From Sega Retro
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive|
|Developer: Artech Digital Entertainments|
|Number of players: 1|
|Status of prototype(s): Unreleased|
|Peripheral(s): Sega VR|
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Outlaw Racing is an unreleased Sega Mega Drive racing game for use with the Sega VR headset, developed by Artech Digital Entertainments and slated to be published by Sega. Problems with achieving an acceptable framerate led to the game’s eventual cancellation.
The game was briefly described in the August/September 1993 issue of Sega Visions magazine, where it was advertised as a racing game with vehicular combat and advanced stereo sound.
Despite the game's cancellation, programmer Alexander G. M. Smith retained a full backup of the project for archival purposes (which amounted to ten boxes of floppy disks.) Unfortunately, these boxes were later lost in a company move. However, Smith had also retained a VHS tape containing 45 minutes of footage of Outlaw Racing's various development milestones, including the near-finalized game in action.
In August 2020, Smith was contacted by Dylan Mansfield of Gaming Alexandria, a video game preservation group, with the intent of recovering as much material related to Outlaw Racing's development as possible. Along with helping preserve information and footage related to the project, Smith also created a page on his official website detailing its development - and including the game's full development log, from inception to cancellation.
Originally known as Sprint Cars, the game was in development from 1993 to 1994. Working with Sega of America producer Carl Mey, the small Canadian studio was one of few developers granted access to the upcoming Sega VR peripheral for the Sega Mega Drive.
Development progressed to a fairly playable point before framerate issues forced the project’s cancellation. The engine was only able to generate 7 frames per second, and drawing the ground in 3D would drop that to nearly half.
|“||I (Alexander G. M. Smith) worked on this three dimensional prototype game on the Sega Genesis in 1993 and 1994 at Artech Digital Entertainments (17 employees at the time, mostly working on other projects), in Ottawa Canada, under remote direction from Carl at Sega. The idea was to see if the Genesis could do 3D fast enough to make a game which could use a 3D headset. That's why you can look all the way around the car's cockpit, and look up and down too. The end result wasn't fast enough to be a good game, so that's why the project was ended. Also, the Sega 32X (Mars) faster CPU + Video adapter for the Genesis was around the corner, and the Sega Saturn and other later hardware that could do better 3D were in the pipeline too.||„|
Title screen from the January 1994 prototype, shown at Winter CES 1994.
- https://twitter.com/tempusfugitive/status/1298051577417064449 (Wayback Machine: 2021-04-11 09:00)
|Topics||Technical specifications | History | Magazine articles | Promotional material | Ono-Sendai Corporation|
|Games||Iron Hammer | Matrix Runner | Nuclear Rush | Outlaw Racing|