Road Runner

From Sega Retro

Road Runner
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: TecMagik[1]
Developer: Alexandria[2]
Supporting companies: Orca Games (audio)
Licensor: Warner Bros.
Planned release date(s): 1993
Genre: Action
Number of players: 1

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Road Runner is an unreleased Sega Mega Drive action game developed by Alexandria.[3][2] Based on the Warner Bros. character of the same name, it was scheduled to be published by TecMagik around late 1993, but issues with the game's design and the publisher's financial difficulties resulted in the game's ultimate cancellation.[3]


There was lots of pressure on the Road Runner team. Part of the problem was that the industry hadn’t matured enough yet to realize that programming games and designing games are separate activities. There wasn’t really a game designer for those games. There was a “producer,” who ended up doing some game design, and we had writers, who did some of the narrative, and some level design work. But there wasn’t a person or team who were directly responsible for designing the overall game. So what commonly happened was the producer would make some design decisions, the programmers would make some, the managers would come in and dictate some, and without that central authority, the RR game went all over the place.

Over the course of its development the character the player used switched from Coyote to Road Runner and back again. A fundamental problem with that license is that the Coyote can never catch the Road runner. That makes it difficult to design a game around it. If you play the Road Runner, how do we stop you from just standing still and letting the Coyote catch you? If you are the Coyote, how do we keep the game interesting when we can’t let you catch the Road Runner? So over on the S&T in Cagey Capers side, we started later, and so we were able to recognize that problem, and made sure to solve it early on. (we identified that in the cartoons Sylvester does catch Tweety from time to time. Tweety just always manages to escape afterward. So we made that our level ender: you finally catch him, and the level ends and he escapes your grasp.)

Kevin Seghetti[3]

Road Runner began development in early 1993, when Scott Statton and Kevin Seghetti were hired at Alexandria, bringing Seghetti's Mega Drive development libraries (previously created for Developer Resources) to their new position.[3] While Seghetti was placed on another project, Statton was assigned to begin development on a new game based on Warner Bros.' Road Runner character.[1]

Unfortunately, as recalled by Seghetti, development was fraught with issues. Chief among these was the lack of a unified vision for the game's design, with the staff working on different elements of Road Runner's design without any cohesion.[3] Additionally, one of the staff members actually assigned to game design was so indecisive in his planning that he would switch which of the cartoon's two characters was playable[1] - with the team having to redesign the game around this new version.

Later in development, it was discovered that the game's planned publisher, TecMagik, was in severe financial difficulties and lacked the funds to manufacture the cartridges for both Road Runner and the already-completed Sylvester and Tweety in Cagey Capers.[1] This resulted in the shelving of both projects for some time. While TekMagic was eventually able to convince Time Warner Interactive to publish Sylvester and Tweety themselves in July 1994[1], Road Runner was never picked up by another company, and the project was eventually cancelled.

Production credits

  • Programmer: Will Norris[1]

Magazine articles

Main article: Road Runner/Magazine articles.