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Shinta
Banned
(12-12-2012, 06:42 AM)
Awesome read. I definitely wasn't up to speed on all of this. Really interesting.
Ridley327
Member
(12-12-2012, 06:57 AM)
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Originally Posted by Shiggy

Just a few notes:
- The game you show as "The Crucible" is not The Crucible: Evil Within, which was a temporary title of The Box/The Ritualist. The game you are showing is Big Huge Games' Ascendant that was developed for THQ.
- You may want to include some information on SK's contract work in its early days, such as Tork.
- The Too Human scenes you found on Albert Alejandro's portfolio are based on PS2-generation hardware (How do I know? That was mentioned on his old portfolio)
- The GIA artworks for Too Human are from the PSX days
- The concept room by Raffaele Ienco does not really look like something that was possible on GCN hardware, I believe it's for current generation hardware. After all, Too Human was not really in active development for GCN as the team was busy with ED and MGS.
- The Box started out as an Unreal Engine title, that's why it's in the file name.

Please also watch your PM folder.

Is it worth mentioning their work on the first Darksiders game? It's not their game, but they may have been in deeper had they not taken that on.
linko9
Member
(12-12-2012, 07:01 AM)
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Wow, great stuff, as always. It really is hard to believe now, but I do remember during the Gamecube considering SK one of the premier devs out there. It's a real shame what ended up happening, but that's just the way of things I guess.
Gummb
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about Rayman Legends Wii U.
(12-12-2012, 07:04 AM)
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Read most of it and I'm most saddened by the quotes that SK and Nintendo were inseparable. If I ever led a development team and we got to the point of having daily calls from Nintendo and lunch sit-downs with Miyamoto and Iwata, I would do everything in my power to continue that relationship. Beyond mere job security, Nintendo's obvious commitment to quality would be my number 1 reason. Way better than being sent out searching for publishers who might end up not giving a crap.
bistromathics
facing a bright new dawn
(12-12-2012, 07:06 AM)
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Awesome thread...just finished reading all of it, as well as most of the spin-off links. Great work, and a great read. That article on X-Men Destiny's development provided some good insight into a studio going down in flames.
Shiggy
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(12-12-2012, 07:10 AM)
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Originally Posted by Ridley327

Is it worth mentioning their work on the first Darksiders game? It's not their game, but they may have been in deeper had they not taken that on.

I guess that only happened because THQ cancelled The Ritualist. Definitely worth mentioning though.
bigdaddygamebot
(12-12-2012, 07:13 AM)
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Mama Robotnik...thank you.

Your threads are always exceptional.

Sad to read how everything went for Silicon Knights.
BeesEight
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(12-12-2012, 07:24 AM)
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Originally Posted by Talon

This thread's a real bummer. Hubris, man.

Agreed.

Absolutely fascinating read, however. Makes for a great story if grossly unfortunate for all those people that worked under Dyak. It seems he got his come-uppence but the misery his employees had to go through is almost palpable.

Edit: Ha, when I started reading this there were only 30 or so replies. Now I'm on the third page.
Saint Gregory
Member
(12-12-2012, 07:24 AM)
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Dammit Mama, you kept me up an hour past my bedtime reading through this!!!

Great work as usual. I remember well when Denis used to post here and he wasn't always crazy, just really intense... then Too Human happened :(
mattchuuu
Junior Member
(12-12-2012, 07:43 AM)
Such an incredible hubris-filled drama. A rise-and-fall tale that will likely never be paralleled in this industry.

Originally Posted by Pepboy

to be fair, when a game changes consoles I'm not sure I'd call that a cancelled "project". Seems more like part of the development process to me.

If you read about the evolution of Too Human, you'll see that the only thing the original concept has in common with the final creation is the name and the idea of upgrading your person with technology.

Even if that isn't the case, like with Eternal Darkness being moved from the N64 to the gamecube, I would think you still have a ton of wasted assets that have to be redone, and in that way, you cancelled the previous effort. How often does that happen? To be nearly completed at the end of a console's life and then decide not to publish for the sake of redoing it on the new system?

EDIT: And I suspect SK was only able to get away with that costly move because Nintendo especially needed the "mature" aspect to offset the west's opinion of their new purple lunchbox.
Last edited by mattchuuu; 12-12-2012 at 07:54 AM.
fernoca
Member
(12-12-2012, 07:51 AM)
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Awesome as always Mama!
Marry me!!!
I want to go to sleep at night while you read this threads of yours to me!!!

:p
Xisiqomelir
Member
(12-12-2012, 07:52 AM)
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Hey look, some actual games journalism!
Combichristoffersen
Combovers don't work when there is no hair
(12-12-2012, 07:53 AM)
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I'm sure it would've ended up as a trainwreck, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around what a game based on Sandman would be like.
Cheerilee
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(12-12-2012, 07:53 AM)
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Great stuff Mama Robotnik. I have one thing to add, and unfortunately no sources.

Originally Posted by Mama Robotnik

Though the game was a critical success, some features were cut early in development. GameBoy Advance connectivity was promised and later abandoned, and consideration had been given to the amount of additional development time needed to have included Metal Gear Solid 2:

Originally Posted by Mama Robotnik

The final outcome of The Twin Snakes project, is asserted by Dyack to now be the true Metal Gear Solid 1:



Dyack also asserted that future work with Konami and Nintendo was on the cards:



The assertion could not have been further from the truth. Following the completion of Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Silicon Knights would never release a title with Nintendo or Konami again.

IIRC, Dyack said at some point on some forum (may have been the IGN-GameCube forums, he used to post a lot there), that for the Twin Snakes, Konami gave SK everything they had on the MGS2 game engine, so what SK did was remove all of the MGS2 assets, and then port the basic MGS2 game engine to the GameCube. Dyack claimed that their ported version of the MGS2 engine ran dramatically better on GameCube than it did on either the PS2 or Xbox. And then they used this ported MGS2 engine and a combination of MGS1/MGS2 assets to build a remake of MGS1.

It was claimed that it would be a simple matter for SK to use the MGS2 assets to re-build MGS2 back into their ported engine, and that it would be the definitive version of the game, drastically superior to the weak PS2 original, or it's lazy-inferior Xbox port.

So of course, after Twin Snakes was finished, SK turned down the easy money of bringing GameCube fans the definitive version of a GOTY, and instead wanted to work on original content. And they somehow expected Konami collaboration for their original content? I suspect SK wanted to use the ported MGS2 engine for Too Human (GameCube version).


Also, one of the reasons for the falling out between SK and Nintendo was timing. SK wanted to work on something epic, but Iwata told Dyack the GameCube was dead in the water (Iwata, perhaps wisely, gave up on the GameCube long before many people realize), but it was also too soon for SK to make the jump to the Revolution/Wii. IIRC, Dyack said that he was never made privy to the Revolution's controller secret (which turned out to be waggle). It was too soon. Iwata reportedly told Dyack to work on something short and easy to buy some time and bring in some quick money. Dyack didn't want to do that, he wanted to do Too Human. And the Xbox 360 launched one year earlier than Wii did. So it made sense to jump to Xbox.

Hmmm... I wonder if there was any possible way for SK to spend one year working on something quick for the GameCube that would have brought in some easy money... Such a shame that there wasn't...


Oh yeah and, when Kojima made the MGS HD collection, he didn't include any HD port of Twin Snakes, and he said that's because Twin Snakes is not canon. :LOL
Last edited by Cheerilee; 12-12-2012 at 07:57 AM.
SuperAndroid17
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(12-12-2012, 07:59 AM)
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Eternal darkness 2....:(

I died a little inside
Ysiadmihi
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(12-12-2012, 08:09 AM)
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Amazing work, Mama Robotnik.

Even years after I've accepted that the SK that made Eternal Darkness was dead, it still makes me sad thinking about its current state. It's even worse knowing how avoidable the fall could have been.

Btw, I'm still fuzzy on whether Nintendo or SK owns the ED IP. Anyone know?
Last edited by Ysiadmihi; 12-12-2012 at 08:11 AM.
Kevtones
Member
(12-12-2012, 08:12 AM)
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Fantastic thread. Best one yet. Thank you for this.
Grief.exe
Don't stop believin'~~~ hold on to the feeling
(12-12-2012, 08:14 AM)
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Originally Posted by Cheerilee

Great stuff Mama Robotnik. I have one thing to add, and unfortunately no sources.



IIRC, Dyack said at some point on some forum (may have been the IGN-GameCube forums, he used to post a lot there), that for the Twin Snakes, Konami gave SK everything they had on the MGS2 game engine, so what SK did was remove all of the MGS2 assets, and then port the basic MGS2 game engine to the GameCube. Dyack claimed that their ported version of the MGS2 engine ran dramatically better on GameCube than it did on either the PS2 or Xbox. And then they used this ported MGS2 engine and a combination of MGS1/MGS2 assets to build a remake of MGS1.

It was claimed that it would be a simple matter for SK to use the MGS2 assets to re-build MGS2 back into their ported engine, and that it would be the definitive version of the game, drastically superior to the weak PS2 original, or it's lazy-inferior Xbox port.

So of course, after Twin Snakes was finished, SK turned down the easy money of bringing GameCube fans the definitive version of a GOTY, and instead wanted to work on original content. And they somehow expected Konami collaboration for their original content? I suspect SK wanted to use the ported MGS2 engine for Too Human (GameCube version).


Also, one of the reasons for the falling out between SK and Nintendo was timing. SK wanted to work on something epic, but Iwata told Dyack the GameCube was dead in the water (Iwata, perhaps wisely, gave up on the GameCube long before many people realize), but it was also too soon for SK to make the jump to the Revolution/Wii. IIRC, Dyack said that he was never made privy to the Revolution's controller secret (which turned out to be waggle). It was too soon. Iwata reportedly told Dyack to work on something short and easy to buy some time and bring in some quick money. Dyack didn't want to do that, he wanted to do Too Human. And the Xbox 360 launched one year earlier than Wii did. So it made sense to jump to Xbox.

Hmmm... I wonder if there was any possible way for SK to spend one year working on something quick for the GameCube that would have brought in some easy money... Such a shame that there wasn't...


Oh yeah and, when Kojima made the MGS HD collection, he didn't include any HD port of Twin Snakes, and he said that's because Twin Snakes is not canon. :LOL

Interesting read. SK's 'something quick' to tide them over before the Wii released could have been the MGS2 port to the cube, may not have been financially viable at the time though. Should have been fairly easy since they already did the leg work in porting over the MGS2 engine for Twin Snakes.

What was changed between the Twin Snakes and the original version of MGS1 in terms of lore? The only time I've ever played through MGS1 was through Twin Snakes.
DXB-KNIGHT
Member
(12-12-2012, 08:28 AM)
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Does this mean Nintendo now owns Fully own Eternal Darkness and the Sanity engine?
fushi
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(12-12-2012, 08:30 AM)
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Great read. Also appreciating the corrections from Shiggy and others.

Originally Posted by BrokenEchelon

This is gaming journalism. Pay attention Keighley.

Originally Posted by Criminal Upper

No, putting actual work and thought in what you do. Something Doritospope has not done yet.

http://www.gamespot.com/features/the...berty-6376810/

And that was in 2001.
EulaCapra
Member
(12-12-2012, 08:38 AM)
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Aww... a great love letter... I assume. I ain't reading this in one go but great job nonetheless.
InfiniteNine
Rolling Girl
(12-12-2012, 08:42 AM)
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Well the text with the transparent background are unreadable in NeoGAF Pro Dark skin. x: I'll see about loading these individually and reading.
Hiltz
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(12-12-2012, 08:43 AM)
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That's quite an informative post, Mama Robotnik. Much appriciated to all of those who contributed to it as well.

It really is a shame that we may never see Eternal Darkess II. Nintendo should just buy the IP and let Retro Studios try its hand at a sequel.
KefkaTaran
Member
(12-12-2012, 08:52 AM)
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Question about The Box: the Shiggy post says it was a Silent Hill pitch that was then signed by Sega...but Silent Hill is a Konami franchise? Is the implication supposed to be that it started as an SH pitch, was turned down by Konami and was then shopped around elsewhere?

Edit: As others have mentioned, REALLY great post. Some fascinating stories waiting to be told from behind-the-scenes at SK, I have no doubt.
Last edited by KefkaTaran; 12-12-2012 at 08:56 AM.
Jive Turkey
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(12-12-2012, 08:59 AM)
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Originally Posted by JesseZao

Great write-up. Bummer you couldn't find anything on King's Quest. Wonder what they were going to do with that IP.

Yeah I was hoping to get more info here too. I had no idea they were working on a King's Quest game at one time.
Hero_of_the_Day
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(12-12-2012, 09:04 AM)
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These threads are so fucking awesome.

SK is technically still alive, though, right? Or have they officially closed up shop?
Last edited by Hero_of_the_Day; 12-12-2012 at 09:11 AM.
Cheerilee
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(12-12-2012, 09:15 AM)
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Originally Posted by Grief.exe

Interesting read. SK's 'something quick' to tide them over before the Wii released could have been the MGS2 port to the cube, may not have been financially viable at the time though. Should have been fairly easy since they already did the leg work in porting over the MGS2 engine for Twin Snakes.

That's what I was hinting at. I may have been too subtle. :P


2005 was a viable year for a number of big games to earn decent money on GameCube. 2006 wasn't. 2006 was the year of Wii. In 2004, it really was a bad idea for SK to spend two or more years on original GameCube content, and a good idea for SK to put out something quicker and easier.

Getting an early start on investing SK in Wii development would also have probably been a good idea, a really good idea even, but Iwata didn't approve that much of an investment at the time.

If SK had done MGS2 for the Cube in early 2004, intended for an early 2005 release, I think they would have been more likely to have been given the green light in early 2005 to make a GameCube-level Too Human on Wii for release in 2007 (as the start of a trilogy even), with Nintendo's oversight and assistance, making it less likely to suck. Given that timing, SK would've likely also been given a shot at porting MGS3 for Wii, raising the chances that SK would have been able to use the MGS3 engine for Too Human (Wii version).

What was changed between the Twin Snakes and the original version of MGS1 in terms of lore? The only time I've ever played through MGS1 was through Twin Snakes.

Twin Snakes is generally regarded as being a bit "over the top" compared to the more-grounded PSX original. And that difference apparently came from Konami's input on the game.
fabricated backlash
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(12-12-2012, 09:23 AM)
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Silicon Knights employed some amazing concept artists and designers. A shame that Dyacks ego managed to ruin this potential.

I'm still holding up hope for Nintendo to salvage the ED ip, but without Dyack.
Fredrik
Member
(12-12-2012, 09:36 AM)

Originally Posted by Criminal Upper

No one fails as hard as Silicon Knights, walking out on Nintendo for an incredibly stupid reason and basically damning themselves to medicority and the abyss of time.

Harsh but quite true. Sad story really. Should never have left Nintendo. :(
Doesn't Factor 5 and Rare share similar fates btw?
bluemax
Banned
(12-12-2012, 09:40 AM)
Awesome read. Unsurprised to see Crystal Dynamics has always been a shady pile of shit in terms of legal dealings and contracts.
Cheerilee
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(12-12-2012, 09:50 AM)
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Originally Posted by Fredrik

Harsh but quite true. Sad story really. Should never have left Nintendo. :(
Doesn't Factor 5 and Rare share similar fates btw?

For Rare, the Stampers were selling little bits and pieces to Nintendo until Nintendo owned 49%, and then the Stampers wanted to sell more, but they didn't want to be minority owners, so they wanted to sell 51% or nothing. Nintendo didn't want to make that big of a purchase, so they chose to buy nothing. MS agreed to buy the 51%, but they figured Nintendo wouldn't want to be minority shareholders to Microsoft, and they were right, so Nintendo sold their 49%.

Then Rare had a couple of platform jumps and cancelled projects, but mostly they got squished when their casual work style didn't mix with Microsoft's rigid bureaucracy, so MS changed Rare until Rare no longer resembled Rare. That's what killed the not-dead Rare, not the cancelled projects.
maomaoIYP
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(12-12-2012, 10:01 AM)
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This was a great read, as well as your Soul Reaver thread. Love it!

Can anyone explain this to me though, I don't understand enough legal jargon to go through the court documents. After SK lost against Epic, why were they ordered to destroy all the copies of their unsold games?
Andrex
ὁ αἴσχιστος παῖς εἶ
(12-12-2012, 10:01 AM)
SK seems like they really should have just stuck to horror games, the art for every single horror game of theirs is just phenomenal and they could have gotten away with "slightly off" gameplay in a horror game much easier (as opposed to an action game, where if you're not in the top tier you're said to be crap.)

Anyways, I love your threads like these MR. I love seeing behind the scenes, if only a little. Keep them coming! (Any idea on what you'll tackle next?)
SpongeBob NoPants
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(12-12-2012, 10:02 AM)
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Wow.

I've just staggered home from a night shift, so I'm way too tired to concentrate enough to read all of that in one go, but it's definitely something that I'm going to come back to.

Thanks for taking the time to compile it Mama.
spanks
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(12-12-2012, 10:11 AM)
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Nice work Mama.

In an alternate universe somewhere, Nintendo has Eternal Darkness 2, Banjo-Threeie and Rogue Squadron 4 as launch titles for the Wii U...
A Black Falcon
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(12-12-2012, 10:18 AM)
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Originally Posted by spanks

Nice work Mama.

In an alternate universe somewhere, Nintendo has Eternal Darkness 2, Banjo-Threeie and Rogue Squadron 4 as launch titles for the Wii U...

They could have had two of those in this universe too, I think, had Nintendo been willing to pay off F5 and SK's debts from their stupid, non-Nintendo failures... but Nintendo wasn't, and so we don't. :(

And considering that the Wii or Wii U (or even the whole last generation, perhaps) really doesn't have anything even remotely as good as Rogue Squadron or Eternal Darkness in their fields, I really do think that that is a loss. I mean, ED is my favorite game of that whole generation, and the RS series is amazing.
Last edited by A Black Falcon; 12-12-2012 at 10:25 AM.
Cheerilee
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(12-12-2012, 10:18 AM)
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Originally Posted by maomaoIYP

This was a great read, as well as your Soul Reaver thread. Love it!

Can anyone explain this to me though, I don't understand enough legal jargon to go through the court documents. After SK lost against Epic, why were they ordered to destroy all the copies of their unsold games?

Because SK essentially "stole" the Unreal Engine and used it to make Too Human. Epic wants it back. Too Human cannot keep it.
kittens
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(12-12-2012, 10:20 AM)
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<3 you, Mama Robotnik.
Chanser
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(12-12-2012, 10:21 AM)
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Your on Eurogamer.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...ames-laid-bare

Great read Mama.
Arooguy
Junior Member
(12-12-2012, 10:28 AM)
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Outstanding OP! It is sad to see so much wasted potential over at Silicon Knights. Eternal Darkness deserved a sequel and I'm one of the few who believe that the Too Human trilogy also deserved to be finished. Still play the original to this day. At least we get an inside look as to why these projects never made it.
Cheerilee
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(12-12-2012, 10:29 AM)
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Originally Posted by Chanser

Your on Eurogamer.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...ames-laid-bare

Great read Mama.

Eurogamer linked to page 3 instead of the OP. Time for GIFs!

deim0s
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(12-12-2012, 10:30 AM)
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That roller coaster ride of SK.

Thanks Mama.
Strike
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(12-12-2012, 10:32 AM)
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A cautionary tale of what could happen in this business. Good read.
ShineALight
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(12-12-2012, 10:36 AM)
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Originally Posted by Chanser

Your on Eurogamer.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...ames-laid-bare

Great read Mama.

"...and another game called King's Quest..."

The way it's written registers no familiarity with the franchise.

But regardless of Eurogamer's oversight, this is exactly the kind of gaming piece I'd love to read more of. I hope you continue updating it with insight Shiggy and others in-the-know have to offer, and continue gracing this forum with more threads in this vein.
DSix
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(12-12-2012, 10:40 AM)
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The Kain story is heartbreaking, losing the rights to his baby might gave been the seed leading to Dyack's insanity.
Crystal Dynamics are real douchebags, stealing their creation in such a vicious way, even ruining their chances to get it back for the sequel. Fucking bastards.

I loved Blood Omen (and it still holds a great influence on me), and I funnily immediately disliked the feel of the sequels. Guess my guts were right on this.


Now I'm really bummed about Kain II, I would've loved to play that game :(
maomaoIYP
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(12-12-2012, 10:43 AM)
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Originally Posted by Cheerilee

Because SK essentially "stole" the Unreal Engine and used it to make Too Human. Epic wants it back. Too Human cannot keep it.

I had the impression that SK paid for rights to use the Unreal Engine 3 hence leading to them bitching about it being bad and thus the lawsuit?
MisterAnderson
Little Big NeoContra
(12-12-2012, 10:44 AM)
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It's a tragic story, I almost feel bad for Dyack after all is said and done.

Despite Too Human's short comings, I definitely would have liked to have seen how the trilogy would have played out (and obviously Eternal Darkness 2). I'm really curious as to what what caused SK to completely scrap the original concept/storyline lined up for Too Human into the Norse Sci-Fi/Fantasy hack and slash it ended up being.
AlucarD.eq
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(12-12-2012, 10:46 AM)
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Great post, I'm always absorbed in Mama Robotnik articles.

Is there any good play through for Eternal Darkness? I lost mine long time ago :(
Chev
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(12-12-2012, 10:50 AM)
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Originally Posted by Mama Robotnik

King’s Quest

Partner: Unclear
Status: Cancelled

Another game revealed in the lawsuit. The game made it to a prototype before it was cancelled. I have been able to find no media on this.

There was a blog called "surfer girl" if I recall correctly, that used to have tidbits about various industry secret projects, and around 2007 or 8 posted a few pics of a XBox/PS2 King's Quest reboot. it was a plaformer with SD characters, much like the Space Quest one. Sadly I don't have the screens on hand. Could that be it?
Cheerilee
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(12-12-2012, 10:50 AM)
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Originally Posted by maomaoIYP

I had the impression that SK paid for rights to use the Unreal Engine 3 hence leading to them bitching about it being bad and thus the lawsuit?

SK signed up and paid a deposit to use the Unreal Engine. Then they didn't like it so they started "improving" it. Eventually SK decided that it was 100% made of "improvements" so it was 100% original and belonged to them, not Epic. So they thought they were allowed to stop making payments on the Unreal Engine (and demanded the money back that they had already paid).

Epic convinced the court that there was still actual Epic code left in the final retail version of Too Human, and even if there wasn't, SK's so-called "Silicon Knights Engine" was just an illegally reverse-engineered copy of the Unreal Engine.

Edit: SK gets to keep Too Human's art and game design, but all traces of the Unreal Engine (and probably the Silicon Knights Engine) in SK's possession (or in the retail market with the possibility of a recall) had to be returned and/or destroyed.
Last edited by Cheerilee; 12-12-2012 at 10:57 AM.

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