Harker was a video game being developed for the PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 by Double Helix Games. The game was said to be based on the fictional character Jonathan Harker, a vampire slayer.
In the trailer, Harker was perceived as a much more efficient and couragious vampire hunter, as opposed to the classic portrayal of Jonathan Harker in the Bram Stoker’s books and films, including Dracula. It was said that you take on the role of Jonathan Harker in the 18th century and try to rid the world of the unholy vampires.
Double Helix studios put the game on indefinite hold for the development of Silent Hill: Homecoming. Whether or not they plan to continue production of the game is unclear at this point. [Infos from Wikipedia]
Street Fighter IV Flashback was a concept created by Backbone Entertainment in 2006, to try to pitch a full project at Capcom. It’s not that strange that Backbone proposed something like this, as they are in good relationship with Capcom: they developed various games published by Capcom, like 1942: Joint Strike, Wolf of the Battlefield and the Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. Also, keep in mind that this concept is not related to the real Street Fighter 4, which development started only much later.
Sf4: Flashback was meant to be a 3D sequel to the Street Fighter series, with the classic 1 vs 1 fights, online play and a full single player adventure mode, know as “Ryu’s Journey”. Ryu’s Journey was supposed to be a free-roaming 3D action game, in the vein of Ninja Gaiden or Onimusha, with levels to explore, lots of enemies to fight, NPC to talk to and final bosses.
The concept behind the “Flashback” had various meanings. The single player mode was set in Ryu’s flashback to SF2 and the story would have followed classic Street Fighter moments and revisit familiar characters. Also, there was meant to be a new game mechanic called “flashback ” that let the players to rewind time to undo mistakes.
The concept arts of Street Fighter IV Flashback were made in collaboration between Backbone, Massive Black and UDON (that in the end worked on the SSFII Turbo HD Remix arts). Unreal 3 would have been used as the main 3D engine for the single and multiplayer modes.
Even if the project could have been interesting, this concept was not approved by Capcom: probably not even a playable prototype was ever made and only these few concept artworks / 3D models remain to preserve the existence of this game that will never be.
This untitled project is a playable prototype that was developed in about 6 weeks by an internal team at Midway, to pitch for a full game. It’s a third person shooter, set in an abandoned city with zombies, monsters and huge colossi-alike enemies. It’s currently unknow if this proto will ever be used to build a real game, but as Midway is near to bankruptcy, we could never be able to play this in our homes.
Redwood Falls is a canceled horror science-fiction First-Person Shooter that was in development for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 at Kuju Entertainment from 2006 to 2007, that led to an impressive looking playable demo made as a way to pitch a publishers for the final game. The project was running on Unreal Engine 3, with full flammable and destructibleenvironment, enemies scared of fire, an infective virus that was able to regenerate monsters and a potentially interesting gameplay.
Sadly the development of the game was stopped in 2007: Kuju was bought by German company Catalis Group. The new owners were not interested in a new IP like this one and did not gave more funds to continue the project. Even if many publishers were impressed with this prototype, especially as it was the result of only 4 months of work, without the possibility to see more of the gameplay mechanics, none was confident enough to support it. In the end Redwood Falls was officially cancelled and only few screens and a video remain from this promising title.
In June 2021, DreadXP managed to get an interview with Redwood Falls former creative director Cumron ‘Ron’ Ashtiani in order to learn more about the story of the game and its development:
(…) In the horror space, one of the most promising projects to get axed was Redwood Falls, a cancelled Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game developed in the mid-noughties by Kuju Entertainment. (…) we decided it’d be cool to try and learn a bit more about the story behind this game was. So saying, we caught up with Ron Ashtiani, the game’s Creative Director, to get the scoop.
What was Redwood Falls in a nutshell? How did you get involved with the project?
Redwood Falls was a survival horror FPS game that I devised with Sean Murray (now of Hello Games) and a team of awesome guys back in 2007 when we were all working at Kuju Entertainment. At the time I had unfinished business from when I’d been working on 2002’s The Thing by Computer Artworks and its cancelled sequel. I wanted to continue working in the horror genre, but this time being able to leverage the then cutting edge Unreal Engine 3.
There’d been a number of graphical and gameplay features that we couldn’t do back in 2003 on the PS2 [when working on The Thing games] but by 2007 we could. This included stuff like dynamic body transformations, with humans morphing into creatures, and dynamic body damage that would let you blow creatures apart. I was also in love with the arctic as a setting for horror due to the isolation and the contrast of blood effects on white snow. The environment would have been a key part of the gameplay and story.
What was the story of Redwood Falls?
The player was a small town police officer in Alaska. Normally a quiet place where not much went on, everything would change with a sighting of something strange in the sky crashing in the wilderness. This would have coincided with reports of animals being found mutilated and people going missing. At the start of the game, the two events would have believed to have been unrelated; the only person who’d have witnessed the crash would have been someone quite unreliable. As the story unfolded, however, we’d have taken heavy influence from the thing in John Carpenter’s film by having an alien being that utilized a host creature to survive.
As the story progressed, more and more people in the town would have either vanished or started behaving strangely, as they’d been infected. The player would have had to try and isolate the alien infection and destroy it. The government would have eventually turned up with troops, though it would out that they knew all about this phenomenon, and were bent on simply destroying the whole town and the people living there.
Can you talk about some of the gameplay features?
At the time it would have been a cutting edge FPS. The main USP would have been the creatures, which could have “burst out” from any infected human. The combat would have also had dynamic body damage, where the player could shoot big chunks off them and they would have kept moving, regenerating and even subdividing.
Another feature was that the town itself would have been a persistent world where time continually passes, so when you left an area, things may have changed when you returned.
What were some of the enemy types?
Each of the creatures would have been derived from a living host, so for example, a dog could have be infected and would have created a dog-like alien creature. This was the same for humans, and we would have had a bunch of different enemy classes, from small creatures that were more like cannon fodder to big ones that were like bosses.
The game was also going to have a multiplayer mode – what would that have involved?
We were considering a squad-like game where multiple people could play in FPS mode in the town and work together. It was basically going to be co-op with all players fighting against a CPU-controlled alien infection. We also wanted to have a mode where one player was infected and the others had to figure out who it is. The infected player’s mission would have been to try to “recruit” other, non-infected players whilst remaining undetected.
Why did Redwood Falls get cancelled?
We’d spent six months working on the prototype with a team of seven, before the studio was refocused to mobile gaming. At the time the budget needed to make a game of this graphical fidelity was very high and money was scarce in the games industry. We’d also had a lot of horror games come out at that time, like Resident Evil 5 and 6 and Dead Space, and publishers felt it was oversaturated as a genre. Mobile was just starting to take off and Kuju decided to pivot our studio to that market. At that point I left to join Midway Games, and the other guys [who’d worked on the demo] left to form Hello Games a year after.
Other canceled games by Kuju Entertainment can be viewed here.
Revolution was an open world shooter with elements from strategy titles. Development started in late 2005 at THQ’s Concrete Games and ended in January 2008. After that, the studio produced some assets for Saints Row 2 and was closed in February 2008.
During its development, Revolution saw entire style changes and other reorganisation. In the coming weeks we will show you parts of the game in its different stages.
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