1995 Peakstar Software / SEGA
Platforms: SEGA 32X and Saturn
As part of the launch and release of The Games That Weren’t book, we are adding assets and content that didn’t make it to print as bonus DLC content to share with you. Images are (c) David A. Palmer and used with permission. With thanks to Eric Quakenbush for the additional scans provided.
Within the book is an in-depth and detailed 16 page story about the unreleased Virtua Hamster by Peakstar/SEGA for the 32X and Saturn platforms. We overall speak to designer Eric Quakenbush, producer David A Palmer, lead developer Nick Kimberley, associate producer/artist Ben Palmer, artist Roddy McMillan and musician Paul Tankard – getting their recollections about the project.
The 32X edition was a mostly cut down version of Eric Quakenbush’s original game design, with a Saturn edition to be started afterwards which would more closely align with Eric’s original vision. The Saturn version was never to be started due to events with the 32X edition.
A few months from completion, SEGA decided to pull the plug due to financial issues at SEGA of America. David A Palmer was given complete ownership of the entire game design and code as part of a settlement.
Both Eric and David were very kind to provide assets from the game to include in the book, which we did. However, only a small sample could be shown and therefore we have been given permission to add the rest online as bonus content. David in particular loaned GTW an entire portfolio of concept designs, maps, game design documents and even bits of code print outs. Well over 100 scans were made as a result, and can be found below.
There is also a download of the early prototype that sneaked out, though it is hoped that the last build of the game will be allowed for release some day soon. We will let you know as soon as this can happen.
- Ken Horowitz’s 2009 piece on the game
- Eric Quakenbush’s page/s on Virtua Hamster
- Pre-production video of Virtua Hamster
Images are (c) David A. Palmer and used with permission. With thanks to Eric Quakenbush for the additional scans provided.