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Carnivale [N64 – Cancelled]

Carnivale is an animated film which because of its particular style and its lack of success, had only a limited release in certain European countries in 2000. A game based on this film was in development by Vatical Entertainment for the Nintendo 64 and it was even shown with an incomplete build at E3 1999, but the project was later cancelled.

The game plot would have follow the story of the film: a group of kids stuck in an amusement park in another dimension, along with a strange woman that never ages. The graphic had the same style of the film, a simplified design that was well suited for the limited 3D capacity of the N64.

The 128-megabit Carnivale 64 was supposed to have 3 modes of play. The first option included a classic Adventure Mode, with 5 scenarios available (or at least that was the number of the areas completed before the cancellation), including a ghost train and a rat-infested sewer trip. The player was able to explore the weird amusement park with the help of many available power-ups, playing several mini-games with platform / shooter sections – among them “test your strength” machines, a duck shooting gallery with ascending and descending obstacles, and a Punch & Judy show. The player would have to collect a certain amount of coins to access new locations and mini-games.

For those looking for a more immediate fun, in the second mode we would have been able to directly play all the mini-games, probably after unlocking them in the adventure mode. A “Racing Mode” was planned too, in which to race against the computer or in 2-player mode with a friend, complete with Mario Kart-style weapons.

Sadly Carnivale’s development team, Terraglyph, was being reorganized at that time and many employees were fired and the game vanished without traces until May 2009, when a playable prototype was found by NesWorld. You can read an interesting article on the game in here!

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Tonic Trouble (ED) [Beta – N64 / PC]

Tonic Trouble (also know as ED or HED during the early development) is a 3D platform game created by Ubisoft for the Nintendo 64 and PC. As you can see from the beta images in the gallery below, the developers tried to create a character design similar to Rayman for the main hero. Rather than rely on exploration as in Mario 64, Tonic Trouble proposed a rather linear gameplay, which was a direct translation into three dimensions of the traditional two-dimensional platform concept.

In the early beta images released on various magazines and websites, we can notice a graphic much more detailed than the final one on the Nintendo 64, as probably these screens were taken from various target renders and tech demos. We dont remember the game very well, but it’s also possible that some of the places seen in the beta screens were not in the final game.

The N64 version had many noticeable differences from the PC version, like a substantially different opening due to the lack of processing power needed to render cutscenes and different music in certain places. The game was going to be released before Rayman 2: The Great Escape but eventually was released months after. [Info from Wikipedia]

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Attack! (DMA Design) [PC, N64 – Cancelled]

Attack! was an action game developed by DMA Design (the same software house responsible for Body Harvest and Silicon Valley) that was officially announced in april 1999.  It was described as a Spiritual successor to Lemmings and gaming magazine at the time wrote that it was planned for PC, Playstation and N64. Edge saw design sketches littering walls of DMA HQ during a visit. Game was described as “Millwall supporters let loose in Jurassic Park’ and set to feature a range of diminutive dino’s.” It seems, however, that the game was going to be released only for the pc.

Mike Dailly that worked at DMA, wrote:

“Well, Attack was never for the N64, it was a PC only (at the time) title and was canned well before other ports were started or even considered.”

There is virtually no information about it, and the only images that we have are some artworks. Judging from these few pics that we managed to recover, Attack was set in the prehistory, and the protagonist was going to be a caveman. According to some rumors, the main character was able to tame the various creatures and use them to advance in the game. The project was potentially very interesting: the titles that DMA developed for the nintendo 64 had many innovative features that were later used as the foundations for some successiful titles. In the autumn of 1999, DMA Design was acquired by Rockstar and renamed Rockstar North, the team that two years later created GTA III.

[English translation by yota]

Thanks a lot to Gilgalegrouik for some of these images and to Ross Sillifant for the contribution!

Some images from www.flickr.com/photos/mikedailly/sets/

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Jest [N64 – Cancelled]

jest64logo.jpg

Jest is a cancelled 96-megabit Nintendo 64 platform / action game that was in development by Curved Logic in 1997 and it would have been published by Ocean / Infogrames. In the game we would have played as a joker named Jax, who has to work his way up to full jesterhood. There would have been many crazy levels set in the land of Humourous, from hellish underground caverns to misty docksides, with a gameplay probably similar to Mario 64 or Rayman 2. Jest had a beautiful graphic for its time and its own style, but sadly something went wrong during the development and Curved Logic had to cancel the game, before closing down and to vanish forever.

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Starshot: Space Circus [N64 – Beta]

Starshot (under its original title Space Circus) was first conceived in July of 1994 by Xavier Schon, who worked for Infogrames since 1989 as a graphic artist and game designer. He sent around 10 game concepts to Infogrames management between 1992 and 1995, with Space Circus being the 1 which got off the ground due to it being a unique new concept, a 3D platformer. He sent management 3D concept drawings in July 1994, with management finally approving the idea 10 months later in April 1995. At this time the Nintendo 64 was not formally announced so the game was set for a PlayStation release as well as PC, though the PlayStation version would eventually be cancelled due to hardware concerns.

Once approved Xavier was given another Infogrames employee and they were tasked to make a 3D CGI video to show management what gameplay would look like. Some screenshots of this video exist in the design documents which show a different Starshot design and an unused mechanic of controlling other characters or objects, such as a large cannon which could shoot objects or possibly defend Starshot. In May 1996 Infogrames and Nintendo agreed on a Nintendo 64 version.

Screenshots were first shown in issue 44 of Edge Magazine in April 1997, showing another different Starshot design and an early view of the level Tensuns.

Starshot was scheduled to be finished for PC in June 1997, but after seeing Banjo-Kazooie’s demo at E3 in June 1997, and having been impressed by Mario 64 previously, Schon reluctantly delayed the game to try and rewrite and redefine priorities in the gameplay, though he agrees that the level design and range of actions weren’t good enough to compete.

Their 2nd master version was set to be finished in June 1998, but the team missed this date and finished in September after making N64 a main version. Towards the end of production many programmers and debuggers were moved off the project by Infogrames, but they were still paid for the rest of production which made the games development budget more expensive. At points the N64 version only had 2 programmers. The game suffered as the team had fewer resources than Nintendo and we’re inexperienced with optimizing PC versions for N64 hardware. A late release resulted in poor sales and the development team being split up into different projects.

Due to time constraints, an entire planet was cut from the game, Kripkon, named after Superman’s home planet Krypton and centered around Superhero parodies. In this stage players could grab onto superheros and fly to different parts of the level, and the planet even has a fully composed song unused on the PC version soundtrack.

It was considered for release in Japan at one point, with Schon flying out to Nintendo headquarters, however he believes they weren’t impressed enough with the gameplay to distribute the game.

Xavier kept all his design documents and even a timeliness of the games production. Every area was hand drawn before being modeled in 3D, with many areas looking identical to how they appear in game. Some art depicts areas or characters not in the final game, such as Miss Starling, a humanoid similar looking to Starshot who was a sharpshooter for the Space Circus.

Despite the game’s failure and mixed critical reception, when Infogrames asked producer Xavier Schon for movie concepts in 2002, Schon wrote and drew up a screenplay for Starshot the movie to try and being the character back, but this unfortunately never happened. You can download 3 PDF about the unmade Starshot movie: Space Circus story synopsisDrawing Script, Space Circus English.

This information comes from an interview done with producer, director, and original concept creator Xavier Schon on February 21st, 2018. It was a piece of research for our upcoming N64 book, the N-cyclopedia 64.

Article written by Jalyn.

In the gallery below we can also see various beta screenshots showing differences from the final version:

  • Different HUD
  • More Tourists  NPCs in the “jungle” area
  • Better / more detailed graphic
  • A couple of unknown areas (removed?)

Thanks to Henrique Resende for some of these beta screens!

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