ubisoft

Dragonflight: Chronicles of Pern [PC PSX Dreamcast – Beta]

Dragonflight: Chronicles of Pern is an action adventure based on the Dragonriders of Pern book series by Anne McCaffrey, that was in development in 1998 / 1999 by Grolier Interactive for PC and Playstation. Initially the game was going to have a style similar to Diablo, but after a couple of years of development, Dragonflight became an action game with a 3rd person view camera. In june 2000, Grolier Interactive stopped releasing videogames when they were bought by Scholastic.

Grolier Interactive’s game could have been doomed, but it seems that Ubisoft bought their assets, cancelled the Playstation version and moved the Dragonflight to Dreamcast and PC.  In 2001, they finally released this project as Dragon Riders: Chronicles of Pern.

An old interview with Grolier Interactive can still be read at RPG Vault:

Can you provide some details on development progress that has been made over this time?

Oliver Sykes: What people may remember from the previous incarnation of the game is a very isometric viewpoint, a bit like Diablo. One of the major changes in the game is the camera system. We can now script the camera to act very cinematically. It can track with the player, spin round him, drop from above to below. Any number of camera shots can linked to describe a location and the characters in it as well as adding a great deal of fluidity.

Could you explain the level of depth and interaction we can expect from NPCs? What kind of a conversation system is there?

Oliver Sykes: The conversation system is fairly linear in most places. This choice was employed as we have such a vast number of characters to converse with, the conversation choices would have gave our scripters headaches. However, at key moments during the game you can make choices and these choices will effect the outcome of events. One choice could give you bonuses and unlock new locations and characters, whereas another may lead you down an entirely different path with different consequences.

Thanks to Celine for the scans!

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Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow [XBOX PS2 GC – Beta]

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (also know as Shadow Strike during its development) is a third-person stealth game in the Splinter Cell series, developed and published by Ubisoft Shanghai in 2004. Below you can see a video compiled by Silenceofthehills, with lots of early concept arts and beta screens. Text and video annotations in the video help explain the differences between the earlier planned renditions and the final version of various spots in each area.

As seen in the video, a fully missing level map is viewed under the first game‘s HUD. Since the first game had cut a level and used it as an extra in another version of the game, its quite possible that these shots are from a missing level. Its also possible that these are merely early renditions of a previous level, or even simply a test level considering the unaltered HUD.

Secondly, we can also see the previous incarnation of the PS2 and GameCube port before it had be delayed and taken under various graphical tweaks to ensure the artwork was nearer to par with the original versions of the game. This is also available in the GameInformer article scan as well, which also oddly contains a beta HUD akin to that of the online mode’s. This HUD was also apparently shared between all versions of the game.

Below is the direct quote on this from Gamespot itself, posted on February 4, 2004 by Justin Calvert.

“Ubisoft has today announced that while the Xbox, PC, GBA, and cell phone versions of Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow are still on track for release next month, the PS2 and GameCube versions will now launch at a later date. The only reason given for the delay is that the development team is committed to making sure that the other two console versions are as good as the Xbox version.”

Thanks to Silenceofthehills for the contribution!

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Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones [Beta]

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones is an action-adventure game developed and published by Ubisoft Montreal. It was released in December 2005 for the Xbox, PC, PlayStation 2 and the GameCube. In the game the Prince develops a split personality, known as the Dark Prince, and this alter-ego constantly bickers with him in his mind about right and wrong. At times, the Prince physically transforms into the Dark Prince. [Info from Wikipedia]

As noticed by Zapages from the NeoGAF Forum, initially the Dark Prince had a different design than the one in the final version. Check the videos below for a comparison:

Video (Beta Dark Prince)

Video (Final Dark Prince)

 

Rayman [SNES – Cancelled]

The original Rayman is a 2D platform game developed and published by Ubisoft on September 1995 for the PlayStation and Jaguar. Early in its development, Rayman was planned for the Super Nintendo and the game featured a 2 players coop mode and different graphics. It seems that Ubisoft decided to move the project to the new CD-Rom consoles and they hired animators from a cartoon company which has considerably improved the graphics. [Info from Wikipedia]

TYKUN found some images from the unreleased Super Nintendo version in french magazine Pix’N’Love #13. In the article we can read:

Long before the Jaguar and PlayStation versions, Michel Ancel and his team were working on Rayman for the SNES. Even if it was  in advanced development, the game was stopped in favor of the CD support. As exclusives, here are a few pictures from this aborted version

The original story was going to be about an eleven-year-old boy named Jimmy. Jimmy takes advantage of the realms that he discovers within his computer to create a fantasy world called Hereitscool.

Thanks to Adamis and TYKUN for the contributions! A few more details on the cancelled SNES version of Rayman can be found in Pix ‘n Love book “L’Histoire de Rayman” (french only) by Michaël Guarné, you can buy it from Amazon FR, Amazon USA, Amazon UK or Amazon IT.

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Splinter Cell: Conviction [X360 PC – Beta]

Splinter Cell: Conviction is a stealth / action game developed by Ubisoft Montreal, released in April, 2010 for the Xbox 360 and PC. The project was originally announced on May, 2007 when Ubisoft released a trailer for the game. It depicted a more rugged-looking Sam with long hair and a fully-grown beard. He had the ability to blend in with the environment, interact with tables and chairs and engage in hand-to-hand combat with enemies.

The game was due for release in November, 2007. However, it missed its initial launch date and on May, 2008 Xbox World 360 magazine reported that Splinter Cell: Conviction was “officially on hold” and that the game had been taken “back to the drawing board.” While Ubisoft never confirmed this, they announced that the game had been pushed back to the 2009-10 fiscal year.

The game resurfaced at E3 2009 with a completely new visual style and a more casual-looking Sam. The developers confirmed that the “new” Conviction had been in development since early 2008, commenting that “the gameplay has evolved a lot” and “the visual direction is simply much better.” [Info from Wikipedia]

We can say that the original Splinter Cell Conviction was cancelled, as the final game and gameplay look very different from what was shown in 2007.

Thanks to Userdante for the contribution! Thanks to Jason for the english corrections!

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