Microsoft

Ghetto Golf (IllFonic) [PC, PS3, Xbox 360 – Cancelled]

Ghetto Golf is a cancelled action/sport hybrid game in development at Illfonic Ltd from 2008 to 2010 for the download platforms of PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. In this game, the player took the role of Vonte, a young guy trying to make a name for himself in an underground golf sport while fighting cops and rival gangs in the mean streets of Oakland.

The game was showed at the Game Developers Conference 2009 and MTV Multiplayer was able to see some gameplay:

Chuck Brungardt described the first game he’s ever developed — the one he was showing publishers and MTV Multiplayer behind closed doors last month in San Francisco — as “Happy Gilmore” meets “Friday.”

That’s a novel pitch. But may we propose a different description?

Try “Grand Theft Auto” meets “Tiger Woods PGA.”

“Ghetto Golf” has its roots in Oakland California where Raphael Saadiq, former star of 1990s R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné! used to play golf on the streets, improvising golf holes with whatever he could find.

Decades later, Saadiq has his own Denver-based video game company, Illfonic, co-founded by his studio engineer, Brungardt. Their first project is “Ghetto Golf,” a planned downloadable game featuring a scrappy young guy named Vonte in the Bay Area who has to find and complete tricky holes of golf that are set in the wilds of the city — and in the line of fire of gangsters, cops and enemy golfers.

“We thought this idea would be cool,” Brungardt said as he and Illfonic’s lead designer, Kedhrin Gonzalez, ran through a build of the game made from a mod of “Unreal Tournament 3” in a meeting room in San Francisco last month.

One of the playable scenes they showed involved the hero Vonte needing to use his exploding golf ball to blow up a car that someone was ghost-riding. The player could sheath Vonte’s machine gun, flick past his spiked golf ball and his rubber golf ball to try his explosive golf ball and aim it with a swing at the car.

(…) Brungardt estimated that players would spend about half an hour looking for each golf hole before getting the course layout, the par, tackling the challenge and sinking their shots. He described the flow as “Zelda“-like: explore the terrain and talk to other characters in order to find the dungeon/golf-hole.

At last, a game that asks its hero to knock trick shots through dumpsters, off of exploding gas stations — and woe to the disapproving hoodlums in the neighborhood who would interfere with this display of sport. They get machine-gunned.

Vonte’s success in this sport of underground golf brings him from the mean streets of not-Oakland to nicer neighborhoods where cops and hippies are obstructions. The climactic level, of course, will take place in a nice country club by which time our ghetto golfer will have arrived.

“Ghetto Golf” has myriad influences. The golf controls involve a thumbstick back-and-forth swing, the aiming or arced trajectories and other trappings of golf games. The shooting is third-person “Gears of War“-style combat. A fat caddy gives you some missions. Your golf cart can be tricked out. Throw a spoiler on it. Your guns can be upgraded, “like in ‘Resident Evil 4,'” Brungardt pointed out. Drugs — they’ll have to change this — can be taken to slow down time for precision aiming and invincibility.

“Ghetto Golf” exists now as an “Unreal Tournament 3″ mod. Illfonic wants a publisher to support its development into a standalone downloadable game for Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and Steam.”

After this presentation, the game nevertheless fell into obscurity and was briefly mentioned at the beginning of 2010 before being cancelled around 2011-2012 according to XBLAFans while interviewing Kedhrin Gonzalez:

“Little information has been released thus far regarding Illfonic’s marriage between a 9 iron and a TEC-9, though the developer’s website had previously listed Ghetto Golf targeting Xbox Live Arcade in 2012. When XBLAFans spoke with Illfonic Creative Director and Co-Founder Kedhrin Gonzalez last year we learned that the developer had placed the title on hold in order to focus on another XBLA project, arena-shooter Nexuiz.”

“We actually first started with another project, Ghetto Golf, but had to put it on the backburner,” Gonzalez stated. “Instead, we decided to take a trip down nostalgia lane with an Arena FPS game.”

Despite a potential attempt to relaunch the project on next-gen platforms, Ghetto Golf was definitively canceled due to a lack of publishers interested in the game.

Today, Illfonic specializes in the development of asymmetrical multiplayer games using a few well-known film licenses such as Friday the 13th, Predator and Ghostbusters.

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Arcturus (BlueInca Studios) [XBOX, PC – Cancelled]

Arcturus is the name of a galaxy revolving around one of the brightest stars, and at the same time the game from BlueInca Studios, laid on its stocks in the summer of 2001.

The plot told how two alien races, when colonizing the aforementioned galaxy, unexpectedly discovered the existence of each other. Humanity was not in the game, but both races behaved in a very human way: instead of solving the matter peacefully, they started a fight.

In the distant future, a war between the Lumerans and the Xizons rages on.
You play Torah and can choose as either faction and lead them to victory in campaign missions.
Victory will mean more resources to build your ships and better your people.

The Lumerans are the weaker outnumbered faction but they have powerful abilities.
The Xizons are the militaristic faction with ambitions of conquest.

Military operations in Arcturus were supposed to proceed as follows: the attacking side sends a flotilla of fighters to the enemy’s planet, smashes enemy aircraft, and then moves on to the next territory – and so on until they capture the enemy’s capital. Battles in space were absent as a class – apparently, the aliens took care of the fleet as a memory.

Thus, the player played two roles. In the role of the so-called Leader, he was directly involved in battles. The accompanying equipment also fought with him. The authors promised a wide range of weapons, from miniature fighters to huge dreadnoughts.

The game was unique in that you move ships around in third-person like an RTS.
Different ships to order around include gas collectors, patrol ships, and unit carriers.
During combat you play from a first-person perspective.

There was to be sixteen single-player non-linear campaign missions (8 for each faction?).
There was also going to be deathmatch multiplayer, likely online play.

Between battles, the player was engaged in the development of his race, organizing the extraction of resources on controlled planets, conducted research and formed detachments, which then accompanied him in battle. In short, the idea was original, but it seems that the developers themselves did not fully understand how to bring it all to life. Arcturus stayed afloat for just over a year, and then added himself to the plaque of canceled projects.

In 2004 development was halted due to funding difficulties.
In 2005 the website removed the message about financial trouble but remained dormant.
Arcturus and BlueInca faded away.

Some information is taken from «Игромания» magazine, 03 (114) 2007, and https://unreleasedgames.miraheze.org/ website. 

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl [Xbox 360 – Cancelled]

S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl was released March 20, 2007 by Ukrainian studio GSC Game World. The project was very warmly received by the players of the CIS countries and became a cult title.

However, few people know that Shadow of Chernobyl was planned to be released on Xbox 360. Not only that, when the game was called Stalker: Oblivion Lost, they also wanted to release it on Xbox Original, but the idea was postponed.

After the long-awaited release and the start of development of Clear Sky, GSC announced that Shadow of Chernobyl would be released on Xbox 360. However, this idea was discarded after the release of Call of Pripyat.

Quite recently some build of Shadow of Chernobyl was leaked on the Internet. In many ways it was the same game, but with one “but”: it had an inventory wheel, stylized for a gamepad, and in the tutorial instead of the keyboard keys, as it was in the PC version, there were console keys (and from the Xbox!).

Whether this was the exact build that was talked about back in 2007, or whether it was a relatively recent version meant to be re-released on modern consoles is unknown. Well, time will tell. 

Ferrari Project (10Tacle Studios) [PC,Xbox 360,PS3 – Cancelled]

Ferrari Project (10Tacle Studios) [PC,Xbox 360,PS3 – Cancelled]

In 2007 Blimey! Games planned racing game with license from Ferrari on all of their cars for 10Tacle Studios. Development team was composed from skilled veterans that worked on games like GTR from SimBin and Richard Burns Rally. Few screenshots are still preserved but not much info could be found about this planned game. Screens looks very good for that time and show a promise of a true next gen racing.  

Strike Force: Red Cell (Vision Studios) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PC]

Strike Force: Red Cell is a cancelled tactical FPS that was in development by Vision Studios around 2005, planned to be published by Graffiti Entertainment on PC and Xbox 360. The team previously worked on a popular Unreal Tournament mod with the same name, but Red Cell would have been a full stand alone game with single player missions and online multiplayer.

Players would have been able to explore 8 levels from all around the world, completing them in a non-linear way. Each level would offer a series of missions conceived with the help of Navy Seals and USA military Officers. Some details were shared by the team in old interviews with FiringSquad and WebCloud:

Gamecloud – On your web site you have a little info about Strike Force Red Cell, the upcoming commercial version of Strike Force. What can you tell us about this game and the differences between it and the mod version?

Michael Hamlett – The Strike Force Red Cell game will have a full single player based campaign with new maps, AI coding, animations, character models, weapons, etc. The single player campaign is also being designed by Red Cell Associates. This is a group of X military Navy Seals and Officers who advised the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the President and the Department of Defense on counter terrorist activities. So we actually have a huge anti terrorist team working on the scenarios and game types. The full commercial game will also have new multiplayer game types to go along with the SP campaigns.

Gamecloud – What can you tell us at this time about the single player campaigns in Red Cell?

Michael Hamlett – The single player scenarios in Red Cell will work with you and a squad. Except your squad will actually be hidden during these missions. Meaning your character may be into a heavy battle to get out of a certain area and you can’t seem to bypass this area without any help. Your squad will radio in that one of your team mates are located on a upper hill or roof of a building with heavy guns. Then you will get a count down message and heavy fire will take out the enemy. So you will have your team helping in certain ways for the entire mission. Another scenario example may be where one of your team members is trying to cut power and you’ll have to hold at a certain point until this is done. So the interaction will play out somewhat like that.

 

Gamecloud – What are some of the more unique features in Red Cell that make it different than your typical first person shooter?

Michael Hamlett – One of the main things is what I explained above with the actions of your team helping you through but not actually being a direct part where you have to guide each one behind or beside you the entire way. Instead the team will be there to support in certain parts when needed. Also the amount of detail we are putting into maps, characters and weapons will really stand out from other shooters out there. Finally we have actually partnered with a huge X military team to help us write out and produce the single player campaign.

FiringSquad: What sort of locations and settings will the game have?

Michael Hamlett: The locations will be set world wide. As I’m sure your aware terrorist activities today happen all around the world. Sticking true to the Strike Force theme we will have map locations all over… from USA, Russia, Egypt, China, Korea, Sweden, Canada, etc.

We don’t know what happened to Vision Studios and their game, but they both quietly vanished and were never seen again.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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