As modern games continue to implement restrictive online requirements and DRM, an urgent effort is growing within the video game community to preserve and archive classic game releases. Project Deluge is one such effort, an endeavor to collect video game development material of all kinds run by The Hidden Palace organization. Project Deluge is back once again with another wave of hundreds of prototype games, this time from the original Xbox and Sega Dreamcast.
Released on Saturday, the most recent update to Project Deluge includes 349 Xbox prototypes and 135 Sega Dreamcast prototypes. By "prototype," these files could be fully unreleased games, early versions of games, ports, tech demos, unfinished localizations, and similar projects. Each individual prototype has been individually vetted by the Project Deluge team for playability, to ensure its value as part of the overall collection. Acknowledging that, all 484 prototypes are now available online.
The listed of games included in the new wave of Project Deluge releases is exciting. On Sega Dreamcast, the list starts with a version of 4 Wheel Thunder, only at four months prior to release it was named Offroad Thunder. Beyond that, there are prototypes for Deep Fighter that's near-finished, as well as Illbleed, and Jet Grind Radio is described as featuring "decent debugging features." The list goes on with Ready 2 Rumble Boxing Round 2, San Francisco Rush 2049, Shadow Man, Test Drive Cycles, Vigilante 8: Second Offense, WWF Attitude, and even Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.
Included Xbox prototypes are even more diverse and exciting. Project Deluge lists an unreleased Xbox port of American Idol, Hail to the Chimp, He-Man: Defender of Grayskull, and Pac-Man World Rally first. There's also an unreleased, canceled localization of Dinosaur Hunting: Ushinawareta Daichi. Other unreleased games include The Red Star, US Open 2003, and The Vatz. Other prototypes that include the earliest prototype of Psychonauts yet discovered, Rogue Ops, and Room Zoom: Race for Impact.
Hopefully, the list of games that Project Deluge calls attention to makes clear the effort's intent. This is a project devoted to archival. It's looking for curiosities and rarities, such as prototypes that have never seen the light of day but are important to game development history. Project Deluge notes that developers had cold feet on releasing games for the Xbox out of fear it wouldn't be successful, so there's a treasure trove of unreleased prototypes that may have otherwise been lost to time.
This drop is just the latest in Project Deluge's plans. It has no intention of slowing down or stopping, so fans can expect another collection of game prototypes for the archives in the "next couple of months."
Source: Project Deluge