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Legions of the Undead


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#26 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:33 PM

Jason Kingsley told C+VG magazine that whilst Legions Of The Undead was originally intended as a Jaguar only, entry-level, explore and shoot opus using the AVP engine..


It had been totally rewritten for Jaguar, PC and Playstation.

So it never ended up being an unfinished Jaguar exclusive. ..

And whilst they might of stuck with the plan of using an improved version of the AVP engine for the Jaguar version, it sounds like PC and Playstation versions were being written from scratch.

It's a pity Rebellion have never really talked in more depth about the rewrite or how far along PC and PS1 versions got and why project was ultimately canned.

Telling RVG some code might still exist somewhere within the I.T department, did little to clear matters up.

It could of been from the original version or the later PC/PS1 versions...

#27 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:50 PM

According to a comment made by Rebellions Dan McNamee, in Autumn of 1996...

The Jaguar version only got as far as a very basic game engine, created for nothing more than demonstration purposes and nothing more.

Which annoyed him , as he was supposed to be lead tester on the project.

#28 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:20 PM

Doh.

I meant Atari lead tester Dan Mcnamee.

My bad :-))

#29 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 1, 2018 6:02 AM

What was the story-line for this game?


Found a bit more on this one, so finally your question can get a reply


The actual game itself sounded like little more than a simple, but fun affair in which you ran around solving a series of puzzles to access pressure
pad-operated doors etc to gain entry to dungeons and defeat a central bad guy called Centurion Gargath and his horde.



PC and PS1 versions would of been the more 'full fat' versions:

Once you'd defeated Gargath in his donmain you'd have to go to hell or wherever to finish him off once and for all.

Rebellion hinted that they'd probably make the puzzles more difficult for the
PC version.

#30 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 1, 2018 11:51 AM

Another official press release on it from Rebellion..late 1994:

This is a first-person 3-d dungeon exploration game, based on an
engine that could best be described as a hybrid between AvP and
Doom. Enhancements over the AvP engine may include arbitrary-angled
walls, enhanced lighting effects, alteration of view angle up and
downwards, variable height of player (though not floors/ceilings),
algorithmically animated textures, etc.

 The basic idea behind the game, to use already-extant examples again,
is a cross between Dungeon Master and AvP; plot, puzzles,
problem-solving; but with the freedom of motion and speed that one
expects from a modern 3-d game.

#31 JagChris ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:29 PM

Jason Kingsley
 
Dungeon exploring action game was on the cards with stop-motion generated enemies from models. Ive still got a few of the models about the office somewhere.
 
Probably some code somewhere in an archive here. There was the basic engine and some bad guys running around from what I can remember. Ill ask IT.  It will annoy them a lot!


Did he ever annoy IT?

#32 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:49 AM

I'm not aware of Jason following up on the comment he made and letting RVG know if anything was ever found or if he ever got the chance to look.

It seemed pointless to approach and ask him myself as his original reply has already been twisted and miss reported by a certain individual updating lost Jaguar games:

'Beyond Games still has Mechtiles, BattleWheels 2025 & Azeron for the Jaguar on their HQs. The same goes to Rebellion's Legions of the Undead, according to a old RGV interview with Jason Kingsley.'

Considering Jason never stated which version (Jaguar, PC or Playstation) the code might relate to , nor did he do anything but suggest it was a mere possibility back up code still exists..i found that quite a leap of faith myself.

If the lie it exists and it's Jaguar code is out there based on the above evidence, really is no point asking Jason for an answer if that's going to get missrepresented as well.

#33 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:34 PM

Another official press release on it from Rebellion..late 1994:

This is a first-person 3-d dungeon exploration game, based on an
engine that could best be described as a hybrid between AvP and
Doom. Enhancements over the AvP engine may include arbitrary-angled
walls, enhanced lighting effects, alteration of view angle up and
downwards, variable height of player (though not floors/ceilings),
algorithmically animated textures, etc.

 The basic idea behind the game, to use already-extant examples again,
is a cross between Dungeon Master and AvP; plot, puzzles,
problem-solving; but with the freedom of motion and speed that one
expects from a modern 3-d game.

That does, indeed, sound pretty exciting to me, even now, let alone quarter century ago! Just my kind of game...

 

I guess I'll just have to write one myself, one of these days :lol:

 

I am, however, personally, much more inclined towards smooth grid-based movement - like, say,  in recent Legend of Grimrock.

  - When I was doing Road Rash texturing experiments, I spent some considerable time on grid-based, cube texturing (just like would be used for such dungeon).

  - Jaguar, can totally do that smoothly in 768x240 (256 colors), as one doesn't need 60 or 30 fps for such game, and camera doesn't move very fast, so even much lower framerate feels very smooth (because only so many pixels move vertically during one second).
 

I suppose the only question is, if jag can do that fast enough with 65,536 colors at that resolution, as that would indeed look pretty darn next-gen, for the platform, but that's an experiment for another day...



#34 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:59 PM

I would of liked to seen what Rebellion could done with Legions on PC and Playstation as it had some real potential.

But i guess more money was to be had by doing conversion work (Rainbow 6) and film licences (The Mummy) along with a light gun game (Gunfighter:Legend Of Jesse James)...

#35 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:12 PM

I don't know what RPG-specific personnel Rebellion had at that specific time, but they most definitely proved they're top tier caliber with PC version of AVP.

 

There was zero competition with RPG on Jaguar.

 

But on PC ? I had dozens RPGs on PCs (barely had the time to fully play tiny percentage of them anyway) and even now, via GOG.com am still discovering dozens more that I totally missed and never even knew they existed in the first place...

 

 

 

Now, if they had developed RPG game for the PC AFTER they did AVP, then yeah - they'd get all the front pages in magazines, previews every other month, editors crawling in front their feet, etc.

Unfortunately, it's an alternate reality that simply didn't happen...



#36 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:23 PM

 But i guess more money was to be had by doing conversion work (Rainbow 6) and film licences (The Mummy) along with a light gun game (Gunfighter:Legend Of Jesse James)...

That's assuming, they actually have qualified, in the first place for big-license name.

 

I will never forget my surprise and awe, when I talked, as a small PC developer, to some publishers at London's ECTS (around 2003-ish) and they started enumerating requirements for a developer studio to be able to remotely attempt to qualify, for just a first round of talks. it was certifiably insane :lol:

Just a crazy amount of risk for developer, and basically almost no profit, as license holder was eliminating all risks, of course - at developer's expense. It was seen as an "investment" from developer, to be able to qualify for further work (e.g. bend over, and ask to get fucked).

Basically, a pyramid scheme. And, you still get a stench on your resume, for working on those games, that will never get completely off, as gamers, by and large,  despite those games.

 

As with everything, if you know right people (and they were in the heart of it) -  I suppose it might have been more favourable for them. I'm sure they wouldn't be able to tell, even now. Certain NDAs never expire...



#37 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:55 AM

In the Press Release Rebellion issued at the time, they stated with Jaguar AVP and Chequered Flag now finished, they were working on the following titles:

Legions Of The Undead:Progress varied depending on platform.

Hammerhead (aka Skyhammer) Jaguar 40% complete.

Tyrant-A strategic war game headed for PC 30% complete.

Typhoon Omega-A title which all they could say was it was headed for PC and they weren't going to say anything else about at that time.

And others....


They were clearly looking to expand, staff wise back then and it's always great P.R to annouced you've X amount of games on the go, but nothing came of Tyrant, Legions or Typhoon Omega.


It's always been something of interest to myself to see which titles that switch platforms during development actually appear.


Andrew Whittaker talked a lot of 3DO M2 Power Crystal being the game he always wanted to write, he owned the rights to it, loved working on powerful new hardware.

Yet after the M2 died,i wonder if he tried approaching publishers to get it made for Dreamcast or PS2 etc?.

#38 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:02 AM

While the jaguar sales could have paid for development of short dev cycles and very small teams (1-2 coders, and few artists that are working on other projects at the same time), it certainly couldn't compete with PC sales, so can't really blame them.

 

At some point, person paying the salaries simply had to say :" Screw it, it makes no business sense to continue with jag, let's just cut the losses at this point".

 

I do wish it would have happened after they released the Legions, though...



#39 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:23 AM

I've never played Towers II so i have no idea what kind of competition it would of been to Legions, but knowing Atari and it's policy of thinking they already had genre X covered .

I poured hour apon hour into Dungeon Master, Bloodwych, Captive and Chaos Strikes Back on the lowly ST.

I was gutted when news broke that Eye Of The Beholder wasn't coming to the ST,even though it wasn't unexpected. ST support had been dwindling for months...

I'd moved on from the Jaguar by the time Towers II hit..

I wasn't willing to invest anymore in what was then clearly becoming a dead system at a commercial level.

But i never quite found anything that Machen the sheer atmosphere of Dungeon Master.

What a game.

As for Rebellion..AVP (original release..not the Gold edition) for myself remains their finest hour.

Atmospheric as hell.

A.I routines that really nailed the Xenomorphs behaviour.

Monolith delivered a much nicer looking sequel, but the Xeno's reduced once again to FPS fodder...

Edited by Lost Dragon, Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:24 AM.


#40 PeterG ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:32 AM

I've never played Towers II so i have no idea what kind of competition it would of been to Legions, but knowing Atari and it's policy of thinking they already had genre X covered .

I poured hour apon hour into Dungeon Master, Bloodwych, Captive and Chaos Strikes Back on the lowly ST.

I was gutted when news broke that Eye Of The Beholder wasn't coming to the ST,even though it wasn't unexpected. ST support had been dwindling for months...

I'd moved on from the Jaguar by the time Towers II hit..

I wasn't willing to invest anymore in what was then clearly becoming a dead system at a commercial level.

But i never quite found anything that Machen the sheer atmosphere of Dungeon Master.

What a game.

As for Rebellion..AVP (original release..not the Gold edition) for myself remains their finest hour.

Atmospheric as hell.

A.I routines that really nailed the Xenomorphs behaviour.

Monolith delivered a much nicer looking sequel, but the Xeno's reduced once again to FPS fodder...

 

What was wrong with the Gold Edition of AvP on PC? I remember the original came without the possibility to save. What an oversight wow. On anything else I agree that I felt really could and they got a lot of it right. (also and especially compared to the version they did for the Xbox360) I get the feeling, that they were more hungry back then. Just a few days ago I tried there Zombie shooter on Xbox one Zombie army trilogy or something like that and wasn`t really impressed.

 

Would have loved to see Legions of the undead though with the new engine and everything sounded promising back then.



#41 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:15 AM

They butchered the atmosphere of the comms screen by using actors.

I put my beef to them:

Rogue Trooper

AVP used ‘actors’ for the comms screens, a poor decision in my eyes, how did this come about and do you feel, looking back, it was the right move?

Jason Kingsley

Yes it was the right move, we initially used our own in house actors which was great,  but the publisher asked us to use stuff they had shot and that I felt was much more wooden, but they were paying the bills so they got to have the final decisions.


The PS3/360 AVP was bloody awful.

A.I routines toned down for the causal gamer market and far worser for it..



#42 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:54 AM

There was also the rumour that Rebellion were originally considered by Sega to handle Saturn versions of Quake and Duke Nukem 3D, along with Rage.....

Well John Carmack refusing to let Jim Bagley use the Saturn hardware the way he wanted put paid to Doom..

But with no disrespect intended at Rebellion, thank god Lobotomy handled Duke and Quake on Saturn.

#43 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:30 PM

As for Rebellion..AVP (original release..not the Gold edition) for myself remains their finest hour.

Atmospheric as hell.

A.I routines that really nailed the Xenomorphs behaviour.

Yep, for me this remains the best game of the alien universe. Even the PS4 Alien was meh compared to this one.

 

 I remember the original came without the possibility to save. What an oversight wow.

Oversight ? Why ? That's exactly what shot the atmosphere to stratosphere, combined with the fact that the spawning was completely random and you never really knew which way will aliens come from.

Same thing as Magic Carpet. When the level took 3 hours to finish, the atmosphere was very thick. Take Magic Carpet 2 - it had a quicksave, which totally ruined any tactic, as you always knew you can just hit reload.

 

But when you invested 2-3 hours of playing ... :)

 

 

The Gold version with actors was a joke but at least we know how that decision came to be :)



#44 PeterG ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:48 PM

Yep, for me this remains the best game of the alien universe. Even the PS4 Alien was meh compared to this one.
 
Oversight ? Why ? That's exactly what shot the atmosphere to stratosphere, combined with the fact that the spawning was completely random and you never really knew which way will aliens come from.
Same thing as Magic Carpet. When the level took 3 hours to finish, the atmosphere was very thick. Take Magic Carpet 2 - it had a quicksave, which totally ruined any tactic, as you always knew you can just hit reload.
 
But when you invested 2-3 hours of playing ... :)
 
 
The Gold version with actors was a joke but at least we know how that decision came to be :)


OK if that worked for you fine but for me it was just frustrating also considering that you could save anywhere in the Jag version already, it felt like a major step back and/or like an oversight. And I think there was also a patch soon after, so I probably wasn't the only one to feel that way.
Concerning the "actors", I was under the impression that they changed the videos for the gold version to the in-house guys so no professionals as far as acting goes.

#45 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:06 PM

Oh, I didn't say it wasn't frustrating, it was frustrating as hell :lol:

 

That's where the challenge came from, instead of a typical cookie-cutter corridor fps

 

Did you play jag version before ? That might have primed you up for a different vibe.



#46 PeterG ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:52 AM

Yes sure, played the Jag version before but even without that I think it is a bad design to create a big game without saving. You might call it a challenge, for me it is demotivating.

#47 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:08 AM

By the time i got into PC gaming, i was trying to run AVP and System Shock 2 on Windows XP. .ohhh the fun that ensured initally

So AVP was running under various patches.

I just really appreciated the attention to detail Rebellion had put into creating the Xenomorphs.

From the fish-eye lens type viewing perspective when playing as the Alien, to the fact unlike so many FPS games of the time, when facing them, you faced a foe that really used the enviroment and it's species abilities.

Here was a creature you learned to fear and respect..The Xenomorphs were bloody lethal.

It wasn't until Argonaut brought Alien Res. to the Playstation 1 i saw the Alien treated with similar respect.


Rebellion themselves sadly falling prey to market forces for thier last stab at the franchise.

#48 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:20 AM

Yes sure, played the Jag version before but even without that I think it is a bad design to create a big game without saving. You might call it a challenge, for me it is demotivating.

So, that begs the question - are you a strong fan of Alien Universe ? Not just "I like the movies", but have you seen first three at least 50 times ? As a small kid, I was literally screaming during first watching of Aliens, it was an incredibly intense experience and I got hooked :lol:

 

For me this was dream come true - yes, at first, just like you, I was petrified at absence of save games, but then I kept playing and then experienced the dread of low health at 90% of level and my own beating heart in my chest when you could only hear the facehugger sound and were in total darkness. That's when it finally clicked - "oh, it's a design decision to rev up your emotional response", and boy does it work :)

 

To this day, no other game for me has come remotely close to that experience when you play it night with headphones on. No amount of Unreal engine 4.0 shaders can help with that...



#49 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:03 AM

@JagChris:I did ask a few people in the lost games community if they themselves had ever approached Jason Kingsley regarding any of Rebellions announced, but never released PC titles.

Some indeed had and whilst Jason talked of getting his guys to take a look, nothing ever came back regarding it.

It was described as being a low priority for him,where as with say someone like The Oliver Twins, they would actively look and report back,even if they had sadly been unable to find anything.

#50 PeterG ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:49 AM

So, that begs the question - are you a strong fan of Alien Universe ? Not just "I like the movies", but have you seen first three at least 50 times ? As a small kid, I was literally screaming during first watching of Aliens, it was an incredibly intense experience and I got hooked :lol:

 

For me this was dream come true - yes, at first, just like you, I was petrified at absence of save games, but then I kept playing and then experienced the dread of low health at 90% of level and my own beating heart in my chest when you could only hear the facehugger sound and were in total darkness. That's when it finally clicked - "oh, it's a design decision to rev up your emotional response", and boy does it work :)

 

To this day, no other game for me has come remotely close to that experience when you play it night with headphones on. No amount of Unreal engine 4.0 shaders can help with that...

 

I watched all things Alien more than I can count but I do not think this is important. They knew how to make you scared without relying on the dread of having to replay everything again. I mean original Jag AvP scared the shit out of me several times even though the whole base is lit like in daylight and you can save anywhere. Still it works, the Aliens are out there, the ammo is scarce etc etc. But anyway I made my point. If that design descision worked for you, great. I was happy for the patch to save, so we both enjoyed the game, everybody won. :)






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