Unreleased games

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SarahWalker
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Unreleased games

Post by SarahWalker » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:00 pm

I was digging through some of my old files recently, and found a list of unreleased games that I'd collated from various sources (mainly Usenet), with a view to making a "Games That Weren't" site that never happened. Thought I'd post the list here. Does anyone have any more knowledge about any of these games?
3D Pool (Rainbird?) - Previewed in Acorn User in 1988

Age of War (Orbsoft) - ?

Batman (Ocean) - Rumored in TGM Nov 1989.

Big Red Racing (Eidos) - Rumored at one point. PC version written by Fred R Williams (author of Pushy 2)

Biohazard (Machine Love/Frank Isidor) - Frank moved on to other things. Demo + (most) source available on Arcade BBS.

Bolo (Stuart Cheshire) - probably never started

Bowladroids (Magnetic Images) - Bit like Bomberman. Simon Clay

Brixx (Superior Software) - Mentioned in TGM Sept 1988

California Games (US Gold) - Mentioned in TGM Nov 1989.

Chaos Engine (Krisalis) - Unreleased until 2000

Creatures, Sim Earth, Sim Ant, A-Train, Vikings, Cadaver, Star Trek, Chuck Rock 2, SAS, Lord Of The Rings 1&2, El-Fish (all Krisalis) - All rights held by Krisalis - any started?

Dark Future (Grasshopper Software)

Darklands (?) - 2001

Deliverer (Superior Software) - Mentioned in TGM Sept 1988

Eat My Dust (VOTI) - VOTI left the market in 2002
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys ... de4b163171

Empire Soccer (Empire) - Received very limited release.

Exile (Audiogenic) - Disagreements between Audiogenic and coder/organiser?

F-16 : Fighting Falcon (R-Comp) - Canned due to speed problems - 1999

Firestarter (Insomnia Studios) - To be written by Andrew Docking (author of 4D's Drifter). Tomb Raider clone. Preview at AcornArcade.

FQuake (?) - was meant to be turned into a game at one point

Frak 3 (Aardvark) - a demo of a 3d platformer

Globdule (Image Systems) - Released on Amiga but intended for Acorn

Iron Dignity (Artex Software) - Canned on RiscPC, released on PC. 2 early demos released.

Hard Drivin' (Domark) - Mentioned in TGM Nov 1989.

Jimmy White's Snooker (?) - Mentioned on c.s.a.games

Karma II (?)

King And Country (Software7) - Abandoned in 1997?

Last Offence (Modus Software) - demo released. 1997

Leaderboard (US Gold) - Mentioned in TGM Nov 1989. A later version was released in 1994.

Legend (Micro Power) - Shown at an Acorn World show, Micro Power went under?

Metal Fighters 3000 (Fantasia) - canned in favour of Toy Chronicles

Myth (Magnetic Scrolls) - No Acorn version released. Never got a proper release on other machines though, only available by joining an adventure club.

Nevyron 2 (Fourth Dimension) - Released as Technodream by Superior

Nexus War (A Jackson)

Oblivion (Quantum) - 1997. Coder went to work for Gremlin

Operation Thunderbolt (Ocean) - Rumored in TGM Nov 1989.

Pinball Dreams (Krisalis) - Supposed to be released in 1994

Powermonger (Krisalis) - Apparently started

Proposal (TBA) - 1996

Puzznic (Ocean) - Shown at an Acorn World show? 1990/91?

Quake (TBA Software) - Never finished, R-Comp released ArcQuake instead

Rome AD (Gamesware)

Scorpius (Arxe) - Arxe folded. Demo available

Seige (Shibumi Software)

Skirmish (Kindred Software) - Put on hold in January 2001

Soccer Kid (Krisalis) - Shareware version never started, commercial version never finished?
http://www.acorn-gaming.org.uk/Features ... /SKid.html

Sphericule (US Gold) - Mentioned in TGM Nov 1989.

Spitfire Fury (Fourth Dimension) - turned into Birds of War

Star Glider 2 (Rainbird) - sure I read about this somewhere...

Striker (Gamesware)

Stryker's Run III (Machine Love, ?) - Two versions by two different teams. One version by David Jefferies, abandoned in 1997

Super Snail 2 (?) - 1998

Tales of Anubus (?) - Written by Ray Maidstone

Tellomere (?) - Written by David Sharp. 1998

The Thing of Darkness (Eterna) - Eterna quit the market

The Untouchables (Ocean) - Rumored in TGM Nov 1989.

Toybox Dreams (Paradise Software) - 2000

ToyParty (Fantasia) - 2001

Toy Chronicles (Fantasia) - ?

Turrican 3 (Rainbow Arts/Factor 5) - Mentioned in PC Turrican 3 demo (never released either - see pcGTW)

Warzone (Jason Tribbeck)

Wing Commander (?) - Mentioned on c.s.a.games

Wipeout 2097 (Acorn) - Kevin Lingley at Acorn arranged the rights. Then Acorn got rid of him.

Virus 2000 (David Braben) - David Braben ran a poll on c.s.a.games in 1998

Volfied (Empire) - ?

Zool 2 (Gremlin) - Canned due to poor sales of Premier Manager. Probably never started.

Unnamed conversion (VOTI) - Intended for Microdigital Omega - SF3000 TNG?

Unnamed tank game (Fednet) - ?

Wipeout clone (Andrew Docking) - Commissioned by Acorn for SA RiscPC. To be bundled with the machines at one point (!). This may in fact have been Wipeout 2097 at one point.

'Crusades' game (Chris Knight) - Mentioned on STH and in A&B Computing June 1989

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by davidb » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:22 pm

SarahWalker wrote:I was digging through some of my old files recently, and found a list of unreleased games that I'd collated from various sources (mainly Usenet), with a view to making a "Games That Weren't" site that never happened. Thought I'd post the list here. Does anyone have any more knowledge about any of these games?
Others know a lot more about some of these than I do, so I'll just chip in with comments about two of them:
3D Pool (Rainbird?) - Previewed in Acorn User in 1988
Isn't this 3D Pool (Firebird)?
Bolo (Stuart Cheshire) - probably never started
This was superseded by the Mac version. See the second page scan from the O Bolo Mio article near the top of the Bolo Pages for a little more information about it.

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by flibble » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:24 pm

Karma II (?)
This probably refers to 'Karma' the complete game as opposed to the released 'flight trainer' version. Project stopped due to death of one of the programmers.
Spitfire Fury (Fourth Dimension) - turned into Birds of War
Nope, two separate games. Spitfire Fury is another game by Andrew Hutchins (of Chocks Away), during one of his interviews he basically explains that he just didn't get around to finishing it cos he was enjoying the money from chocks away too much :D

I had the same impression as the author of this article that it was released by APDL on compilation CD. But it seems a second Spitfire Fury (a flight sim toolkit game) is the one included.

http://www.apdl.org.uk/riscworld/volume ... /index.htm
Stryker's Run III (Machine Love, ?) - Two versions by two different teams. One version by David Jefferies, abandoned in 1997
This one I don't know much about, other than I knew one of the people writing the music for it. I have the music for it in Xenakis format (the music peeps were also the people programming the Xenakis tracker).

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by finisterre » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:04 pm

Frak 3? Was there ever a Frak 2?

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by SarahWalker » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:15 pm

Frak 2 is mentioned as a BBC isometric thingy in Stairway To Hell's Lost+Found section.

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by RobC » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:21 pm

SarahWalker wrote:Empire Soccer (Empire) - Received very limited release.
I may still have this somewhere - I picked up the disk in a bundle of stuff and remembered seeing it at one of the AU shows. However, my memory says the disk wasn't much good on its own as you needed to key in some stuff from the accompanying booklet as a copy protection mechanism.
SarahWalker wrote:Leaderboard (US Gold) - Mentioned in TGM Nov 1989. A later version was released in 1994
The first game I bought for my A3000 (in mid-1990) was a version of Leaderboard but my memory says it was "World Class Leaderboard". It was definitely an Arthur-era game as it was SHIFT-BREAK to load etc. I should still have the disk.

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:40 pm

Chaos Engine (Krisalis) - Was developed to near completion by Krisalis around the time they shutdown, was completed by R-Comp and released in 2000

Darklands - There's two games of this name, the later I don't believe was ever released Eat My Dust (VOTI) - VoTI abandoned development, although it was near complete. Same goes for Sumisu Sam

Empire Soccer (Empire) - Was released (video)

F-16 : Fighting Falcon (R-Comp) - Wasn't completed. R-Comp were going to pass the source code to me, if they could locate it. It ran at 13/14 fps @ 640x480 on the Iyonix and was playable, with music. There was also Apache, source code of which possibly exists somewhere and one other unnamed title, possibly also a flight sim. Development ceased on all three as "no-one was really interested in flight sims".

Iron Dignity (Artex Software) - Abandoned (video)

Karma II (?) - This is probably referring to Karma (as opposed to Karma: The Flight Trainer), which was abandoned following the death of one of the developers

Leaderboard (US Gold) -World Class Leaderboard (video) by ACCESS Software probably, it's on my list of games to publicly release

Oblivion (Quantum) - Abandoned, R-Comp have a 2-level demo they were going to send me, if they could locate it. Developed by Jack Parkinson; Phil Lund (graphics)

Powermonger (Krisalis) - Abandoned when Krisalis closed. I spoke to one of the devs who confirmed all source code was lost or destroyed

Scorpius (Arxe) - I've spoken to one of the developers. Most of the second level was complete, as an icy theme and additional weapon types were created. It was never completed due a combination of not being paid and burnout. I have permission to release what was coded, but a copy hasn't been located yet. A demo of level 1 was released (video)

Soccer Kid (Krisalis) - Same as Powermonger

Spitfire Fury (Fourth Dimension) - I suspect development never started as I have a copy of Andrew Hutchings development machine, from what I understand to be the final days of development and it doesn't contain anything related to Spitfire Fury.

The Thing of Darkness (Eterna) - I've spoken to the Eterna team, all source and originals are lost

Toybox Dreams (Paradise Software) - Unreleased, although appeared to be mostly developed. A non-playable demo was released on the Acorn User 200th edition CD, I'm hoping to do a recording of it soon

Unnamed conversion (VOTI) - Intended for Microdigital Omega - SF3000 TNG? - StarFighter 3000 TNG - it was released on a RiscWorld disc.

Unnamed tank game (Fednet) - ? - BattleTanks (VoTI) - it was released in 2001 incomplete. There's an early build on Acorn Arcade
Last edited by sirbod on Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:03 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by trixster » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:22 am

Legend - is this the one released on the Amiga and PC by Mindscape? One of my favourite games ever.

I still cannot quite believe the Arc never got a version of Exile. The Amiga/ST conversion was absolutely brilliant but I'm sure the Arc could have done even better. A missed opportunity.
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Re: Unreleased games

Post by RobC » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:01 am

sirbod wrote:Spitfire Fury (Fourth Dimension) - It wasn't a Fourth Dimension title, but was released by APDL on the Flight Simulators CD...incomplete I believe
This rang a bell with me. I bought a copy on disk from a PD library (possibly APDL) in the early nineties and it wasn't bad. However, I also remember the 4D adverts for a Spitfire game and I don't think it was the same one. This seems to back that up: http://www.apdl.org.uk/riscworld/volume ... /index.htm

I remember the sampled speech during the loading/introduction screen and it was pretty good!

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:25 am

RobC wrote:I bought a copy on disk from a PD library (possibly APDL) in the early nineties and it wasn't bad. However, I also remember the 4D adverts for a Spitfire game and I don't think it was the same one.
Thanks for the clarification.

In that case, I suspect development never started as I have a copy of Andrew Hutchings development machine, from what I understand to be the final days of development and it doesn't contain anything related to Spitfire Fury.

EDIT: Update on F16 - It ran at 13/14 fps @ 640x480 on the Iyonix and was playable, with music. There was also Apache, source code of which possibly exists somewhere and one other unnamed title, possibly also a flight sim. Development ceased on all three as "no-one was really interested in flight sims".

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by RobC » Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:04 pm

For anyone wishing to try it, looks like the PD Spitfire Fury is here: http://www.apdl.org.uk/apdlpd/library/files/g/g150.zip

I haven't tried it yet but the catalogue says: "Spitfire Fury by John Haddon. As the name suggests this is a flight sim game where you fly a Spitfire in 1939. There are twelve missions plus a practice mission. Scenery is quite good and varied".

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:31 pm

On the subject of "Unreleased games", were Stunt Racer 2000 Extra Tracks Series 3 or the Stunt Racer 2000 Track Designer ever released?

I have both, which could probably be released if someone is prepared to test them to confirm they work.

The Wimp version of the track designer can be downloaded here.
Last edited by sirbod on Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by davidjefferies » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:48 pm

SarahWalker wrote: Stryker's Run III (Machine Love, ?) - Two versions by two different teams. One version by David Jefferies, abandoned in 1997
it was so long ago I can hardly remember but I'm pretty sure there was only ever one team working on SRIII. At some point we split with the guy who negotiated the license (Machine Love) and did our own thing - possibly calling ourselves Godhead. There were 4 of us working on it but after we finished our degrees Mike (art) and me (code) got jobs in the games industry at Psygnosis and Argonaut and after trying to finish it in our spare time eventually abandoned it in 1997. I've still got my RiscPC and set it up a few years ago and the game is still on there and working so I'll try and dig it out again when I get a chance. I used to think it was about 80% complete but looking at it again it was only 50% complete at a push :)

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by steve3000 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:16 pm

sirbod wrote:On the subject of "Unreleased games", were Stunt Racer 2000 Extra Tracks Series 3 or the Stunt Racer 2000 Track Designer ever released?

I have both, which could probably be released if someone is prepared to test them to confirm they work.
I don't know if the track designer was ever officially released, but my brother and I certainly had a track designer for SR2000, and spent days battling against each other on our custom tracks... :)

I vaguely remember the designer being a PD or maybe a magazine disc release, but whether that was by the original team or by someone else, I don't recall.

I'd be very interested in trying this out again though. And happy to do some testing.

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:39 pm

SarahWalker wrote:
Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:00 pm
Age of War (Orbsoft) - ?
Here's a picture, taken from Acorn User Nov 96 p81:
Age of War.png

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:35 pm

SarahWalker wrote:
Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:00 pm
Leaderboard (US Gold) - Mentioned in TGM Nov 1989. A later version was released in 1994.
Also mentioned in Acorn User March 1989 p10. It was going to be one of two initial trial games for the Archimedes along with Joan of Arc, ported from the Amiga:
JoanOfArc-Amiga.png
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Re: Unreleased games

Post by Phlamethrower » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:05 pm

steve3000 wrote:
Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:16 pm
sirbod wrote:On the subject of "Unreleased games", were Stunt Racer 2000 Extra Tracks Series 3 or the Stunt Racer 2000 Track Designer ever released?

I have both, which could probably be released if someone is prepared to test them to confirm they work.
I don't know if the track designer was ever officially released, but my brother and I certainly had a track designer for SR2000, and spent days battling against each other on our custom tracks... :)

I vaguely remember the designer being a PD or maybe a magazine disc release, but whether that was by the original team or by someone else, I don't recall.

I'd be very interested in trying this out again though. And happy to do some testing.
The track designer is available from David O'Shea's website. I think it was also available on a magazine cover CD at one point (the copy I have - still 1.10 - has all the filenames in uppercase, a telltale sign of it being from a CD).

http://www.iol.ie/~djkoshea/games/index.html

(And some old URLs for posterity, it took a while to find David's current website!)

https://web.archive.org/web/19991116011 ... esign.html
https://web.archive.org/web/20010421031 ... esign.html

(edit)

Looking closer at my directory - looks like I also managed to pick up a copy of the original VOTI release of the track designer from somewhere. Not sure where, but it looks like it (and some other utilities) are available from Arcade BBS:

http://www.arcade-bbs.net/filepages/file43.htm - "SRED.ZIP 143866 SR2000 Editor"

(not really sure what the current best place is to go for Arcade files - the FTP site that arcade-bbs.net links to seems to be down. But you can dig through Drobe's mirror and find the right file)
Last edited by Phlamethrower on Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:58 am

Phlamethrower wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:05 pm
The track designer is available from David O'Shea's website. I think it was also available on a magazine cover CD at one point (the copy I have - still 1.10 - has all the filenames in uppercase, a telltale sign of it being from a CD).
That's not the same track designer. The one I have is the original, which I found on the development machine. I don't know if it's ever been released, if it was it would have been from VoTI.

I had a quick look at it yesterday, whilst preparing it for release. It's written in BASIC, runs in MODE 13 and possibly allows you to test the track going by the size of the included code blob. There were dozens of INKEY checks, but no documentation so I didn't spend too much time trying to figure out how to use it, beyond creating a quick test track.

Perhaps someone with more time than I, would like to try it and come up with a list of what the keys do.

EDIT: Doh! Just noticed you mentioned this had been released previously.
Last edited by sirbod on Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:25 am

Some more titles mentioned that were never released:
  • 3D Pool (1990) (?) - Acorn User Oct 90 p128
  • Acceptable Rate of Loss (1994) (TBA Software) - Acorn User Nov 94 p53
  • Arcane Lane (1989) (Gem Electronics) - Acorn User Oct 89 p136
  • Biohazard (1996) (?) - Acorn User Jun 96 p57
  • Brixx (1988) (Superior Software) - Acorn User Nov 88 p125
  • Cataclysm Extra Levels (1992) (The Fourth Dimension) - Acorn User Mar 92 p128
  • The Crunch (1991) (Eclipse) - Acorn User Feb 91 p122
  • The Deep (1994) (TBA Software) - Acorn User Nov 94 p53
  • Delivery (1988) (Superior Software) - Acorn User Nov 88 p125
  • Dragon Warriors (1994) (Davyn Software) - Acorn User Nov 94 p56
  • E-motion (1990) (U.S. Gold) - confirmed cancelled in Acorn User Dec 90 p137
  • Free Run (1993) (TBA Software) - Acorn User Aug 93 p59 (may have been renamed Formula Two Thousand)
  • Freedom Fighter (1990) (?) - Acorn User Aug 90 p28
  • Glove (1992) (Arxe Systems) - Acorn User Jul 92 p123
  • Hard Drivin' (1990) (Domark) - confirmed cancelled in Acorn User Dec 90 p137
  • Harry Harpoon Goes to Harpoon Land (1993) (Cambridge International Software) - Acorn User Jun 93 p75
  • Hill Street Blues (1991) (Krisalis) - Acorn user May 1991 p129
  • Joan of Arc (1989) (U.S. Gold) - Acorn User Mar 89 p10
  • Karma (1989) (Periscope Software) - Acorn User Aug 89 p7, p131 (advert) / Acorn User Sep 89 p132 / Acorn User Oct 89 p136 / Acorn User Jan 90 p136 / Acorn User Dec 90 p137 / Acorn User Aug 91 p120 / Acorn User Nov 91 Games Supplement p19 / Acorn User Dec 91 p85 (advert) / Acorn User Jan 92 p9, p141 (advert) / Acorn User Feb 92 p9 (advert), p97 / Acorn User Mar 92 p130 / Acorn User Jun 93 p75
  • King and Country (1996) (Software 7) - Acorn User Jul 96 p57
  • Laser Squad (1989) (Blade Software) - Acorn User Dec 89 p144
  • Last Offence (1996) (Modus Software) - Acorn User Xmas 96 p69
  • Leaderboard (1988) (U.S. Gold) - Acorn User Jun 89 p113 / Acorn User Aug 89 p140 (released as World Class Leaderboard)
  • Mad Professor Mariarti 2 (1991) (Krisalis) - Acorn User July 91 p121
  • MetalFighters 4000 (1997) (Fantasia) - Acorn User Jan 97 p63
  • Monopoly (1990) (Virgin) - confirmed cancelled in Acorn User Dec 90 p137
  • Powermonger (1993) (Krisalis) - Acorn User Jul 93 p74 / Acorn User Nov 93 p65
  • Psychic Yoyo (1993) (TBA Software) - Acorn User May 93 p73
  • Punk & Jump (1990) (Sisteme) - Acorn User Oct 90 p127
  • Puzznic (1991) (Ocean) - Acorn User Aug 91 p120
  • Scorpius (1993) (Arxe Systems) - confirmed cancelled in Acorn User Sep 93 p69
  • Soccer Kid (1993) (Krisalis) - Acorn User Apr 93 p123
  • Sorcery (1996) (Intertek) - Acorn User Mar 96 p66
  • Soup Trek - The Search for Stock (1993) (Elemental Software) - Acorn User Nov 92 p133
  • Striker (1994) (Gamesware) - Acorn User Feb 94 p83
  • Stryker's Run III - The Polaris Conspiracy (1994) (Davyn Software) - Acorn User Nov 94 p56 / Acorn User Dec 95 p70 / Acorn User Feb 96 p65
  • Tale of the Anubus (1991) (?) - Acorn User Mar 91 p120
  • Warp Riders (1994) (TBA Software) - Acorn User Nov 94 p53
  • Wing Commander (1993) (Mindscape) - Acorn User Aug 92 p115 / Acorn User Sep 93 p69
It seems Acorn User was possibly guilty of prolific wild speculation on the games front.

I also found an advert for the following, which may have been released:
  • Sheep Racing Deluxe (1997) (Werewolf Software) - Acorn User Nov 97 p29
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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:09 am

SarahWalker wrote:
Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:00 pm
Tales of Anubus (?) - Written by Ray Maidstone
Advert from Acorn User Sep 91 p121:
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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:32 am

SarahWalker wrote:
Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:00 pm
The Thing of Darkness (Eterna) - Eterna quit the market
Screenshot from Acorn User Oct 91 p152:
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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:02 pm

SarahWalker wrote:
Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:00 pm
Karma II (?)
The Karma advert in Acorn User Dec 91 p85, states:
The Flight Trainer 1MB £24.99
Release 2.0 2MB TBA
Release 3.0 2MB TBA
It was originally due for release in 1989 and eventually "The Flight Trainer" was released in 1992. Screenshots from 1989 are identical to the screenshots in the three page article about the game in the Acorn User '91 Games Supplement (included with Acorn User Nov 91), so I don't suspect much changed in the intervening two years.

Here's the preview from Acorn User Feb 92 p97:
Karma is the space game everyone has been waiting for. In some cases for nearly four years. It was advertised well in time for Christmas and copies were sent out with about fifteen days to spare. But it isn't the finished Karma, due to appear next year, merely the Flight Trainer, a highly cut down model basically intended to give players a feel for the fundamental aspects on which the game works - chiefly the Flight controls.

I wonder how this has gone down with people who've bought the game, because to play the Flight Trainer is, frankly, to be bored. Karma has received much hype, much fuss and much attention but all you can do at the moment is fly around and look at texture-less circles which are supposed to represent planets. Those who have coughed up 25 quid may be wondering what on earth (or beyond) they have done: and for 1Mb machine
owners this is all they'll get.

The problem the publishers faced with this game is that, due to its very nature - trying to simulate 'life'- it is difficult to release just one part of it. You can't really simulate just one part of life. The result is that release one has no life simulation at all: you just fly around looking at specks and circles and indulge in slight interaction with other beings and spacecraft. I can imagine that some people expressed great outrage on discovering
its limited extent because at present it doesn't really possess any of the qualities of a good game.

However, I've seen parts of the life simulator and graphics from the final game and they're not boring at all. I believe that Karma could be of enormous fun and interest once you are engrossed in it, but that is merely hypothetical since the next release has yet to appear. It is hard to now what to suggest. Judgement will no doubt be passed in next month's review but for now would-be purchasers must realise that this release is merely intended as a flight trainer, boring perhaps but hopefully a good investment in preparation for the 'real' game next year; something I'm looking forward to very much, despite the disappointment of this 'stop gap' release.
And the review from Acorn User March 92 p130:
Well, Karma is here at last, but was it worth the wait?

Actually, it's not over yet as Periscope is releasing it in three parts. Part one, The Flight Trainer, is simply a front end that lets you fly around the galaxy and explore. It's a big game, and The Flight Trainer is only a small part, coming on two discs. The manual describes your aims, and the laws of physics that shape and effect the universe you will travel in. To load the trainer double-click on the Karma icon; it is fully Risc OS-compatible. Part one runs on a 1Mb machine, but the rest will need at least 2Mb of Ram.

You begin in the mother ship, designed for long range, interstellar travel. The control panel and view windows are disappointing to say the least. One shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but in Karma's case a little more care over presentation would have made it more interesting.

Sound is minimal, but this is in fact more realistic than other space games - space is a vacuum, and nothing can be heard in such an environment.

In part one you have to complete the missions set by the Galactic Council, such as locating your Hopper craft, and finding the Council's Training Post. Simple on board comms let you talk to passing satellites, some of which will pass on vital information. Flying is as realistic as you can get considering the limitations of a mouse and keyboard, although Voltmace joysticks are supported.

An autopilot option makes flying around easy. Just select the object you want to fly to, drop it onto the autopilot window and your ship will head in the right direction. However, large distances take a long time, often requiring a few shorter journeys to aid navigation. A separate navigation display shows the state of your ship's engines, your speed and the distance to the target.

Depending on your distance from a selected object, in-built sensors will provide brief or detailed information. If you select a sun on the other side
of the galaxy, only its size and approximate distance are displayed. If you are within a sun's system far more detailed data can be obtained.

Within a sun's system, any planets in the vicinity will be displayed with full details for each. Considering the size of the galaxy, there are an awful
lot of stars and planets to visit - certainly enough to keep you busy until part two is released.

You will occasionally come across other ships and it's here that the promised 3D graphics come into play. All ships are displayed using 'point of light
shading', that is the different surfaces get lighter or darker, depending on their relative position to a light source (typically a sun). The effect is pretty good, although if you are looking at a ship with the light source in the distance, it may appear as a grey blob.

After playing (sorry, using) The Flight Trainer for a few hours, it soon became obvious that Karma is not so much a game as a complete universe
simulator. Getting used to flying your ship lakes time so buying The Flight Trainer can be regarded as an investment for the future releases.

It's hard to judge only part of a program, but the remaining two parts will have to be more involved if Karma is to succeed in the long run.
Acorn User June 93 p75 confirms the death of Rick Delarre and says co-author Ian Robinson will continue development as a tribute to Rick.
Last edited by sirbod on Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Phlamethrower
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Re: Unreleased games

Post by Phlamethrower » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:15 pm

sirbod wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:58 am
Perhaps someone with more time than I, would like to try it and come up with a list of what the keys do.
Not sure if it's true for all versions, but the VOTI release of the designer had a section of the BASIC program that contained a listing of the controls (probably accessible in-editor by pressing F1 or something).

I'd "handily" replaced the !Help file in my copy of the editor with a copy & paste of that section of code, which didn't help me very much last night when I was trying to work out what I was looking at #-o

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:33 pm

SarahWalker wrote:
Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:00 pm
Spitfire Fury (Fourth Dimension) - turned into Birds of War
Confirmed cancelled in Acorn User Jun 92 p 112, along with "The Exotic Adventures of Sylvia Layne" - which must have got a reprieve, as it was released the following year.

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:02 pm

SarahWalker wrote:
Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:00 pm
Bowl-A-Droids (Magnetic Images) - Bit like Bomberman. Simon Clay
Going by Acorn User Mar 94 p67 this may have been released.

davidraven
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Re: Unreleased games

Post by davidraven » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:56 pm

Harry Harpoon Goes to Harpoon Land (1993) (Cambridge International Software) - Acorn User Jun 93 p75
Soccer Kid (1993) (Krisalis) - Acorn User Apr 93 p123

It seems Acorn User was possibly guilty of prolific wild speculation on the games front.
Not so wild as you might think. :D

Harry Harpoon was close to completion when CIS went to the wall. It was a Pang clone that got a bit manic. We had co-op working, levels that were two and three screens high and weapons that stayed with you at the end of each level. We had had a great Acorn User (IIRC) show in Harrogate the year before and were looking to have it released in-show in 94.

I never realised Soccer Kid was never actually released. CIS were subbed some of the work and there were working levels. I never liked it but I thought it had been completed and launched. Sitting here shaking my head at myself :lol:

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:55 pm

There's an untitled Pinball game by Mattijs van Delden in Acorn User Feb 96 p65:
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sirbod
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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:12 pm

SarahWalker wrote:
Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:00 pm
Stryker's Run III (Machine Love, ?) - Two versions by two different teams. One version by David Jefferies, abandoned in 1997
Screenshots and article from Acorn User Feb 96 p68:
Several months ago, I mentioned that Stryker's Run III was due to be released for the Acorn - shortly after that I lost contact with the developers and heard several rumours about the sudden demise of the programming team. Judging from the screenshots and plans I'd received, we were going to miss out on a great game.

However, I'm happy to announce that the survivors of the old team have formed a new group and the game's coming along in leaps and bounds. As you can see from the screenshots the graphics are particularly advanced for an Acorn release, and I've been promised gameplay to match.

Here's a dash of back ground information to whet your palates. Once again, you play the part of John Stryker, and this episode sees you trapped in a city in the midst of a sizeable riot. Stryker is currently being pursued by hordes of anarchists as well as the police force, and it's your task to guide him out of danger, completing various objectives on the way.

However, since we last saw him in action back in 1987, Stryker has picked up a substantial amount of martial arts training and can now kick and punch his way through the opposition, as well as having a wide variety of pyrotechnic devices at his disposal. The game has been designed with the Risc PC in mind, but it's possible to disable some of the more processor-intensive features for the older machines on the market. The Godhead team consists of David Jeffries, Mike Wilson, Toby Haynes and Mark Walters, and I've been chatting to David about their project.

How did you get together to form Godhead?
The original team that was working on Stryker's Run III collapsed, leaving only two of us on the project. Mike and I then spent several weeks trying to put together another team using our contacts on the Internet - eventually, we brought in Toby to create some level graphics and Mark for the music.

How did you produce the animations and graphics for the game?
For the character of John Stryker we needed footage of some impressive karate moves, so we went to the Northern Karate Association and filmed some of the country's top experts in motion. The film was digitised on a Risc PC with an Eagle M2 card - the graphics were then converted into a format that we could read with Deluxe Paint on an Amiga. This was necessary because the Acorn currently lacks quality software capable of producing suitable character animations. The number of frames that Mike had to process was in the thousands, so it took several months of hard work. Some of the backgrounds were drawn on paper before being scanned into a computer but most were designed and drawn in art packages on Risc PCs by Mike and Toby.

Does the game have any special features to take advantage of the Risc PC?
There are quite a few features that were simply too processor intensive for the slower ARM machines, including 16-bit sound and music, rippling water reflections, a transparency effect for the explosions and the lighting, higher resolution screen modes and various other bits and pieces.

How difficult did you find the process of coding the game?
It wasn't easy! We wanted the game to incorporate the fighting of Mortal Kombat, the platform style of Flashback and the firepower of Turrican III - all in one program that runs at an acceptable rate on the ARM2 as well as being able to show off the power of the Risc PC. To keep the frame rate up, we were forced to write about ninety percent of the code in assembler, leading to faster execution but longer development times.

The trickiest parts to code were the fighting routines. At a first glance, products such as Mortal Kombat or Streetfighter might appear easy to write, but creating realistic and playable fighting games is difficult. We've made the basic attack moves easy to control but some of the more complex techniques require practice, so only the best players will complete the game.

Stryker's Run III will be released by Davyn Computer Services in the near future, and you can get in touch with them at The 'Workshop', off Princess St.. Sandal. Wakefield. West Yorks.. WF1 5NY.
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Re: Unreleased games

Post by Dunkinator » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:11 am

I remember there being a one page ad for the full game in an Acorn User or another magazine. Had unreleased screenshots I don’t remember being in the Flight Trainer.

Have never found it does anyone recall it or have a copy?!

sirbod wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:02 pm
SarahWalker wrote:
Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:00 pm
Karma II (?)
The Karma advert in Acorn User Dec 91 p85, states:
The Flight Trainer 1MB £24.99
Release 2.0 2MB TBA
Release 3.0 2MB TBA
It was originally due for release in 1989 and eventually "The Flight Trainer" was released in 1992. Screenshots from 1989 are identical to the screenshots in the three page article about the game in the Acorn User '91 Games Supplement (included with Acorn User Nov 91), so I don't suspect much changed in the intervening two years.

Here's the preview from Acorn User Feb 92 p97:
Karma is the space game everyone has been waiting for. In some cases for nearly four years. It was advertised well in time for Christmas and copies were sent out with about fifteen days to spare. But it isn't the finished Karma, due to appear next year, merely the Flight Trainer, a highly cut down model basically intended to give players a feel for the fundamental aspects on which the game works - chiefly the Flight controls.

I wonder how this has gone down with people who've bought the game, because to play the Flight Trainer is, frankly, to be bored. Karma has received much hype, much fuss and much attention but all you can do at the moment is fly around and look at texture-less circles which are supposed to represent planets. Those who have coughed up 25 quid may be wondering what on earth (or beyond) they have done: and for 1Mb machine
owners this is all they'll get.

The problem the publishers faced with this game is that, due to its very nature - trying to simulate 'life'- it is difficult to release just one part of it. You can't really simulate just one part of life. The result is that release one has no life simulation at all: you just fly around looking at specks and circles and indulge in slight interaction with other beings and spacecraft. I can imagine that some people expressed great outrage on discovering
its limited extent because at present it doesn't really possess any of the qualities of a good game.

However, I've seen parts of the life simulator and graphics from the final game and they're not boring at all. I believe that Karma could be of enormous fun and interest once you are engrossed in it, but that is merely hypothetical since the next release has yet to appear. It is hard to now what to suggest. Judgement will no doubt be passed in next month's review but for now would-be purchasers must realise that this release is merely intended as a flight trainer, boring perhaps but hopefully a good investment in preparation for the 'real' game next year; something I'm looking forward to very much, despite the disappointment of this 'stop gap' release.
And the review from Acorn User March 92 p130:
Well, Karma is here at last, but was it worth the wait?

Actually, it's not over yet as Periscope is releasing it in three parts. Part one, The Flight Trainer, is simply a front end that lets you fly around the galaxy and explore. It's a big game, and The Flight Trainer is only a small part, coming on two discs. The manual describes your aims, and the laws of physics that shape and effect the universe you will travel in. To load the trainer double-click on the Karma icon; it is fully Risc OS-compatible. Part one runs on a 1Mb machine, but the rest will need at least 2Mb of Ram.

You begin in the mother ship, designed for long range, interstellar travel. The control panel and view windows are disappointing to say the least. One shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but in Karma's case a little more care over presentation would have made it more interesting.

Sound is minimal, but this is in fact more realistic than other space games - space is a vacuum, and nothing can be heard in such an environment.

In part one you have to complete the missions set by the Galactic Council, such as locating your Hopper craft, and finding the Council's Training Post. Simple on board comms let you talk to passing satellites, some of which will pass on vital information. Flying is as realistic as you can get considering the limitations of a mouse and keyboard, although Voltmace joysticks are supported.

An autopilot option makes flying around easy. Just select the object you want to fly to, drop it onto the autopilot window and your ship will head in the right direction. However, large distances take a long time, often requiring a few shorter journeys to aid navigation. A separate navigation display shows the state of your ship's engines, your speed and the distance to the target.

Depending on your distance from a selected object, in-built sensors will provide brief or detailed information. If you select a sun on the other side
of the galaxy, only its size and approximate distance are displayed. If you are within a sun's system far more detailed data can be obtained.

Within a sun's system, any planets in the vicinity will be displayed with full details for each. Considering the size of the galaxy, there are an awful
lot of stars and planets to visit - certainly enough to keep you busy until part two is released.

You will occasionally come across other ships and it's here that the promised 3D graphics come into play. All ships are displayed using 'point of light
shading', that is the different surfaces get lighter or darker, depending on their relative position to a light source (typically a sun). The effect is pretty good, although if you are looking at a ship with the light source in the distance, it may appear as a grey blob.

After playing (sorry, using) The Flight Trainer for a few hours, it soon became obvious that Karma is not so much a game as a complete universe
simulator. Getting used to flying your ship lakes time so buying The Flight Trainer can be regarded as an investment for the future releases.

It's hard to judge only part of a program, but the remaining two parts will have to be more involved if Karma is to succeed in the long run.
Acorn User June 93 p75 confirms the death of Rick Delarre and says co-author Ian Robinson will continue development as a tribute to Rick.

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Re: Unreleased games

Post by sirbod » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:08 am

Dunkinator wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:11 am
I remember there being a one page ad for the full game in an Acorn User or another magazine. Had unreleased screenshots I don’t remember being in the Flight Trainer.

Have never found it does anyone recall it or have a copy?!
There's ads for Karma in various Acorn User's. If memory serves me correctly (I've read over 200 AU's in the past few days so its a bit of a blur!) There was a half page ad in 1989 when it was originally unveiled, then full page ads leading up to the Flight Trainer release in the tail end of 1991, followed by rather cheap looking ads that didn't depict the game itself just after the release in 1992.

Would you like me to find them and post the scans?

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