement and rotate your world view accordingly and various input devices and gloves. They were a lot of fun to use too, but unfortunately also never went into mass production.

    End of story.

  14. Ross Sillifant

    Dan Mcnamee talking about the original 64×64 grid designs for Jaguar AVP:

    Dan:They were random as in large, wandering,
    pointless mazes that were little more than frustrating…game became boring very quickly.

    There is a fine line between challenging and frustrating.
    And when everyone who picks up the controller puts it back down within
    20 min because they feel they are not getting anywhere at all since they don’t know where they are, what is going on, why there appears to
    be nothing to fight, and the point of the game appears to be to walk
    around corridors forever with nothing at all to do, I think that qualifies as frustrating. There was nothing challenging at all about
    the original mazes.

    As for Beyond Games AVP 2:Atari cancelled the contract as soon as the deal with JTS was signed and the Jaguar discontinued.

    Allowing Beyond Games to start work on AVP II for the Jaguar would of been a total waste of time and money.

  15. Ross Sillifant

    Regarding the potential of using the Atari Lynx as a motion tracker on Jaguar AVP:

    I am lead to believe Hand Made Software said the concept of using the lynx as an intelligent game controller on Jaguar games was simply far too flawed to actually work in real life?

    Great concept with lynx being used as a display device, Jaguar handling the code ) but ..

    The Jaguar serial port never worked as it should have and in the majority of games, it was the processing of the display which took the most time, so a game would be limited by the restraints put on it by the Lynx and not the Jaguar

  16. Ross Sillifant

    Found a few soundbites from:

    Andrew Whittaker, who described Dan Macnamee and Lance Lewis as being the real backbone of the team working on the game,really helped it come to fruition and it’s development involved a lot of blood,sweat and tears.

    Dan Macnamee describing the efforts as a group effort,with the team pouring their hearts into it,as they cared about the game and wanted it to be as good as it possibly could be.

  17. Ross Sillifant

    Found an old John Carmack quote, where he discussed Jaguar AVP:

    J.C: First off, let me say that I hope AvP is a great game and sells very  
    well.  I want the Jaguar to be successful.

    I haven’t seen AvP in a long time, but the early version I saw was  
    only running about 12 fps.  I’m sure they have improved it, but I  
    doubt very much that it runs 30 fps.

    The jaguar can only generate about two million textured pixels a  
    second, even if it does nothing else.  This is because the blitter  
    cannot take any advantage of the wide bus or fast page mode cycles  
    when performing single pixel operations (it can do about 10 times as  
    many gouraud shaded pixels).

    I expect AvP to have a greater pixel rate than DOOM on the jaguar,  
    because it was designed exclusively for the jag’s capabilities, and  
    it has a simpler engine with single floor / ceiling heights, strictly  
    diminishing light, and orthogonal walls (once again, they may have  
    improved it since I saw it).

    I expect they will both run simillarly.  DOOM will run at a lower  
    resolution, but with a more complex world (and it will network).  Buy  
    both of them!

  18. Ross Sillifant

    More from Andrew Whittaker:

    The “Lance Lewis” name mentioned for the marine at startup was in honour of
    a very dedicated tester at Atari who really went a long way to make the game
    the quality it is.

    And if you read all the medical and logs on the computers, most of those
    have in-jokes based on other developers in the industry. For instance, the
    planet “Brabenso” mentioned on one of the logs is a contraction of Brabens
    World, as a side joke to David Braben, author of Elite, Frontier and many
    space games. The Dr Whittaker, Chief Medical officer, contrary to popular
    belief doesnt refer to me, rather my father. I got him to type all that log
    text into ascii files for me!

    I have a version of the game that I will probably release on AVI at some
    time where the predator gets tired chasing you, stops and says “Im tired
    from all this running”, leans against a wall and starts smoking a cigarette!

  19. Ross Sillifant

    There a quite a few voiceovers in the game. The Predator voices were derived
    from all the predator movies, lifted straight from the movie. The voices for
    the marine were used in all the Alien movies and script (not all of them
    translated from first script to final movie cut). We used those lines, but
    they were spoken by James Grunke, at that time Head of Music and Sound
    Effects for Atari.

    And to complete the sound effects info :), the alien screams are actually
    digitised from Richard Miller’s (hardware head at Atari) at that time,
    newborn baby!

    Source:Andrew Whittaker

  20. Ross Sillifant

    Having looked a lot closer into the games development, it’s become clear it had a tortured development cycle to say the least.

    Andrew Whittaker has said coding AVP was hard work having to contend
    with a tumour, major burns and a bereavement during the course of development!

    There is clearly little love between him and Jason Kingsley. ..

    And Andrew went onto make a claim Atari hadn’t paid him for AVP sales at one point, something Atari’s Don Thomas strongly denied.

  21. Ross Sillifant

    Atari’s Bob Brodie explaining why game was delayed:

    Atari delayed the game’s release when the “final” version from Rebellion
    didn’t feature enough interactivity between the player and the environment
    they were in.

    For example, you’d walk into a room of face-hugger
    eggs and there wouldn’t be much going on. (no Face Huggers scurrying around, eggs didn’t peel open etc).

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