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A look at Tokyo Jungle's 2D prototype

Chris Plante co-founded Polygon in 2012 and is now editor-in-chief. He co-hosts The Besties, is a board member of the Frida Cinema, and created NYU’s first games journalism course.

The video was running on a small monitor in the middle of the BitSummit conference floor. "This is what we used to pitch Tokyo Jungle to Sony," said Yohei Kataoka, the game's director.

In the footage, we see a game that resembles the Tokyo Jungle available now on the PlayStation Network Store, but the wild animals and urban setting are drawn in beautiful 2D instead of the familiar 3D graphics.

This isn't the first time an "alternate" version of Tokyo Jungle's been shown to the public. When the game was announced in 2010, the characters were 3D but hopped around a 2D plane. This prototype, however, looks more like the game's hand drawn box art.

In the footage, the gameplay is both wackier and more violent. One moment, blood spills from abandoned cars; the next, an antelope bounces off a springy tree top.

Kataoka was willing to share the footage with our readers, but he had a number of requests. Due to legal concerns, he asked that we cut up the footage and film off screen. And he wanted us to be clear that this was never intended to be sold as a final product.

The director brought the prototype to BitSummit to show fellow indie developers how ideas evolve from creative conception to final release.