Discussion in 'Rare and Obscure Gaming' started by Kao, Sep 6, 2017.
Footage of the first playable prototype of Sonic R as been revealed by people who worked on it.
Very cool to see! I like how they took the time to list all the differences!
Pretty cool thank you for sharing!
I was lucky enough to see this back in the day. I knew a few people at Bizzare Creations and they knew people at Traveler's Tails. You see how it goes since they were all located near one another. It's good to see this again though. I had forgotten all about it.
Thanks for sharing. Really well done.
On the subject of the connection between Bizarre Creations and Traveller's Tales, I always found it odd that Sonic R evolved from an unseen engine for a Formula 1 game that wasn't the Psygnosis-published game that Probe Software had already started converting from the PlayStation to Saturn, even though both projects would have been in development around the same time frame...
According to lead programmer Jon Burton, this earliest-known prototype of Sonic R (with the original sunset background for Resort Island) was found on one of his old hard drives, and he's since managed to get in touch with Richard Jacques, who may still have a DAT archive of the original demos for the soundtrack, including a version of Super Sonic Racing that featured "scratch" vocals, as briefly heard on a promotional VHS from late 1997.
Yeah, I was trolling his twitter as well, and Jon Burton seems like a decently cool guy who understands and appreciates the historical value of these sorts of materials.
Based on his YouTube account, it seems as if Jon Burton has kept almost all of his work from over the years with Traveller's Tales... I'm curious to see if he's still got any prototype builds of Sonic 3D for the Mega Drive that include the early layout for Green Grove Zone with a bridge that was seen in some magazine previews, and whether such versions have any other differences that may be of interest to fans of the series in general. For example, wasn't the original plan for the Saturn conversion for this to feature a series of special stages collectively entitled Sonic Pool by Peter Morawiec, which were leftovers from one stage in the complicated development of Sonic Xtreme? From what I can remember, these were fully completed and then dropped early into the 32-bit process in favour of those polygonally-updated variations on the bonus level concept from Sonic 2, as programmed by Sonic Team. I'd love to get my hands on any further surviving Mega Drive or Saturn era code from Jon's TT archives!
I thought Sonic Pool was going to be a mini game in an un-named Sonic project before Xtreme, then a mini game in Xtreme, then a minigame in 3D Blast, but they ran out of time for 3D Blast. I'm not sure how true it planned for 3D Blast is, since 3D Blast was ported in just a few weeks when Xtreme was obviously not coming and they wanted a game for Christmas. I have a feeling from the start they got Sonic Team to create the bonus stage that ended up in the final.
Yeah, I forgot to mention earlier that Sonic Pool was originally meant to serve as a mini game in the project known only as Sonic Saturn (which was being developed independently of Sonic Xtreme), but this was definitely on the cards to be recycled for the 32-bit port of Sonic 3D... or at least that was until Sonic Team delivered their polygonal remake of the special stage from Sonic 2. If faced with deciding between the rather promising-looking yet obscure concept by Peter Morawiec and securing exclusive new content from Sonic Team, I'd probably have made the same choice as Traveller's Tales. Saying that, maybe their hand was forced due to internal politics, similar to how Sega Technical Institute were made to reluctantly hand over the NiGHTS engine code when Yuji Naka threatened to quit the company, leading to development on Sonic Xtreme being massively delayed while an alternate solution was found. I'd love to know if anyone within Sega of America still has a finished copy of those Sonic Pool levels, especially now it's been over twenty years since the whole Xtreme disaster unfolded - surely any remaining NDAs must have expired by now? Better yet, has anyone tried approaching Christina Coffin to see if she'd finally think about sharing code from the later "Project Condor" era that was being produced using her technology? We already have the single level 718 build, but it's believed she was going to provide a lot more until death threats forced her to reconsider.
Ahh ok I didn't know for sure. I'd love to see how far Sonic Pool got too. Problem is a lot of the people working on that set of projects had a real rough time, so who knows how much even remains to this day. Sadly I could see some of them not giving second thought on turfing it so as not to remind themselves of it. I would LOVE to be proven wrong though.
Nice footage, sure takes me back to 1997...
She's on Twitter so who knows...If anybody can approach to her that would be awesome. I would but i get very nervious asking for stuff like Sonic X-Treme, 'cause i don't know how she would react if i ask her about the stuff she did on Project Condor.
Also, screw those sons of b****es who sent death threats to her
Who in the living Hell would send Miss Coffin death threats?
Never underestimate dumbasses on the internet.
The worst part is that Christina has since openly claimed to have destroyed everything from her personal archive relating to Sonic Xtreme, mainly because she didn't want members of the online fan community to keep begging her for any playable code of the "Project Condor" era builds (for those who aren't aware, she'd only just started posting screenshots and information from these). She very nearly died after contracting pneumonia as a direct result of being overworked during this project, and would later quit Sega after providing technical assistance on a few last games, including the Saturn conversion of Quake. On top of all this, it's well known that she's also spoken of Sonic Xtreme being something best left in the past for other personal reasons (which I won't disclose here), yet a few idiots with entitlement issues felt the need to continue pushing, so now we all lose out... *sigh*
I don't blame her but it sucks that she destroyed everything about Project Condor thanks to those dickheads. Geez thanks a lot guys! But after all these years she's worked on some notable titles but Sonic X-Treme left her with a very bad taste in her mouth, and nearly dying in the process makes her not wanting to talk about it again...
Whoever the ones who gave her death threats are such pathetic ingrates if they drove her up the wall into deleting everything in her personal archive relating to Sonic Xtreme as she claimed.
Jon Burton has teased an even earlier prototype of Sonic R, which appears to show a basic version of Resort Island with flat shaded polygons - he's going to upload a video of this soon, but for now the recent footage has been renamed to reflect its actual build number.
I've never heard of the death threats on Christina Coffin before, but I wouldn't put it past some people.
What I do know is that she was around on the Sonic Retro forums back in June 2006 thanks to HXC contacting her and she was openly discussing and sharing tidbits of Sonic X-treme's development and even some photos from a build of Project Condor. She also seemed open to the idea of sharing those builds that she had, but then she just disappeared and never really replied to anyone remotely discussing X-treme. I've tried to contact her on Facebook and Twitter a couple of times in the past, but she doesn't seem to want to discuss that project.
The more common story that I've heard is that she was very saddened by the fact that some people were making profit off of her work, notably the Jade Gully 718 demo.
My opinion on the matter is that she should be left alone. It was clearly a very distressing time for her and even so many years later doesn't really feel like sharing any more that what's out there. We tread a very fine line when we approach people on these sort of matters and we shouldn't invade on anyone's personal life. Maybe in a few years time she will be more open to the idea.
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