Gameplay footage for the cancelled Outcast 2: The Lost Paradise has emerged with a blog post from Franck Sauer, who co-founded the defunct development studio Appeal. Along with the video, there are also details about how production was handled, as well as its development issues.
In the clip, we see a flythrough of a snowy landscape with the enhanced character model of the player in this alien-themed action adventure game. This includes some idle animations, as well as close-ups of textures, which look pretty impressive for a game started in 1999.
Brief action shots take a look at shooting mechanisms, flying ships and what appears to be a first-person view bobbing around. Inner designs of metal constructions further show off shooting and explosions, with the camera looking over the player’s shoulders.
Another section illustrates an encounter with a sandworm that looks similar to those in the classic Dune. When caught by this monster, the worm swallows up the player.
Voice acting is also shown off with the detailed character’s rigging. Lip syncing seems to follow the speech really well. The same goes for the warm lighting effects rolling at the end of the clip.
Sauer details how production went further in his post. After the critical acclaim for the original Outcast, they were able to snag a pre-production deal quickly.
They met issues, however, when publisher Infogrames insisted that the game’s prior adventure-style be shifted to action, because “that’s what console gamers want.”
Publisher meddling eventually led Appeal co-founder Yves Grolet to leave the Belgian studio, after it was insisted that they’d develop for Playstation 2, after disappointing PC sales. Their original title sold 400,000 boxed units, which fell short of Infogrames’ wanted 1 million copies.
Appeal originally wanted to work for Xbox, because it was closely related to their PC development. They had a much harder time to develop for the Playstation 2, since their production started earlier than its release, meaning they had to wait for kits.
Since the studio was based on PC games, their console work saw hardship, as it’s noted that they were “progressing slowly and initially had a lot of performances and stability issues.” Making matters worse, a replacement for Grolet steered the design wrong, resulting in more lost time.
Eventually, Infogrames got in serious trouble, after the internet bubble and cast off Appeal, after first letting them work on a Tintin game.
There are also tons of screenshots from different environments in the post. They take a look at how rigging works, how terrain was produced and how it translates in-game. Interestingly enough, the PS2 had no issues running Outcast II at 60 frames per second and yet here we are, a decade later, still struggling with it sometimes.
Another clip is available that shows over 20 minutes of extremely raw footage. It contains a lot a wireframe work, basic environment setups and animations. It’s fascinating stuff though and you should really check it if you want to see a dude ride a giant, alien bird and such.