2001 Delsyd Software
Initially there were big plans with Delsyd Software, with a team of 8 people, a hope to develop a host of new software for the Commodore Amiga during some dark days. When the team moved onto pastures new, Chris Kelley was left to try and keep things going himself.
In February 2001, Chris started rewriting a 3D engine he had been working on, and repurposed with creating a vehicular combat game. Chris and his friends were big Twisted Metal fans, and so Hatchbacks of Doom was born. The target platform was the AmigaOne.
By April 2001, the engine was about half finished, and Chris was interviewed about the game in Amiga Active in May 2001. Here he tells readers that Hatchbacks of Doom was set in the very near future (scarily probably set today!), where there is a problem with cities are expanding all over the world and downtown areas are dying.
Most of the cities reach an agreement, where the cheapest way to demolish these downtown areas is to start a bidding war between demolition contractors. A small group of hatchback enthusiasts decide they will attempt the task. In their minds, hatchbacks were designed to be the ultimate commuter/downtown driving cars.
Without the limited parking and stop-and-go traffic of a congested downtown area, there is no reason to own an economy car. So they decide to use their cars to do the destruction. The group arm their cars to demolish some buildings. For every building destroyed, cash is rewarded on the spot – but if the drivers car is destroyed by another car, the money is lost to the person that destroyed them.
Levels in HOD were to be located around the world, and some exotic locations were picked out. Chris worked with artist Orin Shepherd to try and squeeze as many different locations into the game as possible. Some would be fictional, and some reflecting actual cities. Music would be composed by Sky Lenzen, a co-worker of Chris at the time at IBM.
One of the highlights of the game was that everything in a level could be destroyed. Buildings, monuments, train stations and so on. Each building would be divided into destroyable sections. Explosions in buildings can also damage surrounding areas of other buildings still standing, and chain reactions could be created in some weaker structures.
For weaponry, you could get missiles, remote detonation bombs, napalm and so on. Each hatchback would have its own special weapon though, and a built in machine gun. Each driver would have their own storyline, so the game could be played out in a movie-style story mode. There would also be plans for two-player support and a level editor.
Chris was happy with the progress being made, with a fast moving engine coming together (which would be even faster hopefully after optimisations).
This was all that was revealed about the game at the time, and it seemed that nothing was playable at that point. The line went dead after that point, and although a page was put up about the game, it didn’t seem to be on there for long (unfortunately it wasn’t fully archived by archive.org to retrieve).
So we don’t believe at this point in time that the game got past the engine development. We hope to be proved wrong, and also hope that we can get hold of Chris to learn more about the game and see if anything could be shared to add to these pages.
If you know anything more about the title, please do get in touch.
With thanks to @rtid75 for the heads up about the title.