Sony

Failsafe (Game Over LLC) [PC, PS4, Xbox One – Cancelled]

Failsafe is a canceled parkour adventure game developed from 2014 to 2016 by Game Over LLC, planned to be released on PC first, then could also have been released on Xbox One and Playstation 4.

Failsafe followed Isra and XJ, her robot companion, as she accompanied her uncle on a journey outside of their village set on a wasteland of a planet.

The game was first mentionned in December 2014 on the official Twitter account of its developer as Project Johannesburg, before an early build was shown at the Penny Arcade Expo East in March 2015. Two months later, Polygon interviewed Daniel Lisi, managing director of Game Over LLC:

Failsafe is a first-person adventure puzzle game starring a young girl named Isra (voiced by Ashly Burch) and her robot companion (voiced by Dante Basco). The game, which poet Beau Sia and former Gearbox writer Anthony Burch are penning together, takes place in the distant future, where Isra is charged with completing a sacred ritual. Much of the game’s narrative will be driven by the development between Basco and Burch’s characters, Lisi said.

During the brief interview with Polygon, Lisi and creative director Seiji Tanaka — who previously worked on thatgamecompany‘s Journey — said that the game is intended to be simple, but also emotionally complex. Although Anthony Burch’s work has primarily been more comedy focused, as in Borderlands 2, Lisi said Failsafe will explore something more serious in terms of its tone. Isra and the Bot find themselves trapped within an ancient underground facility. Although the two are natural enemies, they must learn to overcome their differences and work together.

“As they travel through this treacherous environment together, they realize that the roles they’ve been given are not really how they want to be toward each other,” Lisi said.

Tanaka said that much of Failsafe’s gameplay will revolve around mastering and combining the capabilities of the girl and her robot. He compares it to games like Ico and The Talos Principle, with a bit of Portal and Mirror’s Edge mixed in.

“It’s really about understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each character,” Tanaka said. “Isra is a very capable acrobat. She can run really fast, jump really high and climb onto ledges very quickly, but she just doesn’t have the understanding of the environment she’s in, where the robot is very capable as an interfacing to the world around him.

“But it’s kind impeded by a lot of physical obstacles that he just can’t get across because of his physicality. It’s about understanding how these two can interact to enable each as a unit.”

Failsafe is currently being developed for PC platforms and “possibly PlayStation 4,” Lisi said. The studio expects to release it in summer 2016.

In November 2015, the project was launched on Kickstarter. Here was what we could read: 

Zombies: The Awakening (Krysalide) [PC/XBOX/PS2 – Cancelled]

Zombies: The Awakening is a canceled survival-horror first-person shooter developed by Krysalide for the PC, Playstation 2 and Xbox around 2003-2004 for a release planned in the beginning of 2005.

Using the Unreal Engine 2, Zombies: The Awakening was the first game from a small team composed of 15 people. Few is known about the game itself apart from the official announcement on the old website that we can now find everywhere on the Internet:

“Mix of FPS and survival/horror. Balance between action and adventure to offer a varied experience to the player.

Interactive use of the surroundings in order to survive in the besieged town : find objects to block paths, use electricity or gaz to forge a path to freedom. Find food and medication to save your skin and that of other survivors.

Beware the contamination… zombies attacks will slowly turn you into one of them… See your body changing, becoming slow and clumsy, but also more resistant to bullets and other attacks. But will you find a cure in time ? Find medikits, ingredients to a serum and use the sickness to your advantage.

Find other survivors. Each will bring new skills in medication, combat, electronics… and each one will have a different personnality and weaponry.

When ammo is sparse, use other mayhem devices : electric drill, molotov cocktail, and many more…

Half of the city is plunged in darkness. If you want to avoid surprises, find reliable light sources.

20 hours of intense gameplay, 11 levels to test your survival instincts, 20 weapons and 12 sidekicks.

Various and dangerous enemies, with different behaviors and intelligence. Hordes of living dead, squad based military, zombies, and bikers from hell ready to plunder town…”

On December 2003, a developer from Krysalide was interviewed by Ownt and shared more about the game:

“Zombies is a first-person shooter created to replicate the vibe of Resident Evil while offering the freedom of movement of a first-person game. Krysalide hopes to avoid the heavyweight competition of FPS by standing out for the gameplay peculiar to any good survival horror game.

The game will last about 15 hours and will be a series of missions and puzzles placed on a linear frame. Each mission will allow you to meet a new secondary character with his own weapon and special skills.

The project is ambitious, especially since it is planned to integrate into the game a substantial multiplayer part that the developer of Krysalide compares to Counter Strike with zombies in the center and on each side of the character classes (bikers, soldiers, police officers, survivors).”

However, after some gameplay was revealed initially on February 2004, the game vanished before French website NoFrag was informed from the CEO of Krysalide himself, Loïc Barrier, that it was definitely canceled due to lack of publishers interested in the project:

It’s been a year since we last talked about Zombies: The Awakening, and for a good reason: today I had confirmation from Loïc Barrier, the boss of Krysalide, that the game will never be released. It was canceled, apparently a while ago, when Krysalide realized that no publisher would accept the project as the developer had designed it.

We can speculate that it was too ambitious for a first game from a small team of 15 people that had never made before their own game.

After the cancellation of Zombies: The Awakening, Krysalide would still work as an outsource company on various projects made by French developers such as The Crew and Dishonored 2 before disappearing.

Article by Daniel Nicaise

Images:

Video:

 

Time0 (ZootFly) [X360/PS3 – Cancelled]

Time0 is a canceled action game developed by ZootFly for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 platforms, alongside potentially a Nintendo Wii version, from 2006 to 2008.

As we coul read on old ZootFly’s website, Time0 followed the adventure of Zed Condor, an urban explorer and Violet Munro, an investigative reporter who got trapped deep in the shadow world of a parallel New York. The city itself is a giant war machine threatening to wipe out our world. They have three days to stop it.

“Time0 is a daring and upbeat action adventure about two diehard New York City urban explorers. They discover an entrance to a parallel world in which an army of enslaved people is building replicas of cities in order to launch a Trojan horse invasion on Earth and other worlds.”

“There’s the exploration spirit of unknown worlds, the audacity of the greatest movie adventures, and the roughness of gritty urban TV series.”

Time0 had a pretty messy development story, as the creation of this game came from the ashes of another canceled project from ZootFly, a title based on the Ghostbusters license. According to Bostjan Troha, founder and president of ZootFly, for Gamespot, this game was in development from May to July 2006 before being postponed because of IP issues:

“Over the weekend, Ghostbusters fans were aflutter with some videos that appeared on YouTube. The clips showed footage of a game based on the 1984 sci-fi comedy film. But instead of featuring fish-out-of-water geeks awkwardly shooting from their proton packs, the videos showed Gears of War-style gameplay, massive destruction, and a gritty New York cityscape.

The videos were posted by the game’s developer, Slovenia-based ZootFly, who later admitted that the Xbox 360 game was merely a prototype and that intellectual-property issues momentarily sidelined its development.

Bostjan: “The development started in May 2006 and was put on the back burner in July 2006, at which point we shifted the focus to Time0, a Ghostbusters-inspired game. The engine is based off of a common code base we have at ZootFly. After our previous titles were released it was upgraded to next-gen to run a prototype of World War III, a game where the US and Europe duke it out. The Ghostbusters footage was running on an intermediate build of the engine that now powers Time0 which is a third-person action game for the Xbox 360, PS3, and hopefully for the Wii. It is in part based on a true story about two urban explorers that disappeared in New York City in August 2006, while exploring a Harlem basement rumored to house an ancient portal into the parallel world. We started prototyping in summer last year. The development of a 20-minute vertical slice of Time0 started in late October 2006. Right now it’s hard to tell when it’s gonna be complete. Currently, we are actively looking for a worldwide publishing deal for Time0.”

Early 2007, ZootFly posted three teaser videos about Time0. After that, the game disappeared from the radar during an entire year before Gematsu revealed in May 2008 that the title was still in development and that the developer was trying to negotiate with publishers:

“We’re still talking to… how shall I put it… two of the top four publishers about publishing Time0,” said Troha. “The 20th Century Fox title will be announced by Brash Entertainment sometime in summer. Unfortunately that’s all I am allowed to disclose.”

Unfortunately, Time0 was never mentioned again thereafter. A few years later, a new video showing gameplay was uploaded in addition to new screenshots, unclear as to whether this was a new attempt to revive the project or if it was an old prototype before it’s cancellation. We notice that the appearance of the protagonist has been totally changed, as Chentzilla pointed out in the comments, it borrowed a lot from the main character of the game Mistmare, which was developed by people who would later found ZootFly.

After developing Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death, ZootFly was acquired in 2013 by the company Interblock, specialized in casino games.

Thanks to Chentzilla for the contribution!

Article updated by Daniel Nicaise

Images:

Videos:

 

Terra: Formations (Starcave Entertainment) [X360/PS3/PC – Cancelled]

Terra: Formations is a canceled first-person shooter with real-time strategy elements developed by Cellien Studios, a two men team subdivision of game company Star Cave Studios, for PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 systems, from 2004 to 2017.

The game was first revealed in the beginning of 2005 by Cellien as a multiplayer FPS using the Torque Engine:

“We at Cellien Studios are developing a game on the Torque game Engine from www.garagegames.com. Terra: Formations is a Sci-Fi FPS game that will be played online much like Unreal Tournament style. The project website is www.terrathegame.com and our studio website is www.cellienstudios.com. So far our studio only consists of two people but for a two man team and only 5 months of development I feel confident that we will be able to release a demo in the coming months so keep an eye out.”

After a year of silence, Gamesindustry announced Terra: Formations, now headed by Star Cave Studios:

“Irish Star Cave Studios Limited proudly announces the development of its first “AAA” title and first multiplatform game, Terra: Formations! In Terra: Formations, players have the freedom to select their preferred style of game play, ranging from high action First Person Shooter (FPS) to more strategic Real-Time Strategy (RTS) in a ranking system set up much like a Role-Playing Game (RPG)! It’s the clash of the titans when it comes to game genres; FPS, RTS and RPG – all tied together in this awesome looking fast-paced, action packed, futuristic Massive Multimedia Online Game (MMOG), also featuring single-player options and adventure elements!

By the year 2157, mankind had depleted the resources of planet earth with his lust for power, technological advancements and greed. Ironically, the very machines that played a role in mankind’s irrevocable position were the only chance of survival! After several years of uncertainty, hope was reborn with the efforts of the Global Military Alliance to Terraform one of earth’s celestial neighbours, Jupiter’s moon called “Europa”. It wasn’t until the excavation of the satellite’s icy crust that mankind learned the truth; he was not alone and something, somewhere, was waiting, watching, learning and preparing for battle!

As a player in Terra: Formations, you join the ranks of an elite military force with the objective of reshaping the environments of inhospitable worlds, experience the evolution of a developing planet, and take command to become humanities only hope for survival in an epic struggle for control of the solar system.

Four classes of characters offer different insight to the chaotic world, each providing a unique blend of interaction. The Soldier faction allows for adrenaline pumping action that players have come to expect from traditional FPS games. As a member of the Engineer class, the player becomes the key element in the development of the environment by constructing and repairing mankind’s lifeline to the world. The Researcher class explores the evolution of the world to enhance society’s tools and develop new technology, and finally the player can opt to take command of the action from the perspective of the Commander class to bring order to an uncertain future, tying RTS elements into Terra: Formations.

Star Cave Studios Limited is a privately owned game development studio based in Ireland, and the cream of Irish developers! Founded in June 2004 by industry veteran Keith Killilea, CEO, its focus is to create state-of-the-art computer games targeted not only at the PC platform, but also the next generation gaming consoles! During the course of 2005, Star Cave Studios Limited acquired Cellien Studios, based in Austin Texas, and Single Cell Games, based in Australia, and has now become the leader of Irish game development!”

After that announce, however, the game was put on-hold indefinitely, before surprisingly coming back from the dead in September 2012 on platforms such as Steam Greenlight and Indiegogo, using this time the Unreal Engine 3:

“In Terra: Formations, players have the freedom to select their preferred style of game play, ranging from intense action First-Person Shooter to more strategic RTS planning in an online multi-player universe.”

The key concepts of Terra can be summarized by the conflicting species, player classes, life forms, technology, locations, and gameplay that are designed to make a genre hybrid, player driven world possible.”

Terra: Formations main features:

Rich, highly detailed, atmospheric and wonderful alien enviroments

Changing environments reflecting your terraforming progress, becoming more habitable and supportive of your species requirements. Tug of War gameplay.

Permanent changes in environments – terraforming levels will remember your changes.

Groundbreaking genre crossing gameplay, combining First Person Shooter with Real-Time Strategy.

Highly detailed player characters, with customizable appearances

RTS online gameplay where you give real players control commands.

Advanced AI Droids for FPS defending & RTS resource play.

4 distinct classes of characters; Soldier (FPS), Commander (RTS), Builder (FPS+RTS), and Medic (FPS).

Hi Tech Weaponry & Several Ground / Air Vehicles

Commander Special Attacks such as air-strikes, cloaking, superweapons.

Aliens have the ability to turn Humans by infestation into fellow Aliens.

Global online points & stats system.

Open Mod System allowing map makers to create new worlds.

“The game was announced back in 2006 for all major platforms from PC to Consoles and the screenshots you see in the Gallery tab at the top of this page is the playable demo from back then! We spared no expense to create “AAA” class graphics, code, game-play and pulled all-nighters with barely no lives at all. To develop the whole game we needed a publisher and in the end Terra needed to be put on hold – until now!

On the Indiegogo page, we could read further details on the company and some ideas behind that game:

“Based on our funding target, we would expect to nail the deadline for Beta Release in late 2013. We know exactly what we are doing, and as Terra has been many years in the making, we are confident in our deadlines! We will keep you in the loop with our development at all times, and give you a look into the process and progress we are making.”

“Example of how amazing Terra will be, your playing on the multi-player level and the world around not just changes due to the terra-forming but stays changed even when you return later to it! We want to bring you an experience of game-play not done before and a dynamic living world you would expect to be on.”

Unfortunately, the crowdfunding campaign wasn’t a success, the game only collected 75$ on a fixed goal of 175,000. After this failed campaign, Terra: Formations disappeared again, but attended a third comeback, this time in the beginning of 2014. Rebranded as T.E.R.R.A. and using Unity as new engine, the project was slightly different about what was initially planned from it’s former form and was, once again, put on Steam Greenlight:

We are an small team of 4 so far working on this title but if we are funded we can bring in extra help from our peers to bring the game to an completion stage. For the past few years the game evolved from it’s concept of different demo versions towards today, believe me we have had plenty of time to do trial & error on blending the genre’s! We ended up with the finish concept after all of this to what it is now, so much had changed we changed the name to the current form to represent this.”

The developers managed to release it in Early Access around Spring 2016, but in April 2017, as we could read on the comments section, Starcave decided to rebuild the game to it’s core in order to get significant improvements:

“There was a break in the development, where we were reviewing everything of the Early Access release build and have decided to rebuild the core to make better improvements for between EA to Full release to be as smooth as possible. More updates will appear as soon.”

It will never materialize and, since then, Starcave disappeared from the picture alongside T.E.R.R.A. which isn’t playable anymore.

Article by Daniel Nicaise

Images:

Videos:

 

Moscow Rhapsody (Illusion Softworks) [X360/PS3 – Cancelled]

Moscow Rhapsody is a canceled First-Person Shooter published by D3 Publisher and developed by Illusion Softworks, between 2006 and 2008, for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles.

For several years, little information was available regarding Moscow Rhapsody, until August 2019, when the Czech website Visiongame.cz interviewed Marek Rabas, who was lead programmer on the game, in order to learn more about its concept and the origin of its cancellation:

VG: So you mentioned that you left after the unannounced Illusion Softworks project was canceled. We have it in the archive, it’s Moscow Rhapsody. Could you tell us more about this game? Apart from a few pictures, not much can be found about it. So was it’s cancellation a reason for you to leave?

Marek Rabas: “Moscow Rhapsody was a First-Person Shooter that had some interesting inspirations. The first was Rainbow Six : Vegas, which combined 1st person and 3rd person cameras. So it was the FPS where you used the covers, and when you were in the cover, the camera just switched to 3rd person. The story took place in Russia and was inspired by the book Icon, which dealt with the coup. When some people go crazy and shoot the president, creating total chaos in the country. The player then had to move in this situation and try to solve it. It had a very interesting concept. I think that the game had hope of success and we worked on it for two years, helping to make the engine on which Mafia runs. Unfortunately Moscow Rhapsody was made for publisher D3 and not for 2K Games. So when 2K bought us, they canceled the project and moved people out of it to complete Mafia II. So it was an impulse for us to leave. They took our project and the relationship between the Mafia II team and the Moscow Rhapsody team was not entirely good.”

After the release of Mafia II, Illusion Softworks (then renamed 2K Czech) was merged with another internal studio at 2K Games, Hangar 13, to continue developing other games based on the Mafia license.

Article updated by Daniel Nicaise

Videos:

Images: