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!