In the late ‘90s Microprose UK was working on a Battletech real-time strategy game for PC, based on the official license by FASA Corporation. FASA’s own development team (FASA Studio) was probably still busy working on their first MechCommander video game (published in 1998), so we can assume the company asked Microprose to work on a different game in the meantime. In the end Microprose’s Battletech was cancelled, but thanks to game designer Terry Greer we know a few details about this lost project:
“Battletech (based on a license from FASA and set in the Battletech universe and with lead designer Richard Bakewell) was in relatively good shape when I started as Head of Game Design at Microprose UK, so I really had very little to do with it – apart from working on creating the cutscene scripts, and overseeing it until its untimely cancellation.
Battletech had its own engine, a basic terrain editor, and the beginnings of control mechanics. It was also very extensively documented with a detailed GDD and specification, along with lots of artwork and models – and was fully thought through (the Battletech license was owned by FASA).
The game was based around controlling a small squad of mechs (basically big power suits) with just a single operator across a height-based map with deformable terrain. Tactics and squad formation and use were to play a large part in the gameplay.
Unfortunately the game was canned a short time later for reasons that were out of our control and which involved FASA suddenly reversing their decision to continue. I still have some artwork from the game – but can’t get the demo to run any more, it required other installed files which I no longer have.”
This project was the very first video game I ever worked on professionally!! I was so gutted when it got cancelled as I was actually a fan of the battletech TTRPG and of mecha in general. Still, I got to model a cool robot for $15/hour in 1994.
thanks for your message Ian, it’s always nice to read memories of people who worked on lost games :) Do you still have any screenshot / footage from this game?