Project Kursed Retrospective
Language Warning in Video
We've got a bit of a history lesson here, folks. Sit back and enjoy!
UndyingNephalim and Adam Halpin got together on October 20th to talk about their first game project, a long-forgotten fan game called Project Kursed which developed during 2008. If I recall correctly, this was to be the first fangame to star Krystal as the main character. In the end, it turned out that no-one involved in the project actually knew what they were doing, and numerous failures in development led to the whole thing falling apart rather quickly. However, they did manage to produce some concept art, music, voice acting, and a trailer, which the Krystal Archive would help premier.
In this podcast, the two of them go over what it was like working on the project, the absolute levels of cringe involved in the trailer, and how the whole thing has been memory holed by the internet. Later, UndyingNephalim would go on to work professionally in the game industry and then create a Star Fox RTS game and the now nearly complete Star Fox: Event Horizon. (Likewise, I was at DigiPen at the time, studying game programming myself).
For my part, I was approached rather early in the project development to help promote the game. I was on-board and even submitted some voice acting auditions for some of the characters, as there was a call for voice actors at the time. I think I provided repository space on my server so they could host code and track changes. I agreed to help them premier their trailer, which was supposed to be this amazing reveal for the world. Everything was hype. I was ready to promote this game to the ends of the earth!
And then... the trailer appeared. There was an immediate sinking feeling in my stomach. I knew right away that this game was FAR from where it needed to be to be announced, and probably wouldn't ever be finished, if they thought this counted as a suitable trailer. As you'll hear in the podcast, there was almost no content in the trailer, only containing some voice acting and a single render of the 3D Kursed character model.
But, I had promised to premier the trailer, so I did it with gritted teeth and didn't say anything about my misgivings. Most people took it positively, though I don't know why. Maybe they didn't see what I saw. Certainly, from the podcast, it seems that the idea that the trailer was full of cringe wouldn't sink in for a few weeks for even the people working closest on the game!
After that, the project fell apart pretty quickly and I heard less and less from the original team, though lots of people contacted me asking for me to put in a good word for them as aspiring voice actors. Years later, I realized I still had the code repository on my server, but apparently they never used it, so I ended up removing it.
However, never let it be said that Project Kursed didn't have a positive impact on anything. As a matter of fact, because of this debacle, I immediately instituted a policy on the Krystal Archive that I would never agree to promote anything again until I was sure of its quality, AND, I would outright refuse to mention fangames in the future unless they could demonstrate real, working gameplay at the very least. No more "I have this great idea, will you tell people about it?" requests. Let that be a lesson to you up and coming game developers out there. Don't bother showing your game to anyone until you at least have a working prototype.
And here, dear friends, our story ends... but not quite. You see, the two hosts of the post-mortem tried to find copies of the original trailer, but were unable to do so. Apparently the originator of the project went out of his way to remove every trace of the project media from the internet. The hosts had to resort to describing the trailer to the listeners. It's a shame no-one has a copy of that cringe-fest...
But this is the KRYSTAL ARCHIVE, son! I have that trailer in my archives. Just pulled it out and watched it, in fact. I even found that they put me in the credits for something, though I don't know what for, maybe "promoted by"? Anyway, I'll have a talk with UndyingNephalim and see if he's cool with an archived re-release of the trailer and maybe a few other things like voice acting clips and concept art. If so, prepare to experience the cringe, all over again!
Wow! I remember this project, actually! Back when I first started following the Krystal Archive about ten years ago!
I always hoped that the game would come out, so imagine my disappointment when it was cancelled.
Even though UndyingNephalim has moved on to other projects, like Star Fox: Event Horizon and Hyrule: Total War, I do sincerely hope he would reconsider taking ip this project again, but with a better team of developers.
Heck, I would love to help work on it, as I plan on going into game development myself within a few years. I just need to find a decent school for an affordable price, or become self-taught.
Any recommendations on where to start with that, Mr. Krystal?
Go ahead and make games for yourself for now. There are tons of resources and tutorials online. Go through those first. Make a few games. I recommend making a Tetris clone first.
After that, if you still like it, I recommend DigiPen.
I recently spoke with a game artist for Activision (he was at a little Comic-Con event that my local public library put on), and he advised me to go more towards the self-teach route.
Reason being is that quite a few game developers go to school to learn how to make games, and then have to get a day job, like delivering pizzas, to pay their college loans.
I’m in a similar position right now, but with a different degree unrelated to gaming. I work at a grocery store pushing shopping carts, despite graduating from college.
And even if I go to school for it, I would prefer that it be through a public school, and not a private one. Public schools can be a little cheaper, if you ask me. And I would like to see if any of them offer online courses for it.
But for now, I will try to teach myself. The big thing is learning how to 3D model and animate, which I can learn at my local community college (which also offers courses on game development).
If you already have a degree and don’t have a good job, yeah, focus on that first. Focus on improving your career first, and get yourself stable, then use your nights and weekends to teach yourself. You’ve already been through college, so you don’t need another degree, even in game programming. I thought you weren’t in college yet.
Don’t even bother with official courses, public or private. Teach yourself at this point, it’ll be more effective.
it’s been a long time since i seen or heard that fan game again, i guess to much pressure on them or didn’t have time for it.
star fox command was my least favorite star fox game, but making a game base on one of those ending, i probably play it, but will not like the story.
Yep, I graduated college back in May of 2015. I got the job at the grocery store in April of this year, the first job I have had since graduating.
My degree was in English, with an emphasis in writing (especially creative writing), hence my interest in volunteering for this site, which as I mentioned previously, I have followed for about ten years now.
But I do plan on trying to teach myself. If only the store would stop scheduling me on the weekends, as they seem to be doing more of now. :P
It makes me happy to see people come together to make something they enjoy. I remember joining a fan game project as well though it wasn’t star fox related. Someone I knew who was also apart of the project recommended me to them to write the story. Sadly because of the huge gap between our ideas and interests as too where this game should go it fell apart quickly.
The lesson I learned from this is that in order to work as a team you need to consider the other team members ideas and try not to be harsh or biased.
Truthfully though, getting into game design isn’t something that can quickly be done. It takes coorperation and effort on all team members.