The cancelled PlayStation 2 title Fall of the Artificer was not in production at defunct WipEout developer Studio Liverpool. Former concept artist Mathew Cooling has revealed that the scrapped project was actually the brainchild of Psygnosis Camden, the team behind the forgotten PSone platformer Kingsley’s Adventure. But what was the title all about?
“I'm not sure how much I can say about the gameplay,” Cooling teased in an exclusive chat with us. “I'll try and give an overview. It was a third-person action platformer with puzzle solving elements. It definitely had a steampunk feel to it, but it was also very magic-based.”
Cooling worked on modelling and textures during his 12 months on the project, but he also came up with a number of interesting designs. “I had designed a mechanical familiar for one of the main characters and based it on the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch but with legs,” he recalled. “I’d also designed some zombie gardeners as well.”
Sadly, the project was promptly scrapped when the developer realised that another studio was working on a similar title. “There was a long way to go with the game's production,” Cooling explained. “In a meeting showcasing future projects from other companies we noticed that another studio was doing something very similar and was far into production, so we called it a day.”
That pretty much marked the end of Psygnosis Camden, as shortly after the cancellation the company was merged with Team Soho in order to create the current Studio London. As for Cooling, he moved into a new industry. “I left games a few years ago and currently I'm a modeller for films and TV,” he said.
Sadly, his hard work on Fall of the Artificer will remain forgotten, just like so many other games that fail to get off the ground.
I actually played Kingsley's Adventure! It was... well, it was alright. It had frustrating and fiddly controls like a lot of PSone games that made the platforming a lot more frustrating than it needed to be. There was still something that I kind of liked about the game, though. I would of liked to see them try another platformer with more experience and a more powerful system!
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