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Doodle Champion Island Games
0
The game originally began as a smaller interactive Google Doodle game to celebrate the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, but after the events were delayed to 2021, Google were effectively given another year to expand it into a full-fledged video game with at least two and a half hours of content. This made it the largest interactive Google Doodle produced in the company's history. Their engineers were surprised at the large amount of side quests and dialogue they were able to fit into the game, but they struggled to get the game to run on mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers as it needed to be displayed on Google's front page. They managed to get the game to remember save data by saving it to users' local storage, so the game could be continued at any time. It is not fully known what the game's technological specs are, but the level design and sprite animations were created by Google in Adobe Animate, while the animated cutscenes were created by Japanese animation studio Studio 4°C in Toon Boom Harmony and Adobe After Effects.
person MehDeletingLater calendar_month June 20, 2024
Doodle Champion Island Games
1
Google collaborated with Japanese animation studio Studio 4°C to make the game, because they wanted its artwork and character designs to be done by Japanese artists. The studio started by researching folk tales and designing characters to appeal to audiences of all ages. While the main game was inspired by 16-bit JRPGs, the seven sports minigames Google proposed were inspired by other game genres including shooting gallery, rhythm, and skateboarding games. To connect the champions to each sport, Studio 4°C settled on using historical and mythological figures who used items that complimented the sports. Google originally proposed a fox as the game's protagonist, but Studio 4°C rejected this due to the fox's reputation as a trickster archetype in Japanese culture, and they opted to design a cat named Lucky as a heroic figure instead. Lucky was made a female calico cat both to break away from depictions of women as "scary characters" in Japanese folklore, and because of the traditional prominence of calico cats in the country through items like Maneki-neko ("Beckoning cat") figurines.
person MehDeletingLater calendar_month June 20, 2024
King & Balloon
1
King & Balloon was the first game to be produced by Namco using a surplus of Galaxian PCB boards they manufactured. According to co-director Shigeru Yokoyama, he wanted the game to have an autofire feature with "tons of bullets" to reflect the "panicked mindset" of the player seeing the King get taken by balloons. However, the Galaxian PCB boards could not handle either of these ideas since Galaxian did not have an autofire feature to begin with, and the bullets were made faster than those in Galaxian as a compromise.
Galaga
1
Galaga was originally conceived as a way to utilize Galaxian's PCB boards after they were overmanufactured, but while creating a partially-complete prototype, R&D engineer (and future Namco president) Shigeichi Ishimura decided that Galaga should use its own unique PCB hardware.
Lollipop Chainsaw
1
In a June 13th, 2024 interview with the Dragami Games CEO Yoshimi Yasuda published on the Gematsu website, he stated that in 2021, he asked Tomo Ikeda, one of the directors he led in the development team for the original Lollipop Chainsaw, to help with the game's remake Lollipop Chainsaw RePOP, but Ikeda turned him down due to conflicts from already leading development on a different project at that time. Yasuda still expressed that he felt very proud of his former developers for advancing in the industry and maintained a good relationship with the original game's writer Masahiro Yuki, having spoken several times with him in 2023 about RePOP and the future of Lollipop Chainsaw. He described Yuki as "something like a repository of wisdom within the team" during development, and gave Yasuda lots of proactive and stimulating opinions that were reflected in RePOP. Yasuda stated that the agenda for RePOP was to "improve on the user-friendliness" and give a more fun experience for players that were left lacking in the original game. In order to do that, he contacted the engineers who worked on the original game to provide detailed development information, like how data was handled and special processing related to Unreal Engine 3, which directors and producers would not be able to provide, and called their support "especially indispensable".
Yume Nikki
1
Attachment In Version 0.04, Dense Woods A contained two jellyfish instead of just one, with the second being located by a lamppost near the center of the map; interacting with it only causes it to ring, without any additional results. In all recovered later builds, this jellyfish is moved out of bounds, well out of the camera's view; however, it can still be interacted with if the player uses cheats or glitches to access it. In Version 0.10, interacting with this jellyfish crashes the game due to its associated files being renamed: the jellyfish is programmed to call a file called イベント5, which was renamed to イベント_005 in Version 0.10.

Additionally, Dense Woods A's layout was redesigned in Version 0.07 to remove a gate that originally led to Mural World. Instead, the upper path is expanded to loop over to the western portion of the main road in Dense Woods A, and the remaining gate leading to Puddle World was redesigned.
person VinchVolt calendar_month June 17, 2024
The Cutting Room Floor article:
https://tcrf.net/Proto:Yume_Nikki/Map_and_Event_Differences/Minor_Maps#Dense_Woods_A

YouTube video showing the use of a noclip glitch to access the offscreen jellyfish in Version 0.10:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9gNNPmZxd8
Pac-Man World
1
Before settling on Pac-Man's family, the friends Pac-Man rescued in Pac-Man World were going to be characters from other 1980s Namco games:

• Dig Dug (also known as Taizo Hori) from Dig Dug, who Chomp-Chomp took the place of. A remnant of this choice can be seen in the opening cutscene where Chomp-Chomp is kidnapped by being dragged underground, where Dig Dug's gameplay takes place.
• Valkyrie and Whirlo from the Valkyrie series, who were replaced with Pac-Baby and Pooka. There is also a thematic remnant of this choice in Pac-Baby and Pooka's kidnapping, where they are anchored into the sky, as Valkyrie lives in the heavens.
• Mappy from Mappy, who was replaced by Jr. Pac-Man.

Gil from The Tower of Druaga and Miru from Pac & Pal were also intended to appear, while Professor Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man were part of the original concept and remained.

It was ultimately decided to focus on Pac-Man characters instead of crossover characters, but when it was discovered that there weren't enough "pac-people" to make rescuable for each world, Pooka from Dig Dug was added to fill out the cast, being the same spherical shape as Pac-Man's family and a favorite of the development team. It is unknown why Miru, who was already a Pac-Man character, went unused.
person Rocko & Heffer calendar_month June 17, 2024
Twitter thread interview with game designer Scott Rogers:
https://twitter.com/DailyPacMan/status/1548044377733210112

Pac-Man World cutscenes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I8bA-6QNh4

Pac-Man World concept storyboards:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ldn9GXF5ZkI
Pac-Man World
subdirectory_arrow_right Pac-Man World Re-Pac (Game)
1
Pac-Man World's ending has been noted for containing darker humor compared to the game's otherwise lighthearted tone. The game's antagonist Toc-Man, the robot impostor who kidnapped Pac-Man's family, is revealed to be Orson, a tearful grey ghost who just wanted to be as famous as Pac-Man, who responds to this by pretending to show sympathy before eating him. According to the game's designer, Scott Rogers, his reasoning for this tonal shift was:

"If someone terrorized, kidnapped, and imprisoned your friends and family, you'd probably want to eat them too."

Rogers also noted that they wanted to have Pac-Man respond to Orson's cry of "nobody loves a ghost!" with "I do!" (in the sense of loving to eat a ghost), but this was scrapped alongside Pac-Man's voice as a whole.

Pac-Man World: Re-Pac amends this divisive ending by designating it as a bad ending and adding a new good ending. If the player fails to rescue Pac-Man's family, the ending plays out as it did in the original game, with an added scene where Orson's ghost minions choose to rescue Pac-Man's family themselves, but if the player successfully rescues Pac-Man's family, he opts to forgive Orson.
person Rocko & Heffer calendar_month June 17, 2024
Twitter thread interview with Scott Rogers:
https://twitter.com/DailyPacMan/status/1548088755763888129

Pac-Man World cutscenes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I8bA-6QNh4

Both Pac-Man World Re-Pac endings:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adPHuphqr7o#t=389
Dino Crisis 2
1
Capcom offered a demo CD based upon a beta build of the game as a pre-release promo. The entire build was on the disk, with a "time trial" style of gameplay lasting 45 minutes before exiting the game. A code was eventually worked out, utilizing a GameShark cheat device in order to disable the time trial demo's timer, enabling complete access to this earlier version. A list of notable differences compared to the retail release have been noted as a result, and Capcom would never release a time trial demo disc again.
Yume Nikki
1
Attachment Prior to Version 0.07, the guillotine NPC that provides the Severed Head effect when interacted with was located in Block World rather than the Guillotine Room (the latter of which is commonly known as such due to the guillotine's presence there in later builds). Instead, the latter area only features the lunatic Toriningen and cupboards.

This early iteration consequently made Block World one of only two areas in the game that featured more than one effect (the second being the Hat & Scarf effect, which is obtainable from Block World in all known builds). From Version 0.07 onward, this distinction is only held by Mural World (which features both the Blonde and Long Hair effects).
person VinchVolt calendar_month June 15, 2024
Yume Nikki
1
Attachment In the earliest builds of Yume Nikki, in-game text was not given windows outside of the game's menus; this feature was not added until Version 0.05. Curiously, while overworld text is generally sparse, Version 0.10 features data for a three-line window, far more than what is normally needed. This appears to line up with a text prompt in Version 0.04 – but not Version 0.06 onward – that appears when Madotsuki attempts to return the swivel chair to her desk in the dream world version of her apartment.

Because Version 0.05 is not currently available to the public, it is unknown if this window was indeed used for the prompt in that build or if the text was removed before the idea could be implemented.
person VinchVolt calendar_month June 15, 2024
Wallace and Gromit in Project Zoo
1
Wallace and Gromit in Project Zoo was one of two game ideas pitched to franchise creator Nick Park. The other unrealized game idea which Park also approved of took place on Mars, and would have been titled Red Leicester.
Yume Nikki
1
Attachment The unpatched release of Version 0.10 contains unused data for an event on Mars called "階段←↓". Re-enabling this event opens an alternate, invisible entrance to the Martian underground, to the left of the hole that leads to it in the final game; however, the map's collision data prevents Madotsuki from actually using it without the aid of further cheats.

Furthermore, the game contains unused graphics for a stairway that matches the visuals of the Martian surface, and the Martian underground features several flights of stairs at the beginning. This indicates that the underground was originally meant to be accessed via the unused stairway rather than needing Madotsuki to activate the Midget effect, with the summit's layout being changed concurrently with the altered entrance. The Yumesyuusei Patch and all releases based on it (including the official English release) remove the data for 階段←↓, though the unused stair tiles are unaffected.

Additionally, the game's code contains tiles for doors on the walls of the Martian underground, indicating that the sub-area was originally planned to feature multiple rooms rather than just one. This, combined with the unused alternate entrance, implies that Kikiyama had to leave Mars incomplete for unknown reasons, polishing up what was already completed late into Version 0.10's development.
person VinchVolt calendar_month June 8, 2024
Skylanders: Ring of Heroes
1
Attachment Prior to the game's shutdown, several villains from across the Skylanders franchise were intended to be added to the game as enemies. These include:

• Evil Glumshanks from Skylanders: Swap Force
• Super Kaos from Skylanders: Imaginators
• A version of Kaos wearing his Emperor outfit from Skylanders: SuperChargers
• Bobbin Rood, Olaf Crushersson, and Runys Pointyboots from the Nintendo 3DS version of Skylanders: Trap Team
• A Goliath Drow, likely meant to be Brock from Skylanders: Giants
• Malefor, the main antagonist of the The Legend of Spyro games

Had these plans gone through, it would have marked Malefor's first physical appearance in a Skylanders game, with his previous appearances being in the IDW comics, the spinoff TV series "Skylanders Academy", and as a Skystone in Skylanders: SuperChargers.
person chocolatejr9 calendar_month June 8, 2024
Unused enemies:
https://tcrf.net/Skylanders_Ring_of_Heroes/Planned_Content#Planned_Bosses

Skylanders Issue 7 (Malefor's IDW debut):
https://readallcomics.com/skylanders-007-2015/

Skylanders Academy - "Return to Cynder" (Malefor's TV series debut):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flsDGMnDXF4

Skylanders: SuperChargers - Malefor Skystone:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-iU2H3BodY
Yume Nikki
1
Within all available builds of the game are sprites for three possible effects that were never implemented. One set of sprites depicts Madotsuki blindfolded, another depicts a grayscale version of her similar to the "ghost" found in Mini Hell, and a third depicts 8-bit versions of the "crick in the neck," which in the final game is instead an event where Madotsuki randomly wakes up with her head stuck facing leftward. Of note is that Versions 0.07 to 0.09 additionally feature sprites for blindfolded and grayscale Madotsuki pinching herself awake; Version 0.10 overwrites them with the "active" sprites for the Spirit Headband effect.

Additionally, the game's data contains an unused mugshot depicting what appears to be an early iteration of the Spirit Headband effect, in which Madotsuki turns into a hitodama (a disembodied soul which appears as a floating ball of fire, comparable to a will-o'-the-wisp in many Western cultures) rather than becoming invisible. A full set of sprites for this version is also present in Version 0.04's data, showing that rather than turning invisible, pressing the 1 key would've simply changed the fire's color.
person VinchVolt calendar_month June 7, 2024
Yume Nikki
1
Attachment In all earlier builds of the game, Neon World featured a radically different layout, matching the open-world structure of the other "main" locations accessible from the Nexus. The sole relic of this in Version 0.10's segmented design is the room that Madotsuki starts in, which is much bigger and features a more spread-out tile pattern compared to the other rooms in Neon World.

One noteworthy casualty from the layout change is the removal of various head-like figures scattered across Neon World in Version 0.09. These figures are not seen anywhere in Version 0.10, making them the only documented "characters" that were outright removed (rather than relocated) in a later update.
Yume Nikki
1
Attachment Number World was not implemented until Version 0.08; in prior builds, the gray door in the Nexus with a large red circle on it instead lead to an early iteration of Lamp World. Of note is that the earlier version of Lamp World features an alcove full of beds and cupboards. A bloodstain is also present in the bottom-right corner of the room; in Version 0.07, this stain teleports Madotsuki to the Guillotine Room when stepped on. This alcove would be moved to the Number World in Version 0.08 onward, and the bloodstain would be replaced with a Zippertile spewing blood out of its mouth, still acting as a warp to the Guillotine Room.

Additionally, the early version of Lamp World featured background music that is not present anywhere in Version 0.08 onward; this track was also used for the Face Carpet area in Forest World before it was concurrently replaced in Version 0.08 with the background music for the hot springs building in the Wilderness, played at 70% speed.
Yume Nikki
1
Attachment In the earliest available builds of Yume Nikki, the gate on a high ledge in Block World leads to a room colloquially known as the "Toriningen's Bed" event; it is present in Version 0.04, 0.06, and presumably 0.05, but because Versions 0.00 to 0.03 are not publicly available (as is 0.05), it is unknown if the Toriningen's Bed event was added in Version 0.04 or if it was present in prior builds.

This room consists solely of a long walkway leading to a bed. Entering it causes a lunatic Toriningen to spawn at the entrance of the walkway; because the hallway is only one tile wide, there is no way of avoiding it, and once it catches Madotsuki, she is transported to an out of bounds portion of Footprint Path A, rendering her immobile until she wakes up or teleports back to the Nexus with the Eye Palm effect. Version 0.06 revises the area so that it uses Block World's background music, played at 50% speed, instead of Eyeball World's background music.

In Version 0.07, the Toriningen's Bed event is removed, and the gate leading to it now leads to the White Desert; this change is retained in Version 0.10. Discounting the unused "NASU Link" event in Version 0.09, this is the only known event that was removed in a later update.
person VinchVolt calendar_month June 6, 2024
Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned
1
The game is notable for two puzzles considered by fans and critics to respectively be one of the best and worst ever made for an adventure game.

The puzzle "Le Serpent Rouge" ("The Red Snake") involves decoding torn-up poem stanzas by hunting for information during the game and solving geometric mapping puzzles. This puzzle was widely praised for its overarching complexity and intriguing nature regardless of the player's interest in the real-life mysteries of Rennes-le-Château, a Southern French commune crucial to the game's plot that has been covered in various books and conspiracy theories. The poem was originally included in the "Secret Files of Henri Lobineau", a 1967 dossier about the fraternal organization the Priory of Sion, and was modified to make the puzzle solvable. Lead designer Jane Jensen named it her favorite and most challenging puzzle, designing it around the game's fully controllable 3D camera.

Meanwhile, a puzzle designed by producer Steven Hill was disliked internally and was meant to be replaced with a puzzle by Jensen, but they were forced to leave it in the game due to time constraints. It starts with Gabriel Knight finding that his friend Detective Mosely arrived in France the night before in a tour group and is scheduled to rent a motorcycle that day, so he goes to rent one himself. The nearsighted rental stand clerk requires a passport to confirm arrivals, revealing that the only rides he has left are a bike saved for Mosely and a cheap scooter. To get the bike, Knight plans to disguise as Mosely by Spoiler:stealing his coat and passport, and hiding his long blonde hair in a hat, despite putting it in a visible ponytail. He then draws a mustache on Mosely's passport photo to obscure their facial differences, goes to a shed, puts masking tape on a hole in the shed door, sprays a nearby cat with water causing it to run into the tape and stick fur to it, and applies it to his face with some maple syrup from breakfast to make a fake mustache. The disguise inexplicably works, and Knight gets the bike.

Moreso than Le Serpent Rouge was praised, the disguise puzzle was roundly criticized for its lack of hints, the impossibility of Knight convincingly impersonating Mosely, and the cartoonish roundabout way of Spoiler:making the mustache clashing with the game's serious tone. Critics felt that while it was not the most difficult puzzle, the solution was too absurd for the average player to think it would work. The most scathing review came from future Valve writer Eric Wolpaw, who blamed Jensen for the poor design (it was not known at the time that she did not design it), and called the process of Spoiler:making the mustache "deranged", controversially declaring it was proof that adventure games "committed suicide". While Jensen disliked the puzzle, she thought it being the death of adventure games was "kinda overblown", and the "length of the sequence and the lack of hints" was what made it bad.
person MehDeletingLater calendar_month June 5, 2024
Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned - Le Serpent Rouge poem and walkthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7b47CJrnyc
https://sierrachest.com/index.php?a=games&;id=39&title=gabriel-knight-3&fld=walkthrough&pid=101

Hunting Shadows: The Making of Gabriel Knight - Chapter 5:
https://web.archive.org/web/20200513021453/https://episodiccontentmag.com/2015/11/20/hunting-shadows-the-making-of-gabriel-knight-chapter-5-of-5/

Anastasia Salter - "Jane Jensen: Gabriel Knight, Adventure Games, Hidden Objects" (2017) - Influential Video Game Designers. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. ISBN 978-1501327452. (Pages 58-60):
https://books.google.com/books?id=cPEkDgAAQBAJ

Jane Jensen Adventure Gamers interview:
https://web.archive.org/web/20190715214638/https://adventuregamers.com/articles/view/18170

Le Serpent Rouge real poem article:
https://www.renneslechateau.nl/2012/01/13/the-red-serpent/

Le Serpent Rouge puzzle miscellaneous Adventure Gamers acclaim:
https://web.archive.org/web/20210715000329/https://adventuregamers.com/articles/view/18643/page/page4/page7/page10/N100/page15
https://web.archive.org/web/20170428013712/http://www.adventuregamers.com/articles/view/17459
https://web.archive.org/web/20170311222718/http://www.adventuregamers.com/articles/view/18586

Computer Gaming World - Issue #179, June 1999 (Page 63 in magazine):
https://archive.org/details/Computer_Gaming_World_Issue_179/page/n66/mode/1up?q=serpent

The Games Machine - No. 6, March 2008 (Page 68 in magazine):
https://archive.org/details/the-games-machine-italia-speciali-06/page/n67/mode/1up?q=serpent

Detective Mosely tour group context just before the puzzle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hjzZ0z4b5E

Disguise puzzle footage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hpcmJLrseI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx3D9xb_sFg

Kotaku interview snippet:
https://web.archive.org/web/20200619041238/https://kotaku.com/how-we-survived-adventure-gamings-most-hair-tearingly-r-5903932

Computer Gaming World - Issue #189, April 2000 (Pages 74-75):
https://archive.org/details/Computer_Gaming_World_Issue_189

Old Man Murray (Eric Wolpaw) - Death of Adventure Games:
https://web.archive.org/web/20200405052244/http://www.oldmanmurray.com/features/79.html

Gamasutra interview mentioning impact of Old Man Murray blog post:
https://web.archive.org/web/20200618200402/https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/134850/spyparty_and_the_indie_ethos_.php?page=3

GamesRadar+ article:
https://web.archive.org/web/20200603224407/https://www.gamesradar.com/the-top-7-stupidest-puzzles/4/

InVisible Culture article (counterargument about the "death of adventure games"):
https://web.archive.org/web/20200622204402/http://ivc.lib.rochester.edu/the-kinesthetic-index-video-games-and-the-body-of-motion-capture/
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