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Warcraft Adventures: The best Adventure Game never released?

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Is anyone else of the opinion that had Warcraft Adventures: Lord of The Clans been released, it would’ve been among the best Adventure Games ever released, if not the best, and might have saved the genre?

It had a solid story line, awesome voice work, great humor, pretty awesome graphics and an art direction not seen before in adventure games—With this game, Adventure Game art would’ve truly reached animated film levels. It had a dark, but fun, grounded fantasy atmosphere; and with the extremely popular Warcraft name on it, it likely would’ve been a big seller—which could have saved the genre, or at least shown developers and publishers that an adventure game could be marketable and sellable.



     
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Dance Magic Dance - 20 August 2014 06:37 PM

Is anyone else of the opinion that had Warcraft Adventures: Lord of The Clans been released, it would’ve been among the best Adventure Games ever released, if not the best, and might have saved the genre?

You can just watch the gameplay video and answer it by yourself Grin (or wait for a surprise release). Anyway, one of the rumors for its cancellation was that the production team feared it would not have been a fair competition to Curse of Monkey Island. In other words, I don’t think it would break any ground in technical terms, because CMI had already done it. Also, I’m not digging entirely the character models, but the backgrounds are definitely breathtaking.

     

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diego - 20 August 2014 06:54 PM
Dance Magic Dance - 20 August 2014 06:37 PM

Is anyone else of the opinion that had Warcraft Adventures: Lord of The Clans been released, it would’ve been among the best Adventure Games ever released, if not the best, and might have saved the genre?

You can just watch the gameplay video and answer it by yourself Grin (or wait for a surprise release). Anyway, one of the rumors for its cancellation was that the production team feared it would not have been a fair competition to Curse of Monkey Island. In other words, I don’t think it would break any ground in technical terms, because CMI had already done it. Also, I’m not digging entirely the character models, but the backgrounds are definitely breathtaking.

I have watched the gameplay video, hence the thread. Do you think it will ever see the light of day—be it officially or leaked? The way you worded it sounds like you might have inside info. It’s been dead since ‘98. But with all the effort put into it, and the fact that it was so near completion, I’m surprised Blizzard totally shelved it and didn’t just release it as an extra or something or as a downloadable game. I mean a year and a half development, the fees for the actors, third party animation studios…Only to shelve it totally, forever?

I have heard the same. However, I do think, judging from the videos, it would’ve been BETTER than COMI. It certainly has better backgrounds, ten thousand times better IMO. And while the character models are more primitive than COMI, the animation and gameplay seems less clunky, at least to me.

I’m not saying it would’ve revolutionized the genre. Far from it, it was a mid ‘90s cartoon style adventure game. But it had the immensely popular Warcraft name tagged to it, it was hotly anticipated, and as such it probably would’ve sold tons, and if so, it might’ve convinced Sierra, LucasArts etc that there was still life left in the adventure genre if done the right way; Studios might have been more open minded to spending money on adventures in ‘98, ‘99, ‘00 if Warcraft Adventures had come out and been a big hit.

At the very least, we would’ve had an awesome fantasy adventure game (there are too few of those) in the classic ‘90s style to enjoy today.

     
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Dance Magic Dance - 20 August 2014 07:09 PM

I have watched the gameplay video, hence the thread. Do you think it will ever see the light of day—be it officially or leaked? The way you worded it sounds like you might have inside info.

No, there’re only rumors after the leaked video that it’s the guy who worked in a Russian studio which collaborated with Blizzard. But, if Steve Meretzky thought it needs more tweaking, I don’t think I would have played it even if beta did leak.

Dance Magic Dance - 20 August 2014 07:09 PM

I’m not saying it would’ve revolutionized the genre. Far from it, it was a mid ‘90s cartoon style adventure game. But it had the immensely popular Warcraft name tagged to it, it was hotly anticipated, and as such it probably would’ve sold tons

I don’t know, the trends come and go. Perhaps it was destined that end of 90s/beginning of 00 gets to be “the dark age” and AGs the “alternative”, and we still had Grim Fandango, The Longest Journey, Syberia… rise of an indie scene because of the “less mainstream spotlight” etc. Right now, I think chances are bigger to see a brand new Warcraft adventure game than the re-release, but remakes are lately popular too, so… Wink

     

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No, there’re only rumors after the leaked video that it’s the guy who worked in a Russian studio which collaborated with Blizzard. But, if Steve Meretzky thought it needs more tweaking, I don’t think I would have played it even if beta did leak.

I don’t know, the trends come and go. Perhaps it was destined that end of 90s/beginning of 00 gets to be “the dark age” and AGs the “alternative”, and we still had Grim Fandango, The Longest Journey, Syberia… rise of an indie scene because of the “less mainstream spotlight” etc. Right now, I think chances are bigger to see a brand new Warcraft adventure game than the re-release, but remakes are lately popular too, so… Wink

Why does Steve Meretzy’s words hold so much weight?
I’m going to be honest—My adventure game experience is rather limited:
Sierra’s KQ, SQ, GK, Phantas and QFG games, as well as Torin’s Passage;
LucasArt’s Dig, MI 1-3,
Freddie Fish and various mid ‘90s adventures by lesser known studios
I know who he is, but…

While someone like Steve might have felt it needed tweaking, someone like Roberta Williams or Scott Murphy might’ve thought it was perfect.

Actually, since Blizzard intended Warcraft Adventures to be a darkly comical adventure game, I am surprised they didn’t hire Scott Murphy or Josh Mandel…Sierra was/is their sister studio, and I think Scott was still at Sierra in ‘97, and Josh would’ve probably been easy to hire—both known for their dark humor.

I would kill to see a re-release of Warcraft Adventures or a Warcraft adventure game. It is an exciting time to be a fan of the genre.

 

     
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Er…you guys do know that this game was leaked online a long time ago, right?  It’s pretty easy to find a download and play for yourself if you care to look into it.  It’s definitely out there.  Smile

     
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Lambonius - 20 August 2014 08:38 PM

Er…you guys do know that this game was leaked online a long time ago, right?  It’s pretty easy to find a download and play for yourself if you care to look into it.  It’s definitely out there.  Smile

Nope (Chuck Testa) - “download” was just an April Fools joke, the youtube video is mysteriously the only available material.

Dance Magic Dance - 20 August 2014 08:02 PM

Why does Steve Meretzy’s words hold so much weight?

It’s not only that - the fact that someone as experienced as Steve thought it’s not finished gameplay-wise, and the fact that Blizzard “agreed” and withdrew it should be enough of a hint. I might be wrong, but I’m certainly not going to watch the whole beta playthrough (perhaps I’ll play it sometime Tongue).

     

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diego - 20 August 2014 09:25 PM

Nope (Chuck Testa) - “download” was just an April Fools joke, the youtube video is mysteriously the only available material.

Ah, didn’t realize that.  I saw it available on multiple abandonware sites.  Didn’t actually download it though.  Smile

     

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diego - 20 August 2014 09:25 PM
Lambonius - 20 August 2014 08:38 PM

Er…you guys do know that this game was leaked online a long time ago, right?  It’s pretty easy to find a download and play for yourself if you care to look into it.  It’s definitely out there.  Smile

Nope (Chuck Testa) - “download” was just an April Fools joke, the youtube video is mysteriously the only available material.

Dance Magic Dance - 20 August 2014 08:02 PM

Why does Steve Meretzy’s words hold so much weight?

It’s not only that - the fact that someone as experienced as Steve thought it’s not finished gameplay-wise, and the fact that Blizzard “agreed” and withdrew it should be enough of a hint. I might be wrong, but I’m certainly not going to watch the whole beta playthrough (perhaps I’ll play it sometime Tongue).

I think Blizzard’s thinking was that it looked outdated graphically—that’s what they said publicly. That it would’ve looked good in 1995 rather than 1998 when it would’ve come out. Also, I honestly think cancelling it when they did—May 1998—was a business decision.

At the time, Blizzard was owned by Cendant Software. So was Sierra On-Line. Sierra was getting pressure from above to either quit adventure games totally, or make them ‘modern’ (In Sierra’s case, they were pressured to add multiplayer elements to the aborted SQ7). I would imagine similar pressure—and the seeming death of the adventure genre—also played a large role in the abandonment of Warcraft Adventures.

How could you play it? You keep implying there is some way to. Stop teasing haha.

     
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diego - 20 August 2014 09:25 PM

Nope (Chuck Testa)

*snicker*

Dance Magic Dance - 20 August 2014 08:02 PM

While someone like Steve might have felt it needed tweaking, someone like Roberta Williams or Scott Murphy might’ve thought it was perfect.

This game was going to be released a year after Meretzky’s The Space Bar, a game which itself could’ve used some more tweaking. That would lead me to believe that if Meretzky said it needed tweaking, it really needed tweaking… Wink

     

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TimovieMan - 21 August 2014 06:40 AM

This game was going to be released a year after Meretzky’s The Space Bar, a game which itself could’ve used some more tweaking. That would lead me to believe that if Meretzky said it needed tweaking, it really needed tweaking… Wink

That!!
Totally!!

     
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Dance Magic Dance - 20 August 2014 10:00 PM

I think Blizzard’s thinking was that it looked outdated graphically—that’s what they said publicly. That it would’ve looked good in 1995 rather than 1998 when it would’ve come out. Also, I honestly think cancelling it when they did—May 1998—was a business decision.

That’s what makes the whole situation so sad. Warcraft Adventures still looks great in 2014! It would’ve looked AMAZING in 1998!! Frown BOOOH @ Blizzard for nearly completing this seemingly awesome adventure, just to scrap it… In 1998, this would’ve been the ONLY adventure that could compete with the visuals of CMI. Here’s hoping blizzard will come to their senses, do the right thing and release this gem, but I’ve been hoping that for 16 years now.. Meh

With the insane success of World of Warcraft, this adventure game would’ve probably become hugely popular too.

     

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diego - 20 August 2014 06:54 PM
Dance Magic Dance - 20 August 2014 06:37 PM

You can just watch the gameplay video and answer it by yourself Grin (or wait for a surprise release).

Looks great! If they finish and release it I would buy the game today even in it’s 90s original form!

     
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I wouldn’t be surprised if someone at Blizzard would take the completion of it as a hobby project. Haven’t they done so with some older titles which they’ve released for free after that. I think they did that with Blackthorne at least, though that game was already finsihed, it was just made to run with modern machines.

Of what I’ve seen of the game, Warcraft Adventure has enough material to be combined into coherent game.

     
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I don’t know—to me it looks significantly worse than Curse of Monkey Island.  It certainly doesn’t look good by today’s standards (or even 1998 animation standards, I’d wager.)

I’d say it looks about on par with King’s Quest VII, with just slightly better animation.  What makes the animation look somewhat impressive is that it seems to be specifically tuned to each background—like, the characters have distinct walk animations for going up and down specific steps and things on specific screens, etc.  But the frame number is still pretty low, and the animations still look quite a bit choppier than anything you’d ever see on TV or film, or even in CoMI.

The backgrounds themselves don’t look like anything special to me—the ones in the gameplay video don’t even look finished.  They’re full of blurry spots, and a lot of the texturing actually looks like it was done with stock digital brushes.  If I saw these paintings on someone’s Deviant Art page, I’d have guessed they were still a student.

Curse of Monkey Island’s backgrounds are lightyears better.  Your mileage may vary on the cartoonish style,  but in terms of detail and finish, there’s no contest.

The game does look interesting though—and I’m surprised it hasn’t actually leaked online yet.  I’d definitely play it if it did!

     

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Lambonius - 21 August 2014 10:57 AM

I don’t know—to me it looks significantly worse than Curse of Monkey Island.  It certainly doesn’t look good by today’s standards (or even 1998 animation standards, I’d wager.)

I’m going to have to disagree. The direction the Adventure Genre went in in ‘97, ‘98 was TOO cartoony. I do think the animation itself needed a tad bit of fixing—but it wasn’t THAT bad. Also, remember, the gameplay videos of an Alpha version of the game—not even Beta

The backgrounds themselves don’t look like anything special to me—the ones in the gameplay video don’t even look finished.  They’re full of blurry spots, and a lot of the texturing actually looks like it was done with stock digital brushes.  If I saw these paintings on someone’s Deviant Art page, I’d have guessed they were still a student.

Really? They remind me of the ‘90s Disney Gargoyles series—a dark, awesome look for Adventure Games to go in, a style that’s never really been touched upon, ever, sadly.

 

 

     

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