Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fallout 3 ( Van Buren )

Van Buren was the codename given to Fallout 3, a game that was being developed by Black Isle Studios before the parent company, Interplay Entertainment, laid off the PC development team on December 8, 2003, effectively cancelling the game. Prior to its cancellation, Van Buren was set to carry on the Fallout series as the sequel to Fallout 2. On May 3, 2007, the tech demo of the game was leaked onto the internet.

Black Isle Studios planned to include a dual combat system in the game that allowed for the player to choose real time or turn-based combat, due to Interplay's demands, though Josh Sawyer had stated that the emphasis would be on the turn-based version. Co-operative multiplayer was also going to be included in the game, again because of publisher requirements.

Van Buren took place in the American southwest (Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Utah). The westernmost sites on the game map are the easternmost borders of New California Republic, and problems with NCR have a lot to do with what's going on in the game. According to Sean K. Reynolds it was set "almost 250 years in the future", which places it in the 2250s, only 10 years after the end of Fallout 2. According to the van Buren design documents it was set in the year 2253.

An engine demonstration of an un-titled post-apocalyptic themed game (possibly Fallout 3) that was in the early stages of development before Troika Games closed its doors in February 2005.

An official Fallout 3 was developed by Bethesda Softworks after Interplay sold them the single player rights to the franchise. It was released October 28, 2008.

StarCraft: Ghost

StarCraft: Ghost is a military science fiction stealth-action video game under suspended development by Blizzard Entertainment. Part of Blizzard's StarCraft series, the game was announced in 2002 and was to be developed by Nihilistic Software for the Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, and PlayStation 2 video game consoles. Several delays in development caused Blizzard to move back the release date and the game has not yet materialized. Nihilistic Software ceded development to Swingin' Ape Studios in 2004 before Blizzard bought the company, and plans for the GameCube version were canceled in 2005.Blizzard announced in March 2006 that the game is on "indefinite hold" while the company investigated seventh generation video game console possibilities.

Unlike its real-time strategy predecessor StarCraft, Ghost is a third-person shooter, and was intended to give players a closer and more personal view of the StarCraft universe. Following Nova, a Terran psychic espionage operative called a "ghost", the game is set four years after the conclusion of StarCraft: Brood War and covers a conspiracy about a secretive military project conducted by Nova's superiors in the imperial Terran Dominion. Very little of the game's storyline has been released; however, in November 2006 after the game's postponement, a novel was published called StarCraft Ghost: Nova which covers the backstory of the central character.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


The third installment of the famed Heretic / Hexen series that was later abandoned by Raven Software after its acquisition by Activision and John Romero leaving id Software. A very few select ideas from Hecatomb made it's way into Raven's later titles (Hexen 2 and Heretic 2).

The player assumed a role of 3 different classes with 3 different types in each class. Similar to the Dungeons and Dragons Lawful/Neutral/Evil alignments each class had a good/bad side to it.

Fighter: Good = Paladin / Neutral = Warrior / Evil = Berserker
Mage: Good = Archmage / Neutral = Wizard / Evil = Necromancer
Thief: Good = Rouge / Neutral = Thief / Evil = Assassin

Depending on the players class/alignment and level of progress the game would randomly choose an automatic event to happen at certain points in levels.
The world design surrounding Hecatomb would be explored like one massive area divided into hubs (for it to run properly on systems). The player had to explore around the surrounding areas of a giant ages old castle, the various areas (such as swamps, caves, etc.) would naturally connect to central parts of the castle. After exploring all the areas the player would be given access to the deep regions inside the castle, where a dragon is guarding a powerful relic and treasure horde. After defeating the dragon and the player acquiring what they were after the area caves in and exposes and even older extensive underground network of catacombs -- at the end of which is a very old and evil Demilich that the player had to kill to escape. (source)

"Hecatomb was supposed to be the 3rd game, but I left id before fulfilling that goal." ~ John Romero

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Baldur’s Gate III: The Black Hound

Code named Jefferson and FR6, was mentioned in early 2001 as a new game in the Baldur’s Gate series to be made by Black Isle Studios using a completely new 3D engine. BG3 was originally going to be a departure from the high-powered epic of the Bhaalspawn saga to a low-key, roleplaying plot. With protagonists progressing to around level four at the end of BIS’ typically enormous campaign and a hard cap at level eight, gameplay was refocussed to a flat and wide adventure emphasizing quests over combat.

The game appeared to be canceled in 2003, just before its engine was re-purposed for Black Isle’s ill-fated Van Buren Fallout 3 project. The Black Hound is currently under development as a module for Neverwinter Nights 2, being developed by Josh Sawyer, one of the designers of the canceled game.

On 2 December 2008, Atari stated in a press conference that the Baldur’s Gate series (among others) would be revisited after 2009.

StoneKeep II: Godmaker

Black Isle Studios worked on a sequel called Stonekeep 2: Godmaker for five years before canceling it in 2001. Sadly only this amazing cover artwork done by Vance Kovacs its all that remained.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


As a successor to Realms of Arkania trilogy, Armalion was a fantasy RPG with a new twist back in 2001. With a clear focus on entertainment value instead of character stats the game mixes the best of role-playing experience with strategy and action game play. In-depth charater creation showed the attention to detail, while an easy-to-use interface took all the pain of boring stats away. The real-time mode of the game could have been interrupted at any time.
During the game the player could even command small warbands of up to 40 warriors to fight for his goals. Choose from 12 playable characters, encounter tons of quests, detailed landscapes and beautiful 3-Dimensional characters. Play over a LAN or WAN co-operatively with some friends or melee with up to 40 characters. The game was developed by Ikarion but they couldn't find a publisher so the whole thing gone bye bye... :(

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Ultima VIII: The Lost Vale

This expansion to Ultima VIII was planned from the outset, and was much anticipated, but never released; it was cancelled when the main game didn't sell as well as had been expected, despite being all but finished and ready for duplication. Hints from texts in the main game suggested that the expansion pack would have added a new story regarding resistance to the Pagan gods and followers of the old religion known as Zealans.

Moreover, a unique Ultima VIII: The Lost Vale game box, whose authenticity was confirmed by former Origin Systems employee Denis Loubet, surfaced in September 2005. It was sold via eBay to a German collector for a final price of almost 2000 US$ shortly after. The game itself, however, seems to be lost forever. The developers at Origin Systems barely had a way to back up their machines at that time, so there is not much hope that a copy survived.

Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans

WarCraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans was a dark comical point-and-click adventure computer game under development by Blizzard Entertainment that was set in the Warcraft universe, and cancelled before its release.
Russian company Animation Magic located in St. Petersburg was out-sourced due to their experience in classical two-dimensional animation to produce the twenty-two minutes of fully-animated sequences, the game's artwork, the coding of the engine and the implementation of the sound effects.Blizzard then provided all the designs, the world backgrounds, sound recording and ensured storyline continuity.
After over a year of hard work, press tours, magazine covers, and fan fervor Blizzard announced that WarCraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans was cancelled days before E3.

Watch two videos from an alpha-version. There are no cutscenes but the game seems to be playable.

AMEN: The Awakening

Amen: The Awakening is a first-person shooter/role-playing game with some stealth elements by Cavedog Entertainment. It was supposed to be the first FPS by Cavedog. It was cancelled in 2000.


Black Isle's Torn is a computer role-playing game developed by Black Isle Studios, announced on March 22, 2001 and cancelled in July of that year. The game was to use a modified version of the SPECIAL role-playing system, which had been implemented in the Fallout series. Developed on various editions of the Lithtech engine, Torn possessed features unseen in previous Black Isle Studios games, such as 3D graphics and real-time camera movement.

In Torn, the player assumed the role of a wanderer, who was cursed to bring misfortune to people and places around it. Under a king's orders, the player undertook quests to clarify a series of conflicting prophecies. Unlike several other Black Isle Studios games, the game was to take place in an original world titled "Torn" instead of a traditional Dungeons & Dragons location.