Spyro 5 (Cancelled Check Six Title)

Discussion in 'Unreleased Games Discussion' started by dancapman, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. dancapman

    dancapman Member

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    Greetings all!

    My name is Dan, a former employee of Check Six Studios, known for having developed Spyro: Enter The Dragonfly on PS2 and Gamecube.

    I was told to go to this site by a former co worker to release some information about a cancelled Spyro pitch from our old studio. So, here it goes:
    -------------------------
    Back in July 2000, we snagged a contract from Universal for TWO Spyro The Dragon titles. As you can see, only one was released. The other? It was not picked up due to sales of the previous game. Anyways, in December 2001, we split the team off into two different groups, and we were also being assisted by another start up studio as well. Our other team started development of this second Spyro title, which would directly follow up the first game. (Back then, Spyro 4 was then known as Spyro: When Villains Collide) and this new title, at the time, was simply referred by a codename: "Wedding Crasher".
    This title would only see one month of development, and it never exited concept stage. This was in part due to Universal Studios forcing our teams to merge back together and to focus on the first title, because, admittedly, we were slacking behind. Spyro 5 (Wedding Crasher) was to open up to the wedding of Hunter and Bianca, taking place in the Artisan Homeworld from the first ever Spyro. All of a sudden, right when they kiss, a large portal shoots out of the ground, and who comes out? The Sorceress. Yes, she was to come back. She caught wind of Bianca and Hunters wedding and purposely wanted to break it up. When she emerged, she stole Bianca's ring and ran back into the portal. Spyro, of course, follows her.

    After the loading screen, another cut scene appears. Spyro would look around and find out he is in a new world known as Asaygo, a dark world where the inhabitants are all being held as slaves by a group of magical wizards, known as the "Spell Bounders", and the Sorceress is one of them. Spyro would have to collect power crystals from about 50 levels to open a portal to the wizard castle, to where he would defeat the wizards.

    This title would have featured more character returns, such as The Sorceress and Elora, and would have potentially been the largest Spyro title released.

    Sadly, the title never was picked up due to our first game bombing out. Spyro Enter The Dragonfly did not meet universal contract expectations, and we were required to pay a fee due to violating the contract. This caused our company to go down, and when we closed, everything went with it. (Including design concepts, photos, sketches, etc of this cancelled game).



    Anyways, if anyone has questions, let me know. :)
     
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  2. mspeter97

    mspeter97 Robust Member

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    Hello there!
    Do you still have those photos & concept art from the game?
    Also, I always wanted to know what happened during Enter The Dragonfly's development and why it was rushed?
     
  3. MonkeyBoyJoey

    MonkeyBoyJoey 70's Robot Anime GEPPY-X (PS1) Fanatic

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    That game sounds like it would be awesome! I wish it could of came through. I wonder if there is a way to get the game developed for the Wii U/PS4/Xbox One/PC.

    I grew up with Spyro Enter the Dragonfly on PS2. I always loved it for some reason, even though I sucked at it. I always thought the sheep were funny. I still have my copy of it. I should give it another playthrough some time this week. I haven't gotten far in it though.

    I have a couple questions. For Enter the Dragonfly, how did you guys come up with the bubble breath and the level where aliens invade a farm? What platforms were you guys targeting for Spyro 5?
     
  4. dancapman

    dancapman Member

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    I do, but I will have to search around for them. They are in a box in my attic.
    Spyro 4 was rushed because unfortunately everyone (Including me) at C6 were college students and we were getting too enthusiastic and excited, so we started development of two titles at the same time (Spyro 4 and 5) and even talked about other franchises. We bit off more than we could chew and around October 2002, Universal forced us to complete the project. We had only one and a half homeworlds completed, and a handful of levels. We had to reprogram the game to trigger the boss battle with Ripto when it was originally programmed to be a mini boss battle (Which would later take you to the next homeworld), but we ran out of time. The game only about 15% complete when released. The rest never was developed. The boss battle also was very weak because it was actually programmed as a mini boss level, but we changed it as the final. We begged Universal to let us have a few more months but they refused. We were forced to release our buggy, incomplete game. They knew it was incomplete and buggy and they didn't care, sadly.

    Well, with Spyro ETDF we took ideas for multiple breaths from a family member of a member of the team. I believe that it was one of the team members sons who suggested it in passing, saying he played Spyro YOTD on the Playstation and thought it would have been neat if Spyro could have multiple breaths. So, we played around with it for a little bit and settled on it being in the game. There was actually supposed to be another breath that we never developed, but had concept art for. If Spyro would use it, musical notes would come out of his mouth and music would speed up in the game, causing enemies in a certain radius to start dancing for a few seconds, giving Spyro time to attack.
    As for the level where aliens invade the farm, it was actually inspired by a speedway level in Spyro YOTD. We thought it was cool.
    For Spyro 5 platforms, we were originally only planning it for PS2, only because that was what we knew how to do. Once we learned how to code and port for Nintendo's Gamecube platform we added that to the list. Eventually we wanted Spyro 4 and Spyro 5 to both be on PS2, GC, Xbox and PC.
     
  5. MonkeyBoyJoey

    MonkeyBoyJoey 70's Robot Anime GEPPY-X (PS1) Fanatic

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    If you are able to share them, I would love to see the concept art for that musical breath. It sounds awesome! I'll have to play through YOTD again to see the level you are talking about. So Spyro 5 was going to be multiplatform. I really wish this game was able to come out. It sounds like it would've been good.

    Thank you for answering my questions. I would really like to know more about ETDF and it's development. Do you have any tips for helping the kid with the kite stuck in the tree in the dojo level? I have had trouble with that part for years.
     
  6. mspeter97

    mspeter97 Robust Member

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    So it was another case of Universal not caring about anything then?
    Anyways, thanks for answering my questions. I would also like to know more about both games.
     
  7. shifted

    shifted Robust Member

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    Would be great to see the game developed now even as a kickstarter campaign or private project. Even a proper completed Spyro 4.
    Wish I knew how to do that sort of stuff.
     
  8. mspeter97

    mspeter97 Robust Member

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    I wonder what that second home world looked like....
     
  9. dancapman

    dancapman Member

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    The level in YOTD was called Country Speedway. Also, I was more excited for Spyro 5 than 4. I personally didn't care for the whole ripto/gnasty plot. I preferred The Sorceress returning in 5. As for Dragonfly Dojo, we intended that the only way you can complete the Kite Mission is to freeze the baby dragon and use him as a stool.

    Yes, its pretty much that. Universal wanted a Spyro game by Fall 2002 no matter what, so they forced us to finish. Spyro ETDF is literally an incomplete game.

    Well, I read about the whole Invader Games thing with Resident Evil 2. Could possibly recruit a fan team and make it. I wouldn't be able to use any models or stuff developed for Spyro 4 (I have disc after disc of models for that game uncompressed that I am legally not allowed to release), but we could make everything from scratch. I would have to find time to do it though.

    I can say that for the homeworlds, I remember we had 4 planned.
    The first Homeworld was Dragon Realms, which made it into the game. The second was "Peace Keepers Redux", which was a modern take on Peace Keepers. The design was mostly the same as the first incarnation in Spyro The Dragon, but with completely new levels. The third homeworld was a Modern Tech world inspired by a level from Spyro 2. Everything was high tech and this is where The Professor would be found in game. Every level here had enemies with either lasers, electric swords, and the theme of every level would be futuristic. The final Homeworld was a world based around a volcano, and its levels would be volcano themed. A funfact for that would be that by coincidence, the final homeworld in Spyro A Heros Tail would end up being a homeworld based around a volcano.



    Anyways, sorry if this post has typos. I am typing from my phone while making dinner. :)
     
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  10. twinspectre

    twinspectre Gaming Enthusiast

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    i want to see some screenshots :(
     
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  11. speedyink

    speedyink Site Supporter 2016

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    Thanks for all the info, man. This is all very interesting!
     
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  12. austint30

    austint30 Member

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    Was Spyro 4 supposed to look even better graphically than when it released? To me, the graphics kinda looked dull.

    Also, when making Spyro 4, did you guys build it from scratch or did you build it off from Spyro 3?
     
  13. austint30

    austint30 Member

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    Dan, do you think you can get a team and make a Spyro inspired dragon 3D platformer with similar mechanics to the classic Spyro games? I believe if you put up a Kickstarter for it, it might get funded near instantly like what happened to Yooka-Laylee. People are craving for 3d platformers nowadays! Also it could get the attention of the Spyro fanbase and maybe, just maybe some of the Skylanders fanbase.

    I have an idea for the game if you decide to get around to making it.

    I would love to see a gliding system where you could dive down and build momentum and speed to get through certain obstacles. If you lose the momentum while gliding upwards, you stall and you fall. Kind of like how a glider or airplane works. This could make some awesome platforming! Also, double jump is a must which can be done by flapping the wings and maybe it can be locked until further in the game.

    I would pay $100+ on Kickstarter for a game like this! :D

    Btw, how come I can't find your name on the Spyro ETD credits?
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
  14. dancapman

    dancapman Member

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    Spyro ETDF would have had some additional graphical tweaks, yes. It was our first title and we were developing for the PS2, which had the lowest specs of our targeted platforms. This would have been slightly different had we targeted Dreamcast (Which almost happened! More on that later...) but we decided to go PS2 since Spyro had established a PS2 fanbase. The only reason we were possibly going to target another platform was because Sony and Universal wad been feuding at the time over distribution rights to the Spyro titles, as Universal owned the rights, but Sony invested money into the franchise for marketing, publishing, etc, which caused Sony to believe they had a say in the series. Sony wanted to have first party developers handle the series (Such as Naughty Dog or Incognito Entertainment). None of this ever caused us to switch platforms, but Universal forced us to add Gamecube to the list, which I believe was likely intended to anger Sony.

    Spyro ETDF used its own built from the ground up engine. Nothing was recycled from the last games aside from sound effects and voice clips. Everything else was from scratch because the old models would not have worked for a modern console (too dated).
    HOWEVER, we were in contact with Insomniac Games at the time, who were helping us out, including Mark Cerny. Ted Price was also adding his input for the project. Insomniac opened the entire archive of Spyro models, source code, music, etc up to us. We had originally started Spyro ETDF development for the Playstation using the updated Spyro YOTD engine. We had a prototype running, before we moved platforms very shortly after because Universal wanted to have a "Next Gen Spyro".


    If we were to ever do a project of this scale, we could still use the story and concept for an inspired game.

    Also, about the credit, that is a good question. I just checked it out too and neither me, nor a few of my former co workers who are still dear friends to me are listed. Its possible it got removed for some reason. I can contact some former member of the team to ask why. I never noticed until you pointed it out.
     
  15. MBMM

    MBMM Powered by Pied Piper

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    Thank you very much for popping on here to give us some info. My sister loved ETDF and I played a bit of it. Thought it was a pretty fun game. At the time I wasn't sure why it was received so poorly.

    Are you still in the industry? If not, what happened to make you leave? If so, any upcoming projects you'd like to plug? I mean, might as well ;)

    Would it be possible for you to show us some footage of that prototype?
     
  16. mspeter97

    mspeter97 Robust Member

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    Hold on, did you say Dreamcast? Wasn't that poor old thing dead & buried around that time?
     
  17. dancapman

    dancapman Member

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    I am still in the industry, but can't say much here about that. ;)
    Hint: I work with Activision
    I would have to get permission from someone up at Activision. I tried releasing stuff before and almost got terminated from my job.

    As far as I know, not in Japan.
     
  18. MBMM

    MBMM Powered by Pied Piper

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    Understandable. Glad to hear you're still doing well in the industry.

    Don't go to that trouble haha. I just know a lot of users here would certainly dig any of that footage.

    Any other juicy tidbits or interesting stories you have from development? What did you specifically handle on ETDF? Thanks again for being so flexible and taking time to answer our questions.
     
  19. austint30

    austint30 Member

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    What game are you working on at Activision? Skylanders?
     
  20. austint30

    austint30 Member

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    Something I really wish Activision would do is make a regular Spyro game. One that is not in the Skylanders universe. Just a standalone Spyro game like the classics. Dan, has Activision been discussing about making a standalone classic style Spyro game? Sorry if I'm asking too much information.
     

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