Former Bungie composer Marty O’Donnell reveals new details on Bungie’s canceled mythical fantasy action game Gypsum including a playable Minotaur character and third person perspective.
Bungie is a studio that is known for perfecting first person style games, having developed recognizable and successful franchises like Myst, Halo, and most recently Destiny. Prior to all the success with Microsoft and the Halo franchise, the studio prepared to go down a different road entirely, shifting focus to a third person action game set to combine fantasy and mythology.
The game didn’t have an official title but was known as Gypsum around the office, and according to former Bungie employee Marty O’Donnell, it began development after Halo: Combat Evolved launched. The game was being built using the Halo engine and helmed by two people who made their mark through a Myst mod known as Chimera. Not much is known about Gypsum but based on details from O’Donnell, gameplay revolved around a playable Minotaur, and let players use a hammer and magic to interact with the world, which included smashing things to bits.
Ultimately, the game was scrapped after Halo became a smash hit on the original Xbox. Developers who had been working on Gypsum were taken off the project in order to start production on Halo 2 to help make the game even bigger than the first one. With a lack of progress and a renewed focus on the Halo franchise, Gypsum was eventually axed for good.
It was…it went very, very far. There was a playable prototype that was a blast. I did music for it, sound effects, everything.
The rest is history as they say, with Bungie going on to become a premier studio known for helping make the Halo franchise what it is today. The studio went on to create four additional games in the franchise before breaking away and teaming with Activision by signing a 10 year contract for what would become their immensely popular space shooter, Destiny. Just like Halo, Destiny has gone on to win many awards, develop a massive fan base, and is in line to receive a sequel sometime in 2017.
On the other hand, things have not gone quite as expected for Marty O’Donnell, the former Bungie Composer and Sound Design Director. After scoring numerous iconic soundtracks for some of the biggest IPs at Bungie, the studio and O’Donnell parted ways on less than amicable terms eventually leading to a lawsuit for being fired without cause. That case was eventually won by O’Donnell, and the composer went on to help set up Highwire Studios alongside other former Bungie employees.
What do you think of Gypsum? Following the success of the first Halo, do you think this would have been a success? Would you have liked to play it? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.