Our friend Ross Sillifant send us many contributions every week, with info, images, videos and interviews about lost videogames and their development, from popular and obscure software houses, for old and new consoles and PC. It would take years to properly organize this huge amount of info, but we’d like to save these random memories on the site, to be sure that they will not be lost while we wait for dedicated articles. Do you remember those “news and rumors” sections in gaming magazines? That’s exactly what this section is about! Every attempt was made where possible to check claims made by the gaming press, but as it stands, magazine claims should not be treated as fact and even memories could be washed out by the passing of time. This is the second collection from this series (here you can check the first one), it’s another part of a huge section that had to be cut from our book and in the following months we’ll add even more of the missing book content to the site.. enjoy!
Company called Photo Surrealism were showing video footage of texture demos etc for planned multiplayer space game on Jaguar called Galactic Gladiators, which promised Modem+JagCom support. I’ve never seen said vids, so no idea if coding actually started on game proper.
I asked John Romero about Jaguar Quake: “Hi Ross, I can’t really say whether the port started because I left id only 6 weeks after shipping Quake. If a Jag port was started it would have been after I left, and I never heard any rumors about it. Practically speaking, there’s no way the Jaguar could have done it. It could barely handle DOOM. Best, John”
Comments by John Carmack about how he’d of done Jaguar Doom differently: he talks also about Jaguar’s hardware limits, but there’s no mention of Quake being started on Jaguar as some have claimed over the years:
“The jaguar CANNOT make a fully textured, full screen, full resolution game that runs at 30 fps. The bus will simply not take that many accesses. The 64 bit bus will let you do really fast shaded polygons, but texture mapping is done a single pixel at a time. DOOM had to be significantly reworked to get good performance, but it wasn’t designed from the ground up to take advantage of the Jaguar. If I was designing a game from scratch for the Jag (I’m not), I would target 20 fps with a 256*180 view window in 16 bit color as a reachable goal. Doom runs 15 fps at 160*180 because the basic design is non-optimal for the jag’s characteristics. I wrote it for the pc.”
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.
Dan mc Namee ex-Atari / lead tester on Alien Vs Predator said Fox wouldn’t let them buy the license to do a sequel or improved Jaguar CD version of AVP, they could port the cartridge version straight onto CD, but it’d had to of been exactly the same game, NO CHANGES or improvements.
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.”
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.
Lost Conan planned for Atari Jaguar, i asked to former dev Carlo Perconti:
“Oh, I can reply to that: We got involved developing on the jaguar after we met some key people at one of the CES show in Las Vegas (I do not recall who exactly). Lyes and I we were impressed by the concept of the GPU Jaguar, an unique list processor which could allow huge sprites to be drawn on screen and which broke the limitation of number of hardware sprites on 1 video line like We used to have back then on the SNES. So at first We decided to develop a new graphic engine based on multiple layer of sprites on PC, then through Arcade Zone We got access to one of the Jaguar Hardware and then We started to port the beginning of a “first possible” level of what We wanted to demonstrate based on a CONAN character (but really it was only to show up the engine, no license was signed yet at that time). For sure, back to that period, We got many inspiration from the Big Coin-Up Arcade titles like Golden Axe and alike and so the main idea was to develop this type of beat-them-all games on Console while trying to take advantage of the processor list of the Jaguar. In our demo, everything was… a sprite, there were not background per say, everything was scrolling at a different speed based on the z depth position. So it was real, our demo was real however We could not make it to a real game because Arcade Zone lost some important financial deal when SONY suddenly stopped to distribute SNES game in EUROPE (yes it was a time where SONY EUROPE was a major distributor of Nintendo game) and so the project got canceled because of lack of funding, unfortunately KickStarter did not exist yet ^^ Voila, this is the little story of a demo that could have been a game but stayed only a demo because of a bad timing.”
I assume all source code has been lost? And it never got beyond a demo? Sources claimed anything from 1-2 levels actually finished, but that wasn’t the case?
“You are assuming right… source code lost in some 40MB HDD crash (or maybe it was floppy disk LOL hard to remember because we were moving back in forth between PC and Amiga DPaint). It was not even a full 1 level finished, just the beginning like… Conan leaving the house and going into the forest and fighting some enemy waves there…. no big boss implemented, so really only a demo.”
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.”
Jim Bagley was working on a Sega 32X Version of STRIKER (Rage) which had goal scaling, digitized pictures, was textured etc over the MD version (which in turn was an improved port from the Atari ST Version), but the 32X died before game was finished. He also (whilst at Ignition) was doing an Xbox conversion of PS2 King Of Fighters, but there was a bug in the PS2 versions code he couldn’t find, which caused Xbox version to crash, so game was never finished.
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.
DC 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. 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.
From an interview with Paul Carruthers (Acclaim, Logotron, EIDOS) we can read about the cancelled XOR on GameBoy, Turok on Dreamcast and Escape From LA PS.
“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.
Gary J.Foreman WAS working on a conversion of ST/Amiga Paradroid’90 to the PC Engine, whilst at Graftgold (he also converted Gods to the Sega MD for them) and said game was almost complete, just unreleased due to complications with Jap Publishers.