Post feature RSS Exploring development of Far Cry 1: part 2

This is the second part of my article dedicated to telling you about Far Cry's cut content.

Posted by on

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) (actually, as later finds have shown, from late 2002) 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. - edit: found them anyway, check out the later parts for these concepts)

Here are some of the first screenshots from this new stage of development:

1540 full

1537 full

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:

1534 full

And this screenshot shows all of the newer mercenary models:

1535 full

Around the same time Humvee and Inflatable boat appeared for the first time..:

1538 full

1544 full

…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):

1546 full

Sniper scope and binoculars (although, as for me, the latter are worsened):

1545 full

1543 full

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 one and it has the most resources left in the final game (edit - new versions of the mod have all of the HUD versions restored and selectable in-game). The level on the background looks like the Steam. Look at the yellow indicator of being noticed.

betascreenshot2

betascreenshot6

It does not appear often on screenshots from the time unlike video footages:


Far Cry Gamestar Pre-Release Video (2003) - Mod DB

Notice these features:

  • message bar appears. I took the later versions because they look more complete and overall better, besides I still need something that will link the mod with later HUD versions
  • different "Saving game" indicator, "Checkpoint reached" label on the messages display
  • different heat vision mode
  • a swamp level and a completely unknown level
  • binoculars have an equalizer in some versions
  • G36 now appears
  • a skybox from the earliest stages of development of what would later evolve into Far Cry 1
  • third person view camera turns on when player dies

Czech-language version:

The sound is most likely edited in this one:


Far Cry CRYENGINE Tech Video - Mod DB

The first versions of what would later become Treehouse,…

1558 full

1559 full

1569 full

1562 full

1571 full

..., Research,…

1561 full

1564 full

1566 full

…, Steam (along with a similar looking concept art, thank Marek33 for providing link to it),…

1560 full

1567 full

Far Cry - wallpaper 1

…and Fort are seen for the first time on screenshots. Notice the lack of pre-generated shadows on some levels, especially Research.

1565 full

1568 full

1570 full

Around this time some unnamed swamp level is seen (it is also seen in the video):

1563 full 1

betascreenshot1

Look at its concept (uncropped version can be seen in later parts of the article):

Far Cry - wallpaper 3

The first version of the Falcon .357 is also seen during this time. I reskinned the final game's Falcon to make it look similar to this version. Notice the background looking like the first version of the Carrier:

1572 full

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

1573 full

1574 full

1575 full

(notice the detonated smoke grenade, probably to call for reinforcements)

1576 full

1577 full

1578 full

1579 full

1582 full

1583 full

1584 full

1586 full

1594 full

1586 full 1

1589 full

1593 full

1595 full

1596 full

1602 full

A level that looks pretty similar to the camp area on the Pier is added.

1580 full

1581 full

1591 full

1600 full

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) (edit - there seems to be an even earlier version actually - check part 7 for it)

1587 full

Another version of M4's anims which did not reappear later, unlike the previous version:

1590 full

1597 full

The only screenshot of some level looking similar to the River:

1599 full

The first time Jackhammer and AW50 reappear (notice the grenade model):

1603 full

Getting fire from the carrier:

1604 full

1607 full

Objects are textured to appear staying underwater for a long time:

1606 full

Another screenshot of a buggy:

1610 full

A merc looking like being blinded by flashlight

1601 full

A concept of some river level which also inspired my River redesign:

1611 full

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 in 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:

1612 full

1613 full

1614 full

1615 full

1616 full

1617 full

1622 full

1629 full

More screenshots of the Research level. Notice the G36:

1618 full

1619 full

1620 full

1623 full

1653 full

Look at this bundle of "concepts" which were likely drawn (rather poorly) on top of in-editor or in-game screenshots

1636 full

1621 full

1630 full

Or look at this concept with much more efforts put in it:

Far Cry - wallpaper 7

Look at a screenshot of a level looking surprisingly similar to the Boat:

1634 full

The first confirmed appearance of OICW. It's placed differently compared to the final version. I've also repositioned it so in the mod:

1625 full

1628 full

Shotgun is placed differently too. I did not change its position though:

1637 full

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 (edit - implemented in the later versions of the mod, along with other HUD version):

1624 full

1631 full

1638 full

1627 full

1645 full

Look at the video from this stage of development showing this HUD and some other details:

  • HUD had a separate breath/stamina meter which I remade in the mod.
  • We began the Carrier awaking with our hands tied with rope and Doyle telling us some hints by the radio which haven't been preserved (edit - found a cleaner version of this cutscene later).
  • Jack's no-vest model featured no gloves up to the FC's demo.
  • Pickup icons are featured.
  • The binoculars featured an equalizer and looked more like the final version.
  • Water splash sound is different. Restored in the mod.
  • P90 sounded like the future G36, the latter sounded more like the future M4 would.
  • AW50's scope looked a bit different. AW50 in the mod uses an older version, and I'll recycle this version and assign it to NTW20
  • The end of the Fort showed us an epic cutscene of Jack running from the explosion, flying on its impact wave and falling into the water. The end was also very different and did not look like Pier's beginning.

More pics of the old Buggy, Humvee and also Pier.

1626 full

1632 full

1635 full

1639 full

1640 full

1643 full

1646 full

1649 full

1648 full

1652 full

1641 full

1658 full

Look at the concepts for Carrier and Fort:

1642 full

More screenies of the Fort level. It's late 2003 already:

1651 full

1661 full

1654 full

1657 full

Concepts showing some ancient ruins:

1668 full:

Far Cry - wallpaper 8

Far Cry - wallpaper 2

Older Training:

1650 full

1667 full

Notice that helicopters' MGs are placed under the cockpit:

A screen with a rocket launcher shooting a missile smoking differently:

1660 full

And during late 2003 the new version of the HUD emerges:

1672 full

It is shown on numerous videos too. Some interesting details from the videos:

  • The skybox on the Research has been changed to the final one
  • The minigun is able to tilt up and down in first person (this feature remained in the game up to FC's demo)
  • The M4 still has the old position in first person mode
  • Jackhammer's shooting anims were different. It was featured earlier in the game.
  • Info about pickups was shown on hints menu
  • There was a "load last checkpoint menu"

This screenshot shows the almost finalized M4's position on the screen:

1664 full

Some lab concepts:

1692 full

1686 full

The aforementioned "load last checkpoint" menu:

As my co-author, @mxlnnm 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 they are found pretty easily.

However, much more info dwells in the game's data.

Let us start with scripts:

  • Playable Demo's HudCommon.lua had pieces of code for stance indicator and compass. Too bad I had already created them before I found this code.
  • Playable Demo still had older water splash sound assigned in the corresponding script
  • The demo still had the mounted weapon tilting feature. It has to do with the presence of the "eyes" bone in the weapon's model. If it is present (like in the final game's mounted weapons), it sets a fixed postition for the camera and locks the weapon in place in first person view. If it isn't present (like in the demo), the weapon tilts. BTW, Mk.19 also could tilt in the first person view and had a higher-quality model.
  • Demo's AI folder contains loads of scripts not found in the final game. It would take too much to list them all. The majority of them is incomplete.
  • Comments in many scripts state that corresponding scripts were created in 2002 or even 2001
  • Final game's AI folder contains behaviour templates for some Baboon mutant and "LANGUAGES" folder with text hints for some very old levels (mentioned in the first part) along with some unused stuff
  • Remember the SCRIPTS.dsp file mentioned in the first part
  • Shark was planned to be added to the game as entities.
  • Mutant Omega and Mutant Slug (or Worm) are mentioned in keyframes.lua and soundtables.lua
  • There's a number of working mine scripts left in game. I don't remember them to be used anywhere, let me know if I'm wrong.
  • CTF was a planned game mode, but at it's current state it's broken. There are some mods restoring it.
  • BasicPlayer.lua contains a script for playing heavy breathing sound when being exhausted. I remade and tweaked it in the mod.
  • Storm.lua for making rain and thunder. As @pvcf said, it's "a hardcoded particle spawner"
  • Lots of unused trigger scripts are present
  • A broken patrolboat script lies in the "Vehicles" folder
  • Lots of unused weapons scripts:
    • Binoculars.lua — not really a separate weapon, it's a prototype for item system, as @pvcf speculated
    • Some scripts for a bipod and a tripod
    • A script for a smoke rocket projectile
    • An unfinished NTW20 script. Now functional in the mod.
    • GlowStick projectile script (restored in the mod).
    • Unused Mutant Big's weapons (MutantMG, MutantShotgun)
    • A Proximity Mine projectile
    • A Sentry Drone projectile
    • A NERVgrenade, some kind of a neurotoxin gas grenade
    • In later game versions Machete has only one animation. I uncommented the remaining string of code for another animation
    • In later game versions ScoutTools look like explosive pickups. I returned the original ones.
    • Some Concussion grenade was planned to be added
  • Some unused HUD scripts in "Default/Hud" folder like AimModeZoomHUD.lua and TargetLocker.lua
  • Huge chunks of the old code remaining in the Binoculars.lua. Restored and tweaked in the mod.
  • Originally, Breath and Stamina were two separate values.
  • Routine of choosing one of the multiple demo video files in DemoLoop.lua in "MenuScreens" folder

We will continue with examining unused shaders. There are many unused shaders in the game, but I'll tell about the most interesting ones:

  • OceanWater water shader with sun reflections and CloudsSky1 with animated clouds:

CS3nFMDvXxI

paPzeQUD9NU

  • The Fur shader:

IjZ3OOdxJRo


VYADEBsMm3A

  • I tried to remake one of the old skyboxes from its very low-res icon:

Editor 2017 05 02 18 34 50 858

Editor 2017 05 02 18 34 56 943

Editor 2017 05 02 18 34 59 195

Editor 2017 05 02 18 35 00 224

Editor 2017 05 02 18 35 03 070

Bases on:

Sunset


Now let's have a look at FC's Textures folder:

  • It contains unlistable loads of unused content, but most notably there is a lot of assets for the older HUD versions. I used "Textures/Hud/Sneakbar.dds" texture instead of a number indicator because it looks and fits nicer.

sneakbar


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:

  • mutant.xml — this level was set around the time of the Rebellion level, maybe even being its prototype, it's vastly different though:
    • "There is no water pressure"
    • "Find the pump house and turn on the water supply"
    • "Extinguish the fire in the control room"
    • "Escape from the mutant training area"
    • "The system is now pumping water"
    • "Water pressure supplied to the sprinkler system"
    • "The electric fence has been deactivated"
    • "Unlock the main door"
    • "Enter the complex"
    • "Find the officer and take his key"
    • "Open the door"
    • "Take the key to the bridge of the ship and USE it on the infra red transmitter"
    • "Press USE to open valve"
    • "Press USE to pull switch"
    • "Theres no water pressure, look for the pumping station"
  • ruins.xml — some level set somewhere around Catacombs and River. Not really much is known about it:
    • "Laptop placed"
    • "Laptop collected"
    • "Find the satellite uplink truck"
    • "Find the command laptop"
    • "Bring the command laptop to the satellite truck"
    • "Find the truck and upload the PDA"
    • "Exit the ruins"
  • compound.xml — this would evolve into the Factory level. Sound hints indicate that player should have escaped via a plane from the nearby airstrip (its remains are still on the Factory level). Player would also encounter an unconscious "Omega-strain trigen" in the complex (the cut Omega trigen, I presume).
  • There is a lot of unused dialogs besides that

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:

  • Demo contained the old model of Jack with no fingerless gloves on hands
  • I've found unused and forgotten Mutant Omega and Mutant Slug textures in the Demo! Look for the posted images of them!
    (now their ccgf cache models and animations are found in the leaked MP demos)
  • The final version contains loads of unused content as well, but I would not emphasize on them in this article, besides it's already too large.
  • Almost everyone knows about the planned but scrapped Mutant Bezerker/Screwed. Just remember him. His model has a .cal file describing anims he originally had which were scrapped (later found in the leaked MP demos' files).

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.

  • Sources:
    Gamer's Hell Far Cry Screenshots gallery -- my main source of screenshots, feel free to look for more screenshots from there Gamershell.com
  • Abcgames.sk — a site with some very rare concept arts

P.S.: Gamershell, the site where I have taken many of the images for the articles, went down, so now most of the pictures are gone too. Fortunately, I have some backup images, so "repairing" the article wouldn't be a problem.

P.P.S.: repaired the article

Comments
Anthony817
Anthony817

I nominate this for the 2017 award for longest most informative news post!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+24 votes
illicitSoul
illicitSoul

+10

Reply Good karma Bad karma+9 votes
pvcf
pvcf

which german article did you need translated?
btw, did you guys found a way to regain those horizontal far drawing of tree vegetation in old fort screenshots (the one whith carrier) ?
5 minutes ago i tried it with the menu slide for vegetation distance i have, exact on the campos above the carrior position and the vegetationdrawing distance hardly reaches the fortress on hill.

did you plan to set the carrior in lvl fort on this position or did you remake the first planned big island (fort and pier was one big map) ?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+7 votes
changeroftheways Author
changeroftheways

I'll tell you in a private message a bit later.

No. I think that it might be related to sprite drawing.

We haven't done it yet. It requires a lot of changes to storyline, dialogues, etc. Besides, I don't want to throw Training away. But we do plan to do those changes. Later, as usual.

Reply Good karma+6 votes
vals_evil_twin
vals_evil_twin

Wow, a huge amount to study and enjoy. I'll post a link at crymods.net for the community.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+6 votes
trevorgoodchild
trevorgoodchild

I just for a second got a fattie from seeing this. Full support.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
Marek33
Marek33

Indeed, this is probably the longest article of this year. Not sure, if its in the words too, but in the pictures definitely.

Plus, It's great to see so many pictures of the old version of our favorite FPS game. Also, a Czech review? I can translate it for you if you want. I'm very impressed by the amount of the information in this single post. And I'm very glad to help you!

Plus, here is a full list of Far Cry 1 Trailers: Youtube.com

Reply Good karma Bad karma+5 votes
changeroftheways Author
changeroftheways

Feel free to translate this if you want too! I would appreciate any help in translating info about FC's pre-release versions. Though the translation of the original review would be more accurate (the Czech dub might contain some translation mistakes), it cannot be watched online on the web freely anymore, so the translation of the Czech dub would do. So if you make up your mind and translate the review, send the translation via a private message.

I've seen the list, I was talking about those very trailers. They can be found rather easily in comparison to the two early Gamestar reviews and "monitor-filming" gameplay footages. Many of very important beta-related videos (including footage of multiplayer) got deleted (they were hosted at the same channel which is deleted now), which is very sad.

Thank you very much for supporting the mod a lot! This really inspires

Reply Good karma+5 votes
Marek33
Marek33

Yes, I will probably do it at the weekend when I will have more free time.

That's a pity, but it's better something than nothing.

Your welcome and thanks for making it!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
changeroftheways Author
changeroftheways

Okay, I'm looking forward to it!

Yeah, you are really right.

Reply Good karma+4 votes
ZDL
ZDL

Brilliant read.

FarCry Coop mod was Epic back in the day.

Still never figured out how to increase the distance of vegetation, that would be great.

If you merge v1.4 with v1.3 you can play the coop mod on the latest patch.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
pvcf
pvcf

yeah, the coop mod was absolute amazing and i have it played also a lot :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.