A report revealed how amazingly detailed the game would have been and why it couldn’t have materialized

Rockstar has been in the spotlight lately because of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, which hasn’t shed too much light on the publisher. Nor does it shed any light on the publisher that Bully, his action-adventure game focusing on school misfortunes, released in 2006, has not received a sequel so far. Bully 2, which was previously reportedly canceled or parked according to unofficial information, was said to be re-developed, but a recent report shed light on the reasons behind the vomiting fate of the second part and hurt our hearts with the many great ideas they tried to implement in it. .

An article has been published on Game Informer focusing on the issues facing Bully 2 and its development team, Rockstar New England (Bully: Scolarship Edition). Reporter Blake Hester interviewed five former employees of the studio, supplemented by an individual working in a branch office in New York City, who asked to remain anonymous because they were still afraid of Rockstar. One of the main reasons is that Rockstar North, the supplier of GTAs, was the real rock star among the publisher’s development studios, so despite the ambition of Rockstar New England, once called Mad Doc Software (thanks to them also the Empire Earth series). ), North, who owned the hen laying the golden egg, was given more resources to make the toy. Game Informer pointed out in the article that although the Bully was both critically and financially successful, Take-Two sold more than 1.5 million copies in 2008, according to a major publisher, but this year’s GTA IV 8 , Produced 5 million copies in the month of its premiere. So there was no question which brand deserved special attention.

Mad Doc was an independent studio until 2008, being acquired by Takestar Two this year through Rockstar Games and then renamed Rockstar New England. This came after they were entrusted with the aforementioned Bully: Scolarship Edition, a revamped version of the PlayStation 2-exclusive base game for Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PC. Former employees of Mad Doc at the time welcomed joining Rockstar, saying it was a huge thing to belong to such a big label, according to former employees who told Game Informer. Yes, but more power comes with more responsibility, in which case it meant the end of the old workplace culture, which was followed by hard overtime, which Rockstar Games is notorious for. Jeronimo Barrera, then vice president of Rockstar, said on his first visit to the studio that they were not working all on the weekends, and here the emphasis was on “everything,” that is, “busy Saturdays and Sundays,” when shoot-buddies were cool because of the deadlines.

As a rockstar in New England, Mad Doc has worked not only on the Bully port / refurbished version, but on several other projects, including the development of two GTA IV add-ons and Red Dead Redemption. They were also given the opportunity to do Bully 2, which experts interviewed by Game Informer said was a great opportunity for them to prove it. But the GTA series proved viable with great success, so Rockstar Games took it back from the previous pace, released fewer new games through the sieve, switched to one or two new titles a year, except for portings, and the GTA V’s triumph to this day resulted in so that the publisher also stops bringing out something new every year. Red Dead Redemption 2 was also released just eight years after the first episode, five years after GTA V. Rockstar (see, for example, the revolutionary facial expressions of the detective LA Noire) stood for high-prestige, especially expensive, meticulously crafted games, and his works went down in number. Former employees of Rockstar New England say Bully 2 was made in that spirit as well, so it could have been raised to the level of the GTA and Red Dead series.

Bully 2 would have focused very heavily on the characters, ex-developers said, defined by complex gameplay mechanisms reminiscent of GTAs and Red Deads, and significantly expanded the world of Part One. Compared to Bully, the playing field in Part Two would have been at least three times the size of GTA: Vice City, although it was designed to be much more complex. One respondent, for example, said all buildings would have been designed in detail so that they could be accessed, so what we saw would have been walkable. Furthermore, it was also important for NPCs to remember all the actions of the protagonist, Jimmy, so nothing would have gone without consequences. It is said that some game elements from this system have also been saved in Red Dead Redemption 2: although when we date a city or a store, people remember it, especially the authorities, so we can’t easily return, for example, the shopkeeper doesn’t serve who if we smashed your business.

In Bully 2, the concept is that established relationships open up new and new possibilities, while gates close because of bad actions. In addition, the environment would have been worked out in amazing detail: in a realistic way, the grass would have grown over time, which could have been cut down. But there would also have been a new kind of breaking system in the sequel to Bully, which would also have realistically shattered a single bottle if we had cut something into it. There was even talk that a detailed jump-cling mechanism would have been included in Bully 2, meaning Jimmy could have climbed not only fences or heights, but also trees and roofs, and even sneaked out of his own window. These, of course, could have played a role in the escapes.

Of course, “would have” been mentioned many times in the paragraphs above because these could no longer be completed by New England developers, despite working and experimenting with game elements taken over from GTAs. We don’t know the exact numbers, but the Game Informer article estimates that roughly 50 to 70 people could have worked on Bully 2, so almost the entire studio worked on it.

Four developers confirmed, by the way, that Bully 2 was in a playable state, meaning that Jimmy could run around the world, interact with objects and NPCs living their lives algorithmically, and even run crazy (side) missions that had go-karting, but it was also possible to take part in a mission in which the protagonist runs in his underpants. There was about 6-8 hours of content in this version of the game, so the developers interviewed by Game Informer said it would have taken Bully 2 to make about 2-3 years. But that’s when Rockstar came and started redeploying professionals to other, more important projects. According to the sources in the paper, many of them could no longer return to the school-like action game.

It’s a bitter irony, but New England professionals have been able to work together on Max Payne 3 with Rockstar Vancouver, the developers of the original PS2 Bully. However, this meant continuous overtime, and there were no stops in this area, meaning several Rockstar projects were driven hard by New England professionals who pressed 12 to 16 hours a day, hammering the first Red Dead Redemption, for example. One of the respondents considered it impossible for them to practically work in contract work, while they were more enthusiastic about their own love project, Bully 2. But overtime was also common within the New England division, with developers feeling they needed to keep proving to Rockstar that they were committed to the publisher’s projects and that they would be in particular jeopardy in some respects if they tried to resign.

Rockstar New England went through a major downsizing in June 2009, which reportedly laid off 10% of the studio’s employees, affecting both the QA team and the arts department. According to a report by Game Informer, even though Rockstar has promised to help people who have become unemployed find new jobs, that’s not the case, and they haven’t even been rewarded for their last jobs. The exact reasons for the layoffs are not known either, at least not for the employees fired.

Bully 2 has recently received unofficial information that its development has been restarted. True, Game Informer could not confirm this in its current article, although one of the experts interviewed said that there was a working version of the game even a few years ago. Would it be worth taking this out? According to the protagonists of the report, by all means, because things have started to be realized in it that we can’t really see in today’s games.

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