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Mama Robotnik
(04-17-2012, 01:20 AM)
Mama Robotnik's Avatar
Volume 1 : Metroid Prime.

Volume 2 : Metroid Prime 1.5 and the Metroid 2 Remake.

Volume 3 : Metroid Prime 2 Echoes.

Volume 4 : Metroid Prime 3 Corruption.

Volume 5 : Metroid Prime Hunters and “Toon Metroid".

This second thread will focus on the two unmade Retro Studios Metroid games – Metroid 2 Remake and Metroid 1.5.


Metroid 2 Remake

The Confirmation

For a number of years, the independent developer Milton Guasti has been working hard on a dedicated fan-project known as AM2R or “Another Metroid 2 Remake”. It’s looking particularly exceptional in places, as you can see here, and I encourage you to give it a look:



(Source: Youtube)

While navigating the half-decade old blogs of Retro Studios’ talented staff, I came across a commentary of the above fan-project from Retro Studios artist Ben Sprout. Ben worked on Metroid Prime Hunters; Metroid Prime 2 and Metroid Prime 3.

Originally Posted by Ben Sprout

I’ve always thought it’d be awesome to remake Metroid 2. A group of us at Retro even discussed doing it as a side project at one point. Nothing ever came of it

(Source: Ben Sprout, 2009)

This comment has gone unnoticed for a few years, but is the first confirmation that there were internal proposals at Retro Studios to remake Metroid II: Return of Samus. It would be utterly unheard of for this to be a fan-project secretly worked on by Nintendo staff, therefore we must assume the most obvious conclusion of an intended full retail or digital game.


The intention

Mr Sprout goes on to say:

Originally Posted by Ben Sprout

though I still think it’d be fun to remake it as a 3D sidescroller.

The use of “still” would seem to confirm that the intention of the proposed Return of Samus remake was to make a “3D sidescroller”, more commonly known these days as a 2.5D game ala Shadow Complex.

Such an approach would make sense, as it would allow Retro to reuse the considerable art assets produced in the development of the Metroid Prime games. The concept art for the Omega Metroid cut from Metroid Prime would be an obvious example:



(Source: Danny Richardson)

Another example would be the morph ball track from Mr Sprout's texture portfolio:



(Source: Ben Sprout).


The format

Consider Mr Sprout’s time of employment at Retro:



He worked there from 2004 – 2008. This gives us an opportunity to speculate on what format Retro Studios’ Metroid 2 Remake would have been intended for:

Gameboy Advance:

Though such a move would have provided players of the exceptional Metroid: Zero Mission with access to its sequel, the use of “3D” in Ben’s description would seem to dismiss the GBA as a target format. By the time of his employment at Retro, the handheld had already been succeeded by the Nintendo DS.

Conclusion: EXTREMELY UNLIKELY.


Nintendo Gamecube:

Though this console would have been fully capable of a 2.5D Metroid game, during this era Nintendo rarely visited two-dimensional gameplay on the home console. The notable exceptions, of course, would be Paper Mario and Four Swords, but it should be noted that both of these had more worldwide appeal than the west-appealing Metroid games.

Conclusion : UNLIKELY


Nintendo Wii:

With the successful revival of legacy franchises as 2.5D side-scrollers (New Super Mario Bros.; Kirby; Donkey Kong Country Returns), the Nintendo of this era would be far more receptive to a remade Metroid 2 in the same style. The Wiimote would also be perfect in its duplication of the original Metroid 2 control input. Should the remake have been compact enough, it could have featured as a high profile WiiWare game.

Conclusion: POSSIBLE


Nintendo DS:

Nintendo have shown an affinity for keeping legacy handheld games on handheld formats – see their use of the 3DS Virtual Console as a prime example. A remake of Metroid 2 on the Nintendo DS would have allowed the game to be played the way it was originally intended, on the go. Such a move would also seem a logical conclusion to the successes of Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission – given the critical and commercial response to these games, the lack of a Nintendo DS continuation of handheld 2D Metroid was strangely puzzling.

The Nintendo DS was, at one point, going to receive a game with the working title “Metroid Dread”. It is clear that there were multiple Metroid considerations for the Nintendo DS, and the Metroid 2 Remake could easily have been one of them.

Conclusion : LIKELY.


The cancellation

The internal discussions regarding Metroid 2 Remake did not result in a game. A few possible reasons as to why:

Nintendo may have rejected the proposal.
This painful possibility could even suggest that Nintendo discarded Retro Studios’ Metroid 2 Remake over Metroid Prime Hunters or Metroid Prime Pinball.

Retro Studios may have decided to not pursue the project.
It could be that only a few members of Retro Studios wanted to pursue the Metroid 2 Remake project. The senior staff may have made the final decision to not make the game.

Retro Studios did not have enough resources to pursue the project
With their resources stretched with Metroid Prime 2 and Metroid Prime 3, it could be that Retro simply did not have the resources to dedicate to the Metroid 2 Remake, and thus shelved the project.


The potential

Would Retro Studios’ remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus, have been any good? Consider that the studio eventually made the jump into 2.5D years after this unmade Metroid game It looked something like this:



Retro Studios’ talent with 2D is as majestic as their 3D efforts. Their approach with Metroid Prime, to expand on the successful Metroid formula rather than simply recycle it, would suggest that their Metroid 2 Remake could have been a beautiful, greatly expanded adventure into the heart of SR-388.

Retro’s talent for non-intrusive storytelling, through environment and biased sources of lore, could have given Return of Samus a dramatic new depth. Imagine scanning Chozo Lore to discover how and why they created the Metroid race. Consider the idea of new boss encounters, further abilities, and Zero Mission-esque retconned new chapters to be included in the story. Consider the heart of SR-388, the Chozo Laboratory, as imagined by Retro Studios’ accomplished conceptual artists.

It is hard to imagine the project being anything less than magnificent.


The conclusion

Retro Studios were engaged in internal discussions regarding remaking Metroid 2 as a 2.5D platformer. This would have most likely been a Nintendo DS game. For unclear reasons, the game went unmade.



Metroid 1.5

Metroid 1.5 Design Concept

Single player Mission Pitch (11.18.02)

&

A New section regarding co-op multi-player gaming

(An Update 11.26.02)

&

New Enemy types (Genetic Experiments) 12-03-02

New Melee attack for Samus 12-03-02

Power-up System (and its cruel trick) 12-03-02

Text: Tony Giovannini

Creature Art: Andrew Jones

(Source: Tony C. Giovanni)

One of my greatest discoveries during my research is finding the holy grail: the internal Retro Studios Proposal Document for a rejected Metroid Prime game. Regardless of the information concerning Metroid 1.5 being now widespread on the internet, it was Neogaf that was the first to know, as I was the first to find it.



The document was found on the (now closed) Google site of Tony C. Giovanni, one of the lead designers at Retro Studios during development of all three Metroid Prime games. The text and images of the document are mirrored at Metroid Wikia.

The document is split into two halves. The first half details the scenario, environment, objective and unique mechanics of the proposed single player campaign. The second half details the eccentric and radical ideas being considered for multiplayer.

The artwork presented was by legendary Metroid Prime conceptual artist Andrew “Android” Jones. Due to the brief nature of the document, it seems unlikely that all of his intended concept art was included. Much of his concept art (and certain abstract aspects of the Metroid 1.5 scenario) would be resused in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.

In my research, I discovered that Andrew Jones has a massive open directory of his vast portfolio of art. Much of this is unrelated to gaming, however there are a number of images that do not have any attributable source and would seem to fit into the world crafted by Giovanni for Metroid 1.5.

This is where my research becomes an exercise in speculation. I am advancing the theory that some of these pieces of concept art were intended for the Metroid 1.5 scenario, and remained unused as their content did not fit into the scenarios Retro Studios delivered in Metroid Prime 2 and Metroid Prime 3. First I will reprint the original scenario presented in the Metroid 1.5 document. Then I will include the pieces of Andrew Jones’ concept art that I think may have also been part of it.


Back story:


This adventure would take place immediately after Samus takes off from the surface of Talon IV. Upon exiting the planets surface, Samus decides to take a long rest in her Cryo chamber as her ship autopilots home. However, something goes wrong and Samus’s ship computer hones in on a distress signal. The distress signal is coming from a huge alien vessel (huge like the size of several Star Destroyers) that is drifting out in space. As Samus’s ship approaches the alien craft, a tractor beam activates and the Ship is pulled into one of the gigantic docking bays. As the ships doors close, the gigantic vessel folds and enters a parallel dimension, thus begins Samus’s new adventure…

Upon awakening, the ship appears to be abandoned, there is no power except for auxiliary lights and telemetry from computers. It is up to Samus to unravel this mystery. The mystery being that the ship’s AI has gone mad and the ship is actually a war vessel that is on a collision course with a peaceful planet. It’s goal? The entire enslavement of the race of beings on said planet as well as natural resource stripping as its (the planets) destruction. So in essence, the ship AI has split into several different personalities, and is playing a deadly game with Samus. The Alien inhabitants of the ship are also in a state of suspended animation because as the ship travels through the parallel dimension, the alien inhabitants are being created and refined for warfare until the ship arrives at its destination and assaults the planet…However, the robotic and automated entities are not, these will be the primary enemies that Samus must deal with. In addition, Samus must also deal with the ships cunning AI, who will all the while be taunting her and trying to trick her at every opportunity.

The Main reason Samus and possibly other Bounty Hunters are being pulled into this ship is to assimilate their best and most deadly abilities into the personality construct of not only the ships AI, but also into the actual Alien Inhabitants in order to further their quest for perfection. As the ship reaches its target, it will unfold into this dimension and begin its attack. This has what the ship and Alien race who created it has have been doing for past thousand or so years, going from planet to planet, assimilating the most violent parts of a culture and asserting it into its own being.

The main goal for Samus is to disable the engines of the ship, destroy the AI, and eradicate all life forms on the ship. The catch is that even though Samus is all powerful from her previous item acquisition on Talon IV, she will be limited to use them in certain areas of the ship due to the containment matrix that the Rogue AI has set up all over the ship. This will force the player to handle situations differently than expected, and once the containment matrix is disabled, Samus will be free to use all of her abilities. Due to being in a parallel dimension, there are areas within the ship where floors may become ceiling due to gravity being reversed, Time may run backwards, (illustrated by creatures and machines moving in reverse, water moving up into a faucet) and other sorts of environmental weirdness, that Samus as well as other Bounty hunters will have to learn to adjust to in order to survive.


World Layout:


The ship will take up the same real estate as the ruins and mines combined. These are two of the largest levels in the previous game and I think that by combining the size of the two, we will have a healthy amount of game space to course though. In addition, we can further expand the 2.5D ball mode areas and expand the scanner game play. I guess this adventure would be more about solving puzzles (scan mode) and utilizing alternative methods of navigation (ball mode).


Example areas of the ship:

• Hangar bays where Samus can actually go inside transport and fighter vessels.

• Science bays where Samus could gather information about the Alien Race’s grotesque scientific experiments.

• The super structure of the ship where ball mode would be utilized much more than the previous game.

• The computer core where Samus would have to destroy the rogue AI.

• Cryo Chamber hall, where Samus shuts down life support to the hostile alien race

• Industrial factory section, where all weapons of war are made, lots of conveyor belts and mechanical machinery would make for challenging navigational game play.

• On the surface of the ship out in space, which could make for some interesting low gravity or spider ball game play

• Robot factory section, where Samus would have to sabotage the machinery that is responsible for the creation of all robotic entitles on the ship.

• Robot control HQ; here Samus could control robots in various sections of the ship via remote monitor.

• Communications array, which Samus has to destroy in order to stop the onslaught of other ships heading towards the planet. Perhaps she could divert the signal to the other ships so they collide into a near by sun, who knows.

• Reactor Core, the final area of the game where Samus sets the ship to self-destruct by overloading the engines.


Examples of Scan based puzzles:

• Using the scan visor to shut down various security measures within rooms or to activate a robot via remote control.

• Using the X-ray visor to detect invisible enemies, hidden areas, and other things not visible to the naked eye, much like our previous game.

• Using the thermal visor to detect hidden switches, panels, and possible dangers, much like in our previous game.


In addition to the above examples, there could be a lot of deactivating electronic locks ala system shock and Deus Ex, manipulation of factory machinery to allow access into otherwise unreachable areas, and manipulation of turrets and security systems to overcome certain enemy based setups and situations.

Last edited by Mama Robotnik; 05-01-2012 at 03:08 AM.
Mama Robotnik
(04-17-2012, 01:21 AM)
Mama Robotnik's Avatar


Examples of Enemy types:

Since the inhabitants of the ship are in Cryo sleep, the majority of enemies will be Robotic. Robotic allows us to rely on shaders as opposed to texture maps, they are all metal after all, they can be tougher that organic life forms, have more predictable AI patterns, and allow the artists to go crazy with the design. In addition, Robots will chunk better because they are metal. The biggest AI threat in the entire adventure however, is the Rogue AI that taunts Samus throughout the ship. Taunting by locking previously unlocked doors, filling a room with poison gas, activating security systems, and machinery in the factory/industrial levels.

• Dones, simple security drones that patrol the halls, can call in for back up if a threat appears. Usually cloaked, Samus will have to utilize her X-ray visor to see them

• Workers, Tread based movement, slow and heavy industrial bots that can utilize different tools, Flame throwers, jack hammers, drills for work as well as to stop a potential threat.

• Hunters, Bi-pedal assassin droids that can drop from ceilings, run up walls, and utilize an electro blade, imagine iG-88 hopped up on too much caffeine with a really angry disposition.

• Guards, heavy brutish hover bots armed with cannons. Used primarily as sentry guards, very tough, requires thermal visors in order to hit the sweet spot and destroy them.

• Mad AI, the central computer of the ship has gone crazy, it sees inviting Samus onto the ship as a game for its amusement. Will taunt and try to trip Samus up at every move. The Mad AI has for distinct personalities…The Child, The Killer, the Martyr, and the Fool… each one is deadly and utilizes different tactics and techniques.


AI Construct Personality Document

The intent of this document is to illustrate the four distinct personalities of the AI construct and how it will affect game play. Personality types, and their unique traits will break down the list. In addition, the AI personality type “The Fool” has been replaced with “The Mother” due to the fact that “The Child” and “The Fool” were too similar. The AI and its four personalities would appear at certain intervals of the game in a form of a hologram that although appears to have depth from a forward view, but is actually paper thin, imagine a Sprite that is always facing you, but occasionally, you catch a glimpse of its side, and you’ll get the idea. Although the AI is Alien, it appears in human form and “speaks” using English in order for Samus to understand it.

The Killer:

• Combat heavy game play style, larger number of enemy spawns than usual, less drops for killed creatures. Security systems (turrets, for example) would be more deadly than normal. The more players involved in the game, they heavier the amount of enemies

• Atmosphere of the environment when “The Killer” AI is in control would consist of strobing lights, red lights, and lots of fog. Camera function would distort at times or fish eye, causing the player to become disoriented, similar to Silent Hill and Eternal Darkness. In addition, there would be darkened areas of the ship that would play into the fear factor of the player, and force them to use their visor mode.

• The Killer would taunt the player with a voice similar in tone and inflection to Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter, and “Alex” from A Clockwork Orange.

For all intensive purposes, “The Killer” is much more combat oriented than the 3 other personality types. The feeling the player should get from “The Killer” is that they are being stalked like prey. It has a serial killer mentality and will stop at nothing to end its victim’s life.

The Child:

• Puzzle heavy game play style, more emphasis on puzzle solving and scanning, and less combat. Since “The Child” is Playing, it will occasionally react by reactivating security systems, re-locking doors, and trapping the player where necessary, all in the name of (deadly) fun. Possible “Simon Says” like sequences, for example.

• Atmosphere of the environment when “The Child” AI Construct is in control would consist of softer and warmer light values. (Similar to night-lights?) Not too many shadowed places due to the fact that children for the most part, are scared of the dark. Another way we could describe the lighting, would be carnival like, sort of a “Dark Disneyland.”

• “The Child” would communicate with the player in a child’s voice as well as communicate in rhymes and songs. The voice of this AI construct would be similar in tone and inflection to Damien from the Omen, and the kid from that movie, the 6th sense. Interestingly enough, “The Child” becomes scared when the player enters a dark room or area heavily cast in shadow.


“The Child” AI construct is the exact opposite of the “The Killer”. Its focus is puzzle based and relies less on using physical enemies to stop the player. At times, perhaps “The Child” AI construct could be used as a hint system to guide the player when they become lost. Although the “The Child” AI construct thinks its playing and having fun, its puzzles and games are still deadly. Imagine a crazed child swinging around an Axe, it’s having fun, but doesn’t realize he/she could really hurt someone.

The Mother:

• “The Mother” is the “core” as well as the helper AI. Out of all four personality types, this one is the most friendly of the bunch. “The Mother” AI could be used as a crucial Plot device which gives Samus and other bounty Hunters technological upgrades when completing a puzzle. Game play wise, “The Mother” is a helper, while the action going on around the players is a combination of The Child and The Killer, 50% combat, and 50% puzzle.

• Atmosphere of the environment when “The Mother” AI Construct is in control is womb-like, orange and yellow lights fill the area and a heartbeat can be heard in the background.

• “The Mother” Knows something is wrong with either her or the ships computer, (it has become detached from it self) but feels overwhelmed and helpless. When the Bounty Hunters arrive, she senses that they could possibly right the situation.

“The Mother” construct would communicate with the players in a soothing voice, ‘ala SAL (2010) and EVE (Command and Conquer)

“The Mother” AI, is used as the core and helper though out the game. It can be used for item acquisition, technological advancement, relay back story and offer clues and hints, almost like a redundant hint system but with personality. Another interesting factor regarding “The Mother” it will always pick a favored bounty hunter, much like a favored son or daughter. This could be randomized, so every time the game is started from the beginning, it chooses a bounty hunter at random.

The Martyr:


• “The Martyr” is one of the boss battles in the game, and perhaps is the most deadly of all of the AI constructs due to the fact that “The Martyr’ has the burden of successfully completing its mission. (The mission could be ramming into a planet, if it was the brains for a gigantic spaceship, or self destructing if it were the main operations for the base, for example) Fighting this boss could go a few different ways. Destroy the main reactor/CPU? Shut down the system based on teamwork along the lines of mission impossible? Perhaps the AI manifests itself in physical form. There are a lot of options we can explore.

• Atmosphere of the environment when “The Martyr” AI construct is in control would be one of decay and ruin. Sparks are flying off machines, tons of smoke, auxiliary lights being only light source, machines failing left and right, camera shakes and toppling geometry are the norm.

• “The Martyr” has a personality that is a cross between the MCP from Tron, Shodan from System Shock 1 and 2, and Col. Kurtz from Apocalypse Now. It fully believes in its mission and will stop at nothing to complete it. It also is righteous in its beliefs and has a tendency to scream at the top of its lungs, spewing out all sorts of nonsensical diatribes and riddles.

“The Martyr” is the Head Honcho of the AI construct; this is what the AI eventually will eventually turn into, as opposed to its other forms. “The Martyr” also has master control over every aspect of the ship, its security system, and can use anything at its disposal to try and stop the player.

Concept drawings



One of the ideas we had was to just render the face instead of the entire body. Clockwise from left: The Child, The Martyr, The Killer, and The Mother.



Again, “The Child” with a heavy Anime Influence.



More concepts of “The Killer” and “The Child”


New Enemy Types:


Several new Enemy types have be created in order to facilitate the idea of the genetic experiments the alien race are conducting:

Humetroid: Standing roughly 6 feet tall the Humetroid is a half metroid / half human entity that excels in stealth, sabotage, scouting, and long distance kills. It has a detachable metroid in its chest that can be dispersed in order to attack enemies from a distance and scout an area. Once the metroid is released, the Humetroid body cloaks and the player will have control of the metroid. Because of they symbiotic nature between the Metroid and the Humetroid body, if one is killed, the other will perish.

• Because of its ability to absorb energy from other players and creatures, the Humetroid can also temporally gain an opponents ability



A Humetroid


Thrash-hunters: Standing 8 and 1/2 feet tall, this Alien is a mixture between a Space Pirate and another unknown Alien species. It uses no mechanical weapons but does use its sharp saber-like claws to rip though opponents with ease. It can walk along walls, crawl across ceilings and has a chameleon like ability to change its exoskeleton color and pattern to match up to its surrounding environment. It is ruthless and cunning, much like Giger’s Alien; it lives to kill, and kills to live.

• In addition to its saber-like claws the Thrash-hunter also has the ability to self-destruct when low on heath and when in clear and visible danger. The blast radius would kill anything within a 20-foot radius.

A Thrash-hunter



Shock beast: Standing 10 feet tall, the shock beast is another Space Pirate / Alien Hybrid. It is similar to storm troopers in respect to its loyalty and stupidity. It is the standard shock trooper of the Alien fleet and carriers a high-powered pulse rifle and frag-grenades. In addition to mechanical weapons, it can also self-destruct when in danger or low on health. Again, the blast radius would kill anything within a 20-foot radius.

• Due to a genetic flaw, the heart and lungs (on its backside) of the shock beast are exposed, making it an easy kill. Since the ship’s AI has noticed the design flaw, later versions have an armored carapace that must be destroyed in order to hit the vital areas, much like the Baby Sheegoth.

A Shock beast




Game Hooks:

In order to keep the momentum of the game moving there are several things we can do:

• Limit Samus’s abilities in certain areas and rooms of the ship, thereby forcing the player to deal with situation differently than expected.

• Increase the amount of morphball areas so we can try new ideas and concepts that we can bring into Metroid 2. I think a lot of people thought that the morphball rooms were some of the most fun in the game, lets crank it up to 11.

• The Mad AI, we can do all sorts of things to block progress. Lock doors, activate security systems, and fill rooms with deadly gasses or electrical fields…

• Controlling robots, from the Robot control HQ, Samus would have the ability to remote control robots in order to create diversions, navigate a setup, and gain access to areas that are otherwise un attainable.

• Mecha Samus, see below.


Co-op Multiplayer Component:

At a certain point of this adventure, Samus could have the opportunity to create an Android double of herself. In single player she can give it simple commands and it will fight along side her. Perhaps we can even have a side quest on the ship where you have to retrieve the necessary components in order to create Mecha-Samus. There has been something I have been thinking about for a while…What if we had the ability for any other player to control the co-op AI, at anytime? For example I start playing a game, and I have my Mecha double with me, Zaf comes over, and picks up the second controller, the screen would split in real time (see War of the monsters) and now Zaf can control the Mecha double for as long as he wishes. As soon as he puts the controller down and there is more than 10 seconds of no controller input, the screen would go back to full screen mode in real time. Sounds difficult to pull off, but maybe not.


Additional Multiplayer Goodness (Trust and Deceit):

As of last weeks design meeting, we were asked to further develop our multi-player and co-op ideas. Here are several ideas that would work great with this adventure.

Since the ship’s AI has lost the plot, I figure it would be interesting if the AI called in several other bounty hunters through out the galaxy all for the same purpose, a deadly game for the AI’s amusement. What makes this interesting is the fact that these other bounty hunters arrive at the same time as Samus. They can either work together or against each other, what it boils down to is a game of trust or deceit. Are the players going to work together, or against each other? Of course, we should try our best at least at the initial start of the game to force the players to work together. How do we as designers force them to work together? Here are a couple of ideas…

• Limit the abilities of all Bounty Hunters in order to force them to work together. This will cancel out them trying to trying to destroy each other in the beginning of the game. As the bounty Hunters grow more powerful, they then can decided weather to work together or not.

• Give the Bounty Hunters different abilities… One Bounty Hunter could be an expert at disabling security systems, another could be an expert with hacking systems to overcome puzzles, another could be a heavy weapons expert, while Samus of course, is a natural born leader with her varied weapon systems, morphball mode, and visors. This is what I consider “Star Wars” style of team management… everybody who made up the core group of the rebel heroes had different skills and abilities, but they had to work together to gain results.

• Start the Bounty Hunters in different sections of the ship and allow them to find each other. This would only work online, due to the fact we cannot stream for different locations at once. Capcom is working on an online Resident Evil for Play-station 2, which will allow up to eight players to start at different locations of the game world, and to succeed, they need to first find each other. If we decide to support Internet link, I would really like to see something like this, I think it could be a lot of fun.

I think that the additional Bounty Hunters, if they aren’t clones of Samus, need to be memorable and unique. They need their own specific weapons, their own “ball” mode, and that certain something that makes them a likeable character. I have no doubt that we could create some cool stuff, but we have to ask ourselves, will this still be a metroid experience?


Additional Multiplayer Goodness (Semper Fi! Do or Die!):

Another route we could go…Samus and a group of Bounty Hunters are hired by the federation to explore this vessel drifting though space and take care of the problem by “any means necessary”. Again, this would require teamwork, but instead of a game of trust and deceit, it’s a game of teamwork where all the players are Allies…similar to the troops in Halo. Again, the main focus of this game is teamwork. By having bounty hunters utilize their different abilities to solve puzzles and progress through the game, we could insure a rewarding Multi-player experience. Also, as Mike W, stated in the design meeting, this would insure multiplayer by limiting progression for a single player.

What that in mind, we can focus on “Mission Impossible” styles of missions where teamwork and timing are crucial to success. When I reference Mission Impossible, I am referring to the television show of the 60’s, and not the Tom Cruise Mega-hit movies. Types of missions would include:

• Hacking into and disrupting dataflow at several key locations through out a ship or base in order to clear a level goal. In order to succeed, the players would have to hack the computers in sequence and upload a virus or some sort of malignant program at the proper moment. Missions like these could also have a time limit, thus creating tension.

• Placing charges on certain mechanical structures of the base/ship and setting the timers off that the proper moment, then as the timers are counting down, the team makes a daring escape to avoid being blown to bits. Again, this is another mission where timing is crucial to the success of the mission.

• Space Marines vs. Giant Bugs: We have pretty much all seen or read Starship Troopers…Exe what about missions where Alpha beetles are coming from all directions, and the squad has to work together in order to defeat them? Sure, its mindless fun, but its also very satisfying at the same time.

• Artifact retrieval: four artifacts are spread throughout a map and must be brought to a central totem/location to be utilized. The team must split up and find the artifacts on their own, since each Bounty Hunter has his or her own unique abilities, we could custom tailor each path. This would also increase replay-ability due to the fact that the right Bounty hunter would have to use the right path. If there is one path, to claim the artifacts, the bounty hunters could work together to get past obstacles…exe… locked door, morphball tunnel to other side…Samus has to go through, and unlock the door from the other side, to let the rest of the Bounty Hunters though

Focusing on Co-op multiplayer, would be wise considering it’s basically a single player style of game and mission-base that will scale up in difficulty depending on the number of players, similar to Diablo and Phantasy Star online. Missions like this can be a lot of fun due the fact that creature encounters would become more intense as the number of players increase.


Boss Battles

I think this is one aspect where multiplayer would really shine…the difficulty of the boss would multiply depending on the number of players. In addition, the boss can now have several hot spots all over its body; it’s almost a Ghost Busters-like approach. Similar to Panzer Dragoon 2, the bosses have hot spots all over their body and are only affected by certain weapons at certain sides; this again would require teamwork. Once a boss is defeated, we can put that boss into the Un-lockable game modes, where a player can now control a boss and the other players try to defeat it. Of course the UI would be unique to the boss, and the player controlling the boss, would have all the bosses unique powers and abilities at his or her disposal.

[…]

Closing Comments:

So this is pretty much what I think we could crank out in a year, A Smaller Adventure with expanded mechanics and a few new ones thrown in. The beauty of spaceship design is that a lot of corridors and hub rooms can be reused over and over again, with minor variation; it also lends itself well to our room/door/hall layout. Plus, we can make the world denser by exploiting the super structure of the ship using morphball mechanics. Even though the idea of an AI gone mad has been used before in games as well as films, I feel that we could put a unique twist on it. And by allowing Samus to use only certain abilities in certain parts of the game, we can get a fair amount of replay value by offering the player different solutions to a single problem. This I feel would satisfy gamers who completed Prime and are hungry for something more with a few new mechanics and ideas thrown in.


With the addition of the co-op multi-player components I have noted in the previous paragraphs, I feel that we would still have a game that feels like Metroid, albeit the feeling of Isolation would no longer be there, at the expense of the multi-player experience. However, I think the by unlocking the additional multi-player modes, after the actual game is completed, it wont detract from the experience. Unlike Time Splitters 1 and 2, we can keep the player focused on the main portion or adventure of the game which is what Metroid is all about.


Concept art that may (or may not) depict aspects of the above scenario:

These Andrew Jones / Retro Studios concept pieces fit into the above scenario, of biomechanical constructed soldiers, surreal nightmarish child AIs, clones created from Space Pirate DNA, etcetera.

Originally Posted by Metroid 1.5

The distress signal is coming from a huge alien vessel (huge like the size of several Star Destroyers) that is drifting out in space





Originally Posted by Metroid 1.5

However, the robotic and automated entities are not, these will be the primary enemies that Samus must deal with.












Originally Posted by Metroid 1.5

Several new Enemy types have be created in order to facilitate the idea of the genetic experiments the alien race are conducting:











Originally Posted by Metroid 1.5

“The Child” would communicate with the player in a child’s voice as well as communicate in rhymes and songs. The voice of this AI construct would be similar in tone and inflection to Damien from the Omen, and the kid from that movie, the 6th sense. Interestingly enough, “The Child” becomes scared when the player enters a dark room or area heavily cast in shadow.



Originally Posted by Metroid 1.5

mixture between a Space Pirate and another unknown Alien species. It uses no mechanical weapons but does use its sharp saber-like claws to rip though opponents with ease

(Note that the above images are in quotes to reduce page layout disruption. Click on each one to see it in full size).

It is possible that all, some or none of these were intended to depict Retro Studios rejected Metroid 1.5 scenario.

Conclusion: These images fit with the Metroid 1.5 scenario. They're by a Retro Studios artist who was confirmed to have done art for Metroid 1.5. There is no project that I am aware of, to which they are attributable.

It is worth noting that some of the confirmed concept pieces were recycled in Metroid Prime 2 Echoes, and we will explore this in the later thread.

The End

I hope you enjoyed this thread. Next time, I will present the final parts of my research, which will involve a good look at Metroid Prime 2 and Metroid Prime 3. See you there!
Last edited by Mama Robotnik; 04-17-2012 at 01:31 AM.
Deft Beck
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(04-17-2012, 01:22 AM)
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Some great research and journalism here.
V_Ben
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(04-17-2012, 01:23 AM)
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Mama, you never cease to amaze with some of this stuff. Excellent work.
Grakl
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(04-17-2012, 01:24 AM)
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Gonna sit down for a week while I read everything.
Salih
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(04-17-2012, 01:25 AM)
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Originally Posted by Mama Robotnik

First of all, thank you for the positive responses to the first thread

you should fix this.
Venfayth
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(04-17-2012, 01:25 AM)
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How do you do this!? This is incredible. Thank you!
Karsticles
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(04-17-2012, 01:26 AM)
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This is the only thing my DS needed...why oh why didn't it happen, Nintendo?

Originally Posted by Venfayth

How do you do this!? This is incredible. Thank you!

And I second this.
Mama Robotnik
(04-17-2012, 01:26 AM)
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Originally Posted by Salih

you should fix this.

Good god! I was missing one "0" at the end of my URL, and it went to a horrible thread.
jooey
The Motorcycle That Wouldn't Slow Down
(04-17-2012, 01:27 AM)
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It is possible that all, some or none of these were intended to depict Retro Studios rejected Metroid 1.5 scenario

WELL THEN
Vire
DancingJesus
(04-17-2012, 01:27 AM)
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Why aren't you working with a major gaming news publication yet? Jeez.
ViewtifulJC
shots fired? we run!
(04-17-2012, 01:27 AM)
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Still waiting on a source for that music at the end of the Metroid 2 Remake - Preview video, as I have been for years.
Relix
he's Virgin Tight™
(04-17-2012, 01:29 AM)
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God dammit so good
Karsticles
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(04-17-2012, 01:29 AM)
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Originally Posted by Vire

Why aren't you working with a major gaming news publication yet? Jeez.

He does research.
Mama Robotnik
(04-17-2012, 01:29 AM)
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Originally Posted by jooey

WELL THEN

That's the speculation, I tried to make it as clear as possible. These images fit with the Metroid 1.5 scenario. They're by a Retro Studios artist who was confirmed to have done art for Metroid 1.5. There is no project that I am aware of, to which they are attributable.

Its the best I can do, and I thought it was interesting.
Anth0ny
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(04-17-2012, 01:29 AM)
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Originally Posted by Mama Robotnik

The potential

Would Retro Studios’ remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus, have been any good? Consider that the studio eventually made the jump into 2.5D years after this unmade Metroid game It looked something like this:



Retro Studios’ talent with 2D is as majestic as their 3D efforts. Their approach with Metroid Prime, to expand on the successful Metroid formula rather than simply recycle it, would suggest that their Metroid 2 Remake could have been a beautiful, greatly expanded adventure into the heart of SR-388.

Retro’s talent for non-intrusive storytelling, through environment and biased sources of lore, could have given Return of Samus a dramatic new depth. Imagine scanning Chozo Lore to discover how and why they created the Metroid race. Consider the idea of new boss encounters, furtherabilities, and Zero Mission-esque retconned new chapters to be included in the story. Consider the heart of SR-388, the Chozo Laboratory, as imaged by Retro Studios’ accomplished conceptual artists.

It is hard to imagine the project being anything less than magnificent..

Well, when you put it that way, with that gif... I want new 2D Metroid from Retro.


Awesome write ups, by the way. I'll get around to reading all of them soon.
Lkr
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(04-17-2012, 01:30 AM)
holy shit
Pachterballs
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(04-17-2012, 01:32 AM)
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Pretty much another holy fucking shit OP. subscribed
BY2K
Membero Americo
(04-17-2012, 01:32 AM)
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Why do you do this less than 2 months before E3?

You want me to hope for a new Retro Metroid, only for that hope to end in disappointment, aren't you!

You monster!
Lactose_Intolerant
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(04-17-2012, 01:32 AM)
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Originally Posted by Vire

Why aren't you working with a major gaming news publication yet? Jeez.

Seriously. This is game journalism I can get behind. I wonder how long it took you to gather all this information.
Shikamaru Ninja
任天堂 の 忍者
(04-17-2012, 01:32 AM)

This comment has gone unnoticed for a few years, but is the first confirmation that there were internal proposals at Retro Studios to remake Metroid II: Return of Samus. It would be utterly unheard of for this to be a fan-project secretly worked on by Nintendo staff, therefore we must assume the most obvious conclusion of an intended full retail or digital game.

Great hardcore detective work. But I think the musings of development staff is a bit different than an actual proposal. I mean I am sure guys on the Zelda staff talk about all sorts of Zelda stuff. Guys on the Mario staff talk all sorts of Mario projects.

Miyamoto for example mentions all the time how much several members of EAD love Zelda 2. One time it was revealed that Yoshiaki Koizumi actually went as far as partially developing the game on the Super FX chip with a couple of programmers before being pulled to a more concrete project.
Shaffield
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(04-17-2012, 01:32 AM)
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Both of these threads have been fantastic reads, excellent work and thank you for sharing!

The concept for the Metroid 1.5 game would have been INCREDIBLE.
Especially the part about putting more emphasis on puzzles.
SmithnCo
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(04-17-2012, 01:33 AM)
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Good lord, I LOVE every design in the OP. Other M really lacked this kind of creativity IMO.
EatChildren
Chico is Quiet
(04-17-2012, 01:33 AM)
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Another Mama Retro thread, and again I'm reminded why a horror styled Metroid would be utterly sublime. Retro's artists, at least these ones, are incredible. Stuff like this is some Giger-esque Space Pirate stuff.
PetrCobra
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(04-17-2012, 01:35 AM)
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At first, I thought that this will be some fun little speculation and nothing more. Then I realized that I have no chance to read it all now when just scrolling down took me about half a minute or so.

Anyway, it looks like some excellent work, and I salute your dedication.
Mama Robotnik
(04-17-2012, 01:36 AM)
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Originally Posted by Shikamaru Ninja

Great hardcore detective work. But I think the musings of development staff is a bit different than an actual proposal. I mean I am sure guys on the Zelda staff talk about all sorts of Zelda stuff. Guys on the Mario staff talk all sorts of Mario projects.

Miyamoto for example mentions all the time how much several members of EAD love Zelda 2. One time it was revealed that Yoshiaki Koizumi actually went as far as partially developing the game on the Super FX chip with a couple of programmers before being pulled to a more concrete project.

I agree that its a reasonable interpretation of the comment, though I differ.

My take: Given that the Retro Studios artist confirms that multiple members were involved , and alludes to the game being a "3d side scroller", this would suggest that it went beyond idle discussion. I interpret that they had a concept before the project was abandoned.
RedSwirl
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(04-17-2012, 01:37 AM)
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That gif is the most I've ever been interested in Donkey Kong Country Returns.
Nirolak
Mrgrgr
(04-17-2012, 01:38 AM)
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Originally Posted by EatChildren

Another Mama Retro thread, and again I'm reminded why a horror styled Metroid would be utterly sublime. Retro's artists, at least these ones, are incredible. Stuff like this is some Giger-esque Space Pirate stuff.

Unfortunately, I don't think many of the ones from the Metroid Prime 1/Metroid Prime 1.5 era work there anymore.

King of the Potato People
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(04-17-2012, 01:39 AM)
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Metroid Prime Pinball came first on Nintendo's priorities.
Gala
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(04-17-2012, 01:39 AM)
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Great work! It was really interesting and fun to read! Keep up the excellent game journalism!
EatChildren
Chico is Quiet
(04-17-2012, 01:40 AM)
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Originally Posted by Nirolak

Unfortunately, I don't think many of the ones from the Metroid Prime 1/Metroid Prime 1.5 era work there anymore.

http://www.abload.de/img/retrofinalzpog7.png

It's like you exist solely to ruin my day.
BY2K
Membero Americo
(04-17-2012, 01:44 AM)
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Originally Posted by Nirolak

Unfortunately, I don't think many of the ones from the Metroid Prime 1/Metroid Prime 1.5 era work there anymore.

[IMG]http://www.abload.de/img/retrofinalzpog7.png[IMG]

For the love of God, WHY!?
Cygnus X-1
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(04-17-2012, 01:45 AM)
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I propose these threads by MR on Metroid to be put for a while in the sticky section. They are simple too amazing. Opinions?
Haunted
(04-17-2012, 01:46 AM)
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Great internet detective or greatest internet detective?

This is really cool stuff. Reading the design document now.



Originally Posted by Cygnus X-1

I propose these threads by MR on Metroid to be put for a while in the sticky section. They are simple too amazing. Opinions?

Denied. Being stickied is the kiss of death on GAF, interest will keep it on the front pages naturally.
MechaX
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(04-17-2012, 01:47 AM)
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Mama Robotnik: Putting the true "journalism" in "gaming journalism". This is some really interesting stuff in here.
Mitama
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(04-17-2012, 01:47 AM)
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Originally Posted by Mama Robotnik

For a number of years, the independent developer Milton Guasti has been working hard on a dedicated fan-project known as AM2R or “Another Metroid 2 Remake”. It’s looking particularly exceptional in places, as you can see here, and I encourage you to give it a look:



(Source: Youtube)

Wow! This is beyond incredible. It's like this game has been developed by Nintendo R&D1, just amazing.
Chacranajxy
I paid good money for this Dynex!
(04-17-2012, 01:48 AM)
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How the hell are you finding all this stuff? It's fantastic.
MuddyDonut
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(04-17-2012, 01:48 AM)
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Originally Posted by Nirolak

Unfortunately, I don't think many of the ones from the Metroid Prime 1/Metroid Prime 1.5 era work there anymore.

Thanks for reminding me...

But thank you so much Mama Robotnik, this shit is truly amazing.
Dacvak
No one shall be brought before our LORD David Bowie without the true and secret knowledge of the Photoshop. For in that time, so shall He appear.
(04-17-2012, 01:48 AM)
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I'm so scared to read this thread, but I admire it so much.
∀ Narayan
the carnival of stupid
(04-17-2012, 01:51 AM)
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Holy crap.
Instro
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(04-17-2012, 01:54 AM)
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Only thing that bugs me about the Metroid 1.5 details is that the game area was apparently going to be quite small.
nckillthegrimace
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(04-17-2012, 01:57 AM)
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Metroid 1.5 sounds really stupid, so I'm glad that never happened.
shadyspace
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(04-17-2012, 01:59 AM)
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I'm glad the Metroid 2 Remake never happened on DS because it would have looked awful. Here's to hoping the idea's revived for 3DS or Wii U. And are you angling for a job with these threads OP because you sure as hell should be including them in a resume.
topramen
Junior Member
(04-17-2012, 02:06 AM)
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Originally Posted by Nirolak

Unfortunately, I don't think many of the ones from the Metroid Prime 1/Metroid Prime 1.5 era work there anymore.

What the hell ever became of those guys anyway?

Has Armature Done anything? Does it still exist?
K444WSR
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(04-17-2012, 02:07 AM)
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Once again Mama Robotnik, you have delivered a brilliant piece of research and gaming journalism. My love for the Prime games is further enhanced by each one of your threads, and this thread is no different.

It truly is amazing how much talent Retro's artists had during this period, and credit goes to Nintendo to guiding the whole studio into delivering one of the finest videogames I've had the pleasure to experience, Metroid Prime.

Whilst Nirolak's post makes me sad that a large number of the people have left from then,
this gif,



gives me renewed hope and reminds me of the quality still there. Bring on their Wii U effort.
OmegaZero
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(04-17-2012, 02:16 AM)
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Awesome work.
Can't wait for the Metroid Prime 2/3 stuff.
Croc
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(04-17-2012, 02:20 AM)
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There's really nothing else I can think to say to this except "holy shit."
dancrane212
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(04-17-2012, 02:49 AM)
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I don't know how I feel about the multiplayer concept but everything else sounds really cool, the multiple personality stuff is right up my ally.

Retro added so much life to the Metroid Universe through text logs I would have loved to see them try to flesh out the universe in a more direct way, MP3 was a great start but I wish they would have gone even further. Who knows, maybe once the next thread rolls around I'll find out they did try to.

Keep up the great work!
Maxrunner
Member
(04-17-2012, 02:52 AM)

Originally Posted by ViewtifulJC

Still waiting on a source for that music at the end of the Metroid 2 Remake - Preview video, as I have been for years.

Link for trailer?
RyougaSaotome
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(04-17-2012, 03:00 AM)
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This is an amazing piece of research and game journalism. It blows my mind that you're not working in the industry and showing folks how it's done.

I'm at work so I can't read it all, but I browsed through it and can't wait to sit down and read it all.

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