General Questions and Information Thread

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Andlabs, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Ted618

    Ted618

    Member
    245
    125
    43
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2022
  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    6,957
    1,014
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    The last "physical" E3 was in 2019, but even in its online forms, 95% of the games on show actually get released. There might be delays - sometimes long ones - but usually products make it to market. The only notable exceptions I can think of right now that didn't was Star Wars 1313 a few years ago, and that misguided Commander Keen reboot. Maybe some Wii U ports. And of course one can argue the games shown aren't necessarily indicitive of the final product but point is, it's a high success rate.

    Compare this to E3 2000.

    Out of the 165 products we've currently got listed, I reckon 41 of them never made it to market. That's just under 25%. Slightly more if you're only talking about games released in North America.

    The 2000 event is one of the first where we've got decent lists for what was on show - still lots of variation across magazines, but with earlier events, the press often only reported on the big names. I reckon the failure rate could be as high as 30-40% in 1995/1996.


    Some of this is down to market forces - consoles or companies going down the toilet for example, but it's still time and money invested in a project, and a lot of these were never ported to other platforms. You would never see this in the industry today.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  3. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    6,957
    1,014
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    And now, ~E3 MYSTERIES~.

    a.k.a. unreleased games that magazines seem to really think existed, but there's no information about them online.

    In rough chronological order:

    Saturn

    - Return of the... (American Softworks)
    - Canyon Racer (Atlus) (although this might be High Velocity: Mountain Racing Challenge)
    - 3D Soccer (Konami)
    - Suikoden (Konami) (this is years before Gensou Suikoden, 1995 vs 1998)
    - Vanished Powers (Ocean)
    - Wingnuts (Rocket Science Games; also Mega-CD)
    - The Lawnmower Man 2 (SCI)
    - Super Motocross Championship (Acclaim)
    - MVP College Football '96 (Data East)

    Dreamcast

    - I'm Going In (Eidos)



    Remember: "in development" could easily mean "someone thought about it once" rather than actual design documents and code.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  4. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    6,957
    1,014
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    Add Knight's Chase (Saturn; Infogrames/I-Motion) to that list.


    The internet has a lot to answer for when it comes to shaping our views on video game history. I think the idea is that between the period of 1994 and 1999, everything sucked but the PlayStation and Nintendo 64. Except for when the N64 sucked too. Everything else, be it the 3DO, 32X, CD-i, Jaguar, Saturn or Amiga CD32 were all horrible failures, not a single one was sold, and anybody who didn't buy Mario 64 at launch was ostracised from society, forced to wander the streets looking for Z triggers and directional C buttons or whatever.

    https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:VideoGames_DE_1995-07.pdf&page=14

    This is German magazine Video Games's coverage of E3 1995, and its indicitive of a few publications of the day. Coverage of the 16-bit consoles is expected to be limited at this point so the Mega Drive and SNES are grouped together. The 32X, Jaguar and 3DO get dedicated sections, but the Saturn and PlayStation? Those two are grouped together as well.

    Because at E3 1995 and 1996 in particular, most third-party PlayStation games were also set to arrive on Saturn. Exclusive titles are roughly equal - Sony relies on others because it lacks the internal development studios, while Sega usually had at least a dozen games to show (on top of 32X, Mega Drive, Mega-CD and Game Gear projects). Playable demos on the show floor are equally divided - plenty of PlayStations running software, plenty of Saturns, and the differences in versions are not always obvious.



    2 hours of off-screen footage of E3 1996. The Nintendo 64 and arcade bits are obvious, but if it weren't for the captions, you'd be hard pressed to work out where the Saturn parts end and the PlayStation parts begin. It's most telling in the sports titles - in 1995/1996, most of the humans were rendered as sprites on both machines, but by 1999/2000, everything on the PlayStation was made up of polygons, for better or worse. Frame rates are appalling across the board, and everything is 240p, as it was before either machine had started tapping into their higher resolution graphics modes.

    So we've got a load of companies that turn up to these trade events and say "we're making a game for 32-bit systems". Who cares about the radically different architecture, the demos look pretty similar and we're secretly just here to show off the SGI workstations we just bought. By late 1996 there's a realisation that yes, the PlayStation is probably geared up better for the games the West wants to play, but going into E3 1996, the scores were tied. Or at least, the gap between Saturn and PlayStation would have been smaller than that of the N64 and PlayStation during 1997-2000.


    As for the other machines... well yeah actually the internet's mostly right on those. Mostly. There were moments where the 3DO and Jaguar looked viable in 1994, and there was nothing particularly concerning about the 32X during its first six months of sale (although after E3 1995... dead). Meanwhile the CD32 was less about being unpopular and more about Commodore as a business imploding, and the CD-i... god knows. It's not good as a video game console, but it didn't seem to want to be, so I'm not sure you can judge it by conventional metrics.


    You might even be tempted to argue that there was never a time when the PlayStation was perceived as a cutting edge, clearly superior machine to its rivals (at least, post release)*. By the time it was really able to distance itself from the Sega Saturn, the Nintendo 64 was on the scene, and then the question was less about system capabilities, and more about whether "expensive cartridge + more polygons" > "cheap disc + more... stuff". Although the majorty went for the latter in the end. A big majority.

    *and the same thing happened with the PS2!
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  5. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    6,957
    1,014
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    Tedious fact of the day:

    Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 was announced as... "SNK vs. Capcom". And no I'm not getting confused with the SNK published titles which came later - it was announced with this title at one of the Tokyo Game Shows in 1999.


    I can only assume they changed it so the intro would be better



    It wouldn't be the same if SNK came first!
     
  6. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    6,957
    1,014
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    Today on "this is stupid why did you do this"

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:TipsandTricks_US_066.pdf&page=68

    Ripcord Games were exceedingly good at not releasing Dreamcast software. I had seen this curiosity before and assumed the magazine was getting its facts wrong, but seeing the same "mistake" twice got me intrigued.

    Turns out "Legend of the Blade Masters" and "Quest of the Blade Masters" were apparently both announced, by the same company, at the same time, for the same platform. Quest was to be the "online" version of Legend, which from what I'm reading amounts to "co-op" and "we might add more content at some point". Oh except Quest also had an offline component... so we might be releasing the same game twice, just in a better form a two months later.

    Legend of the Blade Masters was also announced for the PC, and eventually made it to retail, but unlike the Dreamcast, it was always envisoned as one game. I'm not totally sure anyone bought it - there are loads and loads of games from this period that nobody ever talks about.


    Also if you're looking at this Dreamcast release schedule and think it's a bit odd, then that would be because of the 100 games listed here, 25 were cancelled and a half dozen only made it to Europe. And this isn't a post-Dreamcast, "better shift it to other consoles" situation, this is entirely down to publishers failing to meet their own deadlines. We're a month or two after E3 2000, an event where the Dreamcast pretty much dominated, going into the Christmas season where most sales are made. The PlayStation 2 wasn't even out in the West at this point in time.

    (also hexagons are the bestagons)
     
  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    6,957
    1,014
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    [​IMG]

    Earlier this year Sony renewed the trademark on the Psygnosis logo, and there was much excitement for all of ten seconds that this could actually mean something.

    Some lesser news outlets were calling this a PlayStation brand, and sure, the company was acquired by Sony in 1993 and was the force behind PlayStation launch title Wipeout... and later Destruction Derby, and the official Formula One games, and several other things (they were also responsible for kickstarting Angelina Jolie's career - look it up). It eventually became "SCE Studio Liverpool" and made more Wipeout games before Sony closed it. The former staff then made a new company... and Sony bought that instead, because this made sense somehow. Either way, Sony Sony Sony, must be a PlayStation brand.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Except it isn't. At all. Granted the Psygnosis games were usually better on the PlayStation, and they went through Midway or THQ on the N64, but this is very much the opposite of what you'd expect a first party studio to do.


    And there is a reason - Psygnosis was never a first-party studio. It was owned by Sony, but it was "fiercely independent", to the point that they were more than happy to publish and distribute PC and Sega Saturn games. In the US, Sega themselves published the first Wipeout game on Saturn... and were set to do the same with Destruction Derby, before... not doing so. The rest of Psygnosis' Saturn library was only released in Europe and Japan, so I guess Sony jumped in there... though Psygnosis also ported Manx TT Superbike to the Saturn, which is not only not a PlayStation game, it's a Saturn exclusive (ignoring the PC... although they did that one too).

    Psygnosis was another company great at not releasing software (we're up to seven unreleased Saturn games... almost as much as the nine Mega Drive ones!), but anyone telling you this was because Sony were involved, is probably wrong. There's some curiously worded press releases which seem to imply that "well, Sony Imagesoft was multi-platform when they bought us - they chose to concentrate just one one system not us!".


    Anyway the reason for posting this is because I came across talk of a Saturn port of Formula 1, and there was some noise about Sony maybe not letting it happen. I think, more realistically, it's because 1997 was too late to simulate the 1995 F1 season and things got complicated. But who knows.
     
  8. Gryson

    Gryson

    Member
    266
    191
    43
    I think that comes down to semantics and how you define "first-party." In my opinion, Psygnosis being owned by Sony automatically made it a first-party (as in, that is the very definition of what first-party means). It just happened to be a highly independent first-party company that also released a few games on other platforms.

    But semantics aside, Psygnosis released dozens and dozens of games on the PlayStation and was massively relevant for the console's success. It ported a very small number of those games to the Saturn and released them quite after the fact (Wipeout being the one semi-exception, since it came out on the Saturn just a few months after the PlayStation).

    If Psygnosis came forward and said "We're going to focus exclusively on the Saturn from now on. Bye, PlayStation!" then Sony would have forced a leadership change. Sony may have tolerated a few odd releases on the competition's platform because it didn't really affect the bottom line and gave the Psygnosis executives the illusion of control.
     
  9. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    6,957
    1,014
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    From what I'm seeing, pretty much every Psygnosis PlayStation release was at one point in development for the Saturn too (at least prior to 1997 when the console was still viable). Some projects weren't finished (or weren't released in every region), and the PlayStation versions came first, but there's only a handful of completely missing titles from 1995/1996:

    - Myst (because Sunsoft published a version first)
    - Novastorm (though you could get it on Mega-CD)
    - The Adventures of Lomax
    - Chronicles of the Sword

    Though who knows, I might find these at some point too.



    Incidentally is there a list somewhere of undumped prototypes? We've got magazines claiming games existed, but it would be nice to have some physical evidence to prove they aren't misprints. Unless of course someone has actual press kits they'd be willing to share.

    Some of this stuff is very difficult to research just through Google. For example, there's talk of Domark wanting to release a "Formula One 94" for the Mega Drive, which judging from the time period would lie between F1 (1993) and F1: World Championship Edition (1995). These kinds of projects are very easily missed if you don't know what you're looking for.
     
  10. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    6,957
    1,014
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    I'm just going to post things to see if anyone bites.

    We used to manually update tables of unreleased games, before I worked out a way of automating them. Unfortunately some of the old tables covered games which didn't have individual pages, so they've stuck around like a bad smell until we could actually verify that said games actually existed.

    e.g.

    Unreleased Mega-CD games - old list
    List of unreleased Mega-CD games - new list

    I feel like we really should be able to dump the Mega-CD one - there's only 17 games unaccounted for. Some already have references, though I'm playing by the "two sources" rule, i.e. I'm not making pages until I know it's not a rogue magazine talking out its arse.


    Current thoughts:

    - Alexandria: Can't prove anything.

    - Alien: Might be Alien 3 or Alien Trilogy, but it's too vague of a title to get good search results.

    - Backroad Racers: Definitely exists on PC, can't find Mega-CD version.

    - Channel X: No idea.

    - Cool Spot: Can't find the Mega-CD version anywhere.

    - The Incredible Machine: Probably never made it past the "maybe we'll do this" stage, so might not be deserving of a dedicated page.

    - Ivan Stewart's Super Off Road Baja 1000: Probably existed, but I can't confirm the exact title, or whether it's similar to the SNES game

    - Kung Fu: The Legend Continues: Also probably existed but I can't prove anything.

    - Metal Fang: Dunno. Could be Metal Fangs as the wiki says.

    - Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge: The internet says it was cancelled because Monkey Island 1 didn't sell. There is no evidence.

    - Power Modeling: Maybe a misrint.

    - Prime Evil: Also listed as "Prime" sometimes, might be one half of Ultraverse Prime / Microcosm but I don't know.

    - "Pro Racing Simulator": Vague and probably won't get a page.

    - Real Fighters: Could be a working title for Eternal Champions, but is that the original game, or Eternal Champions: Challenge From the Dark Side?

    - Spectre VR: Exists on other platforms and probably existed on the Mega-CD, but information is scarce.

    - Star Trek: The Next Generation: Probably Star Trek: The Next Generation: Echoes from the Past, but maybe they wanted to actually leverage the CD capabilities at some point?

    - Street Fighter II: Probably didn't exist on Mega-CD (and if it did, I doubt it would be vanilla World Warrior).
     
  11. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Tech Member
    1,435
    301
    63
    ALWAYS Sonic the Fighters
    In a followup to a followup, I decided to see what the collector was doing these days, and apparently they had to sell off their collection, which means any documentation or information we could have had from these cabinets (or more) is gone forever...
     
  12. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

    Member
    399
    49
    28
    They're documented here.
     
  13. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Tech Member
    1,435
    301
    63
    ALWAYS Sonic the Fighters
    Well I'll be damned...
     
  14. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    6,957
    1,014
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    So because these things have a habit of finding me, Interplay's Winter CES 1995 press release:

    https://web.archive.org/web/19970606000804/http://www.interplay.com/press/ces32x.html

    [​IMG]

    We've know that Infogrames' 1992 survival horror game Alone in the Dark was set to come to the 32X for a while now. Or at least I have - I don't know who else cares.

    [​IMG]
    https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File:GamePro_US_068.pdf&page=146

    As far as I can see, Interplay released three screenshots and then cancelled the project.


    Also it was called "Alone in the Dark 2". Except it wasn't. Except it was.


    GamePro happily claims it's a "translation of the popular PC game". Which PC game? The one that didn't exist, because while yes, at first glance this does indeed look like the original Alone in the Dark (and might have the same plot), on closer inspection, the scenery and layouts are completely different.

    Is it a conversion of 1993's Alone in the Dark 2 then?... nope. The second game has no areas that look like this, and cruicially Edward Carnby doesn't have a moustache. Also the second game has pirates in it - not straight away, I grant you, but it was the game's schtick. Publications are evenly split about giving this 32X game a "2", which suggests it was thought of as a sequel (or at least recognised as "different"), but not the sequel. Interplay doesn't appear to have ever used a 2, although their press releases are surprisingly difficult to read thanks to all the vague promises and marketing.

    There's a Saturn port of Alone in the Dark 2 - it came a year later, wasn't published by Interplay and is a straight-up port of the second game on PC (albeit with some texture upgrades and other things). It's seemingly unrelated to the 32X project, which means we have a unique 32X version of Alone in the Dark that never saw the light of day.


    That being said, I don't know Alone in the Dark that well, so there might be something I'm missing.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  15. kitsunebi

    kitsunebi

    Member
    166
    61
    28
    Japan
    I haven't played these games in ages, so I can't be sure about the top picture, but the other two are definitely from Alone in the Dark 2.
    I think that the top picture is probably Elizabeth Jarret's bedroom.
    The middle picture is the bathroom attached to Elizabeth Jarret's bedroom
    The bottom picture is the billiards room of the Hell's Kitchen mansion.
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • List
  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    6,957
    1,014
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    Nifty - looks like Google images has some work to do, since "Alone in the Dark 2 bathroom" was just giving me screenshots of hallways.
     
  17. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    6,957
    1,014
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    Well I can't prove its Mega-CD credentials, but it looks like this one was a Mega Drive (and SNES) game at one stage.

    This is a product of Park Place Productions (for Sunsoft), which basically collapsed at the end of 1993. Following their success with John Madden Football (the 1990 Mega Drive version), Park Place ballooned, making sports games (and other things) for everybody and becoming the largest independent software developer in the US. But "too many untrained new hires" + "not enough hit deadlines" = "we can't pay you", which led to a mass exodus to Sony Imagesoft. And fun legal fights!

    Park Place would have been working on dozens of projects at the time, such as a bunch of ESPN-licensed games for Sony (which is almost certainly why they grabbed everyone) and Acclaim's NFL Quarterback Club. It's not hard to see why a video game based on a television show nobody remembers fell by the wayside, especially when Sunsoft's US arm would go down the toilet not long afterwards.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  18. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    6,957
    1,014
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    https://picclick.com/Sega-Saturn-Promotional-Brochure-Leaflet-Booklet-Catalogue-234401288606.html

    [​IMG]

    Today on "Sega Europe might be inventing games":

    - 360X
    - 4-4-2
    - Aironauts
    - Break Point Tennis 2
    - British Touring Cars
    - Colin McCray Rally (McRae?)
    - Descent 3
    - Fully Loaded
    - Last Express
    - Monster Truck Rally
    - Motor Cross X
    - Pebble Beach Golf '97
    - Pro Pinball Addiction
    - Rama
    - Spirit Masters
    - Virus 2000
    - Vivid Racer
    - Warp Hunter (Huster? can't see)
    - Worms 2

    There are no references to any of these online.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  19. Gryson

    Gryson

    Member
    266
    191
    43
    A lot of those (or, at least, the ones I recognize) were PC games from around the time - the Warp Hunter (definitely an 'n') one is probably Syyrah: The Warp Hunter. No doubt a publisher said they might consider porting it to the Saturn and Sega just added it to the list.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  20. JaxTH

    JaxTH

    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    9,552
    275
    63
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.