RTS

G.I. Ant (SegaSoft) [PC – Cancelled]

G.I. Ant is a cancelled real-time strategy game that was in development by SegaSoft / Sega Interactive for PC in late ‘90s. The project was inspired by classic RTS such as Warcraft II and Command & Conquer, with an original hand-to-hand combat following the team’s past experience with Eternal Champions, a 2D fighting game released for Genesis / Mega Drive in 1993. As you can assume by its title, the setting of the game was a war between ants and other insects, imagined with a World War II aesthetic, using rifles, jeeps and airplanes.

The G.I. Ant  team was composed of various Sega of America developers such as Hideki Ikeda, Charles Workman, Frank Lucero, John Kuwaye and Andrew Tjew; thanks to an interview by Sega-16 with Ikeda, we can read some details about the project:

Sega-16: The SegaSoft titles you were working on were canceled. What games were they and what were they about?

Hideki Ikeda: You might have a better interview talking to Frank Lucero about this one. The last one we (John Kuwaye, Andrew Tjew, and I) were working on was called Bug Wars which turned into G.I.Ant (as in “giant”). Bug Wars was John’s baby, but Frank incubated John’s idea and grew it into G.I.Ant, which was a cool concept of a game based on real-time strategy (back then, we were addicted to Command And Conquer and Warcraft II) and hand-to-hand combat (as in Eternal Champions-type fighting).”

In the end the project was never completed, probably because of low sales of all other SegaSoft PC titles.

Thanks to Rafael for the contribution!

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The Lord of the Creatures [Cancelled – PC, Xbox 360, PS3]

The Lord of the Creatures is a cancelled fantasy strategy / adventure game that was in development by Spanish studio Arvirago Entertainment (a team composed of former Pyro Studios devs, creators of the Commandos RTS series) for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. The main feature of the game was to capture and use monsters in combat, somehow similar to a real-time Pokèmon action adventure mixed with Kameo, in a classic fantasy setting with orcs, elves and other strange creatures. The game was originally announced in 2003 but after a few years of development it was quietly canned and not much more info was ever released.

Players would be able to collect over one hundred different creatures, each one with exclusive abilities to use directly by impersonating one of them or by giving orders like in a real time strategy game. Enemies would attack in groups and we had to think about the best creatures for the fight, depending on their characteristics, weapons and items. Five different main characters were available, each one with a different play-style. Online cooperative and competitive modes were also planned, to test your tactical abilities and creatures along or against other players.

We don’t know what happened to Arvirago, but it seems that the studio does not exist anymore and they never released any game before to vanish forever.

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State of Crisis [Cancelled / Prototype – PS3, Xbox 360, PC]

State of Crisis is a cancelled real time strategy first person shooter that was in development in 2010 / 2011 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC by french studio Darkworks. After Ubisoft took away I Am Alive from Darkworks in 2008 to make it finish to Ubisoft Shanghai, the team tried to create many different prototypes to pitch to publishers, to get another contract to survive. We can assume that at the time Darkworks tough that shooters were the most marketable genre to be greenlighted by publishers, so they conceived a few ones (State of Crisis, Black Dead, The Deep) with interesting / original features.

In State of Crisis players would have been able to switch to different teammates in real time, to use a satellite to get strategical information about the enemies and the area, to interact with electronic devices and to requests laser attacks from above. For example we could have been able to study the map of the building in which we would have entered to, checking if there were lights to deactivate to hide in the darkness, to mark enemies and see their position on the map, to place beacon to track an helicopter and destroying it with a powerful laser shoot from the satellite.

To use ammos, the satellite and to hack devices would have cost a certain sum of money from a limited budget for the mission and at the end of each level one could have seen how much the team spent to save the place from terrorists. As far as we can gain from the prototype demo, State of Crisis could have been divided in many different missions to complete as fast as possible and by spending as less money as possible, to gain an higher final score or to save funds to buy better equipment.

Unfortunately Darkworks were not able to find any publisher to fund State of Crisis and the game was quietly cancelled. In 2012 the company was placed into compulsory liquidation and then closed down. In about 15 years of activity, Darkworks were able to successfully complete and release only 2 games (Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare in 2001 and Cold Fear in 2005), while all their other projects were either cancelled or moved to other developers: a sad ending for one of the most interesting gaming studios in Europe.

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Terrorforge [Cancelled/Concept – PS Vita]

Terrorforge was a cancelled RTS game that was briefly being worked on at Cohort Studios in Dundee, Scotland during 2010. It was a concept developed in under a month for publisher, Sony Computer Entertainment. Had full development on the game been green-lit, it would have been a Playstation Vita exclusive title with a release targeted around the system’s launch in late 2011/early 2012.

The game was one of many concepts worked on by Cohort during their partnership with SCEE, which was originally struck when they collaborated to produce the Buzz! Junior series. According to our sources, it was a small secondary project pitched during production on The Shoot for PS3.

It was imagined as a strategy-action experience with similarities to a god game, in which the player assumes the role of mother nature to assist humanity in defending Earth from a highly advanced race of alien invaders. At your disposal would have been the ability to manipulate terrain, as well as the power to summon earthquakes, spontaneous volcanism, and other forces of nature like tornadoes.

Terrorforge - cancelled Vita game

Concept art for Terrorforge.

It was planned to be controlled primarily using the Vita’s touch screen and pad. Although the Vita, which was then codenamed “NGP” (Next Generation Portable), had not been formally announced by Sony, Cohort’s staff were already privy to its existence and some of its features as a trusted partner. They joined a number of developers around the world introduced to the new system early to begin proposing games for it. Terrorforge never entered production, or even the prototyping phase, before being turned down by Sony’s management for publishing. 

Emperor [DS – Cancelled]

Emperor is a cancelled Real Time Strategy game that was in development by Frame Studios for the Nintendo DS. The player would have been able to control one of three important civilizations: Romans, Greeks or Egyptians, and start his campaign to build a new Empire, conquer the known World and change History. Probably Frame Studios was not able to find a publisher interested in the game and Emperor was never released.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution!

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