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Thread: Unreleased Microprose Games

  1. #1
    Wildside Expert Shapey Fiend's Avatar
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    Default Unreleased Microprose Games

    I saw this comment from
    Tim Trzepacz on this Kim Justice Top 100 video and figured you guys might find it interesting.

    "Thanks for liking "Pirates'! Gold" for Sega Megadrive / Genesis! I worked as a programmer on the game as my very first paying game industry job, and still feel that it is one of the very best versions of "Pirates!", although entirely due to Mike Bazzell's fantastic art than anything I did.
    I started out just implementing the animation system. I called it "SAGA" for "Sega Animation and Graphic Arts", and it ran on MS-DOS using a dual monitor setup with a monochrome monitor for the UI and a color monitor to show what the Genesis screen would show. This dual-monitor setup and UI library came from Brian Reynolds, who had created it for work on the "MADS" (Microsoft Adventure Design System) games: Rex Nebular, Dragon Sphere, Bloodnet, etc. Brian would eventually go on to be Sid Meier's ghostwriter programmer for "Colonization" before leaving to start "Big Huge Games" which did the "Rise of Nations" games.
    Later, I took over things like the map screen and ships log, as the lead programmer Joe Hellesen kept the fun parts for himself. But he left the company in the middle of the project and I ended up taking over the sailing and swordfighting, which admittedly could have both been much better.
    I also handled the implementation of all of the animations using my nifty animation system, as Mike and the other artists were too busy drawing art to handle the animation scripting as well. In hindsight, it was a huge waste to create the huge system when I could have hand coded the animations in C in less time than it took to write the system. We thought we'd use it for other games, but Microprose had a terrible deal for manufacturing cartridges with Sega and basically could not afford the million USD outlay per game that was required to publish, so no other games were forthcoming after Pirates and F15 Strike Eagle.
    Other Megadrive / Genesis games that completed development but were ultimately unreleased included a licensed port and update of "Impossible Mission", an absolutely brilliant port of "Ancient Art of War in the Skies", and a Microprose UK developed game called "Tinhead" that was eventually released by Ballistix.
    Our team tried to move forward on the Sega Genesis and were working at various points on a "giant monster destroys cities" top-down game called "Dinattack", a game with the "Top Gun" license that failed to materialize, and a 4 player competitive split screen action RPG called "Blakheart" that I was pushing but was rejected. At that point, the entire console games division was shut down amid layoffs and the team members moved to various PC titles."

  2. #2
    Zebbe's Avatar
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    Awesome read! Much appreciated for sharing!
    New user who wants access to the forum? PM Melf!

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    Thanks for sharing, I'm sure I'd have never come across this if you hadn't.

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    Master of Shinobi LinkueiBR's Avatar
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    Wow!
    I had an EGM that has Impossible Mission listed in those "next releases" sessions, still never seen any screenshot of this one...

    Never heard about these other unreleased games... F#@K! Where's the Indiana Jones guys from the prototype scene?
    VISUAL SHOCK!
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    NOW IS TIME TO THE 68000 HEART ON FIRE!


    Prince of Persia 2 - The Shadow and the Flame Remastered Edition v1.5

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    The Cat in the Hat Shining Hero NeoVamp's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing! that was a great read, and Pirates! on MD was a great version that belongs in every Sega collection.

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    Nameless One Chakan's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing!

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One
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    Very interesting interview, thanks for sharing.

    If I read that right, they did use to C to develop their games - a very cool info, I thought that back in the 90's they only used ASM to make games! One can only wonder what kind of outstanding games people could produce on the Genesis if they had the SGDK and other tools we have today!

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert nihilblack's Avatar
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    I think Sonic Spinball was programmed in C.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingSports Talker
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihilblack View Post
    I think Sonic Spinball was programmed in C.
    How is that programmed in C? Isn't C beneficial towards hardware and not on software and what is on screen? Almost all the games are programmed in C++. Can't program colors in C from what I know.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher Stifu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreamCarts View Post
    How is that programmed in C? Isn't C beneficial towards hardware and not on software and what is on screen? Almost all the games are programmed in C++. Can't program colors in C from what I know.
    I'm a developer, and although I don't really know C or C++, that made no sense to me. C++ is basically C with OOP on top. Anything you can do in C++, you can also do in C.
    Last edited by Stifu; 04-01-2019 at 03:07 PM.

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    WCPO Agent Mad Moham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreamCarts View Post
    Isn't C beneficial towards hardware and not on software and what is on screen? Almost all the games are programmed in C++. Can't program colors in C from what I know.
    I'm not trying to be an asshole here, but I have no idea what you mean. Most modern games are programmed in C++ (though not many from the early 90s are), and as Stifu already mentioned, anything that can be done in C++ can be done in C. You may also be surprised to find out that Doom(PC) was programmed in C, so there's no issues with using it to program games or 'program colors'.

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