The lights are on
You've heard about Game Informer's vault, a room dedicated to thousands of games from yesteryear. You haven't heard about its less sexy counterpart, Game Informer's filing cabinets. While you won't find anything playable within their drawers, it's loaded with press releases and fact sheets from the '90s – some of which highlight games that were unceremoniously canceled.
We had forgotten about these cabinets ever since we moved them to a small office on Game Informer's administrative floor. When Jeff Cork started work on an upcoming Classic GI feature, we couldn't find any information for a particular game on the Internet, yet we knew details existed at one time. This reminded me of the filing cabinets. When I first started working for Game Informer, one of my monthly duties was to archive every page that was sent to us from publishers and developers. I knew we had something on the game Jeff was investigating.
We put on our dust masks and started rifling through the cabinets. We found what Jeff was looking for, and also stumbled across paperwork for dozens of canceled games, including Ocean of America's Lobo, a Super Nintendo and Genesis fighting game that was due to release in May of '96. Below is all the paperwork we have for the game. As you can see, the ESRB ratings weren't quite solidified. The canceled fighter included moves like "Ram Grenade Down Throat" and "Blow Opponent in Half" and "Fire Hole Through Opponent," which earned the game a Kids to Adults rating. The sheets detail the playable characters and their special moves.
(click the images to enlarge)
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No worries, folks. He still has the good ol' hook and shoot.
They said I could become anything, so I became a bastich.
I was the art director on this game. I can give you guys the reason why it was cancelled as it was explained to me.
Time Warner was our publisher. When the game was almost finished, TW was going through some kind of explicit content in their music division. We were then ordered to clean up our game, take out the crazy violence, so to speak. No blood, only sweat and tears flying off the characters. It might as well be a slapping game!!
We removed the crazy finisher moves and tamed down the violence. What we were left with was not the Lobo we all knew and loved. And thus, was shelved.
On another note though, as a team, this was our first exploration into 3D. Our boss plonked down a bunch of SGI machines with Alias Power Animator. "Here you go, learn it and make me a game like Killer Instinct with the Lobo license." - were his words. None of us had even touched 3D, but the challenge was accepted and we were all excited.
We had some difficulties modeling characters, we had a couple of sculptors on the team and so we actually made maquettes of all the characters.
We took these to a 3D scanning place in Monterey, (The place that scanned Captain Kirk and Spock for one of the Star Trek movies at the time. We received the mesh and to our surprise, when viewed in wire frame, it was so dense, it was a solid!
Back to the drawing board, i found a device called a "MicroScribe" we proceeded to draw the mesh on the sculpture and then hand scan the models creating the mesh.
Motion-capture (Another first for the studio)was applied to the models and then they were rendered out as sprites.
To keep this short, we had quite an adventure creating this game. We had a solid team that i have great memories of. I would LOVE to make Lobo!!!!!