The Recreation That Would Develop into Space 51: Bounty Hunter

Should you’ve been a reader of the positioning for any size of time, then you realize that we get pleasure from researching and discussing unreleased arcade video games. My curiosity in these video games is sufficient that we now have an unfinished video games hyperlink on the high of the positioning. Whereas we’ve found rather a lot about unreleased video games through the years, data on them pops-up sometimes (it’s been fairly some time since our final story on an unfinished sport).

However that modifications at present because of a big thread that was posted to Twitter by an artist who labored on the previously mysterious sport on the Atari Video games listing that was often known as Bounty Hunter. Over on System16, there was additionally subsequent to nothing talked about about it, however maybe they will replace that after this new data. All the under was shared to Twitter through artist Scott Christian Sava, so large because of him for each preserving and sharing this all for us to get pleasure from. I simply figured that it will be good to have that each one in a weblog format, as generally issues get neglected in Twitter threads.

As a notice, this publish makes use of PDF embeds. They work very like slideshows; simply hover over the picture and the doc controls will seem on the backside, permitting you to change pages.

The Preliminary Proposal

From the primary tweet, we be taught that Bounty Hunter started improvement in February of 1993 at Atari Video games, the place the sport was being proposed by Ed Logg (one in every of Atari’s most prevalent sport designers/mission leads…having labored on Asteroids, Centipede, and dozens of different titles) as a “response” to Halfway’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Konami’s Deadly Enforcers. The latter sport is talked about incessantly within the preliminary design proposal, the place it was simply often known as “Gun Recreation.” It might use digitization to “look as actual as we are able to make [it],” which was trending on the time. Mr. Sava had been engaged on Primal Rage when he was introduced onto the Bounty Hunter mission. Right here’s a slideshow of the doc, the place Logg lays out what makes for , relatable light-gun sport: 1) A powerful license, 2) a “sense of energy,” ) Creating a talent and ) Capturing somebody or one thing they despise:


(Click on right here for the primary tweet of those docs, in case the PDF embedder doesn’t give you the results you want)

Attention-grabbing that he had seen the usefulness of a license(which is sort of each sport lately), the place pages 2 & spends a while taking a look at potential licenses, however discovering that there wasn’t a lot that will have labored for an motion packed light-gun sport at that time limit. Reveals like Babylon 5, Deep House 9, Final Motion Hero, Beverly Hills Cop III and Demolition Man had been talked about.

The Sense of Energy part talks about one thing that did find yourself within the last construct of Space 51 – having the ability to shoot all types of playfield objects. That is specified by extra element within the “Wave Construction” part. It additionally will get into the kinds of dangerous guys they’d use in the event that they didn’t get a license, itemizing out plenty of potential teams that have already got a built-in resonance for hating them. Though I’m positive had they made IRS brokers the principal dangerous man because the doc mentions, that’d have drawn some ire from Capital Hill.

Attention-grabbing that on the final couple of pages, there’s the “Administration Choice” pages, the place Logg asks a number of questions after making a fast case on every. He had been researching gun tech and actually determining the professionals and cons of current controllers available on the market.

Bounty Hunter Proposed

Administration was apparently proud of that, so at this level, Mr. Sava was tasked with fleshing the idea out.  Lots of that first doc was saved intact, such because the hardware challenges on utilizing a gun, in addition to the weapons, however Sava would nice develop on the sport idea in addition to the villains within the wave construction part. Whereas Logg had downplayed the thought of utilizing comedian books for a selected license, since they “don’t attain as huge an viewers as a film or perhaps a TV present” would, Sava took his love of comedian books and got here up with this Bounty Hunters proposal after a few month from the preliminary proposal creation. This was additionally carried out as a result of nothing available on the market for 1993/94 match with what they had been trying to do with a license. There are nice quantities of element right here, which must be of particular curiosity to these curiosity in sport design:


Because the title implies, you’d have performed as a bounty hunter, with six criminals to chase after. The upper bounty, the tougher the stage. It might have been accessible each as a equipment and a devoted cupboard, aiming to have gameplay considerably just like the aforementioned Deadly Enforcers. We will assume that the cupboard design is what was used for Space 51 as nicely.

In case you are curious in regards to the hardware they talk about for “Cyber Storm,” that was one other unreleased sport in improvement at Atari round that point. It might have been a 1v1 preventing sport involving robots with comedian ebook fashion paintings. That sport was practically completed and the ROMs have discovered their solution to the web, so I’ll embody video of it under. Whereas Bounty Hunter would have used digitized graphics, this video ought to offer you an thought of what the goal hardware was able to. Per this knowledge that I imagine was supplied by Scott of Atari Video games Museum, the board allegedly value round $1m for Atari to analysis, so I can perceive why they needed to get extra out of it. It might have been comparable in energy to the Atari GX2 or GT platforms, which additionally used 68020 full 32-bit CPUs. That mentioned, it’s shocking that nothing was ever launched utilizing it (when Bounty Hunter grew to become Space 51, it will use an upgraded model of the Atari Jaguar sport console; the upgrades utilizing a 68EC020 as an alternative of a 68000 & extra RAM):

The Villains

Sava additionally included plenty of drawings in that doc above to point out his concepts for the characters that had been detailed within the Wave Construction part. The villains had been: Viper (a company tycoon, form of an evil Iron Man), Katana (a ninja warrior, referred to as “ninja girl” within the design doc), Voodoo (a necromancing witch physician), GX-2000 (a excessive tech navy robotic gone haywire, seems like ED-209 from Robocop), Talon (a rogue bounty hunter that appears rather a lot just like the Predator) & Apocalypse (a strolling doomsday machine created by a legal group). The design doc does point out an Alien Boss that sounds just about just like the Xenomorphs from Aliens, together with a Queen and Eggs, however none is pictured among the many drawings.

Sava additionally created designs for the bounty hunters that the participant might play as; they’re those with the black/gold/purple colour schemes. I’ll put the colour variations right here; B&W sheets are linked by the names above. The final web page reveals a few scenes; there could be a ‘Regular’ and a ‘Destroyed’ scene of every space.


From Artwork To Actors

With it being the age of digitization, this sport was set to make use of digitized graphics. Whereas Halfway had been greatest recognized for utilizing this system, Atari Video games had carried out their share of  with titles like PitFighter, Highway Riot 4WD, Guardians of the Hood, Primal Rage and others. Utilizing Sava’s designs and placing out a casting name, Harry Mok would are available to provide and Abraham Madison (creator of MC Hammer’s costumes and clothes like parachute pants) would deal with the costume design. Harry Mok would additionally educate Sava the ropes to directing. Sadly, the names of the actors proven are unknown.

There are a number of photographs from the filming course of discovered within the Twitter thread; I’ll put a number of right here as a slide present, the place you possibly can behold the glory of some early 90’s mullets & perms 😉 :

The event course of went on for a few yr, earlier than Ed Logg and Scott Sava took up jobs at different corporations. Someplace after their departure, the sport seen above was scrapped and retooled into what would change into Space 51. That mentioned, lots of Bounty Hunter’s ideas discovered life in Space 51, which was one in every of Atari Video games’ final main successes.

My because of Scott Sava for posting all of this info. Yow will discover him on Twitter right here, the place he posts

What do you concentrate on this sport from the knowledge supplied?

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