Gypsum would have been a fantasy-like third person game, much like Bungie’s other pure fantasy games such as Myth: The Fallen Lords (a real-time strategy game that won high praise for its gameplay) and Oni, a blending of third-person shooter and hand-to-hand combat that was the first and only title of the Bungie West division.
Gypsum, according to O’Donnell, would have focused on a single character, a minotaur if O’Donnell is to be believed.
“You ran around and smash things with a hammer and magic stuff happened.”
According to O’Donnell the cancelled Bungie game got very far in development, even getting to the point where there was a playable demo that was in his words “a blast.” O’Donnell also wrote music for it.
Unfortunately, it was not executive meddling from Microsoft that caused Gypsum to be the latest cancelled Bungie game, and it was not the fault of Bungie itself. The blame lies, ironically, with Halo. With the runaway success of Halo: Combat Evolved, all of Bungie’s resources were devoted to developing Halo 2, leaving Gypsum by the wayside.
Gypsum’s director Paul Bertone had been the brains behind Gypsum, and had worked on Halo but was more fantasy-oriented in his preference of genre, as shown when he was the captain of one of the best Myth multiplayer teams, and was eventually hired by Bungie in 2000.
Unfortunately, with Bungie’s attention now fully focused on Destiny, we will probably never see how Gypsum would have turned out, and while Destiny is an able replacement it will never be able to sate the curiosity that might result from hearing about something that won praise from Marty O’Donnell.
If you want to watch the interview for yourself, the video is available in a link at the top of the page.