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CliffyB's very first Jazz design sketches

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Dec 16, 2013, 08:14 AM
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CliffyB's very first Jazz design sketches

While I was cleaning up my pile of old magazines, I came across an old UK issue of GamesTM and saw on the cover that Jazz1 was being featured in it's Retro section. So I decided to read the article again and found that it was a how/why sorta interview with CliffyB about the development of Jazz1.

And since he supplied the magazine with his highschool notebook sketches of 'Rambo Rabbit' and couldn't find these on the internet, I decided to scan the article and cut out the sketches:




So there you have it, I guess the birth of Jazz the way we know him today can't be traced back any further. I could upload the whole 4 page article if anyone's interested without caring about magazine scan legality.
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Dec 16, 2013, 09:19 AM
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Awesome! Loving the goggles and the bandolier.

And that seems to be an M60 like Rambo's, too: (I guess making the LFG a massive penis was Nick's idea)

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Dec 16, 2013, 10:25 AM
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Awesome, thank you! The goggles are definitely familiar from the beta screenshots. I would have no objection to seeing the full interview scan, or a transcription, either one.
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Dec 16, 2013, 01:22 PM
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Good spot on the gun! It's all very Rambo-ish indeed.

The magazine is GamesTM issue 58 from 2007. Here's the full article scan if anyone likes to read it. Please apologize for my old scanner's quality, but at least it's readable. Also notice how the community, OpenJazz, and JCS'94 are mentioned on the last page:

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
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Dec 16, 2013, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
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oh god
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Dec 16, 2013, 03:32 PM
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I do wonder if CliffyB would have made a Jazz game if he was given the chance in his last couple of years in the gaming industry. I mean, things like that article suggest so, but that FAQ he wrote said he never really wanted to.

Anyway, great find! I didn't think we'd ever see anything from this early in Jazz's lifetime unless someone found an early beta copy of the game. XD
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Dec 16, 2013, 11:34 PM
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these are somewhat better than I expected

it's kind of unnerving to see cliff so enthusiastic about jazz 6 years ago, given his current expressed view on the matter, though
maybe annoying, even
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Dec 17, 2013, 05:15 PM
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I think his enthusiasm is somewhat fake, tbh. Like maybe he'd like to revisit Jazz, but not as much as he'd want to work on something new.
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Dec 18, 2013, 04:40 PM
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Perhaps.
My theory is that he was not in objection to it returning, but wasn't like "Oh my god, this must happen!" and that Epic were the ones interested in potentially bringing Jazz back. After all, even though they haven't done much with him for the past 11 years, it's not like they haven't tried(You have to take into account the money involved in all this).
So, maybe we've had it the wrong way around all these years?

Or, perhaps I'm just looking at this wrong(It is 1:30 in the morning, so plenty of room for error). Either way, CliffyB apparently has never really cared(Or at least, not since the early 2000s), Epic's usual publisher bailed on them in 1999, their attempt in 2002 was... Less than successful... And now, with it approaching 20 years since the first game, I'm hoping for at least a digital re-release of the original on GoG.

But, in any case, these early drawings are interesting, and they give me an idea(Which I will discuss tomorrow, when I'm fully awake).
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Dec 19, 2013, 05:29 AM
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This is epic and amazing! Thanks for the find and willing to share

#awesome
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Dec 19, 2013, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Robo4900 View Post
Perhaps.
My theory is that he was not in objection to it returning, but wasn't like "Oh my god, this must happen!" and that Epic were the ones interested in potentially bringing Jazz back. After all, even though they haven't done much with him for the past 11 years, it's not like they haven't tried(You have to take into account the money involved in all this).
So, maybe we've had it the wrong way around all these years?

Or, perhaps I'm just looking at this wrong(It is 1:30 in the morning, so plenty of room for error). Either way, CliffyB apparently has never really cared(Or at least, not since the early 2000s), Epic's usual publisher bailed on them in 1999, their attempt in 2002 was... Less than successful... And now, with it approaching 20 years since the first game, I'm hoping for at least a digital re-release of the original on GoG.

But, in any case, these early drawings are interesting, and they give me an idea(Which I will discuss tomorrow, when I'm fully awake).
Epic was never involved in the making of JJA, Titan Games just got the license to it. And I suppose because of the fan backlash and poor success that Epic is reluctant to give rights again.
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Dec 19, 2013, 02:16 PM
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Yes, I know that. I excluded my theory about Jazz Advanced, because my post was already ending up pretty long(And I think all of us are familiar with Jazz's history by now).

My theory about JJA was that Epic was too busy with Unreal, which was far too successful to justify them splitting CliffyB's focus very much, so they said, "Hey, Game Titan, can you help us out a bit?" and when it flopped they were like "Great. Now what?" And with GoW appearing after that, and Unreal maintaining its success for many years after, they just haven't had much reason to take the risk of bringing Jazz back. But, Epic have been making odd decisions as of late(No, I don't mean the twin-stick Jazz Shooter Demo. IMO, that was just CliffyB trolling), including having smaller studios within them for smaller projects, so that is where my hope for a new Jazz game lies.

IMO, best case scenario, we get a HD remake next year to test the waters for a new game(Let's be realistic here, that's the best we'll get IMO). Mid-case scenario(What I think it most likely), GoG release the first game digitally, which would be pretty great(Who knows, maybe Epic would realise "Woah, there's demand for this game!"). Worst case scenario, Epic acknowledges 20 years of Jazz on their blog, possibly with a link to J2O(Knowing Epic, it's entirely possible that they'll do this, although I hope they at least re-release the game).

Of course, there is a chance that hell will freeze over, pigs will fly, world peace will be achieved, the apocalypse will be avoided, and the Jazz 2 source code will be made available(Or at least given to the Plus devs). I won't go into why this is unlikely to happen, but it's possible.

Or perhaps they'll release the final build of that Jazz 3D Alpha as Freeware along with some design docs. This is very unlikely, but it wouldn't require much effort on Epic's part(I imagine Dean Dodrill has it on some old HDD somewhere, so all Epic would need to do is ask Dean for the build and give him a special license for having used Unreal 1), so it's more likely than the Jazz 2 source code being released. :L

Anyway, I think I'm done speculating. What happens happens. If Epic chooses to do nothing major on Jazz's 20th anniversary, that would be understandable(Although a bit annoying), and we'd still have the usual Anniversary Bash stuff going on. Although, IMO, they should at least give JJ1 to GoG, since that game is near impossible to find these days.

Also, I apologise for slightly derailing this thread.
And for making this post even longer than my previous one...

TL;DR: Epic might care about Jazz more than Cliff Bleszinski does.
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Dec 20, 2013, 08:57 AM
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my, are you fond of theorizing.

the jazz2 source code would not aid the series' popularity any more than jazz2+ at this point, a sequel is just as unlikely. the only possibility I see is a different development team buying the rights to producing at least one title in the franchise (even a remake), and the only team I could imagine that'd be willing to do so would have to be comprised of jj fans on an absolutely RIDICULOUS kickstarter drive. quite the impossible, if you ask me. and it'd most likely suck even more than jjgba, too
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Dec 20, 2013, 01:22 PM
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Indeed to both points.
I admit I did get a little carried away there, but my main theory is: Next year, Epic will probably do something Jazz-related. The most likely thing in my opinion is a GoG re-release of Jazz 1.

Basically everything else in that post was just speculation, pointing out things about the past that say that Epic might want Jazz back, and that perhaps CliffyB was indifferent, so feel free to disregard most of it.
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Dec 20, 2013, 02:05 PM
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My humble opinion is that a sequel to JJ2 is actually quite likely, there have been at least 3 official attempts at a sequal (read: ≥3 tries) - Unreal JJ3 still in unreleased alpha stage, JJ Advanced which sold ok for a gameboy game, and iPod JJ stick shooter demo which is on Youtube.

So in conclusion, I wouldn't blame Epic for not trying, because it's proven they have actually tried to make a cequel but haven't finished yet, released it on Gameboy Advance or resulted in only a gimmick (as in the case of an iPhone, iPod or iPad game).

I think to make a real JJ3, first have to come up with better marketing strategy such as stylize the product to something new like Dust: an Elsyian Tale. Like maybe since the JJ3 alpha was kind of unrecognizable to some, it could be for example JJ3: KRSplat Edition or JJ3: Skyward Sword. This is about brand name recognitipn and appeal to consumers. Furthermore we could spam the updates to JJ1, JJ2 and JJ3 which Epic might not even be aware of - otherwise it's impossible for them to create a game that would compete in fans' eyes because they have to know what we want in a game.

OpenJazz, JJ2+, patched JJ3d, JJ1 for Windows Phone - these are practically official releases to the community because they simply fix bugs and make necessary improvements. These are things that would teach Epic Megagames to learn from their mistakes! I wonder if Epic Games is aware of all the ports, remakes and patches to Jazz Jackrabbit games?

Last edited by KRSplatinum; Dec 20, 2013 at 02:20 PM.
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Dec 21, 2013, 05:27 AM
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Well, as I have said, I think Epic want to make a Jazz game. The question is, when and how. It's a question of when because they need to time it right so that it gets a lot of attention, and it's a question of how because there aren't a lot of people who'd buy a new Jazz game as things are. If Epic are smart about this, which they obviously are, I think they'll re-release(Or HD Remake) Jazz 1(CD) and 2(TSF), this way, new fans can be brought in, and old fans who remember it from childhood can easily revisit it, and perhaps join in the Jazz community. Then a new Jazz game would have the best chance of doing well. And, if they do re-release Jazz 1 or 2, or both around the 20th anniversary of the first game, they could have some kind of special 20th anniversary deal(Some kind of sale, perhaps?). Who knows, it could sell well and make a Jazz sequel a justified priority.

Also, I'm pretty sure Epic are aware of all the fan patches and all that that the Jazz series has. If I remember correctly, they have linked to J2O quite frequently in the past, so they are aware of us, and I doubt they would be able to ignore Plus's existence.

(Also, I don't count the Jazz Twin-Stick Unreal Demo as a Jazz revival attempt, I think of it as Cliff Bleszinski trolling us)

Wow, that's a lot of speculation(Although, to be fair, it is fun to speculate about the future). XD
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Does the Epic CEO saw what Dust: An Elysian Tail is like? If I was Epic CEO, I would use all my power to hire Dean Dodrill and all the people involved into Dust right away to make Jazz Jackrabbit 3!

Which makes me wondering on what Dean Dodrill is working now (except of porting his game on other platforms).

Anyway, I was here to say that this art looks cool and I that I would like to have that specific issue of that magazine! Is someone selling it?
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I was hoping they would have released or announced something in 2011 seeing as it was the year of the Rabbit. It would have been cool to hear them mention that in their marketing.

The last Jazz game was so long ago, I feel a reboot of the series might be the way to go (provided they follow closely to the source material *cough*JJA).
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Maybe there could be a better and less confusingly named game called Lori Jackrabbit :P
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