Get Ready To Rage!
Enter a radical gaming evolution blending a full-on assault of real-time combat action with elements of strategic role-playing. Badrock, Diehard, Riptide, Battlestone, Chapel... Youngblood takes on the most grotesque gauntlet of abominations a DNA experiment ever spewed out. Guide 11 heroes on a series of complex, real-time missions from secret labs to the depths of hell itself! Counter Giger. Find the Drachma codex. Oh yeah... and save the world!
Rob Liefeld's Youngblood.
Guide the Youngblood team through 11 real-time missions that combine pulse-pounding action with strategic role-playing elements.
Battle through dense jungles, parched deserts, and smoldering volcanoes to the very pits of hell as mutant enemies grow more bizarre and violent.
You must destroy them before the evil Giger and the traitor, Dr. Leviticus, finds the Drachma Codex, the secret to global domination.
Players can build, train, and hone the skills of the team members.
Take direct control of any hero or command an entire squadron.
Employ R&D to create powerful, new super weapons.
2-player cooperative option, real-time combat action, and more.
"...this game looks like it's going to rock."
- PSX Power
"Credit goes to GT Interactive for capturing the true spirit of the license rather than rushing... to market as many other companies have done in the past."
- PlayStation Magazine
"The multi-character approach is remarkably different from comic-book adaptations of the past."
- Next Generation
"Control a group of characters on eleven real-time missions, complete with many different levels and areas... gameplay does work quickly and easily on the PlayStation."
"Youngblood looks like a bonafide winner... a strategy and role-playing game that takes the 2D perspective and tosses it in the garbage."
"There were three things that really killed it. One was the AI, and one was memory. They had a fairly cute system for pathfinding, but they ran out of memory and made the pathfinding map one-fourth the resolution of the displayed landscape, botching it. Basically no AI movement worked, after that. It would have been a huge task to carve it out and put in something that worked, and I was steeling myself up for it when, mercifully, the end came. Fixing the AI would have meant fixing the memory management, which was huge and hideous. For example, the audio system used 1/8 of the PlayStation's memory just for its data structure -- that's with no audio samples loaded. There were two kinds of audio -- streamed from the CD, and played out of memory. When it all ran out, they started taking little (like half-second) audio clips and playing them from the CD, if you can believe that.
Another, more technical problem, was the cavalier attitude that was taken with handling global variables in the code. All the character code modules were just copies of each other with minor changes, so global variables were declared many times. The worst side effect of this was when global pointers came into play -- the very first example I looked at had a global pointer declared six times with four different data types, which was then referenced (extern-ed) in twelve more modules in six different types. The poor compiler didn't know which one you were talking about, so it just used (I believe) the last one processed as it worked its way through a build. This means that any of the declared variables could be the one used in any particular build of that code module, with no way to tell which it was. General instability and hard-to-find bugs were the result. Trying to chase down the thousands of global variable collisions were what took all the time.
Remember, this monstrosity was nine times the size of the biggest thing I'd ever worked on, Mechwarrior 2. The sheer amount of code made any major surgery a monumentous undertaking. The way it was written made practically everything major surgery." - Programmer, Realtime Associates
"What really hurt was that we were only a few weeks away from final and so it was a sad day when we learned it was cancelled. If I remember correctly, a large group went to the local bar and had a mini wake for the game.
Rob Liefeld was very cool and he had a life size statue of Badrock in his office...but is was all grey (naked?) with a big red bow hanging in the right spot. (I will always laugh at that) But yes, much respect to Rob for just being a decent guy.
If I remember correctly there was also a problem with who owned the rights to the characters "Overkill". I never really found out the final outcome of that, but I do remember that was an issue that I kept hearing about towards the end of our production." - Animator, Realtime Associates
What was your role in the development of Youngblood?
My role in Youngblood was that of an animator and it was also the first professional video game I got to worked on. Luckily, I was placed with a great group of people from the top boss to the grunts (did I mention I was one of the grunts), but unfortunately it was also my first project to go vaporware. Big learning experience after late nights, weekends and working from paper to 2d animation software to 3d studio DOS trying to get everything under the memory imprint with the programmers.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
1. Faithful to the comic: We were able to talk to Rob Liefeld and go to his studio on occasion to make sure we were matching the costumes and characters. They would even give us some of the recent art they did for the comic to use in the game. As a fanboy of comics that was pretty sweet.
2. The Team: Everyone bonded pretty well from my experience and worked hard to help each other get to Gold Master with a fun game. From the random CPK lunch to hanging out outside the office and grabbing a pint...many pints. Yes, there was our share of drama, as with many productions when you practically live in the studio, but the majority of the time was spent in the ups and in the end we shared a big part of our lives together.
3. Gameplay: At the time I think "Diablo" was the hot game out there and that was what a lot of games were riding on for gameplay design and look. Youngblood really played on the use of multiple characters you controlled while fighting, solving and navigating through missions. I really enjoyed controlling my heroes in different areas of the map while sneaking past the A.I. to achieve my objective. Also, it was using SuperHeros and not another Medieval Fightclub Dungeon clone. I'm not saying that I haven't rolled my share of a 20 sided in secret to get the nerve to go chat up a cute girl, but it was nice to see comics used in this style.
WHAT WENT WRONG
1. Art Constraints: A lot of the work that went into the models, animation and environments was lost once it was exported and convert to run in the game. We would build detailed models of the characters, render them in 3ds DOS for use in Animator Studio DOS and then convert them to Sprites in which you would be able to use in the game, but you also lost a large amount of detail in the final art. Looking back I cringe at the lighting, animation and art work in the gameplay or the menu system, but we were pushing every KB with the programmers to get it to work. You could see the difference if you watched the pre-rendered movies next to the gameplay that used the same models and animation, if they still exist somewhere.
2. Memory Constraints: I think Eric already addressed this issue in his assessment. Like he said it ran out of memory in the pathfinding for A.I. and the resolution of the environment maps suffered for it.
3. I think GT Interactive was too quick to cancel the project, but that is how business goes sometimes.