Savannah was one of various prototypes in development at Rare Ltd. during 2006/2007. As the project remained in prototype stage and was not greenlit, only few elements were set in stone, but it could have been some sort of nature simulator, more than a realistic Viva Pinata. Sadly we don’t know exactly for which kind of gameplay these models could have been planned to, and sadly we’ll probably never know, as the project was lost forever in one of many Rare’s internal restructures. Only few images and animations remains to preserve the existence of this project.
In an interview with a former Rare employee by Emily Rogers on Not Enough Shaders we can read some more info on Savannah:
“Savannah” was the brain child of Phil Dunne. Phil’s concept was to create a realistic savannah environment where you raised a lion cub from birth to its adult life, teaching it survival and social skills to survive the harsh life in the wild. We knew of the Kinect coming out but we had no real info on how good it was, but the plan was to try and use that technology in “Savannah”.
It was an interesting concept and it was fun to work on, we really tried to push the technology of the 360 to get the most out of the graphics. The lions and Hyenas were using a custom shell system for the fur, and with the help of a great programmer called Cliff Ramshaw, I think we got some of the nicest looking in-game fur I’ve seen.
It was only ever a prototype, and it never got a green light.
Thanks to Otrant for the contribution!