Road Rash fans are likely aware that Electronic Arts has flirted with reviving the violent racer on "next-gen" platforms, a project that has reared its head in video and trademark form. But did you know that EA was also working on an Oliver Twist game?
It got at least as far as the concept art stage, according to old artwork from concept designer Ross Dearsley unearthed by the man who prefers to be called superannuation. Dearsley's concepts cover all manner of Electronic Arts project, from the unreleased Gunhead to something called Hurikan to other unnamed projects.
Let's take a peek at the unannounced, potentially aborted Road Rash.
Dearsley's notes says that he was focusing on "ease of differentiation" in his character concepts for a new Road Rash, with bikers of all shapes, sizes and visual personalities. There's not much here beyond clothing studies and loose sketches of big, bulky and portly characters, but they certainly do nail "ease of differentiation".
And, to add to the list of literary works turned video games, Dearsley's concepts out a game concept based on Oliver Twist.
Looks a bit like a kid's version of Assassin's Creed, but with one potentially interesting concept mentioned in the notes, Oliver's hunger levels affecting his pose and animation and, I assume, his vitality. Dearsley's concepts show off Fagin, multiple versions of Oliver and the Bowstreet Runners.
The artist has concept art from another project, something "Arthurian" from 2007, also for Electronic Arts, on his personal blog. He notes that one of the project's "key visual elements was to be the scale difference between 'normal' people and the gigantic armoured knights".
Seems EA is quite taken with building IP upon already existing work without those costly licensing fees. Shame that some of this stuff never saw the light of day. Another opportunity to work in "Dickensian" into a post lost.