The Mindwarp was an action video game that was been developed by Maxis for PC by 1997. It was the first non-simulation game made by Maxis. In this game you drive a space ship in an alien base that connects itself by tunnels. Your mission was to discover a secreat that could threat the whole human nation. In the development of the game they were using “new and innovative” programming and designing technology based on geometric calculations to achieve a never seem before 3D realistic experience.
Initially the game was been devoloped for PC with the possibility to be ported for other systems. According to some of the people that worked on the game, the development of The Mindwarp had issues from the beginning and the demo gameplay look a “bit buggy”. When Maxis was acquired by Electronic Arts it resulted in the cancellation of the game.
After the release of MySims Skyheros, EA started to ponder what the next step for the MySims series, a spinoff the sims sims series for children, would go next. EA started development of MySims Social, which was to be released part of the Social series, which also contains The Sims Social and Simcity Social. While The Sims Social and Simcity social released, MySims Social was cancelled for unknown reasons.
Only a few screenshots of this game still exist that show preserves its existence:
It is unknown why it was cancelled, however it would appear that the last screenshot shown is an ingame shot.
Thanks to a user on BeyondSims for the contribution.
In 2001 Maxis began development of a successor to The Sims, due to the massive success of the game. The game had 2 development versions. Not many people know, but according to many users on “Mod The Sims” forums, almost all the games development data was lost during a small office server room fire, that resulted in most of the game being developed again from scratch (In addition to this, Maxis also at the time revealed that source codes for many other titles were also lost, such as the console games for example). Many things that were planned were cut due to that reason, such as weather in the base game, and scenarios (an early trailer actually shows that during a storm, the power can go out and you must fix it by pulling a breaker). Additionally, the beta basements were originally intended, but lost during the re-development.
The graphics in the original version look more like graphics seen in “The Urbz” and “The Sims Bustin Out”, which makes it possible the early version may of been using the same engine as those 2 titles, as they were pretty advanced for being console games.
Although the game went into redevelopment, alot of features from the lost build was restored, such as most of the furniture shown in the images and videos of the lost build, music and sounds. Additionally, Weather features like rain, was present in the lost build, but not in the final build. This feature was later restored in The Sims 2 Seasons.
The game was initially confirmed to release in early 2004. But due to the redevelopment the date was delayed until September 2004, which ea called “Final Touches”.
Images of the beta can be seen here:
In the video below, many things are noted to be different. Music from “The Sims Bustin Out” is present, character voices are completely different, and a few other interesting things are shown. Also, a more in depth create a sim was present, that even allowed you to fully and 3D rotate sims heads.
In 1997 Maxis announced Simcity 3000 and had a full trailer. The trailer was rendered full in game using the game engine. The trailer was not well received due to fan concerns that the game would be too powerful for then current gen hardware. Maxis later announced that the spring 1998 release would be pushed to Spring 1999. In under a course of 1 year, Maxis redeveloped the game from scratch, which turned out to be the game we got today. The full 3D aspect Maxis wanted for the simcity series finally returned 10 years later in the 2007 game, Simcity Societies.
The video below is the exact trailer shown at E3 1997:
The official reason for the delay and redevelopment was:
Originally, Maxis planned to make SimCity 3000 a full 3D game. Although employees thought the idea was impractical, the management pushed the idea. After a year of development, the game was graphically on par with SimCopterand Streets of SimCity. The game was displayed at the 1997 E3; the experience is still considered an embarrassment and the game was expected to fail at the time.
Later, in 1997, EA acquired Maxis. Luc Barthelet was assigned as general producer to Maxis. He decided that 3D graphics weren’t viable and brought Lucy Bradshaw to lead the project. The 3D graphics were scrapped in favor of sprite-based graphics. Instead of focusing on 3D, they expanded the core gameplay. This version of the game did better at the 1998 E3 and was well-received upon release.
The game that was scrapped would of featured a sim mode and drive mode, which were not present in the final build. However, they were restored in Simcity 4. The full 3D aspect returned in the 2007 game, Simcity Societies.
More photos of the scrapped build can be seen below:
SimCopter 64 is a cancelled Nintendo 64DD remake of the original SimCopter developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts for PC in 1996. It’s unclear if this version for the 64DD was going to have some substantial differences from the PC one, as happened with SimCity 64. As we can read on IGN, SimCopter 64 was officially canned in 1999:
Sim Copter 64 was even previewed at a very early stage at the Tokyo Game Show. Onlookers were not impressed with its foggy, first-generation graphics and the game’s US release was soon cancelled in favor of a Japan-only release for the disk drive system.
Since then, Nintendo has again delayed the debut of the 64DD to later this year and Maxis, apparently losing faith in the viability of the title on the DD, has abandoned the project completely.
Thanks to Celine for the contribution! (Scans from Console Plus #79, Mega Console #44, Consolemania #77)
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