ENG: This entry in the archive doesn’t have a description yet. If you want to add some info about the beta / cancelled stuff that you see in these images, just write a comment or send us an email! We’ll add your info in this page and your name in the contributors list. Thanks a lot for your help! :)
ITA: Questa pagina dell’archivio non ha ancora una descrizione. Se vuoi aggiungere delle informazioni riguardo le differenze della beta o la descrizione di un gioco cancellato, lasciaci un commento o mandaci una email! Inseriremo le tue informazioni nella pagina ed il tuo nome nella lista dei collaboratori. Grazie per il tuo aiuto! :)
Originally, BioShock had a storyline which was significantly different from that of the released version: the main character was a “cult deprogrammer”-a person charged with rescuing someone from a cult, and mentally and psychologically readjusting that person to a normal life. For example, Ken Levine cites an example of what a cult deprogrammer does: “[There are] people who hired people to [for example] deprogram their daughter who had been in a lesbian relationship. They kidnap her and reprogram her, and it was a really dark person, and that was the [kind of] character that you were.”
This story would have been more political in nature, with the character hired by a Senator. By the time development on BioShock was officially revealed in 2004, the story and setting had changed significantly. The game now took place in an abandoned World War II-era underground laboratory, which had recently been unearthed by 21st century scientists. The genetic experiments within the labs had gradually formed themselves into an ecosystem, centered around three “castes” of creatures, referred to as “drones,” “soldiers,” and “predators.” This “AI ecology” would eventually form the basis for the “Little Sister,” “Big Daddy,” and “Splicer” dynamic seen in the completed game. [Infos from Wikipedia]
In some early screenshots and concept arts, we can see different designs for “Big Daddy” and a removed “Garden Level” area.
In the beta videos there is a very early looking beta hud and a removed plasmid called Speed Boost that makes you move faster so you can avoid the turret. Also at one point near the end you see a little sister get killed by a splicer which can’t happen in the final game. At one point in development the developers wanted plasmids to have a more permanent effect and permanently alter your body much like the splicers. For whatever reason they decided to cut it out of the game, but you can still see it in the second beta video. You can see that after he uses that one gunk ball plasmid thing and switches back to his weapon his hands still stay altered from using the plasmid until he switches to a new one. Where in the final game if you use a plasmid that alters the way you look and switch back to a weapon your arms and hands instantly go back to normal.
Frog with a Funnel in its Anus: Before BioShock’s “gatherers” became Little Sisters in an artistic process characterized by false starts and filled garbage bins, they were sea slugs. Nobody empathized with the creatures enough to care whether they lived or died. When the call went out to come up with a character that players would pity, Art Principal Scott Sinclair submitted this insipid image of a toad with a funnel and sun tea jug attached to its anus. Scott insists that fellow artist Shawn Robertson’s “dog in a wheelchair” is more embarrassing by far.
Stay Puft Bouncer: Initially reluctant to add a drill arm to the Bouncer Big Daddy variant at Creative Director Ken Levine’s insistence, artists Nate Wells and Robb Waters started exchanging a series of images in which they attached marshmallows, human butts, and other items to the character’s hand.
SloProFum: SloProFum, the studio’s internal name for this prototype Big Daddy variant that mauled players with an enormous hook and fired iron bearings from a barrel, stands for “slow projectile/fucked-up melee.”
Also, in another article they talks about an atmospheric pressure system and other things removed from Bioshock:
BioShock was slated to simulate deep-sea atmospheric pressure changes. In fact, the feature was functioning when the game shipped.
Technical Director Chris Kline explains: “Any area in BioShock could be associated with a ‘pressure region.’ Machines in each region allowed players to change the local pressure between low, normal, and high parameters. For each room in the game, there were entirely different light, fog, and HDR rendering setups, and when the pressure was changed, the whole atmosphere in the room would smoothly blend from the current setup to the new setup. In addition, every AI responded differently to pressure, meaning that, depending on the current pressure, the AI would have different animations, vocalizations, appearance, speeds, vulnerabilities to different damage types, and damage bonuses. […]
“In practice, the system was a disaster because it caused several gameplay and production issues. Most importantly — and this is the issue that put the nail in the system’s coffin — was that we never found a good way to clearly convey the effect of pressure through audiovisual changes.
Interestingly, some remnant of this system shipped with BioShock. “While we ‘cut’ pressure from the game,” Kline says, “the portion that controlled lighting and fog changes was left in the code. At one point, I discovered (to my horror, because the code hadn’t been tested in ages) that artists were hijacking the pressure system to script lighting and fog changes — most notably in the Arcadia level when the trees die and are brought back to life. So I suppose that the code was solid.”
“Early on during BioShock’s development, we went through a phase that placed much more emphasis on biotechnology,” says designer Alexx Kay. “Audio logs, instead of being tape recorders, would be squishy, organic things, with lips and ears. Machines that seemed mechanical on the surface would actually have mutated humans operating them behind the scenes — something that players would only come to realize partway through the game. There is a small remnant of this notion in the hacking mini-game; originally, the fiction behind it was that you were increasing the flow of Adam to this addicted, mutated slave, and he was giving you extra benefits in gratitude.
BioShock’s insect-based ecology: According to designer Alexx Kay, “One of the original inspirations for BioShock was Ken Levine’s belief that it was getting too hard to create meaningful human interactions in games. His first take on a solution: model meaningful insect interactions, like you would see on a nature show. BioShock would feature a complex ecology of creatures that interacted in simple, easy-to-get ways. Harvesters would gather resources and bring them back to Queens. Aggressors would attack the Harvesters, Protectors would guard them. (The Queens were large, immobile creatures, with lots of Adam, who could summon Protectors if attacked.) There would never be any speech, or any indication of higher intelligence.
BioShock’s navigation robot: During the middle stages of Bioshock’s development, the team realized that due to the complex connectivity of Rapture, players needed assistance in order to navigate the city and complete quests. Technical Director Chris Kline says, “We wanted a map, but were concerned that this would take too much programming and design/art time to implement. So I came up with the idea of Nav-Bot: You could press a controller button to summon your Nav-Bot, activate him with another controller button, and then select from a list of destinations in a 2D user interface. You could then follow him to the designated location.
Thanks to Earthwormjim and Robert Seddon for the contribution!
Tonic Trouble (also know as ED or HED during the early development) is a 3D platform game created by Ubisoft for the Nintendo 64 and PC. As you can see from the beta images in the gallery below, the developers tried to create a character design similar to Rayman for the main hero. Rather than rely on exploration as in Mario 64, Tonic Trouble proposed a rather linear gameplay, which was a direct translation into three dimensions of the traditional two-dimensional platform concept.
In the early beta images released on various magazines and websites, we can notice a graphic much more detailed than the final one on the Nintendo 64, as probably these screens were taken from various target renders and tech demos. We dont remember the game very well, but it’s also possible that some of the places seen in the beta screens were not in the final game.
The N64 version had many noticeable differences from the PC version, like a substantially different opening due to the lack of processing power needed to render cutscenes and different music in certain places. The game was going to be released before Rayman 2: The Great Escape but eventually was released months after. [Info from Wikipedia]
ShadowMan is an action adventure game developed by Acclaim Studios Teesside and published by Acclaim Entertainment. It was designed by Guy Miller and Simon Phipps. It is loosely based on the Shadowman comic book series published by Valiant Comics and was released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast and PC. [Info from Wikipedia]
In the gallery below you can see a series of beta screenshots from a very early version of the game: the 3D model of the main character was still incomplete and different from its final one, the tree looked nothing like the final ones and even the scenario shown in these images seems to have been removed or changed in the released game. Probably Acclaim worked a lot on the game, to create a title that was really good for its time.
For anyone interested here’s a very early shadowman demo from 1997, its really basic, has differerent models/ sounds to the game. If you burn it to a disc and run it you get to here the ingame audio, * To start press space on title page * space to jump cursers to move * W – wireframe on/off * H – get lighter * Y – get darker * R – respawn * F6 – free cam on * F5 – Free cam off * esc – to quit
for best results burn it to a CD and run it from there
Attack! was an action game developed by DMA Design (the same software house responsible for Body Harvest and Silicon Valley) that was officially announced in april 1999. It was described as a Spiritual successor to Lemmings and gaming magazine at the time wrote that it was planned for PC, Playstation and N64. Edge saw design sketches littering walls of DMA HQ during a visit. Game was described as “Millwall supporters let loose in Jurassic Park’ and set to feature a range of diminutive dino’s.” It seems, however, that the game was going to be released only for the pc.
Mike Dailly that worked at DMA, wrote:
“Well, Attack was never for the N64, it was a PC only (at the time) title and was canned well before other ports were started or even considered.”
There is virtually no information about it, and the only images that we have are some artworks. Judging from these few pics that we managed to recover, Attack was set in the prehistory, and the protagonist was going to be a caveman. According to some rumors, the main character was able to tame the various creatures and use them to advance in the game. The project was potentially very interesting: the titles that DMA developed for the nintendo 64 had many innovative features that were later used as the foundations for some successiful titles. In the autumn of 1999, DMA Design was acquired by Rockstar and renamed Rockstar North, the team that two years later created GTA III.
[English translation by yota]
Thanks a lot to Gilgalegrouik for some of these images and to Ross Sillifant for the contribution!