146: Footprints


"'Peter [Molyneux] was making it seem we were all going to be super rich and making these fantastic games - which I think he believed at the time. [Mucky Foot] just threw away those share options. ... You could have at least sat it out for three or four years and have made lots of money.' I'm talking to the Mucky Foot primaries, 11 years later. There's an audible pause. 'If I'd stayed there, those share options would have been worth half a million pounds,' Mike Diskett sighs. 'We'd have been wearing hats made of money.'"

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Startopia is awesome. Hang your head in shame if you didn't buy it!

I did work experience in the QA dept. of Mucky Foot in October '01.
The Video Game BAFTAs were the same week I was there, and Startopia was nominated (although something like Max Payne or Deus Ex won).
I remember some mention of troubles with Eidos, mainly stemming from the fact they did a pretty lousy job publicising Startopia.

They will, to me especially, be missed.

Is it just me or is this article bugged? I cant seem to get past page two.

How's it looking now, sammyfreak? I think the server hiccuped or something, but it seems to be working fine on our end now.

Thanks sheriff. The reading shall continue.

Sounds like Mucky Foot was one hell of a company to work for. Too bad such companies never last long.

I'm fairly sure I did buy Startopia back in the day, I know I played it, and it really didn't make an impression on me. Somehow my recollection places it between "Dungeon Keeper 2" and "Evil Genius", and while it was more modern than the first, more stable and complete than the other, the content just didn't hold my interest.

The strange part is how having played it again this year, I actually like it more. It has the humor of Dungeon Keeper, just a lot more of it. It has the polish and clean UI, not to mention stability, that Evil Genius desperately lacked. Of the three games I've mentioned it has perhaps aged the best. It's still quite playable, and I've found much more enjoyable now than in the old days.

Personally I'd blame Urban Chaos for the trajectory their company took. My perspective is that of someone who had absolutely no interest in purchasing Urban Chaos, despite being a prolific game purchaser. From the first time I heard about it, to reading the reviews after it was released, I had the sense that it was just an inferior version of GTA. That genre is a very expensive one to compete in, it requires an enormous list of features and content, and 90% of the time you get something that is no more worthwhile to play than what has come before.

I bought Startopia when it came out after seeing it featured on TechTV (or ZDTV, not sure which it was at that time). It's still one of my favorite games of all time with top notch user interface design. Mucky Foot certainly had the talent and skill that's missing from the monopolized idustry today, and for that I salute you.

Stromko: Are you sure you've got your timeline right? Urban Chaos was two whole years before GTA3. Clearly, the 2D GTAs were out, but they were a different sort of thing entirely to what you're talking about.


Ah Mucky Foot..

*takes off his hat to the gravestone*

Startopia, the finest of the theme/management titles, superior, shocking though it is to say it, even to Dungeon Keeper.

Urban Chaos though? I must admit, though initially addictive, that game rapidly became painfully boring.

Some very innovative features for the period, just.. Something kept it from being remotely interesting, somehow.

Are there any.. 'living' developers left, those not ruled by money but by a sense of fun? Introversion appear to have some spirit to them, but other than them, I know of none.

Startopia is awesome. Hang your head in shame if you didn't buy it!

**Hangs head in shame** I don't actually thing I was gaming then.

No, but seriously, I hate it when a great developer goes down the drain, because, when they made inventive, quirky games (and generally fun to play), people play [insert'generallyacclaimedbutweallknowitisshit'gamehere] instead. Shame...

- A procrastinator

I hang my head in shame too, I went and read the gamespot review and the wiki article after this and it sounds like a game I'd really enjoy but I never really heard about it at the time, it is criminal that all these innovative developers either die out or get brought out by the EA corporate blandness monster.

Great article. You have to admire the idealism that kept the team together even to the founders' detriment.

Startopia is a tycoon version of Psychonauts.

PS: But the combat DID really suck :'(

Let me just say, that this issue of the Escapist has been great. They say you always learn the most from people's failures, but it's rare that you hear about the ones that didn't quite make it. For those of us with industry experience, we can all learn something from each of these stories.

Bravo, Escapist!

Ah Startopia... Good times, good times...

Anyhow, for anyone still playing it you should give this site a little looksie. Guy made a patch adding a new feature for the game even after the company folded. Now that's just awesomeness on a bun.

Startopia is awesome. Hang your head in shame if you didn't buy it!

I bloody wish i had now, and Urban Chaos - i liked the look of both but with a student income of I couldn't afford everything...

Wish i had not bothered with some purchase and made those two though...


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