Armada 2 and Dark Angel: Vampire Apocalypse on Dreamcast,  behind the scenes of 2 Unreleased from the company  Metro3D !!!

Metro3D was an American video game development and publishing company founded in 1998. Based in San José, California, the company published several games for various consoles including the Dreamcast.

“The Dreamcast was a special system. As a young team of PC developers, this was our first console, so it was an exciting opportunity. ”

For fans of the spiral console, Metro3D is known to have created the game Armada, an American exclusive.

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TAM TAM TAM TAM TANAM TAM TANAM Armada here we are !!!

The game was set in the indefinite future. Mankind had fled to the stars in an attempt to survive a space fleet, the Armada, led by aliens who destroyed the earth. Centuries later, the survivors will form six distinct factions united by a fragile alliance to fight against the Armada. Revenge is near!

The gameplay is typical of RPGs: it is about increasing the level of your ship so that it withstands more hits and is able to inflict more damage.

“For the first Armada, we wanted to use Random Generation to create a huge play space that four players could co-op explore on the couch.”

The development team faced many technical obstacles including performance issues related to the accumulation of layers of transparency. Sega and Microsoft appearing to be in conflict, the Windows boot operating system (the dreamcast had a dual boot system, native or Windows / CE) was not running efficiently, which hurt their project. It was hard to deliver the game on a tight deadline.

“I think that relationship led Microsoft to want to build their own console rather than trying to cooperate. Sega didn't seem to make a long-term commitment to supporting the second operating system, or even the console itself. ”

Two other Metro3D projects failed, Amarda 2 and Dark Angel. They should  go out on DC. They were canceled for reasons explained below.

“There are so many games that fail. There are thousands of reasons things fall apart, usually political. ”

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Dark Angel: Vampire Apocalypse  and Armada 2, unfinished projects

Dark Angel: Vampire Apocalypse was an action RPG game promising 400 hours of gameplay in which we had to play as a vampire by the name of Anna. The forces of evil had just made their appearance in the world at the dawn of this new year 1670. With the help of his avatar, the player would protect the Townsmen of three cities, preparing them for the next attack which was to come. produce in a year. Anna was going on a crusade against the Shadow Lord and his three armies of monsters: the living dead, the forgotten and the mutants. The Dark Angel, a heroine to follow closely!

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Anna Dark Angel Vampire Apocalypse artwork.JPG
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"What I remember is that we had planned to ship Dark Angel on the Dreamcast, but the console was ditched before the game was ready to release and our sales managers decided it would cost us too much. expensive to spend time finishing it to be worth releasing in a market that Sega had essentially abandoned. ”

This title was finally released on Playstation 2 and did not receive good reviews. We can now understand why by knowing its secret development.

“It had to be for PS2. We put together a game that was generated 100% randomly, including the text of the missions. We did the best we could, but no one was very happy with the result. We completely stopped working on Armada 2 at that point. ”

The cancellation of Dark Angel Dreamcast is complex. A new Taiwanese studio was in charge of the Dreamcast port. Despite a great team and a lot of resources, they were unable to make the basics of the game work, worse they hid it at the parent company. Finally, the Taiwanese director made an agreement with another company and took half of his team with him. The four programmers of the American office found themselves having to deliver Dark Angel in four months with nothing and with few usable resources!

“I think the Dreamcast version was far from over, so it wasn't just a matter of fixing a few bugs and getting it certified. It was probably playable because Armada 2 was and they used the same codebase. In many ways you could call Dark Angel an Armada 2 alpha total conversion mod. "

Dark Angel Vampire Apocalypse Dreamcast.JPG

Armada 2: Exodus, was in development, initially for the Dreamcast, then for the Xbox, the Gamecube and possibly the PS2. However, due to repeated delays and rework as well as limited resources, the game was canceled after spending over 4 years in varying degrees of development.

Armada 2 DC had to focus on online multiplayer. A fun online game was born from this project: Armada Online. It operated for 13 years. "

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Armada 2 Dreamcast gameplay.jpg

Conclusion

Sales and marketing executives continued to call for rushed games like this. Given Armada 2's delays and Dark Angel's quality issues, they persuaded the CEO to get rid of internal development and just focus on releasing games from other studios. The company will close in 2004.

“I have fond memories of Soul Calibur, Virtua Tennis, Crazy Taxi, Marvel v Capcom and Jet Set Radio on Dreamcast. Everyone thought it was going to be a big hit and there would be an amazing Dreamcast 2. Luckily we still have three strong competitors in the console business, pushing each other to improve, but I miss Sega. . "

Dreamcast press photo

Thanks to Mark Jordan , Designer and lead on Dark Angel and Armada 1 & 2, and Chris Lambert for their testimonials.