Here is a good one. This is early footage from Evolve, 25 months into production. Here we were showcasing the first version of head tracking and other third person animations/transitions. You'll also notice an earlier version of the Monster HUD.
This is the first version of the shipping Goliath design. We didn't have a full set of animations in yet so it is showcased here in a looping idle animation and compared to an early version of Cabot for scale reference.
This is one of the carnivorous plants that did not ship with Evolve. These were sort of like barnacles that would grow on overhangs and cliff edges. The idea was they would stab anything that walked by, killing it, and its corpse would decay on the ground, feeding the plant's roots below. Ultimately this proved to be a bad experience for players. They were hard to see and didn't require any teammates to help (unlike the shipping Chomp plant) and they were cut from the game. Here you can see the open, idle, attack and die animations.
This was an early map that never shipped called Lava Island. I always thought this was a cool environment. In it, you can see some of the wildlife that never got finished. Cinderhogs, Lava Striders and one of the Lava Prey creatures. You can also see the Canyon Eels, when they were larger and could be killed and eaten by the monster (this caused problems for the monster eating things that were under water so they were changed to swarms of Piranha type creatures.) Lava looked cool, but we had big problems with the tech side of things (viscosity and balance.)
The Leviathan was supposed to come out of the ground, swoop across and grab a Hunter, chew on them for a while, and if teammates shot it, it would drop the Hunter and retreat back into the ground. We had problems building a space big enough for the Leviathans to work. Obstacles like trees and rocks would get in the way so we had these big, flat, boring areas in the environment that didn't work visually. We also weren't able to solve the IK system for making the Leviathan bend appropriately to the Hunter's location. So this was another attempt at solving all those problems. Just make it come out of the ground and arc to the Hunter and kill them. For a non-boss monster in Evolve, this was very drastic. It would have been fun to see, but not fun to experience. We never wanted any one shot kills from wildlife in the game. We always wanted there to be a chance to save your teammate, so this animation was never exported into the engine and the Leviathan was officially cut.
This is the first version of Markov's Lightning Gun, before Markov even existed!!! Notice you could shoot it without having a target. This proved to be a problem as players would shoot at a monster from 100 meters away and think that they were hitting it, when it actuality, the beam only traveled 25 meters max. Once we changed it so that it only shot the electricity when it had a target, that problem went away.
This was the Mangler carnivorous plant. It was cool looking, but because its home looked like rock, it would have required making many different versions to match the different types of rock in the various environments. The shipping Chomp plant, on the other hand, could work in any environment and performed the same gameplay task so the Mangler was scrapped. It was never functioning in the game.
This is the first playable version of the Phantom wildlife. They would glide around in the sky and then swoop down to attack Hunters. We had a number of problems with these. If you watch the video, the Phantoms fly through rocks and obstacles and even the ground. Obstacle avoidance in the air is very difficult because you don't have a navigation mesh there like you do on the ground. Additionally, the Phantom's were hard to kill. Monsters couldn't really do it at all. Hunters could, but it was really difficult. It was a fun challenge when running around a test map, but people hated it when they were trying to find or fight the Monster. Eventually we made it so they would effectively hover above the ground, about eye height and would attack Hunters from there. Since they were so anti-hunters, they were used as a campaign effect in Evacuation mode.
This is footage from the first dynamic snow weather storms.
This is footage from the first dynamic rain weather storms.
This is the Sound Amplifier. The idea was that it could hear sounds from very far away. As a player, you could turn this on and look around. Whatever you pointed towards, you would hear. You could hear a tyrant or the monster from 200 meters away. This was a really cool idea and it was fun for experience players to use, but we ran into a few problems. The first was that players who didn't know the game didn't know what sounds were coming from the monster and what sounds were coming from other creatures. They couldn't identify the monster when they heard it, and that was a problem. The second problem was that it was a piece of gear that didn't work for deaf players at all. We tried to solve both these problems by displaying a named wave file on the screen that showed the name of whatever you were hearing sounds from. This made it less fun though, because now you weren't using your ears, you were just running around looking for the name of the monster. And the thing that finally killed the item, was that even with the names of the wave files displaying on the screen, players didn't understand how the piece of gear was working. They couldn't understand that they were hearing sounds that were far away and that there wasn't a specific distance that it was hearing. It was too troublesome an item for development with not enough reward for players for us to justify pushing it through. Sometimes even if an idea has merit, if enough people don't get it or don't enjoy using it, it's not worth the hassle. We certainly had a lot of other, less complicated gear to produce.