Ive always found Cactus' posts about his "lost/unfinished games" to be intriguing, so i thought I'd do one as well. Here are a list of my most prominent "lost games" in a little post I'm calling "And all that could have been".
Cereus Peashy (that uber lil wiggly guy):
My very first game. I started this super basic platformer with Tom Fulp (castle crashers/ alien hominid) as my first attempt as designing a video game using characters from a little world i called the badlands. The badlands was inspired by my work as an animal control officer and had a big focus on sacks of skin and rotting flesh.
Cereus Peashy was canceled in 2003 because tom was starting work on his 1st console game and could no longer make time for it.I'd totally remake the game again with Caulder Bradford from scratch in 2004.. and then again in 2006. The final version of the game is pretty to look at and shows how far id come as an illustrator in those 3 years.. but i wasn't happy with the game's amateurish design and over all game play. the process was a big learning experience.
There's no playable build of the original online, but I did add a playable build as a secret bonus on my CD.
At the end of Triachnid 1 it told you to look out for Ep2 in the summer of 2007!, that didn't happen. I started the Triachnid series with Florian Himsl and In all honesty Tri2 is/was a very very awesome game much improved over the original in many ways... but this one kinda drifted into video game limbo.
Due lack of interest by Florian the triachnid sequel just kept getting pushed back. Tri2 went through a few redesigns when it came to the engine, and i think this just burnt Florian out on it. He's said many times that programming for it was just boring and he wanted to focus on more interesting games (Coil/Cunt) and in a way maybe it's good that we stepped away from it. In it's current state Tri2 is about 60% finished... and its probably the game on this list i'd most love to finish.
Bacterium:Bacteruim was one of a series of 3 multiplayer flash games i was designing around a parasite theme. I started the game in early 2008 with Eli P. (Spewer) and things were looking very promising. Bacterium was a turn based strategy game that played out like star craft stripped down to the basics. I really wanted to see if i could do a solid strategy game and i had a great design that seemed to be perfect on paper.. but when it came down to actually putting it into game form a lot of the fun seemed to be missing and the balancing work to come along side a tutorial that explained how the game played caused me to become quite overwhelmed. I think Eli felt the same way and we stopped working on it a few months in.
Another multiplayer game with the parasite theme (Host, Bacterium, Grub) Grub was the closer to the awesome trifecta i was trying to accomplish.. its obvious that i was biting off a little more than i could chew at this point in time.
Grub was a real time single screen RTS being programmed by Josh (psycho goldfish), an amazing programmer that was working on his own multiplayer flash server and wanted a cool game to launch with it. I actually ended up doing basically all the art in the game within the 1st week of development because i was so in love with its design. a few weeks into development Josh got hired by newgrounds.com as their lead programmer and could no long put that much time into his multiplayer server or Grub.
Ill still IM Josh these days to ask when the server will be done, he says the server and Grub are still on his list of things to do this year... it would be awesome to see this one finished.
Guppy (the seed of god):
Guppy was florian's break from triachnid 2, a new game with awesome physics that would never see the light of day :) Guppy, was a hugely ambitious flash game based around a 2d world where you played as a "monster" that could be looked at as either good or evil depending on his actions. We actually got a shit load done on guppy in the month or so we worked on it.. but again the games design was WAY too complex for either of us to do in a few months so it was put on a permanent hold.
It was around this time when i grew bored of my stereotypical art style (badlands/gish). i wanted to do something that looked like pixel art and came up with this fake pixel art style that i ended up using in, Blood car, Meat boy, No Quarter and Super Meat boy. A lot of the forest levels in Guppy were used as the frame work for the graphics in Super Meat boy.
If you search around you might be able to find a beta of Guppy online.. but i don't have any links off hand, it was added to my CD though.
A turn based strategy game that i started designing in early 2004. this was one i actually printed out and made in physical form to see if it was doable.. and it was. sadly i couldn't find anyone to work on it with so its just been sitting on the back burner for the past 5 years.
The badlands plays kinda like Chess meets warhammer meets pokemon and used characters from my early games (peashy, Gish, weltling). There is a game called Zaticon online that plays a lot how i envisioned this playing.. so maybe you should just go play that (just mentally replace the horrible DnD art with Peashys and Gish') :)
The Book of Knots:
Originally a new Cryptic sea platformer featuring a physically walking biped with a sword. Alex and i stopped working on this in 2007 once we got the rights back to Gish and i simply moved its story over to Gish 2 because it seemed to fit better.
I tried to think of a way to turn it into a flash game for a while, even spending a week getting a ton of animations done for the lead character.. but stopped because with the games story already being told in Gish 2 it felt kinda pointless.
In 2006 i got a call from this indian lady who said she was an investor who was looking to fund any project i was interested in working on with her, i took the bate like a sap and started on the Badlings. Now dont think i was just jumping on this without meeting the lady, she came out to meet me many times and we had tons of conference calls with her and other investors in the project that made it feel totally legit... but in the end of course it wasnt.
Badlings were going to be a series of "online pets" something that's done a lot now, but wasn't really around in 06. about a month into the project i was informed i wasn't going to be paid for my time and i just didn't return her calls after that.
it was a stupid idea anyway.
Meat Ninja (meat boy):
The meat ninja was the one of many "heroes" i had designed in this series of characters i was calling super zeros (spewer was also one of them). Using a sprite from Guppy i started to design a small platformer based around a little skinless ninja who could teleport around the screen.
while looking for a programmer for this i ran into Jon Mcentee (meat boy) who was working on this crazy little engine for a platformer he wanted to do. his engine felt a lot like N so i thought it would be ideal to remove any other ninja elements, Meat ninja lost his hood and became meat boy.
Ive always wanted to work on a game with Metanet. Im a huge fan of N (obviously) and tried me best to worm my way into their next project, which in 2007 was a game called Office yeti. They let me come on as the lead artist and i just took it and ran with it.. shortly realizing that their console deals were going to put this game on an almost permanent hold.
i actually e-mailed raigen today asking him if it was cool that i was posting info and images from the game, he informed me the game might be back on.. so maybe this game shouldn't be on this list.. oh well.