Today most licensed video games aren’t worth the discs they’re printed on, but it wasn’t always the case. Anyone who was a Sega Genesis kid during the ’90s will fondly remember the Disney games published by Virgin Interactive, particularly Aladdin and The Lion King, which featured surprisingly tight gameplay and fantastic animation created by Disney itself.
Well, in the first episode of Double Fine’s new Devs Play web series, co-founder of Westwood Studios Louis Castle discusses how they made The Lion King and the general process all the Virgin-published Disney games went through. There’s a ton of interesting tidbits found within, For instance, Disney’s animators wouldn’t just create short video game-ready chunks of animation for the developers. Instead the game makers had to describe what they wanted to do with a level, and Disney would create them an entire mini-cartoon, which the devs would then have to painstakingly cut up and transfer to the game. Also, many of the levels from The Lion King were actually based on scenes and levels originally planned and cut from the movie.
The video’s a long watch (over an hour), but it’s packed to the brim with interesting factoids and nostalgia, so I recommend giving it a watch…
Man, I’m sad that games like these are basically lost to the ages. Most classic games get countless re-releases, but old licensed stuff pretty much has to live on only on the old carts and in our memories.