Freelancer 2120 Imagitec Design PC/Jaguar..Possibly Amiga?

Discussion in 'Unreleased Games Discussion' started by LD, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. LD

    LD Peppy Member

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    capture.png post-839-0-95794600-1497547513.jpg post-839-0-54068000-1497547523.jpg post-839-0-73630600-1497547533.jpg This came up in a chat i had elsewhere talking about the very few Jaguar games i felt had any real potential and was part of the preview material that sold the system to me, as a huge FPS and Aliens fan, this sounded like a dream come true.

    I've including the scan of my scrapbook cutting of the Gamesmaster Magazine preview, sorry it's so creased, but it went through me moving house/having clear outs a number of times.

    That was the only UK Preview i saw, but i wasn't following PC Games magazines at the time, so it might of been mentioned there...

    I know 1 Amiga magazine claimed it was headed to the Amiga also, but i've been unable to confirm this was a valid claim...


    Judging by what has been discovered, it's clear the PC Version was the most advanced version, having been in development for a few years:

    Thanks to Atari Explorer Online for this snippet:


    / Whatever Happened to Freelancer?
    From: "Andrew Seed"
    Date: 1998/07/12

    It got dropped, when we examined what we could do with the CD it just no
    way was as flexible as the PC CD-ROMs and drivers available. Also the
    designer left after doing the PC version for 2 years, we had prototypes on
    the PC done but running very slow, using Brender by Argonaut but with no
    hardware acceleration on 33mhz 486. For the Jag version we were going to
    license the Jag Doom engine but we had a few problems getting the tools to
    work on the Next machine. (we had to buy one and somebody had to learn how
    to use it).

    http://www.atarihq.com/jeo/jeo_0203.htm

    So i can only assume this was used to provide the Press with Preview screenshots, hopes being Jaguar version would of looked as close as possible...

    The other claims doing the rounds at the time promised:


    The game engine would use a similar approach to that seen in Jaguar AVP-Digitised backdrops for added feel of realism.

    A resolution of 640X400 with game running in 256 colours (i assume here this relates to PC version as Jaguar Doom runs in machines lowest resolution mode)...

    Amiga legend Tobias Richter was doing the intro sequence.


    I found more (PC) Screens here:

    http://www.abandonware-france.org/ltf_abandon/ltf_jeu.php?id=1487

    Plus a stop-motion artist who worked on the game HERE:

    http://www.nevillebuchanan.co.uk/

    We did contact him, but had no reply :(

    I still hope PC version might surface even as a rolling footage type demo, just to get a better understanding of the game itself, but it has the classic hallmarks of an Imagitec Design game..


    Annouced on multiple formats, enough preview hype to establish interest, then never to be seen again.
     
  2. LD

    LD Peppy Member

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    post-839-0-19290900-1473544627.jpg post-839-0-77138500-1485796290.jpg I did enquire into WTF was happening with the title, with the UK Press at the time, Imagitec themselves kind enough to reply...(this is very old news :) ) and they were quoted again about it, when UK Press were detailing Atari getting out of Jaguar, staff being laid off etc, saying Atari had gone into complete and utter mental mode, asking them to add loads of texture mapping, lighting etc into Jaguar version, so it could compete with PS1/Saturn games.

    So whilst i've never doubted work on it was started, it would of been nice to of known how far along it got and to have some comparison shots to put alongside the PC CD version.
     
  3. LD

    LD Peppy Member

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    To add to the existing sources listed...

    Atari entertainment Magazine previewed it, interviewed Imagitec Design's P.R guy, "Piglet" (briedly)..this preview had more images, all in B/W..but showed 2 in-game, plus some models..a space station door and some insectiod looking Alien.

    RVG spoke to Imagitec Design personal, a few years ago, memory of the game seemed ..hazy shall we say :) (no offence to them, been a huge number of years and we find this a lot chatting to folks about games 20 years+ from their past)....

    Unseen64 did similar with same results..more speculation than credible fact...


    Scott Stilphen's Atari Documentation shows Imagitec Design did take delivery of the Doom Engine, which confirms comments Andrew Seed made...


    File dated:Feb 13 1995 Game has a ? next to listing for Original release Date.

    Status:Expected/Revised date: 4/95..bought Doom Engine..Revised Schedule needed'

    Space Junk..another promised on..Imagitec Design game (Jaguar CD, Falcon and Sega CD) also appears, but is listed as being REMOVED by Atari, as they hadn't recieved any new scripts from Imagitec :)

    Memorandium dated Feb 27 1995.Pending titles and agreements..To:distribution, from Jon Correll..(J.Skruch also listed)..


    Status:No Contract Or Script..waiting for revised script.

    It also appears on a software development Status report:Feb 3 1995 PIN j(045.. Producer:J Skruch.Status..No contract or script..remove from schedule.

    So it's possible, like Creature shock, Atari simply got fed up with waiting for these titles... and moved on...

    Martin Hooley appears to want history to tell a more favourable version of events, telling a RetroGamer freelancer..Imagitec Design called it a day on Space Junk And Freelancer, when it became obvious Jaguar CD was going to flop and they would never get the investment back from developing these 2 games on it.

    So that differs from his original statement about Jaguar not being powerful enough to handle it :)

    Would be nice to get more credible sources and Atari's feelings to add balance...

    Not sure how much demmand, if any there really is for more Jaguar stuff on here, but since this was PC CD also, thought it deserved to be covered.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  4. KGRAMR

    KGRAMR Gaming aficionado raised by family & friends.

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    Here's my little apport to the thread about this game...3 different people who worked on Freelancer at Imagitec have now confirmed a Jaguar version definitely existed.
     
  5. KGRAMR

    KGRAMR Gaming aficionado raised by family & friends.

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    And besides, why Imagitec should go for the Jaguar Doom engine by id, when they had a perfectly functional 3D engine that was used on I-War? In fact the Jaguar version, according to one of the programmers behind it, was using a improved version of the I-War's 3D engine (which now supported full texture-mapping).
     
  6. LD

    LD Peppy Member

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    There's never been any doubt a Jaguar version existed..just how far along it had come..

    The Amiga version..I personally very much doubt was ever credible...

    Martin Made clear at the time it had been moved from Jaguar to PS1..rather than say..we never started it, it's now a PS1 project.

    Andrew Seed made clear they looked into what was possible to do with the game on Jaguar CD..compared to PC CD..

    And Shaun Mclure talked to RVG about his work on it years ago.

    If your going to insist on throwing sources around you really need to name them for credibility.

    This was pointed out when a fellow poster on here doubted the 32X Rayman information

    You quote a coder saying game was going to use I war engine and not Doom engine, which Imagitec Design might well of decided on at some stage..and that would indeed raise some interesting future discussion..

    But at the moment.. it goes completely against what Imagitec's Andrew Seed said and the Atari Corp documents they show Imagitec had received the Doom engine and Atari had paid to licence it.

    The scenario you put forward is this...

    Martin H. states they cancelled it due it becoming clear they wouldn't get their money back from continuing with it, as Jaguar CD had bombed at retail..yet it was Atari who had paid to get them the Doom engine from I.D..so would Atari really of been happy to simply write off that cost and have Imagitec switch to their own in house engine?


    This from the company who reused assets to create Crescent Galaxy..had a 2mb Cybermorph reduced to 1mb to save costs..

    Doesn't sound like the Atari i know..


    Martin also states Atari wanted texture mapping, lighting effects which was beyond the capabilities of the Jaguar..yet the I-war engine had no texture and an awful frame rate..yet an optimised version was being used on Freelancer?

    That must of been some massive improvement and why would they optimise it at this stage if, as according to Martin..Imagitec knew the Jaguar was dying at retail?

    You don't name a source..but if it's Shaun..no offence to him..at this stage i will stick to comments made by Andrew and Scott's documents.

    Martin keeps changing his version of events and got very confused regarding Game Gear releases of the companies games reviewed by UK Sega Press..so memory is not brilliant..and he appears happy to blame his companies failure to complete projects on Atari..

    Yet as Scott's 7800 documents showed..Atari had raised concerns over Imagitec Designs ability to deliver multiple projects at the time..



    Can you put up a link so we can read the comments in context please.

    I've put up links, magazine articles, named sources as i would like this thread to have as much credible info as possible.. Not just speculation.

    Links to your coders comments would be most appreciated.

    I'm not knocking your contribution to this or the other Imagitec thread i created..but we do need sources credited please..

    If it's just another person's recollection of what a coder might of told him..it's open to risk of confusion creeping in.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  7. KGRAMR

    KGRAMR Gaming aficionado raised by family & friends.

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    I only mention what i've found, i would list their names but i could get into trouble with a friend of mine who worked on the game, so i'm not going to get into trouble for mentioning their names, sorry :/
     
  8. LD

    LD Peppy Member

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    Actually, have time to kill before tonight's Night shift...Unseen64 and GTW have Ex-Imagitec Design folks on their contact lists.

    Imagitec were small company, so projects handled by small teams..coder, artists..producer etc..3-5 people, i'll ask them to put a few feelers out.

    We already know Andrew Seed, i had contact with him via AA few years back, Kristi Louise Herd is another linked to the project, Shaun McClure did bit work..so there's 3 people...


    Neville Buchanan makes 4, Martin brings in the Imagitec Management aspect, so should be easy enough to confirm which engine was to be used..I-war or Doom.

    Whats apparent already though is PC Version using Argonaut's BRender software is the version we do have an idea of amount of work done..2 years, software used, fact it ran slowly etc..

    All that's left to clear up is what happened to the Doom Engine Atari paid to let Imagitec Design use, how much stop motion work Neville did, and just how far along Jaguar version reached before it switched to PS1.

    Some screen grabs of any FB chats or email exchanges or a link to a forum interview, where it's confirmed imagitec never used the Doom Engine (along with details on improvements to the ropey I-war engine) would be great additions to the archive material already posted here.

    I'll see if a scan of the Piglet/AE Magazine interview exists also...

    I do hope the I-War lead isn't another red herring, i do hate wasting peoples valuable time.

    Had this chasing Ninja Saturn Coders who never touched it, Jeff Minter over Atari Lynx coding he never did..

    People claiming they'd worked on Croc III, 8 Meg PS1 hardware with Lomax etc..it gets real tiresome...
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  9. LD

    LD Peppy Member

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    Well..this is dissapointing, if not unexpected..

    I've been warned not to expect much back from any leads on the I-War engine front as claim hasn't come direct from a coder..that would explain why there's no link..

    But from the RG writer of the Imagitec Design RetroGamer article some years back..i'm not saying it isn't true..but given a past claim of his had me chasing Jeff Minter over a false claim, i remain wary.

    I'm also told the only source talking about the game was the artist Shaun MCclure..who admits his memory isn't great, doesn't think stop motion models were used or if any of his work made it into the game.

    This is the Leonard Tramiel Panther account fiasco all over again..

    Time for the MODS here to be made aware of some dubious reporting of events..

    And that's all she wrote..

    JSIII will have to look further afield for it's fun.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  10. KGRAMR

    KGRAMR Gaming aficionado raised by family & friends.

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    ...Ok then...
     
  11. LD

    LD Peppy Member

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    A friend of mine lent me his copy of RG Issue 111...

    From The Archives...IMAGITEC DESIGN...


    Sub section:

    The Atari Age...

    Space Junk:Sharon Dunford (who'm i contacted myself, did put Q's to at 1 point, but she declined to answer due to sickness, but did say she'd been part of the group FB interview done for RG)....Julian and Andrew Seed with Nigel Conroy quoted/mentioned...

    Talk of game using 16 bit flat shaded polys for space flight section other section being point n click adventure...

    Staff wearing latex masks, still having them...Andrew and Nigel taking over after Julian left company, Andrew expanding on demo by doing a Star Wars style scroller...Nigel expanding the point n click adventure side.

    Moving from Falcon to Jaguar-Nothing on Sega CD version.

    Martin Randall talks of issues with hardware, trying to get DSP to do anything useful

    Freelancer 2120 briefly and i mean briefly!!! mentioned, there is NOTHING about I-war engine being optimised, let alone used for any future game, let alone Freelancer 2120, Imagitec just state it and Space Junk canned as Jaguar CD was a flop etc etc....


    However....



    Martin Hooley does back up what Jim Gregory from Hand Made Software told me about working with Leonard tramiel (in Jim's case the Panther):


    He states clearly that Leonard would hear NO wrong about Atari's hardware (in Imagitec's case, The Jaguar), his standard answer was always that it was the poor skills/apptitude of the coders working on it that was at fault, not the hardware itself.

    As always..i stand by my research and i will always refer back to articles i paid for at the time, when any writer or poster attempts to discredit myself or my research.


    There is also nothing said of any improved version of the I-War engine when I-War itself is covered in the Jaguar Minority Report article.


    more time wasted and more proof it's time to put some very clear blue water between myself and Lost Atari games research as clearly certain people have bizzare ideas.

    The research projects i've assisted with i hope do see the light of day..but this nonsense on here and elsewhere ends now.
     
  12. KGRAMR

    KGRAMR Gaming aficionado raised by family & friends.

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    I only gave my part of what i knew about the game, that's all. Nothing more, nothing less.
     

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