Others

Tribes Extreme [PC – Cancelled]

Tribes Extreme is a cancelled Starsiege Tribes single + multiplayer expansion that was in development for PC by Dynamix, around 1999. It was meant to offer a proper single player experience, with 12 campaign missions and a new tribe featured in the storyline. As we can read on the Tribes Wiki:

“In the game’s campaign, the “Bone Ripper” tribe of Grievers has completely wiped out the player’s holdfast (a military/civilian homestead where tribes members live), killing almost everyone. In the Greater Tribes, this is completely taboo – battle is highly structured, even ceremonial – you never attack civilians. The player must first rid his holdfast and surrounding area of remaining Bone Rippers, then seek revenge.”

An interview with Tribes Extreme lead designer Scott Rudi published by IGN in October 1999 has some more details on the game:

“The single-player campaign in Tribes Extreme will continue to lean heavily on teamwork. The player will be in command of up to 7 other warriors to achieve the campaign goals. While each AI warrior will be relied on to fulfil its role (sniper, assault, defender, etc), the player can give specific commands to any if they feel it necessary. This way, we can offer a lot of fun for those who like to micromanage as well as those who just want to get in there and blast away.”

“One last thing I should mention is that if you know someone who has been hesitant to get Tribes because of the online-only play (it is pretty scary for the newer user to go online with the experts), this is the game for them. By the time they complete the training missions and the campaign, they’ll be ready to face off against the best out there. At the same time, the AI can be turned up by the advanced user (via campaign difficulty settings) to provide a real challenge. There’s some great stuff for everyone in Extreme.”

“Other than the 24 offline missions (12 training, 12 campaign), we’re shooting for around 10 balanced competition maps and at least 10 general multiplayer maps (not including the Open Call submissions). The balanced maps I’ve described above. The general maps are pretty much the same style as what was released in Tribes, but many featuring new buildings. The nice thing is we’ve been able to pay attention to what works and what doesn’t over the past months and put that knowledge to work in the new maps.”

“We’ll also be including what we call Cooperative maps, where players will be able to fight an AI team, or both teams can have human players supplemented with AI bots, depending what the server has specified. The first (AI team vs. human team) is intended to sharpen the skills of organized tribes in preparation for match play. Usually, people have had to scrimmage or do some other less-than-desirable thing to practice their team skills.”

This expansion was officially cancelled in December 1999, when the team was not satisfied with the work done on the single-player content and decided to focus their resources on Tribes 2.

“Over the past several months, we’ve had two teams focused on two new Tribes entities–Tribes Extreme and Tribes 2. In the past few weeks we’ve been evaluating the status of both, and we’ve come to some conclusions. First, we’ve made the decision to cancel Tribes Extreme “The Retail Product.” We had two goals for Tribes Extreme: To deliver a compelling single player experience and produce new multiplayer content for tournaments, etc.

Meanwhile, the single player component has taken us much longer to wrap our heads around than we originally anticipated and we just don’t feel we have anything close to finished that would be worth charging for or releasing. However, we’ve learned a ton of stuff during the development of Tribes Extreme, and we feel that we have a insanely cool plan for the single player component in Tribes 2”

Thanks to Evan for the contribution!

Images: 

Human Nature [PC – Cancelled]

Human Nature is a prototype FPS in development around 2000 by Paulo Ferreira, a highschool teacher who wanted to create a 3D game all by himself. According to the author, the project was ignited by his curiosity in answering the question: “How does someone develop a full 3D game in C/C++?

In his own words “The project was never finished for various reasons: programming games was never my main activity, my lack of knowledge in 3D modelling, the computer I had back then was very limited and didn’t allow me to work on more complex things. Still, the game had a simple particle system, lightmaps, doors, 3D sound, transparencies, collisions, raycasting and other things I learned and programmed at the time”.

For this prototype Ferreira used some 3D character models he found online (originally made for Quake), and others created by himself. Players would control Twain, a soldier hired by Shadow (a security agency working for powerful clients) for his combat skills. As a secret agent you would go on a mission to fight against an evil corporation, a classic story from your “typical ‘80 / ‘90s action movies”. Your first mission would have been held in New York, a simple tutorial-job to learn the basics of the game. Players would have to search for the building where a group of cyber-terrorists were hiding after having invaded a military server. Armed and well-trained enemies would wait for our arrival: it was our goal to kill them all.

As time passed Ferreira did not find any other dev who could help his project, while he was handed more responsibilities at school and had some changes in his family life. Gradually Paulo lost interest in developing Human Nature, until he decided to abandon the project.

Nowadays aside from his classes and the “videogame programming club” he manages at school, Ferreira makes games with Unity3D, publishing them on Google Play Store, Windows Store and Itch.io. His goals are still the same as back when he was working on Human Nature: enjoy new experience and inspire his students in making games.

Huge thanks to Paulo Ferreira for sharing with us his memories, information and screenshots from his lost game!

Article by Jump/Error, original version in Portuguese on the Videogame PT Blog!

Images: 

The Unit: Operation Acid Gambit [PC – Cancelled]

The Unit: Operation Acid Gambit is a cancelled FPS based on the american TV series that was in development for PC by Novalogic around 2006 – 2007. Just like with previous Novalogic series “Delta Force”, Operation Acid Gambit would have probably offered the same gameplay of strategy-focused FPS, but this time following the U.S. Army special operations unit from the TV series.

Trademarks for the game’s title were filled by Novalogic in 2006, but the project was never officially announced. We found out about the existence of this lost game thanks to Novalogic fans on the Action Inside Forum, who in 2007 were able to save some screenshots from Novalogic’s FTP. Some more details on the project were later leaked online:

“From an anonymous source, within the NovaLogic developing staff we have received the following information regarding their new game(series).”

  • New game series name: The Unit
  • First game: The Unit; Operation Acid Gambit
  • Totally new engine
  • Game will be developed with new animation software
  • Games will be based of the TV show “The Unit”
  • Based on all the mistakes that the DF team has had and you are supposed to change history
  • News release to the public is right now scheduled for Sept. of this year

As far as we know, The Unit was a different project from Delta Force: Angel Falls, another cancelled game by Novalogic (but they may have shared the same 3D engine. We can assume that something went wrong between Novalogic and the owners of The Unit TV series IP, leading to the cancellation of Operation Acid Gambit.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

Images: 

Gruesome Castle: Gee Whiz! Mystery Club [PC – Cancelled]

Gruesome Castle: Gee Whiz! Mystery Club is a cancelled adventure game that was in development by Gee Whiz! Entertainment for PC around 1998. It was announced as a ground-breaking project, the “first true 3D graphic adventure”, planning to “combining the 3D freedom of Nintendo’s Mario 64 with the classic adventure game play of LucasArts’ Monkey Island series” with cartoon horror setting and multiple protagonists, somehow similar to the Scooby-Doo cartoon.

As we can read on the old Gee Whiz! website:

“Gruesome Castle follows the exploits of Jake and Anna King and their pals Skip, Wendy, Brad and Jeepers the dino-monkey. Together they form the Gee Whiz! Mystery Club – an adventurous gang of teens who travel the world solving mysteries.

Their latest adventure brings them to England where they are to visit their cousin Edward at Gruesome Castle. Upon arriving they quickly discover that Edward has gone missing and that the castle is haunted. It’s up to our intrepid team to solve the riddle of the ghost and uncover the dark mystery of Gruesome Castle.

Game play features:

1) Taking control of Jake, players can explore a large castle with scores of rooms, including a Dungeon, Hedge Maze, Vast Underground Catacombs and a Spooky graveyard

2) Each location is very large with dozens of characters and objects to interact with

3) Witty dialog via a conversation system that allows you to talk to all the game characters

4) Inventory system lets you examine and manipulate all of the items that you find during your adventure

5) Ability to read books allows you to read from the extensive library and uncover the dark secrets of Gruesome Castle

6) Dynamic cameras in every room give a cinematic feel to game play with pans, tilts and dollies. Players can change from the default mode to any of the many alternative viewing modes allowing them to place the camera where they want it.

7) Includes a Bonus Mystery Quest mode where you seek out the Mystery Club Bonus Items that are hidden throughout the locations. Recovering all the Bonus Items reveals a secret room

8) Look around mode allows you to look at the 3D location from any angle”

A playable prototype was uploaded online some years ago, so you can take a look to see what the team had in mind for this lost project.

Images:

Videos:

 

The Insider: Back in Black (Dramaera) [PC, PS2 – Cancelled]

The Insider: Back in Black is a cancelled adventure game that was in development for PC between 1998 and 2001 by french company Dramaera (AKA In-Visio or Dæsign). The game’s protagonist was Simon Blurr, an international thief in search of new pieces for his private art collection. Set in 1920s Paris, The Insider was conceived as an ambitious exploration – simulation game, where each character had its own live and emotions, artificial intelligence and daily routine, probably following an internal clock.

Players could move around different buildings of Paris to plan their next robbery, by observing streets, houses, museums and people who live in them. French publisher Canal+Multimédia was initially supporting the team, but in March 2000 they closed their relationship with Dramaera because their project was not proceeding as expected. As we can read on Mobygames:

“The company then signed a contract with index+ in June 2000 with an investment for the game and an additional financial promise to cover the costs to port the game to the PlayStation 2. The companies knew each other well, as Réunion des Musées Nationaux had tasked Dramæra to create the game Paris 1313: The Mystery of Notre-Dame Cathedral, published by index+.

A few weeks after the contract however, index+ was sold to Wanadoo Edition. The relationship quickly deteriorated when Wanadoo decided to focus on more mainstream products. The Insider, the project Dramæra had been working since 1998 with an investment of € 900,000, was to be turned into a classic adventure game with a new team. Jean-Noël Portugal refused and because of this the studio ran into financial troubles at the end of 2001.”

We don’t know how much of the game was dove before its cancellation, but it would be interesting to see a prototype leaked one day, to understand what the team was able to achieve.

Images:

Videos: