Lost: Lionhead’s Survivors
Speak to enough game developers and it becomes ever clearer how much hard work goes unreleased; for every finished game that reaches the physical or digital storefront, there are so many more abandoned, either destined to fade from memory on some half-forgotten hard drive, or turned into something else entirely. In a new series of features, Lost, we intend to unearth the games that never made it.
Here, game development legend and 22 Cans boss Peter Molyneux tells us a little about one of Lionhead’s doomed projects, Survivors.
“Well of course, there’s a couple I could talk about. There’s BC and then there’s Milo. There was a game called The Indestructibles but that is going back quite a long time.
“Actually the game I should talk about is Survivors. The premise of the game – this happened just after Microsoft acquired [Lionhead] and we were working on it and had a prototype and everything – was that the game opens, you’re a member of a family, there’s you, and you play the wife or the husband, with two kids and you’re sitting around watching TV and suddenly there’s this newsflash – and it comes up and says there’s a meteor going hit and you’re got 15 minutes – the world’s going to end. What are you going to do?
This Survivors concept art leaked from Leading Light, Lionhead’s design agency, back in 2009.
“So you have 15 minutes to get ready and the world’s burning and there’s crumbling buildings and it’s immediately after that destruction. Your parents live over here, the gun shop is over there, the food store’s over there – what are you going to do? You’re got to go and get your resources and you’ve got to decide what to do – if you don’t go to your parents then they’re gonna die. I found that a fascinating concept, we got to a prototyping stage.
“We had this incredibly cool climbing mechanic, because one of the joys of the game was that you weren’t like an expert you were just a housewife or just a guy. So you started the game quite fat and chubby and we did the reverse of what we did with Fable, we morphed you to get thinner and fitter and lither. I don’t know if there’s any footage and I’m sure Microsoft wouldn’t let us show any.”