Black Death is a cancelled FPS / Survival Horror game somehow similar to Condemned and Dead Island, in development by Darkworks around 2011. Darkworks was an independent French studio not widely known by the average gamer, but they released a couple of fan favorite games as Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare (Playstation, Dreamcast and PC) and Cold Fear (PS2, PC and Xbox). Black Death was announced in June 2011, as the team tried to get attention from publishers to find money and resources to fully develop their idea. This was the last project they tried to pitch before closing down after a series of unfortunate failed projects, such as their Onechanbara reboot, State of Crisis and The Deep.
After Ubisoft took away I Am Alive from Darkworks in 2008 to complete it under Ubisoft Shanghai, the team worked on many different prototypes. We can assume at the time the team tough that shooters were the most marketable genre to be greenlighted by publishers, so they conceived a few ones (such as Black Death) with interesting / original features.
Some more details about Black Death were published in the (now removed) official website:
What is Black Death? Black Death is a new survival horror from Darkworks. Black Death is the personification of the fear generated by the recent pandemics and the mistrust which has been associated to their supposed origins (natural apocalypse, scientific, industrial, or military ones… or else… ). Our goal with Black Death is to go one step further by focusing the game on three essential elements: speed, fluidity and freedom of action, to offer the player a sensation of freedom and the possibility to create his own arsenal.
Pitch: Today, The American North East coast, a city is suddenly hit by a massive cloud of smoke. Mysterious swirls of this black smoke appear and infect everybody. This new disease is spreading all over the city making it a place full of sick people sunk into a comatose state. As they mutate into strange creatures with various powers and group behaviours, they start to become violent and invade the whole city. The player is a survivor who will try to stay alive and wipe out this scourge from the city.
Gameplay Experience: THE FOG PLAYS WITH YOU, PLAY WITH THE FOG Survive in the fog Be Creative: Create your own chemical weapons and test them on your enemies Cure or kill infected you meet and choose your fighting strategy Spectacular: Have fun discovering a unique bestiary, and experiment with multiple weapons and devices Fight: Fast action, it’s difficult to kill, you must finish on contact Control the fog Discover the black death evolution
A playable demo / prototype for Black Death was also released in July 2011, but it failed to gain much interest from gamers and publishers. With no more money to keep working on their projects, in October 2011 the studio was placed into Compulsory liquidation and was closed. In about 15 years of activity, Darkworks were able to successfully complete and release only 2 games, while all their other projects were either cancelled or moved to different developers. There are already a good number of interesting lost Darkworks games in the Unseen64 archive, but many more still remain unseen and even if we tried multiple times to get in contact with people that worked at the studio, it seems almost impossible to know more about what happened to them or to their cancelled games.
Sacred Line is a first person dark adventure / surreal thriller developed by Sasha Darko (a Russian music producer, game developer and writer), released for free in 2013 for PC. In 2015 an extended version of the original Sacred Line game was released for Mega Drive (phisically and digitaly), titled “Sacred Line Genesis“.
We received details about a few interesting unreleased PS1 / PS2 games that recently appeared on eBay. A couple of these are English versions of Japan-only games which existence was unconfirmed until now, while the third one is a completely cancelled flight combat sim (Update: “Iron Eagle Max” was released as “Side Winder Max” in Japan, thanks to Ozzy2k for the info!):
Every blue moon, something truly special appears on eBay that is undeniably incredible. In this instance, not one, not two, but THREE incredible items have popped up. One unreleased PSX game in final form, and two PS2 games!
PANZER FRONT BIS: Panzer Front Bis. is a follow up to the acclaimed Panzer Front game. Only released in the Japanese language, Panzer Front bis. now has a full and final release in the English language:
IRON EAGLE MAX: Iron Eagle Max is an unreleased fighter pilot flight sim. Gameplay has a complete and polished feel. The only information we were able to track down about this game is an old article, cementing it’s legitimacy as a press review disc.
We are happy to announce 2 eBooks from our digital version of “Video Games You Will Never Play” are featured in the latest eBook bundle by Story Bundle! Our “An Introduction of Video Games You Will Never Play” and “PC Games You Will Never Play” can be found in this bundle in their ePub and Mobi versions (our full book is available in physical form on Amazon and in PDF on Patreon), so you can easily read them in your eBook reader.
In the same bundle you can also find many interesting eBooks about forgotten video games, such as the research on the lost P.T. (Silent Hills) PS4 demo by Joel Couture, The Complete Guide to the Famicom Disk System by Hardcore Gaming 101 and the history of Doom by by David L. Craddock.
The first Video Game Storybundle of 2018 is a massive one, since we have three brand new game history/analysis ebooks you can’t get anywhere else, as well as some amazing overlooked & sought-after tomes based around retro video game goodness.
Some of the biggest highlights for this bundle include exclusive ebooks on Hideo Kojima’s ‘lost classic’ horror title P.T., on the Doom franchise‘s amazing start and triumphant 2016 return, and on unlikely gems for the Atari 2600/VCS (including, yes, E.T the Extra Terrestrial!)
We also have a truly wonderful book on the history of the Xbox, a complete look at the rare Famicom Disk System and its games, and a trilogy of Douglas Adams-style novellas about a retro computer/game collector, as well as rare games revealed from the Unseen64 crew and a look at the historical heroines that come in game protagonist form.
Once again, the optional charity for this bundle is the Video Game History Foundation, a brand new non-profit organization dedicated to cataloging, digitizing, and preserving the history of video games. – Simon Carless
The initial titles in the Retro Wonder Game Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:
21 Unexpected Games to Love on the Atari VCS by John Harris
Heroines of Gaming by Christian Cardenas, Dylan Altman and Trista Payte
The Ambivalence Chronicles – Bit#1: The Chip Whisperer by Steve Trower
The Ambivalence Chronicles – Bit#2: The Kempston Interface by Steve Trower
If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular titles, plus SEVEN more!
P.T. – A Video Game Ghost Story by Joel Couture
Stairway to Badass by David L. Craddock
HG101 Presents: The Complete Guide to the Famicom Disk System by Kurt Kalata and Dustin Hubbard
Game of X – Vol 1.: The Untold History of Xbox by Rusel DeMaria
PC Games You Will Never Play by Unseen64
The Ambivalence Chronicles – Bit#3: The Road Worrier by Steve Trower
An Introduction To Video Games You Will Never Play by Unseen64
This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other e-readers via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub, .mobi and some .pdf) for all books!
It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.
Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.
Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to the Video Game History Foundation!
Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!
StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.
2018 is here and as every year we’d like to review what we did the last year and make some plans for the new one :)
As most of you known, we work on Unseen64 in our own free time, after a long day of our day-jobs, taking away this extra time from our sleep, friends andfamily just to read Unseen64 related emails, reply to messages on social networks, resolve technical issues on the site, search info on lost games, save media, contact developers and write articles.
Even if you only see a few articles or videos published every month, to keep the site alive as it is, it takes dozens and dozens of hours of work every week. 99% of the articles are written by monokoma, who also manages tech issues, replies to emails and on social networks (mostly on Twitter). In 2017 we started to repay a few of these hours thanks to the help of all of our Patrons, to let him work a bit less on freelance jobs and to work a few more hours on Unseen64 instead.
We still did not reach our goal of $550 on Patreon, so monokoma can’t really quit any more of his freelance activities to invest more time into Unseen64. Still, these donations permits him to not lose faith in our project and to keep it alive – instead than to close the site down.
Patreon is essential for the survival of a niche project like Unseen64, a website 99% managed by a single italian guy in this age of Youtube and gaming videos in english.
We are really grateful for your kind words and your help: without our Patrons, Unseen64 would already be dead. You prompt us to keep up doing this, even during the hardest times.
What we did in 2017
We saved these forgotten lost games in our website:
These are just a few example of the whole unseen history of video games we could lose if not researched and unveiled.
When everyone already know about such lost games as Zelda URA, Resident Evil 1.5, Bio Force Ape or Sonic X-Treme, there’s not much left to discover: only less popular / important lost games (that still deserve to be remembered) or previously unknown and intriguing projects that can only be covered by luck or months of time-consuming researches.
To continue our work, we entrust you and all of our Patrons, people who know why it’s important to keep a site like Unseen64 alive.
Unseen64 plans in 2018
In 2018, we’ll continue doing our best to remember lost games no one else cares to write about:
Continue covering lost games on Unseen64, even the less impressive ones: every single cancelled game deserve to not be forgotten, because each one could have been a favorite game for someone. Some of these less-impressive unseen games still have an historical importance, an interesting connection with developers who later created a different masterpiece. Even if some of these canned projects could have been bad games if only released, we still care to remember them for curiosity and historical preservation.
Expanding old articles for some of the more interesting unseen games that are not already covered somewhere else: even when an unseen game is widely known, there could still be many details that are missing about its development, plot, gameplay mechanics and other random memories about its conception. We’d like to dedicate some time to deeply research more info about some of our favorite games we’ll never play, those lost games that also have a wide appeal and could be interesting for all kind of readers.
Continue making new video articles: we know that today most people don’t read gaming reviews on websites anymore and just rely on video reviews from Youtube. For “historical” websites like Unseen64 is just the same: there are many more people that would watch a 10 minutes video about a cancelled game, rather than to fully read a 1.000 words article on the same topic, as proven by the Unseen64 video series created by Liam and hosted on Did You Know Gaming. Just like in the past gaming magazines have been replaced by gaming websites, now youtubers are taking the mass-market lead for videogames reviews, news and historical researches. While it requires more time to create video articles by monokoma (with the help of some english friends for voice-over), this kind of coverage would reach many more users than 3 or 4 written articles and it would help to keep patrons to donate for Unseen64. As we have seen, people are more incline to donate for video content than for website articles.
Continue publishing the cheap-edition of our book: in September 2017 we also started to release a new low-price edition of the Unseen64 book, divided into different volumes, so you can choose your favorite consoles. At the moment the first volume is available, dedicated to cancelled 8 bit and 16 bit games (NES, Master System, Game Boy, Turbografx 16, Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive). We are currently working on the next volume for 32 bit and 64 bit games! We will also release a kindle version in the future (ad the moment you can already get a PDF version of the book by pledging 5 $ on Patreon). By keep selling our book, we can raise even more funds to keep working more and more on Unseen64.
All of these activities will require time, efforts and collaboration between all the people who help the Unseen64 collective, but we really want to keep Unseen64 alive for as much as possible.
As always big gaming networks such as IGN or Kotaku have the resources to own powerful servers and to pay a team to work full-time on their websites, keeping them online and publishing daily updates.
We don’t have their resources, but we think we have something better: we have you, a community of gamers who know why it’s important to remember beta and cancelled games.
There are many ways to help Unseen64 and thanks to all the other websites, gamers and youtubers who also use their time to remember beta, unreleased and unused gaming documents, together we can save as many unseen games as possible.
Remember: Unseen64 is still online thanks to the awesome people who pledge on Patreon: together, we can do it!
We’d like to thank all of you (in order of donations) who are helping U64 on Patreon:
Daan Koopman, Sentinator of Team Haruhi, joef0x, Mark J. Lang, Thomas Whitehead, David Galindo, Patrick Enriquez, Riptide, Patrick Kupilas, Александр Шутенков, Alex Schaeffer, Renee Violette, Mcsahon, Chris Chapman, Marty Thao, Ryan Razon, Taylor H, Itay Brenner, Pierre-Luc Pineault, Tiago Pereira dos Santos silva, Emiliano Rosales, Faisal AlKubaisi, Julian Lord, Shane Gill, Kaleb Ratcliff, Vitor Takayanagi de Oliveira, Joe Tangco, Peter Lewis, TheUnbeholden, Matt T, Thomas Muste Jr, Hannes, MARTAZIA A BROWN, Pedro, Gabriel Girouard, Jonah Bealy, Sebastian Haley, Knight, Mason “SoberDwarf” M., Arkadij, Ben Salvidrim, Keith Stack, Benjamin Swan, The Video Game History Foundation, Daryl Baxter, Nick Fancher, allan paxton, Robert Dyson, tydaze, Justin Moor, Liam Robertson, Kristian Binder, Gabe Canada, Tim Lawrence, Thomas.nunn7, That Black Guy, Mauro Labate, Olivier Cahagne, Alex MacIntyre, Henry Branch, Matthew, Anders “Captain N” Iversen, Coldi, Joe Brookes, James Jackson, Aaron Sharratt, Jonathan Pena, Jonathan Cooper, Paul Stedman, Jrg McJrg, Brice Onken, Alex Stutzman, Guilherme Killingsworth, Pablo Bueno Navarro, Paul, Josh Mann, Dan Thomas, Adrian, Ben Cowling, Alex Wawro, Niels Thomassen, Lou, Matthew Gyure, PtoPOnline, Jesus Tovar, Jacob, Brandon, Lisa, Martin GP (KAISER77), Aaron, James Steel, Tony, Bransfield, Christopher Cornwell, Anatoly, Goffredo and everyone else! (did we forget someone?)