Mechwarrior 2: The Clans

So, I see that there’s been some recent interest in the older Mechwarrior games, mainly the original and Mechwarrrior 2. Whether there’s actually new interest or people have just managed to stumble upon my site is debatable. Either way, here’s the deal:

I wrote the Clans article about 2002-2004. Sorry, I don’t really have a better date, but things get a little fuzzy after several years.

The gaming mags had always talked about the Mech2 engine being held together with duct tape and bubble gum, and this piece of software had massive development work behind the scenes. Reading interviews available with the team members, I wrote what was on the page. At the time, I was just trying to put the pieces together and understand a bit more about the development of Mechwarrior 2.

Earlier in the year, Eric Peterson commented on my ramblings at his Port of Evil forums. Now, his comments weren’t too detailed, just that “No one in the gaming press had really gotten it right.” His site is unfortunately down (or moved?), as he had a ton of insight to Mechwarrior 2’s development process, which, if I can recall correctly, started when the engineering market went down. He moved from programming simulations in the aerospace industry over to Activision, where he pursued the sequel to Mechwarrior.

It sounds like between internal disputes with Activision about the release date, arguments with the games producer (downright illegal stuff), and Eric having to program the thing – it was just a mess. That being said, it was still the same game. From what I understand now, there wasn’t a changing of the old game and development of a new one, just a ton of little changes that all added up. It’s not that The Clans and 31st Century Combat were completely different games, but that one was a teen-aged version and the other an adult.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Mechwarrior 2: The Clans demo, and it still sits on my hard drive as we speak. I downloaded it off of some German ftp site years ago. Just to add fuel to the fire, I’m throwing it up here for download. It’s legit and it does run. The trick, though, is to put it on a floppy disk first, then install it in DOS. I was never able to get it to install directly off of the hard drive. This is apparently the second demo, which means there might be a first one out there. If you know anything about it, please share it with The Local Ditch. At the end of the day, we’re all just curious about the development of a classic game.

If you were involved in the development of Mechwarrior 2 and want to set the record straight, then contact me. I apologize in advance if it turns out I’m completely off-target.

Download the Mechwarrior 2: The Clans Demo.

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