I edited together this 1 minute “execute summary” video for a presentation to Virgin Games.
(Turns out, video editing is a lot of fun!)
Keith Kirby, the game designer, selected the music for the piece, which dictated the frenetic nature of the video itself.
I bought a Targa card for this project, though it was just their prosumer-level product, for sure, as it was only US$ 995 and it only supported MJPEG; I couldn’t afford any of their “real” gear. :-/ I also bought two of the largest drives at the time—a mere US$ 1,800 each for 9GB SCSI-2 A/V 3.5″ hard drives (yes, you used to have to pay extra for hard drives that wouldn’t do a thermal recalibration and interrupt your video data stream).
These are the 9 levels that were in development. Some of the graphics hadn’t been completed yet, and was represented by garishingly ugly placeholder artwork (like the protagonistst’s green shield), while other primitive graphics represent “virtual reality” games of the time (such as the electronic pink spikes, fluids, projectiles, and barriers). The “BASE Level” was particularly stunning; Chris and Trevor created many unbelievable texture maps. The sophisticated camera system was routinely complimented.
The level production tools were in most ways groundbreaking. Arbitrary pairs of properties and default values for a game object class were defined in a text template file. This was subsequently processed to produce C/C++ structures, glue bindings for the Scheme-like scripting language (later also perl and lua), as well as fully integrated into 3DS4 (and later, 3D Studio MAX), and afforded the level designers complete control and customization over the tens of thousands of game objects in a level. These agile tools were licensed to other video game developers and publishers, such as PF.Magic, Channel 3D, Cyclone Studios, and the 3DO Company.
To squeeze more content into these cramped systems, game assets (textures, models, animations, sound effects, etc.) were streamed in from the CD on-the-fly, allowing for levels practically unlimited in size.
Should you fail to be properly impressed, realize that these are videos from the Playstation (One) running at 33Mhz and 2MB of RAM and 1MB of VRAM and from a Pentium 90!
The videos are presented here alphabetically by level name; the sequence originally specified is lost in a pile of paperwork and 4mm backup tapes...