Black Hawk is an exciting looking helicopter simulator, where you have to pilot a high tech helicopter as part of a counter terrorist force, flying through a city – disarming bombs and saving people.
The game itself surfaced via a YouTube video from a Lucasarts promo for 1987, and shows a game which is similar technically to Chuck Yeager’s Advanced Flight Trainer – suggesting that it could possibly be by the same developer.
Here is a video of it running:
Sadly the game never surfaced and didn’t seem to get heard much about in the press.
What happened to it? Well, unfortunately the game was felt to be too slow with a painful framerate update, so it was decided to retire the game. Some optimisations were attempted, but couldn’t really get it up to a decent speed overall.
Artist, Aric Wilmunder very kindly dug out and scanned in the design document for the game (which at the time in 1986 was untitled, and just called Helecopter Simulation) which was created by Noah Falstein. You can now download this below to see full details of a game, which was to include features such as:
- Passenger Transport
- Rescue Operations
- Search and Rescue
- and more…
It is hoped that something of the game itself could be recovered, though all development was done on SUN workstations, and no disk backups were made. Aric sadly had nothing relating to the game directly. Hopefully the developer may have more to share, so watch this space!
Contributions: Nemo, Noah Falstein, Boris Schneider-Johne, Aric Wilmunder
08/09/16 – Credits confirmed + design document added!
Black Hawk was programmed / produced by Noah Falstein (of PHM Pegasus Fame). Today he is head of game design at Google.
I had a disk of a prototype once. It was stretching the C64 to the limits and I think it got cancelled because the framerate would not work out. Unfortunately I had to give back all the Lucasfilm stuff and never kept a copy.
Maybe Noah has a disc or files somewhere.
Boris Schneider-Johne, Germany, (worked for Lucasfilm/arts in the Monkey Island years)
Thanks Boris – i’ve contacted Noah and he’s hoping to dig out the design doc for us to potentially include some day.