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Maurice Molyneaux

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Jump to...
Star Trek Queue
Bird of Prey
Starfleet Toy CD
The Mortificator
Mutox
Maelstrom
Breach 3
The Destroyer
Breach: Genesis
Design Disks
Balance of Terror
Other Design Work

In addition to published games, I have worked on a number of projects which...

  1. never saw the light of day (cancelled in development), or...
  2. were not game software.

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Interactive Star Trek Queue

For Laser Storm, 1996

On the recommendation of Andrew Probert (designer of the Enterprise for "The Next Generation"), my services were secured by Laser Storm (makers of Laser Tag) to revise a series of proposals they had devised for a Trek-themed facility they were pitching for the Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton.

My job was to take Laser Storm's concepts, revise the game mechanics and storylines where necessary, and ensure the details of the proposals were true to the details and spirit of the license being sought. I also produced the final written proposals for submission to licensor Paramount Pictures Corp.

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SIGN 1: If you're looking for fun...

Romulan Shrike

Star Trek: BIRD OF PREY

For Playmates Interactive Entertainment, 1995

A space combat game set during the Earth-Romulan conflict--100 years before the original Star Trek series. I pitched the concept and drafted the preliminary design, which was well-received at Playmates. However, the necessary Trek license was not forthcoming from Paramount Pictures, so the concept was shelved.

This concept evolved from my first game pitch, 1987's Balance of Terror

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SIGN 2: ...You don't need a reason...

Title

Quiz

Pack-In CD for
Starfleet Academy Action Figures

For Playmates Toys, 1995

This project was to produce a collectible "Trading Card" CD-ROM to be bundled with a series of action figures portraying Star Trek: The Next Generation characters as Starfleet Academy students.

I delivered a short design spec and an animated mock-up of my concept. Although my vision was enthusiastically received by Playmates, Paramount's licensing requirements dictated that the product be produced by Simon & Schuster Interactive, and my involvement with the project ended.

Ultimately, the CD that was packaged with the figures was simply a stripped down version of Simon & Schuster's "Star Trek Omnipedia" and not a collectible disk as originally intended.

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SIGN 3: ...All you need is a gun...

Mortificator Image

Mutant Chronicles: The Mortificator

For Playmates Interactive Entertainment, 1995

Test rendering of a level

My work on this project was to take the design spec for the first seven levels of the game and develop those from mere outlines into fully playable levels. The work involved breakdown of the design requirements, mapping out areas, working with custom 3D world building tools, and creation and adjustment of texture maps specific to each level.

Sketch of exterior location

I don't really know quite WHAT happened to this project. I designed and built a series of levels, but whenever I submitted something to have it looked at, I never heard anything back! I suspect this was one of those projects that just petered out and died. Too bad. I'd designed some rather wicked puzzles for it.

Wireframe in level builder

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SIGN 3: ...All you need is a gun...

Mutox Image

Mutox

For Playmates Interactive Entertainment, 1995

A 3-D action game, Mutox was to have featured a "mutating" player-controlled creature defeating all rivals while making its way through hostile territory on a distant planet.

The game concept originated at Neversoft and Playmates became interested in developing it. I was contracted to take their proposal and build a full-fledged design. Ultimately, however, there was little enthusiasm for the project at either Neversoft or Playmates and it was abandoned.

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SIGN 4: ...It's rabbit season!

Maelstrom Image

This space unintentionally left blank Entry stage map
Maelstrom logo

For Playmates Interactive Entertainment, 1994-95

Maelstrom (working title) was to have been an underwater action game using a Doom-type engine but featuring complex puzzles, numerous environments, and the ability to interact with another character. The goal of the game was to reach "Dante's Drop", the power source of an ancient alien facility found in a pacific atoll. Opposing the player were agents of a rival corporation, alien devices, and the animals which inhabited various "habitat domes".

I was contracted by Playmates to take a concept generated in-house and turn it into a full-fledged design. This involved refining the backstory, mapping the environments, defining the play mechanics, working out the control schemes, and integrating all of this information into a design document.

The project was put on hold in early 1995 and ultimately abandoned when resources were redirected to other projects further along in production.

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FWSF helmet

Breach 3

For Omnitrend, 1993

I was retained by Omnitrend to devise the interface for this sequel to Breach and Breach 2 -- licensed and developed by Impressions. I contributed to Omnitrend's design specification, and was also responsible for devising the game's solution to the question of real-time or turn-based action by conceiving the ABORT* (Action Based On Real Time) system.

Omnitrend closed its gaming arm shortly after issuing this license. Sadly, the developer's final product apparently deviated significantly from the design spec, and even the ABORT system was not utilized.

*-The ABORT system was to have advanced the game clock based upon the time required for each specific action, and "froze" the game while waiting for the next action command. This would have eliminated traditional "turns" yet preserved the pauses required for strategic planning.

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UDP ships

The Destroyer

For Omnitrend, 1993

This product was to have been a follow-up accessory disk to exploit Omnitrend's IGS (Interlocking Game System), and would have interlocked Rules of Engagement 2 and Breach 2 (and, possibly, Breach 3).

This was a pet project of mine: an experiment in trying to try to build a real "story" that would be advanced not simply as links between game sequences, but a tale told via the gameplay. The missions themselves and the results of attempting them would impact a larger backstory. I wanted to deal with the "fog or war" in a broader sense than other games had. In certain cases, the player would learn to disobey orders, and even strategically lose a few key missions in order to bend these larger events.

Omnitrend closed its gaming arm and the project was killed.

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Storyboard image

Breach: Genesis

For Omnitrend, 1990

I assisted Omnitrend President Thomas Carbone in design tasks for this licensed version of Omnitrend's Breach 2, which was to have been developed and published by American Sammy for the Sega Genesis. I contributed to the design notes, storyboarded linking animations for the developer, and critiqued the product in development.

The game reached beta stage but was never released due to corporate turmoil at American Sammy.

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3D Cyber Bees

3D Pen writing

Cartoon & Video Titling Design Disks

For Antic, 1988

Click HERE for an interview
with me and Andy Eddy
about these products.

Two separate products, designed by myself and Andy Eddy. These were accessory disks for Antic's CAD 3-D and Cyber Control programs on the Atari ST computer. Cartoon Design brought to life various 3-D cartoon type characters. Video Titling Design animated pens writing, and logos assembling, rotating, etc.

Each disk contained custom 3-D models and object control code to animate them. I co-designed the products, built the bulk of the models, and contributed some of the control code that governed their movement.

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Running Romulan

demo screen

Star Trek: Balance of Terror

For Novotrade, 1987

A Star Trek space-combat game pitting the Enterprise against invading Romulans. This was my first real game proposal. It was created on behest of Novotrade, which was at that time pitching concepts to Simon & Schuster; the sole Star Trek computer game licensee at that time.

Bird of Prey in the crosshairs

This was the most elaborate game proposal I've created to date; encompassing both a written proposal and a 3 minute animated video demonstrating how the game would play as if you were watching the finished product. To create the demo required the construction and rendering of numerous 3D starship models, as well as computer painted images and animated characters.

Simon & Schuster's response was that they didn't want any games that required hand-eye coordination!

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