Adventure

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: 

My Hindu Shooter (MUM) [PC – Cancelled]

Anyway, most modern games are based on cruelty and violence. The people who sat down at the beginning of 2000 for the game with the working title My Hindu Shooter came up with an original idea – to create a shooter where the main goal would be to kill as few opponents as possible.

On the one hand, most of the MUM studio employees were absolute newcomers to the gaming industry, on the other hand, several veterans from the Origin participated in the creation of the game, including Warren Spector (as a consultant and advisor).

For the development of the game, no less than the Unreal engine was purchased. My Hindu Shooter, who professed Hindu philosophy, was set in medieval India, which was attacked by demons. One of them, for some unknown reason, saved the main character from death … and then a standard story about saving the world.

The storyline starred a young female sneak-thief, Kendi, who was as karmically low as you can get and still be human. Aided, for mysterious reasons, by a demon named Venadatta, Kendi travels from a Himalayan valley across the gigantic carcass of the fallen dragon Vritra, through the city and palace of King Vasudev, up the legendary World-Axis of Mount Meru, to the palace of the gods in the celestial city of Navagraha, and from there to the demon realm of Asat. She’s looking for the long-lost mortal hero Anagha, a Brahmin who aided the gods many years before. It turns out Anagha is dead, and, owing to a contrivance too complicated to summarize, Kendi herself is his mortal reincarnation; Venadatta the demon is another aspect of her own spirit.

Murder in My Hindu Shooter is not that forbidden, but violence, like any action in the game, invariably affected the hero’s karma. And without karma, nowhere – it affects the reincarnation of the hero. Yes, it was impossible to die completely in My Hindu Shooter – the character was reborn every time. He behaved well – he was resurrected strong and smart, and even with a special ability; led like a pig – and became a pig. Or a dog. Or even a worm. The ending of the game also depended on karma.

“During the game, you may die repeatedly, but this doesn’t end your adventure. Through reincarnation you resume play in your next life; the storyline’s mythic war is assumed to continue unabated for generations. Your karma at the time of death determines your next incarnation. If you have purified yourself and spread enlightenment, you may return as a rich merchant or Brahmin priest; if you have defiled yourself with violent actions, you may instead become a lowly peasant or even a pig, dog or worm. The game is winnable in any human form, but your current incarnation governs how much people and other beings will tell you in conversation, the price you must pay for equipment and so on.”

It was possible to lose only by bringing karma to a completely indecent state. To avoid this, it was necessary to sneak past enemies or settle the matter peacefully using a ramified system of dialogues. Work on the game was in full swing for a whole year, but in the end they decided to abandon it – according to the developers themselves, they did not have enough experience to cope with such a large-scale task.

Then MUM undertook to transform My Hindu Shooter into a quest, the main idea of which was to give the player maximum freedom of movement and interaction with the outside world. But nothing came of this venture either.

Information is taken from «Игромания» magazine, 03 (114) 2007 and https://www.escapistmagazine.com/my-hindu-shooter/ 

Capitol Punishment (Cyberlore Studios) [PC – Cancelled]

To a man named Al Lowe, we owe the birth of such quest classics as Torin’s Passage, King’s Quest, Police Quest, and of course, the Leisure Suit Larry series. In 1995, while still working for the Sierra, he took on a project with the promising title of Capitol Punishment («Capital Punishment», meaning the death penalty). Outwardly, the game was made in the same style as Larry’s adventures, only this time Al swung at nothing less than American politics.

Bill and Hillary Clinton were the protagonists of the Capitol Punishment, and the well-known scandal was in the spotlight. Also, the objects of parody were the largest statesmen of the United States, the foreign policy of the White House and other slippery topics. A completely new, three-dimensional engine was created for the game. In addition to the quest itself, the Capitol Punishment was full of arcade mini-games – in the demo, for example, it was proposed to help the American president raft down the stormy river on a flimsy raft.

One can only guess what such a slippery theme with trademark humor in the style of Leisure Suit Larry would lead to. But Al’s comrades were let down by the vaunted engine, which did not stand up to field tests, and the Capitol Punishment was closed. Three years later, Lowe left the Sierra, and seven years later he founded his own studio, iBase Entertainment, and announced the creation of Sam Suede: Undercover Exposure, the first action-comedy game, which, unfortunately, also was cancelled.

What we can read from old interview:

V: A few years back, Sierra hyped a game by the name of Capitol Punishment that you were working on. Suddenly, it disappeared. What was the nature of its removal from the product schedule? How was along was it in production before being cancelled?

AL: It got far enough along for me to realize it was a better premise than game! There were some clever ideas in it, but at the time, it was a new game engine that ran beautiful with a test-size set of data. But when we actually loaded in enough characters, objects, graphics, sounds, etc to make a game…it bogged down terribly. Of course, with today’s Pentium-requirements it would run just fine. Hey! Maybe…just maybe….

Information is taken from «Игромания» magazine, 03 (114) 2007

 

Amon Ra (Widescreen Games) [PS2 – Prototype]

Amon Ra is a cancelled adventure game developed by Widescreen Games around 2003, exclusively for the Playstation 2.

As we can read on the personal website of Franck Sauer, Widescreen Games had decided to mandate him and Yann Robert to work on this demo, just after the closure of their own company, Appeal Studios, following the cancellation of Outcast 2: The Lost Paradise and Tintin, using assets and technology previously created for those projects:

“After Appeal (our previous studio) went bankrupt (see Outcast II and Tintin stories) Yann and I kept working together on some work for hire while thinking about exactly what to do next.

During that time, Olivier Masclef who had been producer on Outcast came to us with an adventure game concept called Amon Ra. His studio (Widescreen Games) was busy on another production and he asked us to build an early prototype on Playstation 2 based on this concept.

As we had acquired the technology from Outcast II we had something to start with to quickly build the prototype. Yann started cleaning and enhancing the various unfinished technologies that would later serve as the basis for our FreshEngine.

To help me quickly edit the map, I used some refurbished assets from the defunct Outcast II and built some new stuff on top of it. My friend Francois-Xavier Melard worked on the character.

This was a short work of a couple weeks and after this prototype, the project never went further into development.”

Technology

“Some very advanced technologies for the time can be seen in action here (some of which were already implemented in the Outcast II prototype), such as realtime tesselation and vector displacement (water), radiosity and light probes (lighting of the character dependant on the environment, with light bouncing), soft shadows, dynamically rendered billboard (small vegetation), and pixel-occluded lens flares.

One of the amazing thing was the incredible amount of triangles the Playstation 2 was capable of pumping. Around 300k in a single frame, with the prototype running at 60 frames per seconds (…)”

Strangely enough, according to the now-defunct website of Widescreen Games, the game was planned for the PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Here was what we could read about the storyline and its features:

The 10 commandments meets Stargate

Amon Ra is a 3rd person action adventure game mixing action phases, social interactions and puzzles solving in the totally new and lifelike world, mainly inspired by the ancient Egypt period.

As the hero, you will interact with hundreds of locals, engage in plenty of combat against aliens and go on numerous adventure game quests.

Storyline:

The player is named Shail, a young slave who will meet his fate; he is the one chosen by the Ankh entity to perform the Prophecy : free the human race from the Seth’s domination. This extra-terrestrial race has dominated his folks over centuries due to its superior knowledge and advanced technology.

Throughout the game, the player will interact with human guilds as the merchants, priests, rebels and an ancient civilization. Obviously, each of them carries out different goals and interests.

Conspiracies, romance, twists and turns will drive the story.

Will Shail be able to achieve his own objective to overthrow the Seths?

Unique Selling Points

  • A cutting-edge in-house engine to serve the game.
  • The original universe of the ancient Egypt mixed with some sci-fi components.
  • Numerous “organic” and huge locations : from mysterious temples, overcrowded bazaars, resting oasis, frightening caves to gigantic spacecrafts!
  • Hundreds of hi-detailed character models suiting the period as well as fantasy ones.
  • A brand new system of quests layers which will confer to the player the feeling to manage his own and original quest in a live universe.
  • Breath-taking actions due to the use of ancient magic and high-tech weapons.

· Enhanced AI system for the NPCs who manage their life according their own interests. Any action you take has ripple effects on the whole community.

During their 10 years of existence, Widescreen Games had a lot of numerous other canceled titles.

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Adventures of Captain Wrongel (Action Forms) [PC – Cancelled]

Ukrainian studio Action Forms, known for such projects as Chasm: The Rift, Vivisector: Beast Within and Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason, in 2005 released Treasure Island, based on the 1988 cartoon of the same name.
The project was warmly received, despite the very short duration and the feeling that it was more of a Demo. And no wonder: the developers primarily wanted to transfer the cartoon itself to PC monitors, and they succeeded. Some time later, the studio wanted to do the same with another cartoon – Adventures of Captain Wrongel.

The plot was not to be repeated from the original. The developers also, as in Treasure Island, intended to tell their own story. Along with the yacht “Beda” and the already familiar Captain Wrongel, XO Lom and Sailor Fuchs, the game was to feature other, entirely new characters. The genre also changed: now it was no longer a 2D platformer, but a full 3D quest.
The journey itself began in Holland and passed through Europe, Africa and even Antarctica. The game boasted a variety of situations from yacht races, puzzles, and other mini-games to memorable humorous scenes.

Unfortunately, during the development there were problems, the game was announced in 2006, but the postponement pushed the release date to 2009, after that the project was over.
There are also rumors that in 2011, the studio also wanted to make a game based on the cartoon “Mowgli” (1973), but they could not, because the company was taken over by Tatem Games. There are almost no materials on the network on the project, so the information can not be confirmed for sure.