Alien Intelligence [PC – Cancelled]

Alien Intelligence [PC – Cancelled]

Alien Intelligence is a cancelled turn based strategy game that was in development by Flatline Studios and it would have been published by Interplay in 1997. Thanks to derboo we were able to preserve some screenshots from this lost game, found in Power Play 4/98 magazine. As we can read in this old preview, the game promised space conquests in a huge universe full of planets, space ships and evil aliens in the style of Master Of Orion with state-of-the-art realtime chic.

The speciality of Alien Intelligence were the simultaneous space- and ground fights, colonizing and managing, fending off pirates and the trade and science in the well known manner. The research tree alone had a whole 150 pages in 8 categories and there were overall more than 10.000 possible ship designs. A myriad of possible catasprophes from storms and asteroids swarms to wandering black holes enriched the action.

Also the characterization of the races promises fun: The Arkanians are thievish insects with excellent technical skills. Huge warriors without any humor are the Munzoids, who in lack of any other talents try to solve everything with violence. The Drache, of lizard like statue, are honorable until death and gifted industrials. The Metalloids are actually a robot race with a special hand for all electronics. the Strixthes have an insect-like state form and reprodudction rate, but are otherwise rather unpleasant contemporaries. The Psionids are, of course, arrogant geniuses who strife for control over everthing and everyone through their mental strength (and a little war).

In the end Interplay decided to kill the game for unknown reasons.

Thanks to derboo for the contribution!

Images:

The great superbad, found a video of AI:

I have found a video add of AI on a cd and liked it.
The 1st thing was to look on ebay wich no real result.
Than came google, witch gave a lot of link’s.
This is one of them.

Origin/Source: disc 1 othe the game comlilation ‘Ultimate Strategy Archives’, folder DEMOS.

Download link: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=YKFXPCZJ

Videos:


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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 Google Plus,Twitter, Last FM or contact me by email.
monokoma




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7 thoughts on “Alien Intelligence [PC – Cancelled]

  1. Ilya Chentsov

    Just yesterday, I was re-reading and old magazine with a report from E3 1997, and the same game was called Dead Space there.

    1. monokoma Post author

      Dead Space? Wow, interesting find :O I wonder if the released Dead Space would have had a different name if Alien Intelligence would have been released with that other title :P

  2. Kyle

    I worked on this game way back in the day. I was the sound guy. It was called a lot of things during development, Dead Space was one of the names, I wish I could remember what the original name was the first time I saw it. There are a few factual errors in this writeup though, so I figured I’d point them out since you took the time to post about a long dead game that we all loved very much (and hated!) :)

    You mention in the first line that A.I. was a turn based game, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Everything was real time, and you could smoothly transition from giant (and I mean giant, like stupendous, like nobody has ever been this big yet, even close!) space areas where you could build space stations, resupply points, and various types of ships that were fully customizable with hundreds of different armors, shields, weapons, etc. I don’t remember how many millions of ship configurations were available but it was huge!

    Certain hull types were capable of moving from space to the various planet’s surfaces. We had I don’t remember how many dozens of stars, but the engine was capable of hundreds with 2-3 landable planets each. When ships made planetfall you could build a base with various building types similar to Starcraft or Command and Conquer. Again, the randomly generated planet maps were MASSIVE, like factors bigger than any other RTS maps, and there were hundreds of them in a single game!

    There were 6 different playable races that all had thier own strengths and weaknesses. I don’t remember what they were all called (names change frequently in a 3 year dev cycles), but I remember that my favorite were the Metalloids which were a race of self aware liquid metal machines. Every ship and building they had (buildings were animated and cool looking, ,btw) looked like they were made out of stacks of knives. :) Always liked those guys.

    There were over 150 items to research which could be done in tree style in real time, with items researched leading to improved buildings, new buildings, new ship gear, new ships, etc.

    There was realtime diplomacy, so it might be possible (we loved watching this stuff happen) for two AI controlled races to find each other and make an alliance or choose to wipe each other out. This would happen even if you weren’t looking at them, as all of the realtime systems were happening simultaneously everywhere in the game. There was little or no cheat AI, the computer controlled AIs had to build ships, buildings, colonize, resupplly, and defend themselves just like you did.

    I could go on and on, the game was truly unique. It started as something very simple which Interplay picked up, and unfortunately primarily because of Interplay’s constant feature demands (to keep up with the Joneses, even though we were Smiths and not Joneses) and the fact that we were a big group of doe-eyed kids with no real business management sense or idea of what we were doing, it just didn’t happen.

    Dead Space/AI Alien Intelligence was essentially going to be MOO in realtime in a super giant sized star system. It was completely sandbox (we had some missions, but as I recall they were randomized), and although I wouldn’t say it would have revolutionized the market or anything, it was doing some things that nobody had ever done before and nobody has done since, and it even worked pretty well. :)

    Mebbe I’ll look back through old CDs and see if I can find some more screenshots and stuff? There was a lot of accumulated data in the 3 years and I probably still have at least a CD or two full of backups.

  3. monokoma Post author

    Wow Kyle, thanks a lot for all those info! It’s always interesting to read about lost games from who worked on them :) If you’ll be able to find some more screenshots, they will be welcome for sure!

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