Spinny and Spike [GEN MD – Cancelled]

Spinny and Spike [GEN MD – Cancelled]

Spinny and Spike was a Genesis game, produced by Sega Technical Institute, that got cancelled relatively early on in development. It was unique in that it was one of the first games to be made up exclusively of boss battles, with no segue levels between them. Two characters (presumably named Spinny and Spike) were to fight through various nightmares.

This would have allowed for a great deal of creative flexibility and extremely varied characters.Two of the known enemies were Snake, a robotic snake with two stages of combat and a fake “natural” snakeskin that had to be blown away by the player, and Junkyard Dog, a vicious canine, the defeat of which required the player to abuse the occasional raising of its metallic head-plate.

Not much more is known about this game, apart from a wealth of old production artwork. However, there is a fair bit of interest surrounding it, and the story of its demise is of particular note.

The story goes that the game was originally conceived and planned by the trio of Steve Woita, Jason Plumb and Tom Payne (two programmers and an artist, respectively). It was soon given the go-ahead by Tom Kalinske (then-CEO and president of Sega of America), along with two other games, Comix Zone and Sonic Spinball. However, not long into its production, the three members of the team were reassigned to the Sonic Spinball project, which needed extra assistance in order to reach completion in time for the holiday rush.

Upon returning to Spinny and Spike, the three were rudely surprised by the apparent instigation of a completely new producer and lead artist, who had been hired to continue work on the game. The new team had sent it off in a completely different direction, and had not stayed faithful to the original design, according to Woita. Both he and Plumb decided to leave Sega in disgust, after receiving offers to work at Ocean of America.

While development of the game was meant to continue in the absence of these two key players, it was soon decided that its completion would be impossible without the input of Woita and Plumb; their code was too individual and unconventional, and its efficient use would have first required a complete rewrite. As this was too costly, Sega simply canned the project.

You can see many pieces of concept art, and read more about Spinny and Spike, in the Select Button Forum!

Article by Franklint


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5 thoughts on “Spinny and Spike [GEN MD – Cancelled]

  1. Alan Ackerman

    All of that concept art was from the second round of reproduction.
    The original concept art by Tom Payne was very whacky and unique. It did not fit into standard video game art / cartoon styles. It embodied much of what was new and fun about the original game concept.

  2. Alan Ackerman

    I have no idea if any of the original art work survives.
    I would hope that Tom or Steve Woita might have some.

    Hmm… interesting typo in that first post. Either I meant pre-production or production, but probably not reproduction. ;)

    1. monokoma

      Thanks Alan! I will try to contact Tom or Steve, it would be nice to preserve more arts from this lost game :) If you have any other memories aboyt the project, they are always welcome!

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