Bullfrog Company Preview
By Johnny Wilson
READ.ME Department
Computer Gaming World #137 (December 1995)

Bloody Good Games In Store From Bullfrog
UK Developer Has Some Of The Most Innovative Concepts In Game Design

In the hills above Guildford, England, near a university laboratory named after the physical scientist and clergyman lB. Priestly, there's a laboratory dedicated to a different kind of pursuit - serious fun. Here at Bullfrog Productions, crammed into the second floor of a university- owned office building, teams of the world's most innovative game developers are at work on fascinating new projects: DUNGEON KEEPER (Sneak Preview in this issue, page 259), THE INDESTRUCTIBLES, THEME HOSPITAL, GENE WARS, SYNDICATE WARS and CREATION.

THE INDESTRUCTIBLES is an ambitious project involving superhero combat, in the vein of Hero Software's aborted CHAMPIONS game. INDESTRUCTIBLES players will use points to modify eight attributes, create their own superhero costume with an art utility, look for a worthy super-foe, and engage in real-time comic book-style battles. All of the characters, as well as the game universe, will be true 3-D characters (based on motion capture movement), and the action will be physics-based (modified by super attributes, of course) rather than rules-based. Also, though the original game concept called for the player to become a member of a team of superheroes, THE INDESTRUCTIBLES is intended to be so open-ended that garners can even be supervillains if they so desire.

The conflict in GENE WARS is broader and more strategic. Up to four players compete in a real-time network game turning "goop," the basic stuff of the universe, into various things in a war of survival. Players can adapt eight basic types of creatures into such units as sentinels, attackers, choppers, collectors, reflectors and electronic countermeasure specialists. The catch is that garners aren't supposed to be fighting each other. God-like Ephemerals will check their progress and punish players who aren't discreet enough in their dealings with the other players. Expect it in the first quarter of 1996.

Anyone who has played THEME PARK will recognize the approach to THEME HOSPITAL. Like its predecessor, THEME HOSPITAL will look cute but feature a serious economic/management model underneath the pretty graphics. The game will feature four time periods (Medieval, Victorian, Modern, and Futuristic) and different areas (rural, industrial, urban), as well as some funny diseases (none of which are realistic).

SYNDICATE WARS is a sequel to SYNDICATE with more realistic special effects, 3-D vehicles and fully destructible buildings. Veterans of the original will also appreciate the non-linear mission structure, as well as the variety of 30 different cities and circa 100 missions.

Finally, CREATION is set in a time-frame parallel to SYNDICATE WARS (Bullfrog seems to be moving toward a Marvel Universe-style timeline on some of their products), but the gamer is a marine game warden on another planet. As such, the warden has his/her own tasks to accomplish, but the outside resources and some of the missions within the game are affected by events within the SYNDICATE WARS storyline. The graphics were already impressive with light sourcing relative to depth,' but the color palette for this underwater world was still being developed when we viewed the product in October.