Since 2017 Richard Hancock (Silicon Dreams Studio designer) and I have spoken off and on about his involvement in the development of LEGO Island 2 (which he was lead designer on) and Island Xtreme Stunts, along with the tie-in setline of the latter title. Initially, I didn't have permission to share my correspondences, but thankfully times changed.
I have sorted through my countless messages with him and divided them into different sections for each project, with LEGO Island 2 being further split up due to his large role.
LEGO Island 2
Development History Memories
To start off with let's go over his memories about how Silicon Dreams Studio got the project. Work began in late 1999 when LEGO Media producers toured Silicon Dreams.
He also noted he created around 50 minigame concepts during the pitch.
While this was covered in a voice call we had, I'll note that the project the engine was originally made for was RAW (Reengineered Attack Weapon in full) by the same team as LEGO Island 2 (internally known as Team 4). A version of this title was shown to LEGO Media, with Rich saying some "blood and guts" were removed.
According to him, Whack-a-bot was one of the first minigames concepted
Also, he did find that animation along with others. Check the bottom links to see them.
And OGEL's content came last in the development of the game, with the game developing chronologically.
Early sketches for the Matching Mummies Tomb.
During our initial talks, he told me what he could remember about the cut Rock Raiders content.
He also remembered the plot involved Pepper trying to find Power Crystals to power something on LEGO Island.
When I showed him the Titanic animation Jim Southworth shared, he mentioned it originated from a concept for an underwater title unrelated to LEGO.
He also believed the Pirate animation Jim Southworth shared was just an early concept while they were experimenting with ideas.
More early LEGO Island 2 notes and sketches, this time mentioning Rock Raiders.
First off he remembered they used Maya, likely 2.0, to develop the scenes before exporting them to a format the engine would understand.
Next, Rich stated he believe the hand-drawn picture in Pepper's house came from Tim Green, a LEGO Media producer when asked.
Rich also remembered being given several documents for reference, along with being offered LEGO Island 1's assets. However, due to being unfamiliar with them, they decided to start from scratch.
Lastly, there is one last intriguing piece of information relating to the Oasis Fisherman. The notepad scans he shared stated, and I quote: "The Oasis Fisherman is Pepper's D...", as unfortunately the page got cut off before that bit.
When I asked Rich about it, he confirmed the "D" stood for "Dad" in full.
Several notes, including the one that states the Oasis Fisherman is Pepper's dad.
Island Xtreme Stunts (Setline)
Rich didn't just work on the LEGO Island games, he also worked on the LEGO Island Xtreme Stunts setline, which was the first time LEGO brought in outside developers to Billund to develop sets.
He could also pinpoint that development started in June 2000, due to the fact he got his passport at the same time.
A sketch of LEGO Island 2's dino park section.
The Silk Road
Rich Hancock worked on a pitch of his own for the early Silk Road stages of the development of LEGO Island 3, which later became Island Xtreme Stunts. His concept was for a perpetual LEGO Island MMO that he recalled was inspired by Asheron's Call and Everquest during a voice call.
His notes on the concept.
Island Xtreme Stunts (Game)
Rich took a different role on this title, mostly working on the skateparks and vocals for the music tracks,
He revealed that the PS2 port was supposed to have waves, but were removed due to tech limitations.
Also, he mentioned that LEGO insisted on the half-pipe introduction being a thing, despite slowing down the loading times.
A sketch of Castle Island for LEGO Island 2.
Playlist of Gameplay Concept Videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEUNWSJBAhZtk8D237fShLSlUXsSiIv-E
Source Files: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ftzrp41rtoq4arz/LEGO Animations-20200503T203732Z-001.zip?dl=0
Imgur Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/8RYapGu