When 3DO was first revealed in mid 1993 among the games presented by Electronic Arts to support the system there was a nice sci-fi simulation called World Builders Inc. Not much is known about it however in September 1994 the game was already on hold for unknown reasons and in the end it was never released. If you know something else about World Builders Inc, please let us know!
Images from Edge issue 1, EGM issue 48, GameFan issue 1-9 and 1-11, Player One issue 33.
What do you think about this unseen game? Give your vote!
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The screens named “world-builders-3do-gamefan1-11-2”, “worldbuilders3”, “worldbuilders4” and “worldbuilders5” suspiciously look like it’s from the “Shock Wave”…
Here’s a “Shock Wave” intro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRKat11MW18
“worldbuilders5” – one-in-one copy see it 1:43
“worldbuilders4” – very look like on 2:46
Maybe EA took they development from “World Builders Inc.” and put in into “Shock Wave”?
Really interesting reg. That could have been the case.
Actually, if you look at Gamefan Volume 1, Issue 09 (https://archive.org/stream/GamefanVolume1Issue09August1993#page/n87/mode/2up) and Issue 11, (https://archive.org/stream/GamefanVolume1Issue11/GamefanVolume1Issue11October1993#page/n133/mode/2up) it looks to me like those weren’t intended to illustrate World Builders Inc., they were always part of Shock Wave.
It’s just the placement of the World Builders art on the same page of Issue 11 that makes it look like they could be the same game.
E.A claimed it was canned as the developers couldn’t meet deadlines..
However others claim:
(I won’t name source to protect their privacy)
“Worldbuilders died in a flurry of project consolidation and related
finger- pointing, acrimony, and resignations. The short version of events
is that Worldbuilders and Universal Station were sacrificed to get Jurrasic Park and
Twisted out the door (mainly JP). More detail than that wouldn’t be fair
to the principals (I wasn’t on any of the title teams but had friends on
all of them), but it should be noted that the boardgame mock-up of
Worldbuilders (much derided internally at the time) represented a lot of
work by the designers. At the time it was cancelled a lot of thought had
gone into the gameplay for Worldbuilders and relatively little on getting
elements up on the screen; vice versa for other titles. And it didn’t
help that Worldbuilders was designed to deliver more think-think than
bang-bang at a point when it was suddenly decided necessary to cram out
anything that would stimulate gamers like wired-up lab rats frantically
pressing the endorphin bar. And even that wasn’t the fault of the
designers since Worldbuilders was originally chartered as an educational,
or at least marginally cognitive, game (there was a related planetary
science demo that was supposed to go with it). Hell, there was supposed
to be a whole educational software group at 3DO…but all that is long
gone (except for the keyboard driver).
I worked the booth at SCES ’93 and I think the Worldbuilders demo was just
screen shots of planets and theoretical game vehicles, but I could be
A second source backs up the claim Jurrasic Park had priority:
WorldBuilders was a Studio 3DO effort. It was dropped when 3DO cut
staff after early budget problems and some great people like Noah Falstein
were let go. Many of the folks working on WorldBuilders were moved to
Jurassic Park Interactive, which was viewed as a priority title.
Worldbuilders was Noah Falstein’s major titling project at 3DO. It was
an ambitious role playing game with a theme, broadly speaking, of
planetary colonization. He did a lot of design and play modeling
before the project finally died. I believe that my boss, Fightin’ Bob
Laws, played a few rounds of Noah’s boardgame model of the eventual
title, by way of alpha testing. However, Noah was never given the
resources to do the full title and I was never clear why. Not
obviously whiz-bang enough in part, I think.
Noah was one of the really early SMSG crew, hired away from LucasArts
by Trip to be one of the major content guys for his secret project that
eventually became 3DO. Noah had been a semi-famous game designer at
Lucas and I always had the impression that Trip had made him a lot of
promises that he never kept. Trip tends to do that. A lot.
Worldbuilders was also supposed to have significant educational content
and Noah was slated to staff up and head a semi-educational titling
group. It was an overlooked part of the early hype, but the business
model for developing and marketing the Opera contained a definite
commitment to promote educational uses for the system. That was
supposed to include both producing educational titles in-house and
pushing for some hardware licensee to produce the peripherals necessary
for educational use, like a keyboard and hard drive.
It’s a moot point now but many of us signed on with 3DO on the basis of
that commitment. We did *not* want to be flogging shoot-’em-ups to the
kiddies, at least not solely. All through that frenzied rollout year
there was a contingent within 3DO who were pushing for the company not
to lose focus on important peripheral committments, like educational
uses. It was enough of an issue internally that Trip had to address it
a couple of times at company meetings, I recall. He always pointed to
Worldbuilders and Noah as proof we were “doing the right thing” or
whatever. And then he let all that die out slowly.
That’s Trip for you: hype the hell out of it and then zoom on to the
next thing before anyone holds you accountable.
>If you look on the old SAMPLER CD discs, you’ll find ads for games like
>that. Including the Star Trek, Red Baron & other games that just didn’t
>make it to release.
Oh, who was it that was doing the Star Trek title? Their demo was one
of the best looking things on the Opera prior to rollout. I saw some
early code snippets of Red Baron at a licensee site when I was doing
field upgrades of development systems. They had a controllable model
of the Red Baron’s plane running. Probably never got beyond that
Bill Baker 3DO