Heavenly Sword started development on PC since 2003, with a view to moving onto next generation platforms such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It had, at one time, been up and running on an early Xbox 360 prototype but this was abandoned in favour of the PlaySation 3 when the title was picked up by SCEE. – [info from Wikipedia]
Before LittleBigPlanet was called “LittleBigPlanet”, it was called “Craftworld”. It was a physics-based 2D side scrolling game and it’s main character was a little guy by the name of “Mr. Yellowhead” (he is an unlockable character in LBP). His arms were controllable with the right analogue stick and his legs were controllable with the left analogue stick. The main point of the prototype was to guide Mr. Yellowhead past a bunch of little and big obstacles by grabbing on to them and pushing and/or rolling them around, much like a puzzle game.
This was enough to make Sony interested in the game and after much work and a public beta, LittleBigPlanet was released worldwide by November 5, 2008.
As wrote on TheEscapist, it seems that Media Molecule had some plans to make the game a “full 3D” exploring platform:
Media Molecule co-founder Alex Evans told Joystiq at Gamescom that an early build of LittleBigPlanet had “free depth and completely moving cameras, and the gameplay engine wasn’t layered fundamentally.” Levels could “travel into the screen,” so Sackboys were able to move more than just left and right.
Evans admitted that this level of freedom was “really hard” and “creatively unconstrained.” He says: “We found our level designers wasted tons of time in 3D land, so we iteratively reduced it; first of all, we reduced the scope, then we added the layers, and with each restriction we did, it improved the quality.”
In the screenshots below, we can see some interesting concept art of the various stages of the game.
Endless Saga was a MMORPG being developed by Webzen for the PC and PlayStation 3 platforms. It has recently been announced that the project has been cancelled: “We have recently decided to cancel the Endless Saga project. Endless Saga was one of our ambitious development projects to enter into the next generation console market. However, after some rigorous development effort, we found the gameplay of Endless Saga to be short of innovation and creativity we seek to achieve in online gaming space.” – [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
Mortal Kombat: Special Forces is an action game for the original PlayStation. It was released in North America on July 30, 2000, and in Europe on September 29, 2000. The player to take on the role of Jax (a.k.a. Major Jackson Briggs) as he tracks down the Black Dragon. There were plans for a Nintendo 64 version but after Tobias’ departure and the release of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox systems, Midway management decided on a budget release of the game priced at $20.00 for the PS1 only. The N64 version could have been finished, but it was never released. [Infos from Wikipedia]
Thanks to Edward Kirk we can read more interesting info from the Mortal Kombat Special Forces’ development:
the game had a convoluted history which, with the departure of MK co-creator John Tobias from Midway, left it incomplete. The final release was only half the game that was originally planned, with the storyline shifting its place within the MK chronology
the game was reduced from seven levels down to five, and from two characters down to one (Sonya was originally playable, but then removed).
You can download a PDF with the full article written by Edward in here. It compares what was planned for the original game with the one that was released.
In mid 2018 Rhythm Lunatic found a playable prototype from the beta / unreleased version of the game. You can see some footage below!