Random interviews & info on lost games: Chapter 2

Random interviews & info on lost games: Chapter 2

Our friend Ross Sillifant send us a lot of contributions every week, with info and interviews about lost videogames and their development, from different software houses and for various consoles / PC. To be able to publish all those info we’ll need a lot of time so we are adding these in the Unseen64 archive in different chapters, here’s the second part, be ready for a lot of obscure unseen games and canned ports of popular titles!

Prolific’s Return Fire 2 was also planned for Playstation 1 as well as PC. Edge Issue 58 has it previewed under PC/Playstation. PSX version was never released.

From an interview with Mick west, one of the developers behind the cancelled Big Guns for Playstation:

‘We did an futuristic racing game, a rally race game, a golf game, and a mech 3rd person shooter called “Big Guns”, which we eventually got Sony to let us do, and at about the same time landed the MDK gig. Big Guns was a fun game, but it kind of got designed out of existence by the Sony Producer, and eventually was cancelled. That’s a shame, but then that led to Apocalypse and hence Tony Hawk, so it’s all good.’

About the cancelled UNITY for GameCube: Jeff Minter’s chief sponsor at Lionhead, Pete Hawley, left whilst Jeff was working on Unity, and Jeff carried on for a while, but as he did Lionhead were getting closer and closer in regards to the relationship with Microsoft and Pete thinks Unity simply did’nt fit in with Microsoft’s plans for what MS wanted Lionhead to develop for their xbox hardware and instead let Jeff loose to develop it as the Virtual Light Machine for Xbox 360 instead. Pete also talked of how he so badly wanted Aphex Twin on-board to do the music for Unity, as that was “The Missing Piece”

About NATIVE II [Nuon]:  More info on why Jaguar version was canned:

Native was stopped because it was a Jag Server game (underground – so no official tools, no alpine, no cart, no CD) ALL code had to be loaded up in one go to ram so thats everything, in 2MB – it’s just not enough ram… on a bank switched cart there’d be AMPLE room, but Duranik are no longer interested in the project and nobody who’s taken it on later has really done much with it. […] Hmmm so this game could not be put onto a cart….Well even if they do bankswitching for it, They still didnt have enough work RAM he said …So did this 1 level game max out the RAM on the Jag for the 1 level so no Music/Weapons/Bosses….rotation effect could be added? Duranik did not have an official dev kit. That means they did not have the compression tools to put this on a 2 meg cart.

These would have been launch/initial wave of games for the 3DO M2 according to EDGE:

  • Descent-Interplay.
  • Disruptor (also planned for 3DO)
  • Return Fire 2 (layter changed to PC/PS1, only PC version made it).
  • Top Gun (Spectrum Holobyte-supposed to make the WIP N64 version ‘pale by Comparison’)
  • M2 powered arcade beat em up (Williams ent)
  • Wing Commander IV (Origin)
  • John Madden ’98, NHL Hockey, Road Rash, Olympic Soccer (Silicon Dreams)
  • Undecided:Crystal Dynamics, Capcom and Acclaim.

Infogrames’ Chaos Control was originally also planned for 3DO and Mega CD. Source Edge Prescreen Nov’93

From same Edge issue: Activisions’ Return To Zork was down as PC CD and Mega CD (planned), later a Jaguar CD version was announced. We have no idea if any work was ever started on it.

Namco’s PC Division in November 1995 announced it would be porting games such as “Rave Racer,” “Air Combat 22” and “Tekken” to PowerVR. Rave Racer PC demo was shown running in 640X480 and at 30 FPS on a Pentium 133 PC:

“Rave Racer was the third coin-op arcade game in the Ridge Racer series, and was released for arcades 1995. Rave Racer is not to be confused with the similar sounding Rage Racer on PlayStation. They were two different games. None of those games were ever released for PowerVR cards on PC and only Rave Racer was shown in a very early state of development at trade shows in 1996. By 1997, it had become clear Namco had no intention of releasing these games because they did not say a thing about them, ever again, as if it never even happened.”

 EDGE magazine’s preview of Last Ninja on PSX (title also announced by System 3 for PSP and Dreamcast).

 last-ninja-playstation-cancelled

Alien VS Predator: heres what seems to be the only shots of Rebellions PS1 version of the Atari Jaguar game. Enjoy:

Alien-Vs-Predator-ects-playstation

DC-UK magazine Feb 2001 reported on playing early version of Max Steel (based on ‘popular USA Animated series‘) being coded by Treyarch. Game looked to be ‘inspired by’ likes of Metal Gear Solid and Syphon Filter .They had initial concerns over repetitive nature of puzzles and also whilst you had a lot of weapons at your disposal, there seemed to be very little difference in the effects they had.

Dreamcast version of Worlds Scariest Police Chases (was due late 2000) was CANNED along with PC version, by Fox Interactive when developers, Teeny Weeny Games, went bust (PS1 version being done by separate developer).

Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix 3 PC had a poster at the Hasbro stand at the 2000 ECTS show, proclaiming it was coming to Dreamcast, yet when asked Hasbro said it was a mistake, they were’nt supposed to be saying anything about the DC conversion at ECTS as it was too early. In the end, the conversion was canned.

Virgin Interplay announced (upcoming) PC game Evolva (Strategy game) was also Dreamcast bound, it’d been in development for 2 years already by Computer Artworks, when DC-UK magazine broke the news (april 2000). Unfortunately, this was never released on SEGA’s console.

At same time, DC-UK also announced PC conversion of Deus Ex was headed to dreamcast. The game was later ported to the PS2.

They also interviewed Toby Gard who was supposed to be working on a Dreamcast version of Galleon for release Summer 2000.

Rage Software announced Dreamcast versions of 2 PC games: Hostile Waters, Off-Road Redneck Racing. No idea IF work ever started on either though.

Cancelled Gears and Guys (AKA Gears & Guts) by Gremlin Interactive for Playstation and Saturn: game was a racer, with player picking 1 of 6 beefy pick-ups, then racing over 6 different off-road tracks. Circuits were based on a grid, rather than linear layout, cue shortcuts, secret routes etc. Trucks themselves reacted to real world physics. Game expected to run between 25-30 FPS. Coder was Niall Dunne. The game could have evolved to be released as Hardcore 4×4 for Playstation only.

Bioware told DC-UK (July 2000) that Baldur’s Gate was ‘In Japan as we speak’. I have always taken this to mean they sent Sega Japan a preview copy of the PC to version, to evaluate for POTENTIAL conversion to Dreamcast, rather than actual DC version sent.

In same issue, Heavy Metal FAKK2 by Ritual Entertainment was rumoured to be coming to DreamCast from PC in early 2001.

Also, Poptop’s Tropico was said to be Dreamcast headed as well as PC, but no release date given.

SWAT3 (Sierra) at E3 2000, Sierra refused to confirm a Dreamcast  version, yet SEGA had a DC version of Swat 3 running on its Dreamcast stand only a few meters away.

In Retrogamer magazines Making of Medievil (playstation) developers say they put forward the Proposal of Medievil 3 on PS2, but nothing came of it.

Rather techy details here on cancelled Kasumi Ninja 2 Jaguar CD

In this interview with Paul Carruthers (Acclaim, Logotron, EIDOS) we can read about the cancelled XOR on GameBoy, Turok on Dreamcast and Escape From LA PSX. Would sit nicely on your site (a link to it) plus you can add the 3 games to your archives.

Q) Moving onto your time at Climax next, you were handed the Dreamcast conversion of N64 Turok The Dinosaur Hunter (something i’d loved to have of seen), again i wonder just how far along coding got/why it was canned and how you felt seeing yet another project cancelled?

Paul: Coding never even got started on that game. Canning games before they start or very early into production isn’t a problem and it’s quite common. It’s quite a different matter when you’ve been involved in a project for a long time and have invested some of your personality in it. I’ve been fortunate to have very few of those.

Q) You ended up working on ‘Escape From L.A‘ for Virgin, which was canned, so…what platforms was it due o, how far along did coding get? and why was it canned?

Paul: PS1. We hadn’t got very far at all when it was cancelled. I got the impression that early screenings of the movie had shown it wasn’t going to be a huge success!

There were various unreleased versions of Paradroid: from the C64 original said to be ported to the GBA by Jester Interactive, with plans for a ‘proper’ PS2 version afterwards (they’d consulted Andrew Braybrook), to Empires A1200 Enhanced version of Paradroid’90 to the aborted PC Engine version of Paradroid, which would have featured a 2-player co-op mode, a la Gauntlet.

Walker on the Atari ST: it was being converted by Brian Watson, who converted Menace from the Amiga to the ST, had started working on it, but abandoned it due to him considering college more important and it was being very clear that the home micro market was being killed off by the console market.

From an interview with Bob Jacob, Cinemaware:

Rogue Trooper (Ross Sillifant): What happened to the MD/Genesis version of It Came From The Desert? I believe it was a very different game in terms of plot and gameplay, being more akin to an overhead shooter. Why the changes to game format and further canning of project?

Bob: I don’t remember! (getting old)

Rogue Trooper: It’s been claimed that when S.D.I was in process of being ported to another format, it’s release was delayed as the company had asked the programmer to add extra features and such needed extra time, is this claim true? If so which format was it and what extra features did you ask for and why?

Bob: The port referred to has to be the C64. It was never completed, not because we asked for features, but because the programmer was not up to the task (he later became quite good)

Yves Grolet quit Appeal at the very start of development of Outcast 2, over a disagreement on the way to handle the sequel (and he’s professional enough not to go into any more details, it seems). 2 years after he left, Atari/Infogrames, much to the disappointment of everyone, decided to cancel the project.

Chris Stamper (Rare) was working on a concept for an arcade game called Diggers (?) which would have been a Killer Instinct type fighter, but with JCB’s excavators as the fighters, using swing shovels / buckets to smash the crap out of each other.

From an interview with Bitmap BrosMike Montgomery:

Rogue Trooper: MegaDrive Gods improved on ST/Amiga version (faster, 64? colours etc) yet seemed to fall foul of Sega Europe quality control. Any ideas what went on there?

Mike: It was a long time ago now, but as I recall it related to the increase in difficulty due to the higher speed.

Rogue Trooper: Is it true Jeff Minter approached you guys when you set up the Renegade label? IF so, what happened there?

Mike: That’s too far back to remember, but it could have been fun.


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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.
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One thought on “Random interviews & info on lost games: Chapter 2

  1. Ross Sillifant

    The Jaguar Return To Zork saga takes another twist.

    ST Format initally claimed Atari were funding development of the game and would be publishing it, thus earning a royalty on each copy sold.

    Then a while later they said Activision had told them there’d be NO Jaguar version of the game, something Atari UK’s Bill Rehbock denied, saying yes there would be and the confusion had arisen due to communication breakdown betwwen the UK=USA branches of the company.

    He also contered the comment Interplay had told ST Format, that they were definitely NOT developing on Jaguar, saying yes they were and Battlechess was almost finished.

    Was’nt even Panto season if i recal :-)

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