Years ago I stumbled across the website for Shine Studios before it had published Saints of Virtue. They had just changed their name from Luminous Studios to Shine Studios, and had published the trailer for the unreleased Origin: Cradle of Grace project. I made a backup of the site, which you can download here.
You’ll find beta screenshots, early descriptions of the game, and some quaint animated GIFs. The highlights:
- The Masks were originally called “Bigheads”
- Saints of Virtue’s elevator pitch: “Pilgrim’s Progress meets the Terminator”
- Resumes for Slayback and Ulrich
- An FTP log from 2003!
Saints of Virtue was published by Cactus Game Design, which also publishes Redemption, a Christian-themed TGC. As you may expect, Cactus did some cross-promotion for Saints of Virtue in Redemption.
The “Ark of the Covenant” card isn’t strictly Saints-related, but it uses the same art style and possibly the same 3D modeling tools. Additionally, the art for the “Saint of Virtue” card is different from the retail box art and is the same as the concept render below.
Beta Testing Call on Usenet⌗
David Slayback recruited beta testers on Usenet in early 1999, you can read it here. He did not get very polite responses.
We are looking for beta testers for an upcoming Christian-oriented computer game called Saints of Virtue.
Here are the original “Saints Scoop” newsletters from August 1999 to September 2000. An interesting glimpse into cut content, plans for a sequel, and the ideas behind the game.
We want to thank all of you who have told your friends about our game – the response has been overwhelming!!
Some of the early names we had included: “Holy Warrior”, “Realm of the Heart”, “Bible Hero”, “Bible Crusader”, and “Heavenly Realms”. We used Holy Warrior for a while, but it never stayed because it sounded too “combat”-oriented and possibly too “violent”
We actually had several extra levels and regions planned out that we hoped to add, but the game became big enough with its four current.
This was going to be an area where enemies who are in pain and agony were crying out. You would just have to escape before too long or be consumed by the pain. It was a little too negative and depressing of an area, and we had a hard time figuring out how to show – God, the great Comforter – could ease suffering.
Having finished Saints of Virtue, we are starting work on a new game. We cannot give you a lot of details yet, but we are in what is called the “design phase”. This is where we discuss and figure out the design of the game. This includes asking the questions like: “What is the game going to be about?”, “What kind of game is it?”, and “How will it be fun?”. When you think about it, those are big questions that cannot be answered easily. We have been going through a lot of ideas, but we want one that is unique and special and communicates a positive message.
However, the more we design and plan, the more excited we are about the possibilities of our next game. It’s a different type of game than Saints of Virtue, but would be very fun and challenging. We do hope to share with you more details about the game as well as design sketches in a few months time.
What we can now share is that we are working on several game design concepts. One is based on Saints of Virtue; not quite a sequel but something like that. We will definitely keep you up to date.
“Spiritual Battlefield” (David Slayback Interview)⌗
One of the more interesting pieces of press on the game, revealing sales figures and development background. Read it here.
Statistics in the nascent Christian computer game industry are hard to come by. Slayback said he’s sold 15,000 copies of “Saints” at about $25 each through stores, the Internet and direct mail since it became available in July 1999.
Labyrinths of Legalism⌗
Saint Armor Render⌗