The folks over at NotEnoughShaders recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Don Murphy, a former and long time animator at Rare Ltd who shed some light on canceled projects, and life at Rare after the Microsoft acquisition. One of the most interesting tidbits involves a called Kinect project that was dubbed Savannah. The game was in its early stages of development at a time when Rare (or anyone else for that matter) lacked solid details on exactly what Kinect would be able to accomplish. The basic concept involved players raising a lion cub in an Africa-like environment. In this environment, teaching your cub survival skills would be just as important as social skills. The image above represents a pair of renders from Savannah, which was never officially green lit. We’d be surprised if you’re not thinking about raising a lion cub named Simba right now.
Mr. Murphy touched upon a variety of other subjects during the interview, including the direction of Rare after the Microsoft acquisition. At one point during the interview, it is mentioned that Rare wanted to pursue development of a new high-definition entry in their popular fighting franchise, Killer Instinct, but that Microsoft had pushed Rare to develop products for a wider audience like Viva Pinata, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Kameo: Elements of Power and eventually Kinect Sports instead. It’s also revealed that a more realistic and “darker” sequel to Kameo was once in development, but that like many other proposed projects at Rare, was shoved aside by Microsoft. You can dive into all the juicy tidbits revealed in the interview for yourself by following this link.
The plight of Rare is one of particular interest to Kinect owners as Rare is viewed as one of the development studios that Microsoft has focusing on its betterment. It has become apparent that the fates of both Rare as a developer and Kinect as a device are most certainly intertwined. To catch up on the past, present and future of Rare, be sure to check out Xbox Kinect Fans’ very first Primer feature on Rare, here.