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    • One of the several scans from Rich's notebooks.


      Introduction
      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      While this was covered in a voice call we had, I'll note that the project the engine was originally made for was RAW (Reengineered Attack Weapon in full) by the same team as LEGO Island 2 (internally known as Team 4).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.


      Cut Content

      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.


      Additional Trivia

      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
       

      Brickome
      By Brickome
    • Steve Hughes and I spoke a bit back about his work on LEGO Island 2 and Island Xtreme Stunts. During our conversation he revealed several facts relating to technical and cut features from the development.



      An image of a prototype of Island Xtreme Stunts Pepper he shared.


      To begin with, I asked him about what he could remember about the development history. A standout fact to me was the fact that LEGO Island 2 was originally supposed to use stiff limbs like the original LEGO Island.
       


      He then told me about how he got involved with development of the LEGO Island games, revealing details about several unreleased Silicon Dreams Studio titles he worked on beforehand.
       


      Next up, I asked him about the engine used for LEGO Island 2, which apparently was known as SDLib.
       



      Another picture of the prototype of Pepper.


      Lastly, I asked him if he could remember any cancelled/removed content from the game.
       
       

      Brickome
      By Brickome
    • The ad where I first learned about LEGO Racers CC.


      Intro
      Back in 2019, I set myself to a special goal to find the developer behind the unreleased LEGO Racers CC (or Create + Control in full), and after several searches, I found the answer was Bizarre Creations.
          
          Shortly after I spoke to Christopher Entwistle (The Producer), Chris Speed (The Lead Artist), and Jeff Lewis (The Lead Designer). They all gave different prospectives on how far it got and what it was focused on, so I've divided their messages up into separate sections.


      Jeff Lewis - Lead Designer
      To start with I asked Jeff about the development history of the project, which lead to him revealing all sorts of details regarding various design changes and the intriguing fact it was originally designed to allow you to order a set of your in-game car.
       


      When I asked him about how far it got into development it got, he stated it was only a month away from completion.
       


      When asked directly about the gameplay Jeff described it as having a "standard championship game structure."
       


      The way he remembered the plot was that it had a focus on the "Racers CC Drome brand", presumably the way he remembered the Drome Racers theme.
       


      He also remembered several tracks that were in the game, including jungle temple and airport ones.
       

       

      Art by Gary Hall for Max Axel and Exceta


      Christopher Entwistle - Producer
      To start with I asked him what he could remember about the gameplay, which lead to him remembering the car build and that it had an elemental focus at one point.


      When I asked him about how far it got, he specifically remembered that it only got the prototype stage...
       


      He also did not remember any characters from while he was working on the project.
       



      Art by Gary Hall of Sever and Katsu


      Chris Speed - Lead Artist
      While he couldn't remember much, he did remember that it was cancelled due to LEGO's budget being tighter. Perhaps, this was due to LEGO nearly going bankrupt at the same time.



      Art by Gary Hall of Ransak and Tag


      Links
      Link to the LEGO Interactive Producer's MobyGames Profile Where "Create + Control" is Used:
      Mat Hart Biography - MobyGames

      Raw Interviews:
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/13fnl7OxuXnioUQ4VQ23YHokBzOppoa7gJ-Y-BTM7Upc/edit?usp=sharing
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YRPVbX-ucrqNxjzbyNcjc3emVEF9XIu9BUbcKpUmk4A/edit?usp=sharing

      Brickome
      By Brickome
    • A bit back Jim Southworth and I spoke about his experiences as Silicon Dreams Studio's lead animator. He revealed loads of details including cut content, developer memories, and shared several videos relating to his animation work.


      Click on the images to view the videos.


      To start off with, I asked him about he got involved with the development of LEGO Island 2:
       




      Secondly, I asked him about his favorite development memories related to the development:
       


       

      Most intriguingly, the videos he shared revealed a lot of cut content I did not expect. There were video tests for pirates, a titanic-themed diving area, among other cut portions that previously we had no knowledge of being a part of Silicon Dreams' design for LEGO Island 2: 




       

      Lastly, the next most interesting videos were toast.avi and swimintoshark.avi. In order to let you properly experience the videos I will not comment directly on them...:




       

      When I questioned Jim about toast.avi he had this to say:
       


      YouTube Playlist With Additional Videos:
      Jim Southworth Videos - YouTube
      Source Files:
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/w4b0feo0dtoe6ln/LegoIsland2_JS_AnimTests_01.zip?dl=0
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/bvn1czzu27w0zbs/LegoIsland2_JS_AnimTests_02.zip?dl=0
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/r2wixilpi8aegr2/ThrowPizzaBig.zip?dl=0
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/otkq1qccb5xg6c7/toast.zip?dl=0

      Brickome
      By Brickome
    • Hi everyone. I'd like to start by saying that I hope everyone is staying safe during this time. This week I conducted an interview with Crainy who started the development of the Bionicle fan game Quest for Mata-Nui. They've given me an insight into the development and what they're hoping to achieve with the game as well. I would like to state now that the game is not officially endorsed, sponsored or authorized by the LEGO Group in any way and is a free fan made project. The interview is below.
       
      Me:
      "Well I think the first question to ask is what made you want to create a Bionicle fan game?"
       
      Crainy:
      "I got into Bionicle way back in 2001 when it first released. I distinctly remember seeing the first Bionicle commercial that was ever aired on TV and since then Ive been a huge fan of the franchise all my life. I think Bionicle managed to create a very interesting world with a very unique atmosphere that is worth bringing to the attention of more people. Even as a kid, I wanted to explore that world in a proper RPG. Thats the reason I started this game, with this project Im basically making the game that Ive always wanted to play since I was a kid."
       
      Me:
      "In that case how long have you been working on the project?"
       
      Crainy:
      "I´ve been working on this project over 6 years now."
       
      Me:
      "One from a member of RRU:
      In your promotional materials, most if not all of the environments of Mata-Nui are extremely narrow, constricted into what are essentially hallways. Are there any plans to change or add new environments that are far more open spaces, with improved freedom and immersion?"
       
      Crainy:
      "There will be a wide variety of different environments in the game and some will be designed in a more "field" like way, yes. It should be noted though that even some of the environments that have been seen so far that have more constricted pathways are still to be explored in a free way. Its not a linear experience and there is never 1 specific path you have to follow. They way I like to describe it is as an open-world with Metroidvania elements."
       
      Me:
      "So with the 'never 1 specific path to follow', is there a storyline to follow that you can then leave for a bit and complete tasks in a part of Mata-Nui and then return to the story when you want to?"
       
      Crainy:
      "Yeah, definitely. You can approach the game like you would any open-world game. A player starting as Tahu could just decide to head into Le-Koro right at the start and continue his adventure there for a while."
       
      Me:
      "Ah that's definitely a good way to start a game. Is there going to be any voice acting in the game, and if so will it be like the Bionicle mask of light game, or Bionicle Legend of Mata-Nui game?"
       
      Crainy:
      "We currently have no plans for voice-acting, but we are looking into the option of using voice effects like Legend of Mata Nui does."
       
      Me:
      "Cool. Now in one of your development update videos we had a preview of a battle with an enemy and the physics around that. Will each Toa have their own "special" moves for example Tahu fire blast from his swords or Kopaka ice blast?"
       
      Crainy:
      "Each Toa will have their unique elemental abilities, yeah."
       
      Me:
      "With that then I'm guessing there'll be opportunities to see the other skills of each Toa like Tahu lavaboarding, Kopaka ice surfing, Gali swimming, etc?"
       
      Crainy:
      "Well every character will have the ability to swim. As for the rest like surfing, I am interested in doing that, but its low-priority. It might get added in update after release."
       
      Me:
      "Can we expect Makuta or Takanuva to appear in the game, as well as the Turaga?"
       
      Crainy:
      "Well the story is focused on the first year of Bionicle, so you can definitely expect the Turaga aswell as Makuta."
       
      Me:
      "In that case my last question is when do you think Alpha or Beta tests will occur, or are they already in place?"
       
      Crainy:
      "I dont really know when beta tests will take place, so I cant give a satisfying answer here. I am also not sure if the beta tests will be public, or focus on a smaller audience. I am doing testing with various people behind closed doors from time to time, though."
       
      One thing for certain with a project of this scale. Quality will definitely be high as it's clear to s how much passion and dedication it's being put into the production of this fan game. I for one cannot wait to play it once it's released to the public, but for now we can see any new developments from the teams YouTube channel and discord server.
      YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpDnhOuhJ3Sxr4SpBudL15Q Discord: https://discord.gg/TkAytzJ
      These are also some images from the Discord server and the initial trailer for the game: https://youtu.be/U0E_f9wUZQo
       

       

       

       

       
      For more pictures go check out their Discord server. This is certainly looking very promising so far! Hope you're all as excited as I am. Stay safe out there everyone!

      LDD Mods
      By LDD Mods
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