Mudkicker is a cancelled off-road racing game that was in development in 1995 / 1996 by Scavenger for Playstation and PC (with a rumored Sega Saturn conversion, but it was denied by a former developer). The project was meant to be published by GT Interactive, along with Amok, Scorcher and Into the Shadows, but only the first 2 titles were finished. In January 1997, before Scavenger could complete and deliver the remaining two titles, GT sent Scavenger a letter setting forth notice of “material breaches of the Agreement by Scavenger” and purporting to terminate the development of those games. Because of these problems with their publisher and lack of money, Scavenger had to close down. Mudkicker was never finished and vanished forever with the closure of the studio.
Thanks to Rod_Wod and Celine for the magazine scans!
Mud Kicker – PC – Edge34
I missed it, thanks Celine! I will add that scan later :)
I may be mis-remembering, but I think Mud Kicker was originally set for 32X. (The guy that was coding it went on to do Messiah for Shiny.)
It’s possible that they were planning a 32X version originally, as they had some other projects for the add-on. When Scavenger closed down, part of the team went to work to Shiny.
You ae probably remembering
IMO the two games share the same technics ( mostly 2D ).
No, I’m definitely think of Mud Kicker: there was a screenshot of the alleged 32X version in the US publication GameFan, lo those many years ago.
Ah didn’t know that. Would be great to seen that single screenshot.
Edge’s interview with Peter Molyneux, July’97 see’s Peter laying into Scavenger and then some…he said he was hugely delighted they were not sucsessful, because the way they went about buisness was particularly bad.
Basically due to the way the team recruited staff, they were always going to have issues (Peter claims Scavenger went to all the top software houses, promised the cream of the coders working there fabulous royalities on projects if they left safe, secure jobs to work for Scavenger and all this was lies.).
Peter claimed they lied to the people who worked for them, lied to the publishers, the public and results were obvious, Scavenger collapsed as it could’nt live up to all these lies…..
:-) Given Peters own track record with promised features in games and promised games themselves that never appeared, that comes over as just a little ‘rich’ in places…
Interesting info, Scavenger really had some great developers in their team, it’s sad that everything else was not as good as their talent :(
Peter Molyneux called and faxed Scavenger in July 1996 asking to work in partnership with Scavenger. He was pushy. Scavenger never took his call nor returned his fax. He called a few times. Scavenger was one of the hottest studios of the time. It had the best technology including several engine(s) better than Quake. etc.. Molyneux was simply upset at the snub and his comments reflect that. In an email given to Scavenger during its lawsuit against GT Interactive the founder of Epic Games and the creator of the Unreal Engine Tim Sweeney wrote to GT that “Scavenger has the best engine” today; quite the complement. GT wanted out of the contract because it itself was dying (its stock price had fallen from $80 to $6 in under 3 months) and didnt want to pay millions owed. They literally took (stole!) Scavenger’s games without paying. Scavenger never filed bankruptcy as was wrongly reported. Scavenger simply had no money to continue its operations. The lawsuit took years and years as lawsuits do and by the time GT Interactive was forced by the New York Supreme Court to pay Scavenger over $3m dollars (a huge huge amount first due in 1996 when games were made for $500k) all its teams had moved on. Ken Williams, CEO and founder of the largest video game publisher at the time Sierra, Inc. testified at a video deposition that he did not trust (or like) the founder of GT Interactive and confirmed Scavenger’s business valuation. Scavenger team members went on to create Hitman, Messiah, Matrix, Enclave, The Chronicles of Riddick, and many others. It also won the award for best booth at the first two E3 shows (1995, 1996).
Thanks a lot for these info, it’s great to know more about what really happened behind doors :O
Gamepro magazine’s E3 coverage haf this, Terminus along with Scorcher and Amok down for Playstation… Couldn’t see the latter 2 mentioned on here after a basic search.
@anonymous:You can have the very best game engine tech on a system at the time, but you still need the basics of good game and level design etc to make a game work.
I was always rather skeptical of the 32X Scavenger demos the UK press went ape over,once i saw actual video footage many years later.
Considering the 32X was limited to MD/Genesis resolution (320X224?) and 512KB+128KB RAM..
What was running looked a little too good.
Resolution, Texture quality and some lighting effects..all beyond actual Saturn games and some lighting effects better than PC games.
Looked more like running on PC 32X development system.
Plus a rolling demo has no interaction,collision detection A.I etc.
We saw the likes of NEON come up with fantastic game engines, but the actual games themselves were rather shallow.
I loved Zyrinx’s Megadrive titles, enjoyed Saturn Amok greatly,but Scorcher, whilst fantastic tech for a Saturn game, fell short of Wipeout series on PlayStation.
Quake was a lot more than the engine powering it to be fair.
Sent you some new press coverage, game called Spearhead shown alongside Mudkicker and Into The Shadows.
I worked on this game, until Scavenger bankrupcy.
It was due for PC and Playstation only.
The PC version was using a hack to display the road and was quite advanced and almost playable.
The playstation engine was a real 3D engine: we never went beyond a tech demo for PSX, but technically it was great.
A shame we never completed this game, as at the end it was the most promising game developed by Scavenger (= a game which was going to be released one day, which is not something we could say of the other projects, but this is another story).