08-24-2012, 07:29 PM
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Interesting article about Microsoft's Rare
Ex-Rare Member Shares Info on Cancelled Game
Savannah would have tasked players with raising a lion cub from birth to adulthood.
by Luke Karmali
August 22, 2012
An ex-Rare employee has revealed details about a prototype game the studio was developing for the Kinect called Savannah.
In an interview with NotEnoughShaders, Donnchadh Murphy spoke about the project the studio was working on until it became Microsoft's Kinect Sports team.
Rare was renowned for their diverse portfolio, so to not be involved in making mature games was a real blow.
Savannah was planned to take place in a realistic savannah environment (shockingly) and would task players with raising a lion cub from birth to adulthood. Along the way, you would have to teach the animal the social and survival skills it would need to succeed in the wild.
"We knew of the Kinect coming out but we had no real info on how good it was, but the plan was to try and use that technology in Savannah," Murphy explained.
"It was an interesting concept and it was fun to work on, we really tried to push the technology of the 360 to get the most out of the graphics. The lions and hyenas were using a custom shell system for the fur, and with the help of a great programmer called Cliff Ramshaw, I think we got some of the nicest looking in-game fur Iíve seen.
"It was only ever a prototype, and it never got a green light."
Murphy also went on to explain the hurdles the former Nintendo developer experienced once it was purchased by Microsoft. He revealed that the company was strongly demoralised by Microsoft's decision to have them target younger audiences, which led to the cancellation of a more realistic Kameo sequel as well as several ideas from Conker's Bad Fur Day creator Chris Seavor.
At first it seemed that [Microsoft] wouldn't interfere much, but it was soon clear that they were more interested in using Rare to help aim at a younger market.
He explained, "At first it seemed that [Microsoft] wouldn't interfere much, but it was soon clear that they were more interested in using Rare to help aim at a younger market. This stifled a lot of creativity, Rare was renowned for their diverse portfolio, so to not be involved in making mature games was a real blow.
"There [were] numerous projects that were put forward that I believe would have been huge hits, but Microsoft rejected them one after the other. I remember seeing a couple of prototypes that Chris Seavor had designed and was working on that looked amazing, but alas they got shelved."
Also among the casualties following the Microsoft takeover was Killer Instinct 3, as it didn't fit the brief Microsoft assigned to the company.
"We all wanted to make Killer Instinct 3, but Microsoft [was] more interested in broadening their demographic than making another fighting game," Murphy concluded. "So it never got made, I doubt it ever will."
SOURCE - http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/08/...cancelled-game