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Unity Canceled

by Jonathan Metts - December 10, 2004, 7:17 am PST
Total comments: 12

Jeff Minter's psychedelic GameCube shooter will not see the light of day.

In a posting on his popular "YakYak" forums today, veteran software designer and programmer Jeff Minter announced that his pet project, Unity for GameCube, has been canceled. The decision was made with the publisher, Peter Molyneaux's Lionhead Studios, in the past two weeks.

Minter had been working on the game, alone, for the past two years. Conceived from the start as a GameCube-exclusive title, Unity was a shooter with psychedelic, randomly generated landscapes that appeared in screenshots to play similarly to another Minter classic: Tempest.

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

Commenting on the decision to halt work on Unity, Peter Molyneux said, “Everyone at Lionhead has the utmost respect and admiration for Jeff’s unique talents. However, we’ve both been in the industry a long time and it was becoming increasingly apparent to us that we would not be able to finish Unity in an acceptable time frame. On a personal level, I have very much enjoyed working with Jeff.”

Jeff Minter responded, “Everyone at Lionhead has been incredibly supportive and the decision to stop working on Unity has been a difficult one for us. But being realistic, I felt it was better for everyone concerned that we cease work on Unity. I’d like to thank Lionhead for all their help and support over the past two years.”

On his forums, Minter added these words:

It’s been a horrible decision for us to have to make, but in the end we’ve had to make it. Basically, although I’ve built a shedload of stuff for Unity in the past couple of years it’s become clear that getting it all together into something that I’d be happy to call Unity and put my name to was going to take a lot of time and effort both from myself and the guys at Lionhead, and realistically it was becoming unlikely that it’d be finished in time for anyone to want to publish it on Gamecube. The alternative would be a rush job and we simply didn’t want to do that. Best to call it a day.


Bill AurionDecember 10, 2004


Koopa TroopaDecember 10, 2004


How the hell does Molyneaux get off complaining about long dev-times?

Ian SaneDecember 10, 2004

A Cube exclusive being cancelled is always bad news. Though to be fair no one probably would publish this. Not just because of its likely late release date but because in general experimental titles just don't sell anymore even on the Cube. It's a damn shame that corporate product has poisoned the industry.

PolemistisDecember 10, 2004


thepogaDecember 10, 2004

could it just be put off for the Revolution? It just seems like they couldn't finish it within the time frame for the gamecube's lifespan.

ProcessionDecember 10, 2004

I seriously doubt it, considering the development team consisted of one man, AFAIK.

DjunknownDecember 10, 2004

I find it somewhat hippocritical that Molyneux mouths off about deadlines, since his games take forever. He really gets under my skin; he seems like a nice guy, but he's talks so much *@ and doesn't have that much to back it up. Black and White? Okay. Fable, one of his babies? Not bad, but hardly revoulutionary. I won't 'even touch on the missed features. The Movies? We'll see...

Whereas some one like Tomobou Itadaki (sp?) from Team Ninja tends to be outspoken, the games speak for themselves. The DOA series, despite blatent boobage, are great fighting games. Ninja Gaiden? Probably the #1 reason to own an Xbox. Skip Halo, Ninja Gaiden should be a system seller.

Anyways, it bites to lose a quirky exclusive, but did Mr.Minter overestimate his talent? Ikaruga took about 5 people if I'm not mistaken, and that was a 2d shooter with a small twist. I can only imagine him racking his brains, days without sleep, small bouts of temporay insanity, etc, just so he can keep the project afloat.

Hopefully they won't scrap this outright and use it somewhere else. Perhaps like a mini-game or something.

NephilimDecember 10, 2004

oh well
I was excited about this at one stage
atleast they tried
they must of scene how bad pso3 went, and just threw the towel in.
no point putting more money into a game if they is only a small user base with a moderm

If you go to Minter's website and read his forum post, it doesn't seem like Molyneaux forced him to cancel it due to the length of development. It sounds more like the game just wasn't coming together as any kind of cohesive experience. Minter is an experienced designer and knows when a collection of ideas isn't gelling. He was probably being paid fairly little to keep up the project, so I doubt development time had become a huge issue.

KDR_11kDecember 10, 2004

I've heard that porting would require a complete rewrite since Minter always codes lowlevel and all of his games were completely rewritten when they were brought to another platform. Though I would have liked to know what ideas Mr. Minter put into this game and why he takes that much longer than Kenta Cho to put this game together. (Kenta Cho is a one-man dev team from Japan who puts out abstract shmups every six months and releases them for free, his games don't seem rushed in any way and fit into a similar niche as Unity so I'd say they are comparable)

mantidorDecember 11, 2004

free experimental games? sounds too good! are the available here in the west?

KDR_11kDecember 11, 2004

Well, they're available on the internet, I'm not suire the internet is available to you face-icon-small-tongue.gif. link. And hell, the IGF just posted a list of 81 indy games, there's a chance that some of these are very innovative and maybe free, too!

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