|Centipede 2000 (working title)|
|State of completion:||Game programming was 30%, still focused on the game engine, no prototypes exist.|
|Also planned or released for:|
|Notes:||The Dark Science "Centipede
2000" was actually going to be a fantasy role-playing game (RPG). The design was to
be similar to current 3D RPG titles on Sony and Nintendo systems like Nintendo's Zelda64.
Of course, due to the limitations Jaguar hardware, everything would have been constructed
of nicely gouraud shaded polygons with little or no texture mapping. We were developing
the title under (and referring to it as) "Centipede 2000" or "C2K" --
However, an official title for the game had not been decided. The game was also to be a
As you can probably imagine, since the game would have been based on the original "Centipede," the game environment would have consisted of fields of giant mushrooms -- inhabited by giant spiders, scorpions, and, of course, centipedes. In typical fantasy role-playing fassion, the player would travel the world and stop off in various towns to purchase supplies, talk with people, learn new skills, and buy/upgrade weapons. The player would use a combination of weapons, magical items, and magical spells throughout the game.
Atari was initially looking for companies to produce revamped titles based on their classic games. Dark Science was granted the right to do the Centipede remake because some people at Atari really liked the RPG concept. When granting Dark Science permission to create this game, Atari gained all rights to the game concept, design, graphics, code, etc... Dark Science gained the right to market the game with our name and logo on the box and on screen and conduct marketing procedures as we saw fit. Dark Science was also given the right to all profits other than a small royalty fee on the first 10,000 copies sold.
Now for the bad side of the story... After about 6 months into the development cycle (or approximately 30% completed), Atari decided to pull the plug on the project. This was because their marketing "experts" decided that remaking old game titles was not in the best interest of Atari's future. Everything had to be turned over to Atari at this point and all that was kept by Dark Science was a copy of the source code -- which was then used to begin building another game, which I will address in more detail below. Within another 6 months of starting this second game, Atari decided to cease all Jaguar development and to move development efforts to PC CD-ROM titles. At this point we had to return all development software/hardware to Atari (because it was given to us for creating Centipede) or purchase it from them. It was becoming extremely obvious at this point, that Atari was about to curl up and die, so we elected not to purchase the Jaguar development system and to cease all Jaguar development. Within 3 months, Atari folded up and sold out to JTS corporation - a hard disk drive manufacturer. Unfortunately, JTS manufactured what could easily be considered the lowest quality hard drives ever and it took less than a year for JTS to go belly up. This is when companies like Hasbro stepped in to buy up Atari's patents and copyrights. Many companies bought different pieces, but the Atari name and the names, copyrights, and trademarks that go along with Atari's old games were all sold to Hasbro Interactive.
Since discontinuing Jaguar development, Dark Science has served as a 3D content creation, graphic design shop, and budget special effects house for broadcast television, multimedia producers, and the internet. Throughout this time, Dark Science dabbled with PC game development, but never produced anything final.
This past September, Dark Science's owner/founder started a new multimedia company (Applied Visual Technologies). Dark Science has been retained as a part of AVT that will handle the development of special effects for AVT animation/video/multimedia projects and more prominently the development of games. The second Jaguar title I spoke of above has been restarted (only three weeks ago) for Windows and Linux PCs. All that I can really say about it at this point is that it's 3D and it should be great fun if you like multiplayer strategy. It's still too early in the development cycle to show screenshots or post information online, but everything will show up at darkscience.com as it all becomes available. The game has a target completion date of November, 2000.
Hopefully this rather long e-mail gave you what you were looking for (and probably more). The Dark Science Centipede RPG will probably never see the light of day and it has probably been lost in the shuffle like many of the partially completed and/or unreleased Jaguar titles. No prototypes of the Jaguar games were ever produced because it was still in a state of development for the game 'engine.' Everything that was produced for C2K was given to Atari anyway and the code was reworked into our second game title. I have no idea what became of the code or anything else related to it. Besides, none of that would be made public anyway, at least not until the Windows/Linux incarnation(s) of the concept have been exhausted.
Anyway, we will be placing all relevant information about game titles and developments on www.darkscience.com however, as you can see, there's nothing there now. We're building the new site now, but there really isn't anything to place online other than a few empty pages, so it will wait a while longer.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask and I'll answer when I get a chance. Myself and a few others here were quite amazed that anyone remembered that we even had a Jaguar title in development.
(Email interview with Carl Rojas, 1999)