Various developers were given a chance to pitch their idea for a story and soon enough Presto Studios was working on the next game in the series, Myst III: Exile. However, they were not the only developer to be assigned the Myst license.
DreamForge Intertainment, the developers of the horror themed adventure game Sanitarium, started work on the fourth Myst game one year after Presto Studios effort. This game, known internally as Myst IV: Adventure Beyond the D’ni Ultraworld, would never be released or shown to the public during its development.
After having worked on the game for two years (June 1999 to June 2001), it was cancelled as the rights to the Myst franchise transferred from Mattel to Ubisoft. Myst III: Exile was released the next year and the next game in the franchise was to be developed internally at Ubisoft and was released in 2004 as Myst IV: Revelation.
Patrick Fortier, the creative director of Myst IV: Revelation, opened up about the unreleased version of Myst IV, hereby referred to as Ultraworld to avoid confusion, in 2004 on the Uru Obsession community.
According to Fortier, Ultraworld’s development was only about 20% finished, but the designs themselves were completely done. The game was presented in realtime 3D, a first for the series at that point. Some ideas from Ultraworld even managed to carry over into Myst IV: Revelation. Specfically the inclusion of Sirrus and Achenar, the two brothers from the original Myst. Read more
Rayman Legends is a 2D platformer by developer, Ubisoft Montpellier, and the follow-up to Rayman Origins. It was released in 2013 on Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Vita and PC. It originally started as a Wii U exclusive, billed as a launch title for the console’s November 2012 release.
Leaked NFC Concept Trailer
On April 27 2012, the very first footage of Legends emerged online. This was a conceptual video intended for internal purposes only, which was leaked by an anonymous source on YouTube from inside Ubisoft.
The build of the game shown in the reel wasn’t terribly different from the final release, but it did reveal one quite significant feature that was never implemented; nearfield communication support. Towards the end of the clip, it demonstrates a work-in-progress concept for NFC figures, which would have worked with the Wii U gamepad’s built-in chip.
Ubisoft’s video contained two uses of the proposed accessories: a heart figure, which would replenish the player’s health and a Rabbid toy that would cause Rabbids to appear in the game as enemies, as well as in the backgrounds of levels. Towards the end of the video, it hints towards the possibility of other Ubisoft characters, when a figure of Ezio from the Assassin’s Creed series appears. Read more
While he was in Japan to interview some legendary gaming developers for his “The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers” book, John Szczepaniak also recorded many hours of footage about those meetings and his visits to some interesting japanese places related to videogames. Some of those recordings have been released in a 4-hours-long double DVD titled “The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers DVD”, in a limited edition of 500 copies, an interesting item dedicated to gaming collectors and fans of japanese developers, especially those from the early ‘80 and ‘90 (screenshots below from Retro Type).
Along with some intriguing chats on old-school / obscure videogames in Japan and their preservation, visits to Akihabara and popular japanese gaming shops, an interview with one the best game designers that almost no one knows (Yoshiro Kimura), a quick look at the Tokyo Game Show and other more or less compelling materials, John was able to gather some exclusive info about various unreleased games and undeveloped pitch that remained unknown until now. Here are some personal highlights:
An interview with Kouichi Yotsui (Background Artist and Game designer at Capcom for such classics as Ghouls ‘n Ghosts and Strider) and Roy Ozaki (Producer at Mitchell Corporation ) that show some design docs for unreleased games that were pitched in the ‘90 to Enix and Capcom.
An interview with Yukata Isokawa (creator of Pitman and Namco’s NeGcon controller) with some talks about an unreleased Namco Golf game planned for the original playstation, that would have used the NeGcon controller like a Wiimote.
A visit to Keigo Matsubara’s HUGE gaming magazine / book preservation archive (check his website, in japanese). You could try to contact him if you have any questions about old japanese gaming magazines!
A visits to the Preservation Society, a group that tries to repair and save games that could be lost, especially old cartridges and games developed for old PCs that are not available anymore or not emulated. They even show a short game created by Hudson Design School as a test for internal use only.
An interview with Yuzo Koshiro (music composer that worked on such classics as Streets of Rage, Ys, ActRaiser, Shinobi and much more) and his memories about the cancelled Street of Rage 4 that was pitched for the Dreamcast.
While the audio and video quality are not the best (unfortunately the tripod for the camera used during the trip was broken before even being used), and some of the chapters could be of no interest for someone (there are some parts in which designers talk about their development hardware in japanese software houses in the early ‘90 and try to drawn them on a whiteboard) all those memories about previously unknown lost videogames and from the golden age of japanese gaming made me to love what i saw in this DVD.
Most of the topics discussed in the videos are just a taste of the full interviews and articles that you can read in “The Untold History of Japanese Game Developer” book, but if you are interested to see some of the creators of your favorite games from when you were a kid in the ‘80 and are fascinated by nerdy / otaku japanese lifestyle, you can buy “The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers DVD” from Hardcore Gaming 101 and it will go on sale (-10£ less) for Black Friday on the 28th of November!
Final Fantasy 15 / XV by Square Enix is currently in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but the game was originally unveiled for Ps3 at E3 2006 under the name Final Fantasy Versus 13 / XIII, because it was at the time part of Fabula Nova Crystallis, a series of unrelated RPGs that, however, shared the same underlying mythology. Yes, Final Fantasy 15 has been in development for almost 10 years! What’s changed in the game in this time frame ? What’s different between the old PS3 beta and the PS4 / Xbox One current builds? Continue below to see how the game evolved during the last years with the official trailers and leaked images that show its long development cycle. Read more
There are already more than 3.000unseen videogames saved in the Unseen64 archive, but so many others wait to be added. There are only a few active authors on the main U64 Staff: we face some difficultiesto keep up with all the work and costs to run such an online museum of games we’ll never be allowed to play.
The server hosting Unseen64 and related technical support cost about 600$ per year. U64 is an independent site. No money is generated from our work so we must pay each and every server bill ourselves, with the help of a few awesome supporters. Years ago we had Google Adsense banners that helped a little to raise money to pay the server, but then Google banned us because we use to write about prototypes and rom-hacks, even if we don’t host those files on our server.
Big gaming networks like IGN or Kotaku have the power and the money to have a team to work full-time on their website, to publish daily updates. We don’t have their resources, but we have something better: we have you, a community of gamers that know why it’s important to archive beta and cancelled games.
Together we could make Unseen64 a better online museum for all those games that could be forgotten forever.
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Together on Patreon we can rise enough donations to pay the U64 server, and maybe we could even rise enough donations to pay our best contributors to quit some of their day-jobs and write more good articles, to publish books about lost games and consoles, deeper researches on lost videogames, create video insights, interviews with forgotten developers and much more.
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