So, this is the next part of my “research”. Let’s continue our journey into the development of the first Far Cry.
The content I told you about before didn’t really resemble the final game.
From early 2003 onwards (if to believe Gamer’s Hell FC screenshot gallery’s dates when screenshots were added, which seem to be pretty accurate) it starts to resemble the final game.
Screenshots and concept arts in (more or less) chronological order:
These are some early concepts of Jack Carver:
(There were also some really rare mercenary concepts on a russian FC fan site farcry dot ru, but it doesn't work now, and those concepts cannot be found anywhere now.)
Here are some of the first screenshots from this new stage of development:
The game looks indeed much more similar to the final version. The Blackhawk helicopter is first seen, and the mercs are almost identical to the final ones. However, no HUD is seen at those screenshots. Also, this is the unnamed river level I told about which inspired me to remake the final River.
This is the first confirmed appearance of M4 in game:
And this screenshot shows all of the newer mercenary models:
Around the same time Humvee and Inflatable boat appeared for the first time..:
…along with the night vision mode (I don’t think it’s an edited screenshot because files left in the game indicate that it should have looked so):
Sniper scope and binoculars (although, as for me, the latter are worsened):
Almost one month later the new HUD emerges! The HUD in the mod is mostly (but not entirely) based on this version because it is the most unusual, atmospheric one and it has the most resources left in the final game. The level on the background looks like the Steam. Look at the yellow indicator of being noticed.
It does not appear often on screenshots from the time unlike video footages:
*There should be the original video, but it has been deleted with the channel where a lot of important video footages were present, including one that was posted in the first part of the article. Fortunately, I have its dub on Youtube.*
Notice these features:
*I had a higher-res version of the video, but it also got deleted. I really hope they were not deleted because of info clean-up*
The sound is most likely edited
The first versions of what would later become Treehouse,…
…, Steam (along with a similar looking concept art, thank Marek33 for providing link to it),…
…and Fort are seen for the first time on screenshots. Notice the lack of pre-generated shadows on some levels, especially Research.
Around this time some unnamed Swamp level is seen (it is also seen in the video):
Look at its concept:
The first version of the Falcon .357 is also seen during this time. I reskinned the retail Falcon to make it look similar to this version. Notice the background looking like the first version of the Carrier:
There are more screenshots of the Carrier and the Fort levels. You will notice that for the most time of the development the aircraft carrier was originally placed on the Fort and radio tower stood in place of the satellite dish
(notice the smoke grenade detonated, probably to call for reinforcements)
A level that looks pretty similar to the camp area on the Pier is added.
Here is the original Buggy with a different dashboard, no mounted weapon and a tire mounted on the back (you will notice more of its screenshots later on the article)
Another version of M4's anims which did not reappear later, unlike the previous version:
The only screenshot of some level looking similar to the River:
The first time Jackhammer and AW50 reappear (notice the grenade model):
Getting fire from the carrier:
Objects are textured to appear staying underwater for a long time:
Another screenshot of a buggy:
Merc looking like being blinded by flashlight
A concept of some river level which also inspired my River redesign:
Screenshots of some unidentified level, the style of which looks similar to River and Catacombs (it might be the level described in ruins.xml text hints file, but I'll tell more about this later in the article). Notice a very cool feature of minigun's tilting up and down in first person view, which looks much more realistic in comparison to final's minigun being fixed to FPV. Also notice the pickup icon above the explosive which appeared for some time during development and the assets of which remain in the final game:
More screenshots of the Research level. Notice G36:
Look at this bundle of "concepts" which were likely drawn (rather poorly) on top of in-editor or in-game screenshots
Or look at this concept with much more efforts put in it:
Look at a screenshot of a level looking surprisingly similar to the Boat:
The first confirmed appearance of OICW. It's placed differently compared to the final version. I've also repositioned it so in the mod:
Shotgun is placed differently too. I did not change its position though:
Look at the new version of the HUD. I tried to remake the compass from it because it's as functional as the final one yet still authentic, but failed at it and used the flat one from the previous version of the HUD:
Look at the video from this stage of development showing this HUD and some other details:
More pics of the old Buggy Humvee and also Pier.
Look at the concepts for Carrier and Fort
More screenies of the Fort level. It's late 2003 already:
Concepts showing some ancient ruins
Notice that helicopters' MGs are placed under the cockpit:
A screen with a rocket launcher shooting a missile smoking differently:
And during late 2003 the new version of the HUD emerges:
It is shown on numerous videos too. Some interesting details from the videos:
This screenshot shows the almost finalized M4's position on the screen:
Some lab concepts:
The aforementioned "load last checkpoint" menu:
As my co-author, @Σwρch noticed, all beta screenshots have "more matted" render than in final version.
Later there's no really interesting (semi-)official screenshots and concept arts. The game becomes almost identical to the final version, it's the very end of 2003. Some cool things still remain in the files of FC's demo, you will read about them down in the article.
There are some interesting videos from an unidentified time period, some are from the middle of development and some are from the end:
And much more, they are found pretty easily.
However, much more info dwells in game's data.
Let us start with scripts:
We will continue with examining unused shaders. There are many unused shaders in the game, but I'll tell about the most interesting ones:
Now let's have a look at FC's Textures folder:
There is a lot of info about completely cut (or transformed levels) in mission hints xml and sound files in the "Localized/*your_language*.pak/Languages" folder:
Levels also contain something from the pre-release- but I won't tell much about it. I know for sure that there is an unfinished area on Volcano level
And let's end with Far Cry's objects:
That's not all, I'll add and correct something later, so expect more! I've found some people who worked on FC1 and I might "interview" them later. I also ask everybody reading this and speaking German to translate the info about the game written in German.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned something new about it.
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