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The history of Pseudo Interactive and more information, assets and artworks for Vectorman PS2

Designing a video game is often a long and difficult undertaking, albeit an exciting one, firstly for developers seeking to surpass themselves, and secondly for players wishing to enjoy an enriching videogame experience. Essentially, it involves making countless decisions.

The foundations of a video game rest on four fundamental pillars, linked together in perfect harmony. They form the "Tetrad". These four elements are what personify the game. Ideas are put down on paper (the famous Game Design documents), refined, worked on and then reworked, again and again, until the desired result is achieved. The four gateways to video game creation, with the equivalent for Vectorman PS2 :

  • The art field (for Vectorman PS2, it is shown in the chapter "The main characters (Vectorman 3.14)" and on this page): This is the grouping together of a game's graphics and art direction, an elaboration process that can take some time. Simply put, it's what the player sees on the screen. It is defined by the game's style, mechanics, target audience (boy, girl, age range, etc.). For this stage, Game Designers need to be able to put themselves in the shoes of the future player. If the game is based on a commission or license (Tintin, Léa Passion, etc.), the AD is often imposed.

  • Technology (for Vectorman PS2, see the "Pseudo Interactive history" chapter on this page): Technology encompasses the engine on which the game is developed. Innovation, when successful, doesn't necessarily show. It's not what gamers will remember or focus on. It's often due to a formidable technological epic. The most successful is the least visible.

The video game industry is constantly evolving, both technologically and conceptually. In their quest for innovation, video game designers try to project their vision onto something that has never been done before. Boldly, they strive to transgress the norms set by the industry up to now, by their own admission, to offer something different (controlling a woman in the early 90s, playing an anti-hero in the late 90s, the axis of good and evil in the 2000s, physics for Vectorman PS2, the emergence of open worlds, contemplative games, etc.). The art of provocation to shake up video game standards and so on...

The history of Pseudo Interactive

Founded in 1995, Pseudo Interactive was the brainchild of Daniel Posner (currently Co-Founder of Finish Line Games Inc.), David Wu (who died in 2022 of diabetic shock just as PI was being resurrected) and Rich Hilmer (currently Senior Game Developer at Sago Sago). The company had established itself in the competitive video game market with titles such as Cel Damage (Xbox/GameCube/PlayStation 2), Full Auto (Xbox 360) and Full Auto 2: Battlelines (exclusive to PlayStation 3 and PSP).

  • Daniel Posner, PI's Code Lead, graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in electrical engineering.  He lectured at New York University and at GDC 2002 on the physics of Cel Damage. As Code Manager, Daniel oversaw the distribution of all programming and bug-related tasks.  He took care of a large part of the operational tasks and managed to reserve time for the development itself.

  • David Wu, PI's President & Director of Technology, entered the video game world at Origin Systems in Austin, Texas, where he worked as an advanced software engineer.  He had become an industry leader in physics programming, speaking on the subject at various universities and GDC Hard Core seminars. He was a regular at the annual Game Developers Conference.

First logo (also available with black background)


Last logo (also available with white background)

  • Rich Hilmer, PI's Development Lead, holds a degree in computer engineering from the University of Toronto.  He spoke at GDC 2001 on game design for physics engines. As Development Lead, Rich's duties include overseeing the content workflow from the art department through to game resources.  He was also responsible for a number of internal tools whose maintenance kept the team running efficiently.

The story of Pseudo Interactive, marked by both success and failure, began in the laundry room of David Wu's family home. Later, as PI made a name for itself, the firm expanded and moved to more comfortable premises ideally located in downtown Toronto, within walking distance of restaurants, cinemas and clubs. The building had direct access to the subway. The exact address of Pseudo's head office (several moves?):


Toronto a beautiful city


Pseudo Interactive Inc.
80 Bloor Street West, Suite 400
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2V1

In 2002/2003, the independent Canadian development studio could count on 18 employees with a passion for video games and new technologies. The company expanded over the years, employing up to 50 people, before closing in 2008 following the abandonment of the Crude Awakening project published by Eidos Interactive. Pseudo Interactive had run out of cash and no way of surviving while awaiting a new agreement with another publisher. The cessation of PI was a foregone conclusion.

PI had made a name for a number of years with its famous Pseudo Physics engine and the games that exploited it. PI's technology was the foundation and heart of its games. Programmed by David Wu, recognized at the time in the industry as a leader in real-time physics simulation and one of the three most talented programmers of his time, the Pseudo Physics Engine was a robust and stable platform on which highly interactive games could be built.

The main way to advance technology in the industry has always been to convince the management team and the publisher that they can make money. Back then, innovation was clearly focused on improving visuals, with physics a distant second. Going against engine norms, Pseudo Interactive gave priority to physics, with graphics taking a back seat. Vectorman PlayStation 2 (Unreleased) was conceived as a physics simulation first and a rendering engine second.

Pseudo Interactive was one of the few companies to focus on physics for gameplay, and it really showed. What's more, they gave back to the developer community by regularly taking part in GDC conferences, sharing their discoveries in the domain of physics.

Using this advanced, proprietary physics and rendering technology, combined with in-house intellectual property development, Pseudo Interactive brought to life highly interactive and original game worlds.

The young company first came to prominence in 1997. At the Game Developers Conference (GDC), they presented a demonstration of their combat physics engine, which was warmly received. Microsoft, convinced and believing in the company's potential, was enthusiastic, and began to maintain good relationships with the Canadians at Pseudo.

Cel Damage Cover


Bug Tracking (piRaid)

Cel Damage (Work in Progress)

She's everywhere ha ha ha

With the arrival of their first home console, the American company wanted to set itself apart from the competition and offer gaming experiences that would arouse interest in purchasing an Xbox. In partnership with Pseudo Interactive, a video game project was born to meet this need. In its infancy, it was called Mayhem Cartoon.

Along the way, to meet Big M's requirements, an engine overhaul was necessary, which lasted 8 months. As a result, development of the game fell behind schedule. As the deadlines could no longer be met, Microsoft decided to break off its contract with Pseudo at the end of 2000. The Toronto-based studio quickly found another publisher. Electronic Arts took charge of distributing and releasing PI's first game in 2001 on Xbox. Mayhem Cartoon became Cel Damage, using new artistic elements to avoid any conflict of interest with the company founded by Bill Gates.

The employees of Pseudo Interactive had come a long way, most of whom had never worked on a video game before. At last, they could concentrate on new projects while bringing Cel Damage to Playstation 2 and GameCube.

They now had an unexpected idea in mind: to bring a forgotten SEGA license back to life on SONY's latest machine, the famous Vectorman robot and spearhead of SOA. In September 2002, after testing a game slice faithful to the Mega Drive episodes (4 prototypes to download here), the Japanese firm agreed to collaborate, in their turn, with Pseudo Interactive. Vectorman's transition from 2D to 3D to Platformer was very well executed, but after only a few months, the company with the blue hedgehog wanted to restart development and steer it towards a completely different genre, the Third Person Shooter, to the point of distorting the franchise (5 Halo-Like prototypes to download here). Vectorman on PS2 was finally cancelled in 2003.

La première version de Crash Demo

The work on Vectorman was not lost, however. Its engine would be reused in an incredible and distinguished Xbox 360 technical demo known as the "Crash Demo". Programmed by David Wu on behalf of Microsoft, it was unveiled in 2004 during the XNA conference at GDC. XNA's Not Acronymed architecture designates a series of tools provided free of charge by the American manufacturer to facilitate the development of independent video games. Applauded by the audience, the demonstration featured a blue sports car that was thrown, at high speed and repeatedly, against a metal box (a crash test). The crashes were filmed from all angles, so as to perceive the almost complete deformation of the vehicle's bodywork as a result of the impact. The demo was shown a second time at the E3 show of the same year, with the addition of a second green Supercar. The two cars collided head-on, much to everyone's delight.

This technical demo will lay the foundations for Full Auto, Pseudo's next game. Released in 2006 for the Xbox 360 and overseen by SEGA, the game involved high-octane racing in urban environments with disrupted traffic, at the wheel of weapon-equipped cars. Physics, according to PI, enhances the feeling of freedom, the sense of reality and opens up video games to new perspectives. Full Auto was a love letter to the independent studio's trademark philosophy: "Have fun destroying and interacting with everything". A sequel, Full Auto 2, was released a year later on Playstation 3 and PSP. It would be Pseudo Interactive's last game.

Official trailer of Full Auto 2

In 13 years of existence, Pseudo Interactive employees have also worked on a number of aborted projects, including: Crude Awakening (a Carmageddon-Like with Manga graphics), Prodigal (an action/adventure game with demons), Divided City (a dystopian sci-fi car combat project involving armored vehicles) and Cel Damage 2 (a sequel to the first, closer to the Warner Bros style in terms of general visual idea). Little information has been divulged about them. Who knows, the members of PI have undoubtedly been working on other unfinished productions that have never been announced. At the time of David Wu’s tragic passing in 2022, the Pseudo Interactive company, which had been relaunched 1 year earlier, was developing a new game called Conquest and Virtue.

Pseudo Interactive statement on the death of David Wu: "David was working hard on the game before his untimely death, and we will miss him terribly. For us at Pseudo Interactive, he was not only a talented lead developer and collaborator, but also a mentor and dear friend. There are no words to describe the loss of this brilliant man - he will be sorely missed."

Crude Awakening Concept


Divided City Concept


Prodigal Concept


Although Pseudo Interactive's time in the industry was relatively short, fans fondly remember its impact, particularly thanks to "Cel Damage". The game's unique visual style and gameplay left a lasting impression on the motorized fighting game genre. They'll remember Vectorman Playstation 2 today, too!

Violet Cel Damage Pseudo.png

The 2000s promo


SEGA's most famous robot


Vectorman thinks he's in Halo


Crash Demo Story Board (Crédit W. Frank Trzcinski 2D/Environmental/3D Level Artist


Full Auto (Bildmaterial)

Full Auto xbox 360

Full Auto 2 logo


Full Auto 2 (Concept)

Full Auto 2 Concept

Conquest and Virtue

Conquest and Virtue Pseudo

Information was taken from the "CompanyProfileSep2002 (Sep 26, 2002 Document). As it contains profile photos of some Pseuso Interactive members, without their agreement, it is preferable that it remain confidential.

One question remains. Is Pseudo Interactive's (revolutionary would be a strong word) technology still used in the industry in an improved, updated version?

Understanding what a video game engine is

The Pseudo Interactive team was at the forefront of physics innovation. The Canadian developers contributed enormously to the industry by sharing their knowledge, research and results on this subject. In their interviews and at conferences, the prowess of PI's engine was regularly invoked. PI's proprietary technology shaped the history of the Toronto studio. It's essential to understand what a video game engine is, from its creation to its deployment.

«I followed David Wu's work closely and, given the type of research going on at the time, I knew pretty much how he managed to do what he did.»

The video game engine, too often relegated to the background by gamers who can't precisely perceive it but sometimes just feel it, is nevertheless the essential element in a video game piece, the heart that makes it work. A video game is the combination of data (images, sound, characters, dialogues, stories and events, the 3D world, etc.) specific to a title, and the engine that coordinates this whole. It reads and displays images/persons/3D worlds on screen, sends sound through speakers, captures and interprets in-game joystick commands...

«My favorite engine is Quake, which I worked with at DeepMind. It's hyper-focused on doing one thing, and doing it as quickly and easily as possible. He doesn't worry about trying to be a generalist so he can make other games with it. It takes a lot of shortcuts that most people in the industry don't use, such as global variables everywhere. I loved it. It was so minimal and beautiful. I would have hated to build another type of game with it!»

Level editor for the Inertia engine (created by Eric Metens)


Inertia was used for the MMO Kaar (Unreleased), a game by Laurent Cluzel ( coming soon)

The creation of an engine is mainly based on the study of the code of other engines, on feedback from people who have already done it, and on the personal experience of the programmer who is about to develop one. If it's not his first, the intention is to correct the mistakes made in the past, while taking into account the strengths of the previous one and trying to improve on them. It's a long process, and one that must be repeated over and over again before it's achieved. Many seemingly insignificant decisions can have considerable and potentially devastating effects on development schedules:


Please note: The information in this box will be incomprehensible to anyone not involved in programming. It will, however, be relevant to a person working in a professional environment related or close to video games. These are ideas that a coder will want to implement in his game engine but, as Don Williamson (quoted in italics in this chapter, creator of the Flinstone Dreamcast engine) says, they're nice theories but in practice best avoided.


  • «Choosing a text file format (XML) for your meshes. Seemed great at the time, much easier to inspect than binary files. But slow, painfully slow to load. And huge, consuming a lot of memory. And it turns out being able to read them in a text editor is useless anyway because you can't really deduce much from a massive list of vertex positions.»

  • «Using event driven systems to "separate concerns" and reduce coupling. When you have different systems that interact, e.g. graphics, physics, audio, gameplay and AI, they all have to communicate with each other. Having them each not know that the other systems exist seems desirable because it means you can change one without having to change the other, and you can more easily swap in different implementations of each system. One way to do this is with "events." Each system exposes an event, like, PlayerHasMoved and all they do is raise that event, without caring who's listening for it. When you want to connect systems, you get each one of them to register for the events they're interested in. Sounds great! But you lose a lot of performance, debugging becomes much harder and the design becomes far more complicated, especially when you have to manage the lifetime of event listeners.»

An engine must be driven by the needs of the game above all else. Most engineers fall into the trap of the "second system effect" after a while. They think they can design the best existing engine that will never need to be modified. They all fail.

Unreal Engine user interface


The AI system of Forklift Racer (independent game by LemonHaze)


«VRV (Flinstone Dreamcast) was my first engine from scratch and when I went straight to the "second system effect" with the engine for Aliens/Advent Shadow/Ms. Pacman/Marvel/B&W and others. It was quite revolutionary for its time, but too big to match the lies our production team had been fed about how many people we could hire.»

At the start of the second millennium, technology focused on improving the visual aspect of a game. Most development studios followed this guideline. They competed fiercely to see who could make the most graphically imposing title. Physics were neglected; they couldn't be sold on simple screenshots. In videos, it was not differentiated by cinematics. As a result, publishers didn't necessarily care.

Many games use physics for gameplay and marketing purposes, such as Flight Unlimited in 1995, the first game to simulate fluid dynamics for a proper simulation of aerial flight. Pseudo Interactive, one of the few companies to focus on physics, proved that it was just as important as the artistic side. With PI's engine, this was truly seen and felt on screen and with the controller in hand.

Unity Engine user interface


In the 90s/2000s, generic engines such as Unreal Engine or Unity didn't yet exist, so developers had to construct almost everything from scratch. Each development studio had its own engine for its games. Today, to save production time, resources and effort, developers are turning to turnkey engines.

«All the young engine coders are now obsessed with recreating the great features they see in the big engines, which adapt to hundreds of game types. Their impact on smaller teams building smaller engines can be catastrophic.»

The know-how involved in producing an engine is being lost. Once there were thousands of engines, now there really aren't any. Now, one system is favored over all the others, so all the crazy ideas that might have had great long-term potential are now abandoned.

The primary intention (concept) of Vectorman 3.14 Playstation 2

Vectorman on Playstation 2 was intended to be a revolution in the world of platform games, taking the genre to a whole new level of action. A unique blend of weapon-based combat and platforming environments, Pseudo Interactive's (PI) Vectorman sought to reinvent and reorganize the video game world of tomorrow, offering ironclad gameplay and innovative features worthy of its Mega Drive/Genesis heritage. Built on an intriguing storyline and carefully researched characters, Vectorman PS2 would appeal to American gamers looking for a sophisticated shooter. That's how the game was sold to SEGA!


Pseudo Interactive (Toronto, Canada), creators of Cel Damage for Xbox and GameCube, had approached SEGA with the desire to breathe new life into the Vectorman franchise on Playstation 2.  Renowned for its technical expertise and talented programmers, Pseudo had a team that SOA deemed qualified to develop such a game.

Information has been taken from the document "Introducing V to SOJ (Dec 06, 2002 Document)". As it contains the names of people connected with the project other than PI employees, it is preferable to keep it confidential.

Some Vectorman 3.14 characters and their artworks

A video game character has his or her own personality and identity. The character's general appearance, attire, stature and face define his or her character traits. Its graphic style, meanwhile, steers the game in the desired artistic direction. Are we aiming for a mature title or one designed for a younger audience? Do you aspire to bring a realistic, imaginary or cartoon universe to the screen?

Pseudo Interactive had sketched out different approaches for each Vectoman Playstation 2 character. When it came to drawing these rough drafts, the team probably still had to decide on the graphic style and game genre they wanted to program. PI was also studying which physiognomy and look were preferable to the protagonists of their future creation


Vectorman : A heroic legend and savior of the human race, Vectorman is a pretentious, outgoing and adventurous Orbot. He doesn't take himself too seriously and hates boredom or monotony. He has a tendency to show off. Unaware that 250 years have passed since his encounter with the Queen of the Insects (Vectorman 2), resting beneath the earth's surface in an undisclosed complex, he was eager for new adventures, this time on Playstation 2.

Aura (Pixel) : Regardless of her mother's wishes, Aura (Pixel) sets out to find the only hero in the galaxy who can put an end to Texel's (her mother's) diabolical plans. She finds him in Vectorman. This female robot is a new model of Orbot. She has access to new sensory experiences that the other Orbots don't: emotions. Texel's first creation, Aura (Pixel) is a spirited, passionate, compassionate and audacious Orbot. Fascinated by human culture, she has a heart of gold.


Texel : Seduced by the perfection of the Orbots, Texel is a megalomaniacal, evil human who has crossed the stars to Gamma 6 to impose her will on the planet of the Orbots. Since the birth of her robotic daughter Aura, she has lost all compassion and humanity. Her goal is to establish a perfect army with a new generation of Orbots totally devoted to her orders. To achieve this, she needs the raw emotions of Earth's humans. Manipulative by nature, she likes the whole universe to revolve around her little person. She's power-hungry.

Some Vectorman 3.14 locations to visit and their artwork

A video game's scenery makes it memorable and creates/leaves a lasting impression. From photorealism to cartoon design and Pixel Art, the settings of a video game are an invitation to a virtual travel. The layout of a map or fictional city, and the architecture of the level's decorative or interactive elements, must attract attention and provoke wonder. In the end, players can't wait to return and contemplate their models. Vectorman Playstation 2 locations and descriptions:

Nova City : This bustling metropolis has been the center of human culture on Earth since the Return. Luminescent aerocars cut through a dense jungle of holographic advertising, while a servile army of Orbot drones cater to the population's every whim. At the heart of Nova City lies the GPU complex, headquarters of the Global Protection Unit. This monolithic building casts an imposing shadow over the city. A network of Defense Ports provides access to all areas of Nova City.


The Fun Station : A chain of amusement parks in space, the Fun Stations are home to Holo-Arcades, Glow-Bars, Zero-G Dance Clubs and other futuristic entertainment. Behind this fun facade also lurks something darker: the Texel Collection Cells. These modules are secretly connected to every floor of the Fun Station, providing access points for kidnapping humans and inserting Ad-Bot Replicas.

Hyperspace Transport : These decrepit interstellar installations transport Texel's illicit goods across the galaxy to Gamma 6. Their worn-out hulls are equipped with cell pullers intended to recover batteries for the amusement stations conceived by the Orbot company. The ship's nerve center houses the "Captain", an A-Life Brain who commands a crew of elderly Orbots and devious defensive systems.

Access Node : The first site any visitor to Gamma 6 will notice are the low-orbiting access nodes dotting the surface of the metallic planet. These high-atmosphere ports verify the identity of all visitors arriving on the planet. A simple consultation of the data streams can result in the planet being locked down in a matter of minutes. Connected to the surface by transit tubes and concentrators, this imposing antenna forms a high-speed vertical highway to the heart of Gamma City!


Gamma 6 : Welcome to Gamma City, the new capital of Gamma 6. A marvel of Orbot design, Gamma 6 is alive with the presence of Orbots in an incredible array of lights and metal. Skyscrapers and multi-storey suspended highways form an ensemble above the lower half, which is surrounded at ground level by the wilderness of the technopole.

Texel's Citadel : At the edge of the plasma sea lies the ominous power base that threatens Gamma 6 and the entire human race!  Thick armored walls and menacing plasma turrets protect the exterior of the Queen's Tower as Texel's Newtype Armada prepares for invasion: Earth!


The information on Vectorman PS2 characters and locations in this article was taken from the "VM_Game_Overview (Sep 30, 2002 document PDF + Word)". Some elements may differ in comparison with the GDD "Vectorman-DesignDoc 1-4-03 (Jan 03, 2003 document)" on the home page.

Some sketches of Vectorman Halo-Like's level architecture

Sketches and artwork are drawn during the very early stages of a video game's development, when the mood of the title and the appearance of characters and locations are imagined. These sketches for Vectorman Halo-Like were drawn by Frank Trzcinski (2D/Environmental/3D Level Artist at Pseudo) in a very short space of time. They and others are available on his portofolio at


We'd like to thank the entire Pseudo Interactive team (Mobygames link to Full Auto Xbox 360) involved in the Vectorman Playstation 2 project for making the transition from 2D to 3D for Mega Drive's most famous robot. We can only feel sorry for them that they weren't able to follow through on their desires and creations!

Other articles devoted specifically to never-before-seen game assets:

evil twin Dreamcast banner
Banner Jekyll and Hyde 2001 game.png

Conceptual material for the Jekyll and Hyde game can be found at this address: "Additional illustrations, plans and assets for the Jekyll & Hyde Dreamcast/PC game from the creators of In Utero"

Propeller Arena(1).png

Conceptual material for the Propeller Arena game can be found at this address: "Additional sketches, photos and assets for the Dreamcast game Propeller Arena from the AM2 development studio"

Special thanks to:

  • LemonHaze (from Team Wulinshu) for digging through the game files

  • La Rétrogamerie for proof-reading, rewording and editing the text

  • Vince for the English correction of the article

  • Didier Chanfray (Art Director at No Cliché) for his explanations about Game Design Documents and Tétrade

  • Don Williamson (creator of the Flinstone Dreamcast engine) for his explanation of a video game engine.

Feel free to have a look at the "other Unreleased games" I found" For the more curious among you, I created a "List of all the unreleased games of the Dreamcast".

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