Yesterday I tweeted a link to a detailed 1UP piece about the ambitious EA and Steven Spielberg video game collaboration codenamed LMNO. The article went into specifics about the envelope pushing (i.e. risky) storyline, gameplay and graphics; all of which lead to its cancellation in late 2009 after most of the staff had been let go a year prior.
With an all-star team of talent that included Doug Church (Thief, Tomb Raider), Neil Young (11-year EA vet) and, of course, Spielberg, it was frustrating to find out about the bold ideas they had that would never come to fruition. Besides the ‘mix of first-person parkour movement with adventure/RPG objectives’ gameplay, the coolest thing being developed was the AI and cooperation scheme behind Eve, the partner character to the character, Lincoln, you played in the game.
The point of LMNO was to basically take all the AI that would go into a normal Sims title, and compress that down into one character that could learn and remember and change the way you play the game on the fly, and not be totally scripted.
Since communication was non-verbal, Lincoln would be able to hand Eve items to heal her, give her additional abilities, etc., or gesture to her to show how he felt—to reward or discourage her. And if he treated her well and protected her from enemies, she would like Lincoln better and help out frequently, but if he left her to fend for herself, she would learn to fight for herself and not offer help as often. She could team up with Lincoln for cooperative attacks, or project things into his vision because she had the power to tap into his mind, so things like storm clouds would appear when she was in trouble.
Sounds like it would have been amazing doesn’t it? Well, now 1UP has followed up their look back on the demise of LMNO with this piece of gameplay footage showing Eve and the character you play sharing a moment before all hell breaks loose. It’s short, but at least shows visually what Spielberg & Co. had planned. It surely would’ve rocked the collective foundation of the video game and movie industries.
And if you haven’t read the 1UP article yet then read it here as you cry softly into your keyboard like I did.