image image image image image image image image image image image image image image


Info by game programmer, Carl-Henrik Skårstedt

I was in charge of the programming for Pocahontas and the reason why the SNES was not released was that it got behind because all the programmers were forced to work on the Genesis version (except for Mario van Zeist) to complete an E3 version, and when we got that the SNES version was too far behind to be released in time. Disney tried to hijack Mario and convince him to finish the game himself without Funcom but he wasn't interested in doing that, probably because of all the work.

Jeroen Tel and some other very talented musicians (Laxity, Danko and Kim Jensen) did many pieces for the game but I think in the end a Disney Interactive musician (Patrick Collins I think) remade all the music and sound effects.

Generally we did not port any code between Genesis and SNES (Daze Before XMas had more of that than Pocahontas) because it was simpler to just program in the style of the machine instead of trying to be generic (8/16 bit 3 registers vs. 16/32 bit 16 registers makes for quite different programming), so apart from programming design we were pretty much duplicated work to do each version.

The SNES version had the first level working fine and was missing code for the rest, also we needed to redraw the sprites due to the aspect ratio difference (gen 320 wide vs snes 256 wide). I'd say the SNES was maybe 50% done. Mario van Zeist might have something but I don't know if anyone has anything from the game except Funcom or Disney or THQ (who pretty much took our stuff for the GB version). Disney approached us after seeing A Dinosaur's Tale which they thought was cool, and after some months of negotiations between Funcom Management and Disney Interactive we went ahead. I think we got the project because we underbid everyone else.

The reason Pocahontas is so short is that Disney decided that they wanted to match the movie acts with levels in the game, and the producer suggested that we'd build larger levels so that each level was one act (that's why they are called acts). To make that work we did a lot of technology to swap out background graphics as you traversed the level (usually you would keep all the background tiles in VRAM but we had to make a system to page the tiles from ROM) and the artists didn't want to work with our previous system which let them build little pieces of the levels in a separate screen that they would cut & paste into the real level for the actual background, which would have saved memory for doing the levels even bigger. Other technology to save memory included a background task decompressing animations of some animals you ran past or saved. At one point Disney wanted to include save-ram in the cartridge but they changed their minds when I told them I only needed 5 bytes of information to store everything so we went with the password system instead. Pocahontas was intended for both PAL and NTSC for both Genesis and SNES.

© Evan G. This site made by a Canadian, and fueled by beer. Do not use material on this site without permission.