Heart of Darkness

Discussion in 'Unreleased Games Discussion' started by Celine, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Celine

    Celine Gutsy Member

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  2. f2bnp

    f2bnp Peppy Member

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    Wow, are these actual GBA screenshots? They certainly look like it and they look fantastic! Absolutely love this game, it would have been great to see a port released for the gba :(
     
  3. Yakumo

    Yakumo Pillar of the Community *****

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    Heart of Darkness was originally going to be released on the Saturn. The official Saturn mag in the UK did many big features on it however the game never saw the light of day due to Virgin Games going under (they were going to publish it)
     
  4. f2bnp

    f2bnp Peppy Member

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    Yeah that too. Oddworld was also supposed to be released for the Saturn, around the same time I think. It never did of course...
     
  5. rod_wod

    rod_wod Fiery Member

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    i have some pics of oddworld in a uk Saturn mag but they look just like the psx game
    so i did not scan them.

    did heart of darkness get a jap psx release cos i think it had a Japanese pc release.
     
  6. Anthaemia.

    Anthaemia. The Original VF3 Fangirl™

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    I agree with you - it's highly unlikely the various magazine screenshots of Oddworld that were printed came from the Saturn version, even though a conversion was supposedly in development.
     
  7. la-li-lu-le-lo

    la-li-lu-le-lo ラリルレロ

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    I used to have Heart of Darkness for the PC. I never got very far in it, though. I'm not sure where the disc is now; it's just as well because I think there was something wrong with it. How does the PC version compare with the PSX version? I should think the PC version would be better, right?
     
  8. f2bnp

    f2bnp Peppy Member

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    Well the PC Version might have a bit better quality cinematics. Other than that I think they're identical. Oh and for some reason the PS1 version has 2 discs.
     
  9. LuigiBlood

    LuigiBlood SNES and 64DD Savior

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    PC version had 256 colors while the PSX version had about 16 millions so the quality was better (and explains the 2 CDs).
     
  10. kzd

    kzd Spirited Member

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    Sorry to play necromancer here, but I felt this may be of interest.

    Steven Lin & Frank Cifaldi obtained a lot of undumped Saturn discs, and among them is a build of Heart of Darkness for the Saturn:
    https://twitter.com/stevenplin/status/658708318458744832

    Unfortunately, the game does not appear to boot, but Steven Lin did say they would dump & release the disc so that others could give it a shot.
     
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  11. ItsMeMario

    ItsMeMario Gutsy Member

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    dump and release...I want to explore it :D

    Then again, I bet nothing got changed :)

    Thanks for the info !
     
  12. f2bnp

    f2bnp Peppy Member

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    Nice one! This is from 1996, so it could be different from the final game. Keep us posted!
     
  13. LD

    LD Peppy Member

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    Game actually started out on the Phillip's CDi system, going off memory it was 1 of the projects Virgin were publishing, Phillips funding, think the other were Creature Shock+ Lost Eden....story went they got fed up of waiting for project to be finished so cut funding, project was put up for grabs, rumours Atari bid on for the Jaguar CD (but i've yet to have that confirmed...so currently it sits as a Hmmnnn.......title), Sega were then hypingit as a Saturn exclusive and next thing i know it pops up on Sony Playstation and PC.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  14. finsterhund

    finsterhund Active Member

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    Hello, I'm actually new to the forum and came here for the discussion on Heart of Darkness specifically. I consider myself relatively knowledgeable about the game and figured I could provide something to this thread.

    First off, Virgin Interactive's involvement with Heart of Darkness was up until December 1997. The game was actually ready to be released at that point but they were financially floundering and dropped the title to focus on their own IPs.
    The Sega Saturn version was hyped considerably in the 8th issue of the official Sega Saturn Magazine (which is actually mentioned several times already in this thread), which was a European magazine for -no surprise here- the Saturn. The issue is from 1996 and talks about how Sega paid off/convinced Amazing Studio for a timed Saturn exclusive for the game. The article says how it was originally going to be initially released on PC but would now (circa 1996) be released on Saturn.

    I have yet to find much reliable source on whether or not it was going to be initially for Phillips CDI or at least not in a publication or interview with the developers. I have had a friend tell me Eric Chahi talks about it in his biography, but it's in French which I am unfortunately not well versed in. Any sources on the CDI version I would much appreciate. I've also heard the 3DO thrown around a few times, but this is more unlikely. The only source it was going to be for the CDI is the site cdii.blogspot.de which I admittedly am not to familiar with. Coincidentally there's a thread about this mysterious CDI version on assemblergames here

    The reason Heart of Darkness wasn't released on the Saturn is because by the time it was ready to be released the Saturn no longer had a viable market.
    There actually was a thread of this nature on ASSEMblergames already and they covered much of what I myself have said here

    As for what the Sega Saturn version looked like and how much it differs from the final game, not much.
    As stated in the other thread, the game was almost finished. The majority of the work from 1996 onward were changes to the game engine and attempting to port it for consoles. The cinematics originally took up a lot of space so it was a big effort to encode and condense them to fit on the one to two discs depending on console. The Sega Saturn magazine has multiple screenshots of the game and they're pretty much identical to the PC version most of the time.
    Notably though, in 1996 there were a few screens that were different in the Swamplands level.
    earlybuild1.png earlybuild2.png
    the man-eating plants in this level were also different in that you had to walk across their tops after they ate the glowy green things to pass them. In the final game you just swing across on a vine.
    I don't have a picture of that screen saved, but it's in the SSM issue and I can get it in a few days if you guys want.
    As for what it looks like on-video, VIE released a teaser video which featured in-game clips. (whether or not it's the actual Saturn build is up for debate though.) The game's title logo looks much different and it appears that the dubbing and orchestra recording has not been fully set to the cinematics yet.
    teaser url youtube.
    Hope I can be of some help. I'm very eager to get my hands on that Saturn demo file myself.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2017
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  15. LD

    LD Peppy Member

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    As i posted in reply elsewhere, i do have question/s about Heart Of Darkness, sat with a tester on the game, regarding the 'Lost Versions' CDi, GBA etc and it's prolonged development.
    Of course as soon as the info comes in, it'll be shared on here, but until then, i'm not getting my hopes up and are still looking into all the claims, including the ones relating to Atari trying to secure it for the Jaguar CD.


    I'd also 'recommend' as many 'voices' as possible are obtained, as looking into lost Atari games has shown that it's only real way to piece together what really happened...

    We saw a playtester of AVP claim Rebellion had no experience of the films etc prior to coding the game, yet this was disproven by games producer who'd worked with H.R.G (Alien creator etc) on things like Darkseed, 20TH Century Fox giving full support etc....

    Creature Shock, numerous sources could confirm Argonaut had Dev.Kits, Atari Uk confirming they wanted it, could'nt afford it, test coding being done etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  16. LD

    LD Peppy Member

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    I have found and emailed the games UK Producer at the time, but..wether he replies/wants to talk about the game is something else again...

    Fingers crossed eh?.

    The pre-rendered sequences, which ran at 256X192 in 256 colours on a 486/33 PC with 4Mb of Ram, might have been an issue on console...development kit for the game started out as:

    A 486 DX2/66 Mhz PC, but moved to a 90 Mhz Pentium with 64MB Ram.

    The 1st 6 months of development was spent just on constructing intricate plans for each character, background, animation sequence and level.......
     
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  17. LD

    LD Peppy Member

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    Ok, questions will now being going to UK Exec.Producer of Heart Of Darkness, just had an email back from him.
     
  18. f2bnp

    f2bnp Peppy Member

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    Woah, nice job! First off, the screens you posted are indeed a bit different, I really like how the plant is a mix of CGI and hand-drawn animation. I've played this game to death, used to really love it as a kid.

    I have a list of questions for the Exec. Producer, if you don't mind:

    -How did the game start life? Was it on a specific console (a.k.a. CDi) ?
    -How far along was the GBA version? How and when was it conceived (the game did somewhat poorly and was released about 3-4 years before the GBA)?
    -Besides the unreleased ports, was there any cut content from the final game?
    -How long before the actual release (August 1998) was the game, more or less, finished? Footage and coverage seems to suggest that by 1997 the game was pretty much done and just got stuck between publishers.
    -Do you have any interesting anecdotes from the development of the game? How was it working with Eric Chahi, did you get to meet him?
    -When did Infogrames acquire the rights to publish the game?
    -How well did the game do financially?
    -What do you think could have been handled differently, what are your personal thoughts on how the game came out and fared? Were you proud of the outcome?

    Do we have any more news on that TGS build? The guy was apparently dumping it online?
     
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  19. LD

    LD Peppy Member

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    Ok, just passed on majority of your questions, a few there mirrored exactly what i'd already asked him about in my 1st draft of questions (which mainly focused on Lost versions/claims of...so:GBA, CDi,Sega Saturn, jaguar CD and 3DO).He's already warned me there are 'buisness aspects' he's unable to answer so i 'fear' the very early development cycle stuff might be needed to be put to Amazing Studios staff instead....


    He did however point me in the direction of several key areas of finished game that were worth asking about, so i'm hoping for some great insights there.


    He also would of liked to have met me in person at London for an informal chat (which would of been amazing), however as i do these things for love of subject material, not for some 6 page+ paid for feature for mainstream press, put travel and board on my expenses account please..... :) that sadly was not possible.


    Fingers crossed i get answers back from the Producer of and a play tester of and we see a few sides of the story and a lot more insights.


    Rest assured what ever comes it, it'll be shared on here.
     
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  20. LD

    LD Peppy Member

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    Just to be 100% transparent, here's the inital reply i had back from him, where he's honest enough to warn me there are areas he won't be able to answer:

    'Hi Ross,

    What a great set of questions !
    Some of them are reviving memories I had already forgotten :)

    There are some questions I can't really answer (business related) and others that I can expand on (development wise)'


    Way i look at it...anything new learned will have meant this has been time well spent.
     
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