News on Beta & Cancelled Games

Video Games eBooks Bundle: Endless Summer @ StoryBundle!

We are happy to announce 1 eBook taken from our “Video Games You Will Never Play” physical book is featured in the latest eBook bundle by Story Bundle! Our “Handheld Video Games You Will Never Play” can be found in this bundle in their exclusive ePub and Mobi versions (our full book is available in physical form on Amazon and in PDF on Patreon), so you can easily read it with your eBook reader.

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In the same bundle you can also find many interesting eBooks about less known video games and their history.

Funds raised with this eBook bundle will support Unseen64, the other books authors and you can also choose to donate 10% to Pixelles, a non-profit initiative committed to helping more women make and change games.

Here’s the full description, for more details check https://storybundle.com/games

Praise the sun while you can: the festivals and hazy warmth of summer is all too fleeting. Luckily, you can capture the spirit of these carefree days forever with the Endless Summer Game Bundle, available for a limited time on StoryBundle.

David L. Craddock’s Arcade Perfect: How Pac-Man, Mortal Kombat, and Other Coin-Op Classics explores the lengths to which developers went to squeeze classic arcade games onto home consoles, handhelds, and personal computers. Craddock’s GameDev Stories: Volume 3 digs deeper
into arcades and home conversions with a selection of interviews from legendary designers such as Asteroids co-programmer Ed Logg and Mortal Kombat “ko-kreator” John Tobias.

John Harris steps up to represents great – or at least serviceably good – NES games that get a bad rap today in 8-bit Obituaries. Boss Fight Books author Alex Kane visits one of the most beloved space ports in that famous galaxy far, far away in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, a fantastic oral history of the making of BioWare’s blockbuster RPG.

Alongside those DRM-free eBooks, Hardcore Gaming 101’s Kurt Kalata takes an epic journey through cult classics on the NES, Select Start Press looks at the games your teachers have been playing, and much more.

StoryBundle is a pay-what-you-want platform for independent authors to share their works with readers (and gamers) like you!

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you’re feeling generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of four books in any ebook format – WORLDWIDE.

8-Bit Obituaries by John Harris
HG101 Presents: The Guide to Shoot-em-ups Vol. 1 by Kurt Kalata
What Your Teachers Are Playing by Christian Cardenas and Dylan Altman
Handheld Video Games You Will Never Play by Unseen64

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular books, plus SIX more!

GameDev Stories – Volume 3 by David L. Craddock
Arcade Perfect by David L. Craddock
Boss Fight Books: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic by Alex Kane
HG101 Presents: Unofficial Guide to Konami Shooters by Kurt Kalata
History of Digital Games: Developments in Art, Design and Interaction by Andrew Williams
HG101 Presents: NES Cult Classics by Kurt Kalata

This bundle is available only for a limited time via storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!

As always thanks for your support!

Goblins (Psygnosis) [PC – Cancelled]

In the mid / late ‘90s Psygnosis was one of the most prolific and loved development teams for the original Playstation, releasing such fan favorite projects as Wipeout, Destruction Derby 2 and Colony Wars. At the same time they also worked on lots of cancelled games that never seen the ligh of day: titles such as Team Buddies 2, Entropy, Blood Bowl, ODT 2, Mutatis and many more remain forgotten even by most of their hardcore fans.

Goblins is another lost Psygnosis project we don’t know much about, that was in development for PC (and possibly Playstation?) around 1997 by their San Francisco office. Some images and 3D animations were published online by former developers, such as Cristopher Gray, Egan Hirvela and Matthew Carlstrom, preserved in the gallery below to remember its existence. 

As far as we gathered it would have been some kind of real time strategy / adventure game, in which giving orders to a group of Goblins.. somehow like a mixe between Pikmin and Lemmings. In the end it was canned when the studio closed in late 1997 / early 1998:

“You’ve heard the rumors for months that Psygnosis’ San Francisco-based internal developer studio was closing its doors. Well, the company is confirming those rumors today as it trims about 20 employees in its latest in a series of belt-tightening measures to achieve cost efficiency and higher profitability. Officially, Psygnosis says that the main reason for the studio closure has to do with location. The company’s US headquarters is located only 15 miles south of the city, and having two locations seemed inefficient.”

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1171 (Parallax Arts Studios) [PC – Cancelled]

1171 is a cancelled action adventure with fantasy medieval settings in development by Parallax Arts Studios for PC around 2000 – 2003. For today’s standard these screenshots don’t look so good, but for it’s time it could have been a great looking project if only released. As far as we can still find online Parallax was based in the USA but their development team was located in Russia. 

There’s not much more available on the game and by searching online you can just find a few Russian websites with these old images. It is indeed an obscure and forgotten project. After 1171 was canned somehow Parallax Arts were able to work on 3 other published games: Utopia City (2005), Liquidator 2: Welcome to Hell (2005) and Exodus from the Earth (2007)

If you can find more details on this lost game, please let us know!

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Kunio-Kun RPG [NES, Famicom – Cancelled]

Kunio-kun is a cult-classic series of action adventure games originally conceived by Technos Japan in arcades and for the Nintendo Famicom console. In its main titles you take the role of Kunio, a japanese high-school delinquent (bancho) with a good heart, punching and kicking other gangs to free the streets of your city. 

While in the west the series is mostly known for Renegade and River City Ransom on the NES, in Japan many more Kunio games were developed and published. In 1988 Super Dodge Ball (a sport-based Kunio-Kun spin off) was released on the Famicom. A strategy guide was published by Technos in Japan and as noticed by Arc Hound on Twitter, at the end of the volume there was an announcement for a cancelled, forgotten Kunio-Kun RPG.

kunio-kun-rpg-river-city-nes-famicom-cancelled

Luckily japanese user 3Ways posted a photo of this page on Twitter. In the same thread we can read that Masaki Wachi wrote the scenario for this lost Kunio RPG: he’s mostly known in the west for his work on such classic games as Shining Force, Time Stalkers and PoPoLoCrois Monogatari.

By looking at the only enemy concept art published in the Super Dodge Ball strategy guide and by thinking of what kind of RPGs were mostly published on the Famicom in those years, we can speculate Kunio-Kun RPG would have been a turn-based RPG very similar to Dragon Quest, but with its usual modern high-school, bancho settings.

If you would like to translate from Japanese to English the short Kunio-Kun RPG description you can see in that photo from the strategy guide, feel free to write it in the comments below!

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Geist DS [Nintendo DS – Cancelled]

The original Geist was a first person adventure developed by N-Space and published by Nintendo in 2005 for their GameCube. In the game you play as the spirit of the dead protagonist, who can interact with the physical world through possession of things, animals and human beings. The game had an interesting gameplay mechanic in which you had to scare NPCs before being able to possess them and many clever puzzles revolving around your possession ability.

A Nintendo DS port / sequel was in development at N-Space in mid – late ‘00s, but in the end the project was canned, possibly because of low sales and mixed reviews for the GameCube version. As we can read on Wikipedia:

“Nearing the end of development, a Nintendo DS port was rumored by an IGN tour to be in development. Although this port was never announced, and no information of it has ever been officially released, n-Space did have development kits for the DS at the time, and traces of the ports existence have been found within the ROM of the DS version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which was developed by n-Space, as two text documents for the credits of Geist DS are present”

You can read the Geist DS credits hidden in CoD4 DS at TCRF.

While the game was never officially announced and it was quietly cancelled with no media ever shown to the public, fans of the original game found some early footage of Geist DS, preserved below to remember its existence.

N-Space did a great job with their portable FPS (Call of Duty, GoldenEye), so it’s safe to say we missed another good one with the cancellation of Geist DS. We hope one day someone could share online a playable prototype, maybe along with their DS version of Halo.