Cyberdreams's catalog of luminaries and (un-)published games
Cyberdreams's catalog of luminaries and (un-)published games



In 1994 no games were published, but a few games were (re-)announced. At the computer show in Chicago, Il, late June in 1994, Cyberdreams announced its plans to develop more titles based on famous author's work. Harlan Ellison's I have no Mouth, and I Must Scream was slated next, followed by Hunters of Ralk, Dark Seed II, and Red Hell. Like Evolver, Hunters of Ralk and Red Hell were never released. Both No Mouth and Dark Seed II were produced and published.


Giger
Gary Gygax

Hunters of Ralk was indeed taken into development and it was advertised/announced in game magazines. It was supposed to be the first episode in a series designed by Gary Gygax, co-creator of "Dungeons & Dragons," a board game that pioneered a genre.



Hunters of Ralk 1
Hunters of Ralk 2

(1) character work created by Osman Nazlivatan, the "Amiga's LightWave 3D guruz" of Interactive Images.
(2) early screenshot both animal and character sprites. Each character was pre-rendered in 8 walking directions and then used as sprites in the 3D environment (comment Juan Calderon). Previews Hunters of Ralk from PC-Player, November 1994.

Hunters of Ralk would play in a new RPG universe created by Gygax, in which the the hero's territory is threatened by malicious neighbors. It would feature revolutionary real 3D combat with a first-person perspective and texture-mapped graphics, and it would be released in the Fall of 1995 for Windows platforms on CD-ROM. The game was in production for over two years. Gygax's work wasn't lost: the RPG was released in 1999 as Lejendary Adventure.

Besides Cyberdreams's Peter Delgado (Art Director and 3D Artist, 1992-1995), various out house artists worked on the game, such as David Moskowitz, Wayne Schulz, and Kevin Wafer. But Cyberdreams even crossed the ocean to achieve the state of the art.

The character work was commissioned to Interactive Images, a company founded in 1992 by Juan Calderon and Osman Nazlivatan and based in Clapham South, London.

At that time Interactive Images was one of the very few companies producing 3D rendered graphics using 3D Studio for the games industry (they became more famous for contributing to Rise of the Robots from Mirage, which claimed the front cover of issue 3 of, back then new & now super slick, Edge Magazine).

Calderon and Nazlivatan received possibly a massive 500 page game document and hundreds of hand drawn sketches. They had to model these in 3D, and texture and animate the models into sets of hundreds of interlinked sequences for walking, fighting etc. When asked about what might have been the reason to halt the game, Calderon stated that the grand scale of design and technical 3d complexity of the game in general may have been the cause of its downfall.

The announced title "Red Hell" remains a bit of a mystery. On some websites it is identified as alternate title of Kronolog: The Nazi Paradox, and Cyberdreams is sometimes mentioned as its publisher. But Kronolog was already published by Merit Software in 1993.

On June 14, 1995, it was announced that MGM Interactive and Cyberdreams entered into a co-production and distribution agreement. MGM/UA Home Entertainment would market and for release in the fourth quarter, and No Mouth. The two companies would also collaborate on a number of interactive projects, including a game based on the upcoming MGM Pictures film Species. Additionally it was announced that a screensaver that had been created by Cyberdreams featuring artwork by Giger, and including clips from "Species," would be released in July 1995. It would become the end of the year, when No Mouth and Dark Seed 2 were published as well.

The screensaver had been announced before. For example, it was already mentioned in SynTax magazine (Issue 33, 1994). It was added that it would be followed up by Giger 2, Syd Mead and Futuristic Vehicles screensavers. These spin-off's were never published.

Even before No Mouth and Dark Seed 2 were released, a new title was announced. According to Andrew Balzer (Cyberdreams's director of sales and marketing), Reverence would become the company's first Windows 95 native title, and it would appear in spring 1996. The game was described as a a first-person sword and sorcery title, with live digitized actors, 20-deep levels and a host of special effects.

Harlan Ellison and his wife Susan

According to a press release by MGM, I have No Mouth, and I Must Scream came available on November 17, 1995. With No Mouth, another name was added to Cyberdreams's game and luminaries library: Harlan Ellison, world-renowned author of the short story that bears the same title. Unlike Giger, Ellison contributed to the making of No Mouth, as co-designer and voice-over artist (of AM, the omnipotent computer in the game). He describes his first contact with Cyberdeams as follows (in the Preface to the No Mouth Strategy Guide):

"They came to me in the dead of night, human toads in silk suits, from this giant megalopolitan organization called Cyberdreams, and they offered me vast sums of money -- all of it in pennies, with strings attached to each coin, so they could yank them back in a moment, like someone trying to outsmart a soft-drink machine with a slug-on-a-wire -- and they said, in their whispery croaky demon-voices, 'Let us make you a vast fortune! Just sell us the right to use your name and the name of your most famous story, and we will make you wealthy beyond the dreams of mere mortals, or even Aaron Spelling, our toad-brother in riches.'"

Ellison
Harlan Ellison at the SXSW 2008 Film Conference

The game had been in production for some years. For Ellison had already made a 130 page draft in collobaration with David Sears, before the latter became a Lead Designer at Virgin Interactive (in June 1992). About a year after his departure David Mullich took over, who joined the company as Director of Development in August 1993. He joined Cyberdreams because he was a science-fiction/ fantasy/horror fan himself, and liked the company's approach of working with famous talents from those genres.



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