American Laser Games

Shining Sword [Playstation – Cancelled]

Shining Sword is a cancelled action adventure that was in development by American Laser Games for the original Playstation. The game was meant to be an ambitious projects, but after a while the team fell into various development issues and Shining Sword had to be canned. Some details were shared by a former ALG developer on Wikipedia:

Yes I worked for ALG – in fact I was the first artist ever hired at the company, in 1993. I worked on Shining Sword for about a year. We had switched from 3DO titles to developing for the not yet released Sony playstation. We had some of the first devkits in the US at the time. There was a really long drawn out story that was full of every dungeons and dragon style cliche you can imagine. We had concept art for most of the main characters and first pass 3d models of all of them. We were using stretchy meshes with internal bones, which was kind of ahead of its time a little bit. Some of the staff worked in 3D studio for DOS, some worked on Lightwave, and some actually worked on Silicon Graphics workstations. I had built several environments including an Aztec style Temple level.

Unfortunately, the owner’s wife had gotten heavily involved in the company and convinced him and other investors to switch over to making games for girls, so games like shining sword were on the chopping block. To be honest, I think the game was never really a game, it was a bunch of ideas kind of stuck together and it suffered through a lot of rehashings. It was extremely derivative of other games, and wholly unoriginal, but I don’t think there were any copyright worries.

Getting a working game engine and tools for the playstation was a daunting task in itself, not to mention trying to make a successful title. In my opinion, Shining sword was more style than substance, and really never developed much style either. Somebody may have saved the original code, but one would need an SDK for the original playstation – it would be a complete waste of time to try to get it running.

When the company was restructured into “Her Interactive”, I and some others were laid off. I moved on to California to Novalogic, making Comanche 4 and a few other military games before switching over the Neversoft as Lead Artist and eventually Environment Art Director, where I helped create the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, Gun, and Guitar Hero III before leaving the biz.

Thanks to Pachuka and Discworld for the contributions!