After the Outcast II debacle (see the related article here), we were offered a share buy-back option by our publisher (Infogrames) in exchange of a new pre-production contract around a Tintin game. As we had to keep our studio alive, we bought back the shares at a nominal price and got the contract started.
The budget was tight and the timing was short, so we tried to reuse a number of ressources from the Outcast II prototype and build on top of that. The game was to be fully 3D exploration with some action scenes and mini-games.
Unfortunately the publisher, Infogrames, couldn’t reach a deal with Moulinsart, the french foundation that manages the TinTin franchise, thus destroying Appeal’s last chance to recover.
Vampire Circus was a Gauntlet-like type of game full of vampires and zombies planned for Nintendo 64 by Zed Two who started working on it in 1996. The game was designed so that you controlled just a single character out of the five in the party, and the others would be under AI control, although you could switch which of the five you were controlling. Each had different skills and abilities, so there was good reason to swap your control between different characters, and it was also possible to lose members of your party to the vampire hoard, so you could only control members of the party that remained alive.
Zed Two got quite far with a playable prototype but when Infogrames took over Ocean, who originally struck a two games deal with the developer (the other one was Wetrix), they forced the team to work with Warner Bros properties they just bought at a great expense. The promising project was thus morphed into the less ambitious Taz Express.
Hogs Of War is a great turn-based tactics game developed and released in 2000 by Infogrames for Playstation and PC. Below you can see an old trailer of this game with some beta stuff in it (thanks to HigherPlainGames for the video):
0.41 the hud in top right of the corner is different than the final version also Frost Fight is different than the final version.
0.48/0.53/1.34 Cratermass has different textures.
1.21 Different viewfinder.
1.41 FR feature (Cancelled)
1.56 Beta pig animation.
Also (Thanks to VADIM567) Herman07 found 2 unused items:
An binocular (Removed because was useless due for the viewfinder on certain weapons) and a Retire Feature (like in Worms series).
Test Drive Cycles is a cancelled motorcycle racing game that was in development in 1998 / 1999 by Accolade’s San Jose studios, the same studio responsible for Test Drive Off-Road 2 and 3. Infogrames wanted to expand their Test Drive series (Test Drive, Test Drive Off-Road, Test Drive Rally and Test Drive Le Mans) to focus solely on motorcycles with licensed manufacturers such as Harley Davidson, BMW, Moto Guzzi, and Bimota, but in the end the project was never released.
Up to two players can go head-to-head on 12 tracks from locations all over the world, including the streets of Washington DC, the beaches of Bali, the canyons of Utah, the Alps, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, the French Riviera and even the historic site of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
Players choose from three game modes: Quick Race, Championship and Head-to-Head (two players). In addition to five opponents racing to win the cup, players must also deal with traffic, oil slicks and unpredictable weather conditions. Smashing through certain obstacles will open up new track paths and shortcuts, while trophies, new bikes and upgrades are won along the way. Infogrames even went the extra mile to get the licenses for real manufacturer upgrades, giving each bike its own upgrade pack.
Valerian is a cancelled Playstation game that was in development in 1998 by Virtual Studio, a french team owned (?) by Infogrames. There are not many info on the project but thanks to Daydi we found out that the game was based on a french comic, “Valérian and Laureline”. The character model that can be seen in one of the images, it’s identical to the comic’s male protagonist. As we can read on Wikipedia:
The series centres around the adventures of the spatio-temporal agent, the dark-haired Valérian, and his redheaded female companion, Laureline, as they travel the universe through space and time. Valérian is a classical anti-hero, strong and brave but with a tendency to follow the orders of his superiors even if he feels, deep down, that it is the wrong thing to do. […] Influenced by classic literary science fiction, the series combines elements of space opera and time travel.
The game was probably going to follow the comic’s plot, and the player would have been able to explore levels in different spaces and times. We can speculate that Virtual Studio tried to pitch a game based on the comic to some french publishers, but without any success. In the end a game based on the Valerian comic was never relased and only few target renders remain, saved in the gallery below to preserve its existence.