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GameCube (Games)

Jeff Minter's Unity Cancelled 64

An anonymous reader writes "This morning, Jeff Minter officially announced the end of development on his game "Unity", which was to be published by Lionhead Studios. The post included a press release which claimed that Minter "would not be able to finish Unity in an acceptable time frame". Minter is well known as the mad genius behind Llamasoft and creator of such games as Attack of the Mutant Camels, Llamatron, and Tempest 2000. Unity was to be an "abstract shooter" based on Minter's research into lightsynths and interactive graphic musical accompaniment. Did the fact that the GameCube is nearing the end of its lifecycle contribute to the cancellation of the game, or are trippy music/shooters (ala REZ) just too weird to attain mainstream success?"
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Jeff Minter's Unity Cancelled

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  • the only game I ever spent money on.
    I literlay played it untill my hands were bleeding.
    • Umm literally. Literlay would be like I lay on the floor after drinking a liter of beer playing Tempest.
      Wait a second, did I just get a first post?
      Probably screws up my karma or something.
      • Re:tempest (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "Wait a second, did I just get a first post?"

        Dude, this post is a REPLY. I think the commonly used phrase here is: YOU FAIL IT.
  • Sorry (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    So, as time t increases, the odds of the project being cancelled approach... Unity?
  • Oh sad day.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by XMunkki ( 533952 )
    I saw some videos about Unity at the last Assembly party where Jeff held a speech about the history (and future) of his company. Looked pretty wild and I was really intrigued. The guy seemed pretty.. experienced with colors'n'stuff :). But as Jeffs post says, the main reason is that Gamecube is dying and rather than rush an unfinished crap out they decided to can it. I think this is for the better. Better to make good unique IP games than mediocre. We have licences and sequels fed to us through our noses so
    • Oh and the seminar video can be downloaded from here []. It's the one named History_of_Llamasoft.avi (204mb).
    • Re:Oh sad day.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      But as Jeffs post says, the main reason is that Gamecube is dying....

      Jeff's post says nothing of the sort. The story submitter didn't even say that. Are you trying to troll all the Nintendo fanboys around here? The Gamecube is approaching the end of its lifecycle because in about one year the Revolution will be on store shelves. That's a lot of time, really, except that Unity was in production for two years already and was still nowhere near complete. That sounds like a pretty good reason to cancel t
      • Re:Oh sad day.. (Score:2, Insightful)

        by El_Servas ( 672868 )
        Well, maybe that's what he wanted to say. :)

        Besides... everything is dying. Everything.
        Think about that.
        • If you say everything is dying because it exists, it's somewhat true but then the meaning of dying is useless.
          It's better to have a worth word, so the "dying" phase is when something is decreasing to death.
          There is at least a "raise" and "apogee" phase before.
          I thought it's common knowledge, but I must be new here :)

          If it's the main reason, too bad he cannot adapt and finish it for the PS3 or something.
          The most obvious risk here, is to have another Duke Nukem Forever...
      • Gamecube is dying

        Do we have confirmation from Netcraft?

    • the main reason is that Gamecube is dying

      Oh, really? Has netcraft confirmed?

      (BTW, my gamecube looks pretty healthy...)
  • by MiceHead ( 723398 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @05:28PM (#11055714) Homepage
    It's tough to get a feel for what Unity was all about, but as they say, a screenshot is worth a thousand words [] (scroll down). There's also a bit on VLM3 [], which they say predated the Unity project.

    I still remember reading about (I believe it was) Attack of the Mutant Camels [] in Antic/Angalog magazine during the early '80s. Unity's cancellation may be disappointing, but the fact that Jeff Minter is still involved in the industry after 20 years is, IMO, nothing put a positive.
    Inago Rage - Create and Fight []
    • It's tough to get a feel for what Unity was all about, but as they say, a screenshot is worth a thousand words

      Those screenshots are from the VLM 3, not the actual game. There's a few screens from the game itself here []. Doesn't look all that different from the VLM shots, except it's in a tube and with a little spaceship flying around. There were a few shakycam gameplay videos out there which showed a bit more (including actual combat and some side-scrolling sections), but I never once got a sense of what t

  • The excuse that it's being cancelled because it won't be out in time for the GameCube is kind of...lame. A game can always be ported (sure, it might take some time, but it can be) to a next generation console. Or heck, to a PC. Or something. It sounds that there could have been some problems with the development/concepts of the game that couldn't be resolved...

    Besides, who decided to make this game for the GameCube in the first place? Don't get me wrong, I love my 'Cube, but you're developing a game for a

    • In reply to the thing about porting. Jeff Minter usually does a lot of the work directly with the hardware, using a lot of tricks and loopholes unique to the particular piece of hardware he's developing for.

      A port of this would probably involve an awful lot of work.

      Pretty sad but understandable why this was cancelled. And I just bought a Cube 2 days ago, one of the main reasons for doing so was that Unity was because I thought Unity was going to be coming out for it.
    • A game can always be ported (sure, it might take some time, but it can be) to a next generation console

      Good point. In fact, two of the Gamecube's best games were late N64 games that they decided to release for the gamecube instead: Animal Crossing and Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.

    • Port Unity to a NextGen console after a GC release? I see your point, but you need to remember this is Jeff Minter we are talking about here. He does not do ports. When he brings an existing game to a new console, he does a total rewrite. And he takes a LONG time to write games for modern consoles. Jeff does a lot of the work himself. IIRC from his Atari days, he did all the work (on T2k & D2K) himself with only a pool artist for support.

      As for why he chose the Gamecube... just look at his track record
      • After that, he chose the Atari ST instead of Amiga

        Not so sure I agree, I recall playing Mister Minters wonderful Llamatron as a young man on the Amiga 500.

        • The Amiga version was actually a port from the Atari ST. Though he didn't really go with the Atari because he preferred the hardware. Truth is, at the time he couldn't afford an Amiga. So he bought an ST, and his love affair with underdog platforms began.
          • Jeff Minter preferring the ST's hardware just about says it all. It didn't HAVE any hardware. Oh, and ALL Jeff Minter ever did/does is port. He does shitty, clumsy versions of games like Robotron or Defender. And he fucks them up. He did a defender port, but forgot to implement a hyperspace!! Doh! What a loser.
  • ...that's the real reason for Unity's cancelation. It follows in the heals of the cancellation of BC a few weeks ago,
    and that in turn follows Lionhead raising a fairly big amount of venture capital a couple of months ago
    (see here: 6 983 ).

    Peter is the real problem, he is a bit like the British games industry's own Ozzy Osbourn, only without the swearing drugs, and hair ;-)
    Knowing people who work for him, arises an impression of the talented, tortured design
    • Alternatively, BC wasn't going to be ready in time for the XBox, and was therefore canned. And Unity wasn't going to be ready in time for the GC and was therefore canned.

      If either one was likely to make money, it would have been carried on...
  • I have to say I was really looking forward to Unity. T2K and D2K kept me entertained for many, many hours on the Jaguar, and made sure I didn't regret buying the console or the games.

    When I saw the last videos, I was just amazed, sure this would be one incredible game, and probably break new ground.

    Too bad... I really would love to find a new, trippy, unique game.
    • Ditto. I was just thinking yesterday, when is Unity finally going to come out? Here's hoping his work into it will find fruit in some other project (that'll also be available for a system I won't mind owning).

      Ah well. Back to ZANAC.
  • I mean the last game he wrote was for Nuon enabled DVD players - the gamecube has a gigantic audience in comparison.
  • "...are trippy music/shooters (ala REZ) just too weird to attain mainstream success?"

    As long as there is marijuana and home video game systems, these type of games have a guaranteed audience!
  • Maybe it would have been more successful if it came with the um...peripherals...that REZ had.

    • Quoth Lord Dqweomer
      Maybe it would have been more successful if it came with the um...peripherals...that REZ had.
      If you'd like some more details about the um... peripherals, see the GameGirlAdvance review [].
  • In a very small, unofficial, biased event, a 3-hour videogame marathon in a college theater, Rez was the most popular! Believe it or not.

    The PS2 games played were: Soul Calibur II, Beatmania IIDX 8th Style, Amplitude, and Rez. Rez had the pick-up-and play quality and was extremely "trippy" on the big screen. Soul Calibur II was 2nd place.

    I'm not sure it's fair to discount Rez, it just didn't get the exposure it needed.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.