A Heartbreaking Glimpse of a Steampunk Batman Game

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A Heartbreaking Glimpse of a Steampunk Batman Game

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Don your etched-brass goggles for some concept art from the Gotham by Gaslight game that never was.

While Rocksteady has done a stellar job of adapting the more mainstream, "comic book" version of Batman into a pair of jolly-good games, the more esoteric interpretations of the Dark Knight haven't had as much luck. Gotham by Gaslight for example. A game based on the one-shot, Victorian-era take on the perpetually-scowling vigilante penned by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola. The game was apparently being developed, or at least planned, by F.3.A.R developer Day 1 Studios, but the project seems to have been quietly smothered in its sleep, leaving us with nothing but the following UI concept art.

The menu designs above were posted by graphic artist and UI designer, Julie Farrell. You can see more of her work, including a few more, slightly less exciting, pictures of the Gaslight UI, here.

Now, just in case you needed reminding how vast, uncaring and fundamentally unfair the universe is; while this Batman game will never see the light of day, this one most certainly did.

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I guess the interest just evaporated when they realized they'd be competing against Arkham City.

Such a pity. The Arkham games are pretty nifty, but I must admit to being quite taken with this concept.

Hey, they can't run with the current Batman, forever. Maybe then...

I would play the hell out of a steampunk Batman game. This project should be restarted.

Is it just me or does it seem that it's really hard to actually get a Steampunk game to do well? Hardly any successful games right now are based on the Steampunk aesthetic, and it's not rare to hear some kind of Steampunk game was cancelled or never even got of the cutting room floor. Such a shame.

There was going to be a steampunk Batman? And it got cancelled?!

...Excuse me for a minute, I have to go cry in the corner for a bit...

This is quite heartbreaking but I'm just about to start playing in a Steampunk LARP& this would have made an epic character concept

-M

Wow this looks like it woulda made one Helluvah game. I would've loved to play that.

No steampunk batman? Goodbye cruel world :'(

Eh, well it sounds good, but so did the more recent Spiderman games, up until they actually made them, so what can you do

let's just be grateful that we have a good game at all

I saw this a couple days ago, one of the pictures, which I don't see here for some reason, was of a loading/instruction screen that seemed to point to the game being a shooter.... So yeah, I'm not disappointed.
Don't get me wrong, I love me some Batman, but as a shooter? No. Still, cool concept, I really do have to read the comic this was based on sometime.

I'm not surprised a one shot Batman didn't take off. Even avid comics fans may have missed a one shot. I collected comics, ad nauseum, for years. And the only thing I was ever interested in was continuity. Though I was a Marvel man. It seems that it would have appealed to a more niche audience. I even know some people who would have avoided the game because it was in a Steam Punk setting. I personally hate anything about the boring ass Victorian Era. So, it was lose lose when it came to my friends and myself.

I remember Batman Forever. I rented it when it first came out. My god, what a bad game. The music is enough to make your ears bleed. But, if you notice, it was Published by Akklaim. All the developer did was use Mortal Kombat as an inspiration to controls. Only, batman threw nothing but high punches. He even used the same sweep. And when he was dazed it was the same animation when waiting for a finishing move. Just a terrible game.

They shouldn't just abandon it like that- I know many would love to get their hands on such a game. I would of even looked into it because Steampunk actually has a lot of details and artistic value with the style they go for. Especially if it involves Batman, clearly you can't put that amazing idea in the wastes. Least give a demo out to see how many want this game to become a reality you know.

Yeah because that's what I think when I watch Batman "You know what would make this better? If it was even less believable and set in the 19th century!" I can only imagine the ungodly steam powered grappling hook Batman would have to use. That'd work as a quick gag or cut away but I don't think Batman meets steampunk is really grounds for a game to stand on. Course Batman meets proto-cyberpunk did okay.

Anything Batman is infinity uninteresting to me, fortunately :P

With buttons like "fire" and "reload", I'm sure this would have been just another FPS. Just because the concept is a novel idea doesn't mean it would have been good. It looks like they were going with a style like Bioshock.

Twilight_guy:
Yeah because that's what I think when I watch Batman "You know what would make this better? If it was even less believable and set in the 19th century!" I can only imagine the ungodly steam powered grappling hook Batman would have to use. That'd work as a quick gag or cut away but I don't think Batman meets steampunk is really grounds for a game to stand on. Course Batman meets proto-cyberpunk did okay.

Really? You cannot enjoy anything if it's not grounded in absolute ironclad laws of physics and realism? Guess you hate all comicbooks and sci fi.

If reality stops you from enjoying fiction.

Then you missed the point of fiction :D

The Point

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You

I never really understood all this steampunk/cyberpunk/british-1980-era-punk-rock stuff to be honest, but I guess thats all down to taste.

OT:................................I wouldnt play it.

I wouldnt play it simply because batman is boring.

But there really need to be more steampunk games!

wooty:
I never really understood all this steampunk/cyberpunk/british-1980-era-punk-rock stuff to be honest, but I guess thats all down to taste.

OT:................................I wouldnt play it.

Dunno I kind of like it. It just seems like the iPod future asethetic in that it's kinda overdone. Steam punk batman is like samurai batman, It just seems a bit gimmicky to me. Could be good but I think it#'s odd that people get boners over the word steam punk.

DVS BSTrD:
I guess the interest just evaporated when they realized they'd be competing against Arkham City.

You might even say they were prematurely steamrolled into submission.

...It's just not fair.

Duruznik:
There was going to be a steampunk Batman? And it got cancelled?!

...Excuse me for a minute, I have to go cry in the corner for a bit...

This^^^

As you put it a steampunk batman and it's cancelled?????

Scrustle:
Is it just me or does it seem that it's really hard to actually get a Steampunk game to do well? Hardly any successful games right now are based on the Steampunk aesthetic, and it's not rare to hear some kind of Steampunk game was cancelled or never even got of the cutting room floor. Such a shame.

Bioshock? While not entirely steam punk it's got it's fair share of steamyness, Infinite especially. There's also that new first-person stealth game coming out soon.

But yeah, they do seem to be the exceptions rather than the norm. I think it's just because Steampunk is a pretty niche genre, like a lot of the [x]-punk stuff.

Madre De Dios, NO! By Mignolia and it got canned! He designed Mr Freeze for BTAS, along with Hellboy! Hope Rockstady picks this up!

Grey Carter:
Now, just in case you needed reminding how vast, uncaring and fundamentally unfair the universe is; while this Batman game will never see the light of day, this one most certainly did.

y

Just... y

There is no justice in the world.

Well that's a real shame, I was looking forward to driving the Batbuggy :c

So disappointing...even if it was a shooter, as SilverHammerMan said, I would have still liked to try it out.

You never know... Arkham City is done and it'll be hard to take it from there. Maybe Gotham by Gaslight will be a new direction to take?

Maybe they'll make a Batman Beyond. That'd be kind of neat.

Baresark:
I'm not surprised a one shot Batman didn't take off. Even avid comics fans may have missed a one shot. I collected comics, ad nauseum, for years. And the only thing I was ever interested in was continuity. Though I was a Marvel man. It seems that it would have appealed to a more niche audience. I even know some people who would have avoided the game because it was in a Steam Punk setting. I personally hate anything about the boring ass Victorian Era. So, it was lose lose when it came to my friends and myself.

I remember Batman Forever. I rented it when it first came out. My god, what a bad game. The music is enough to make your ears bleed. But, if you notice, it was Published by Akklaim. All the developer did was use Mortal Kombat as an inspiration to controls. Only, batman threw nothing but high punches. He even used the same sweep. And when he was dazed it was the same animation when waiting for a finishing move. Just a terrible game.

Say what you will about the Victorian Era, but it sure as hell wasn't boring! The era represented everything that's wrong with society - exploitation, industrialisation, AND confusing archaeologists by making replicas of much more valuable stuff.

OT: Phooey to the nay-sayers. This would work. A gadget-driven vigilante is everything steampunk stands for!

Steampunk is incredibly stupid. I'm very happy Batman will not be starring in this game. Steampunk usually just involves modern, or slightly futuristic, technology with a brass finish and some gears and pipes glued to it. Actually powering modern devices using steam is impractical to the point of absurdity, and to think it possible or even efficient makes you look very ignorant.

I mean come on people! How can you find crap like this appealing?

Scrustle:
Is it just me or does it seem that it's really hard to actually get a Steampunk game to do well? Hardly any successful games right now are based on the Steampunk aesthetic, and it's not rare to hear some kind of Steampunk game was cancelled or never even got of the cutting room floor. Such a shame.

Arcanum and Thief 2 were really the only ones, and that was over a decade ago.

It didn't help that the only really upfront steampunk game that came out in the last couple years, Damnation, was perhaps the absolute worst shooter in a market already saturated with shooters.

Mcoffey:
Bioshock? While not entirely steam punk it's got it's fair share of steamyness, Infinite especially. There's also that new first-person stealth game coming out soon.

But yeah, they do seem to be the exceptions rather than the norm. I think it's just because Steampunk is a pretty niche genre, like a lot of the [x]-punk stuff.

BioShock is a weird example, since it takes place in an alternate version of 1960, where the decor and styles are straight out of the 1920s, but they still use late 19th century steam power? So we have some pulp historian's fantasy of steampunk married to dieselpunk married to atompunk. Infinite looks like it'll be more consistently steampunk, since it's actually set in the late 1800s.

Batman Forever (on the Genesis) was an amazing game. I especially loved the awe-inspiring graphics and the award winning soundtrack. I'd like to see Skyrim compete with that voice acting.

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