Science fiction author and humorist Douglas Adams was working on a Myst-style console game centered around his classic series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy leading up to his death in 2001, according to a recent episode of The Game Informer Show podcast.
‘Hitchhiker’s’ loyalists likely have fond memories of the 1984 text adventure of the same name, but Adams was reportedly designing another game based on his masterwork with much more depth.
Host Ben Hanson interviewed industry veterans Tim Schafer, Gary Whitta, Emma Westecott, Robbie Stamp, and Steve Meretzky to bring to light Adams’ deep infatuation with adapting his worlds into interactive forms.
The insightful podcast culminated with a reveal that will surely make Hitchhiker’s fans simultaneously salivate and possibly panic — sorry, Adams’ famous phrase “Don’t Panic” fails to apply here. The project was 90 percent complete at the time of Adams’ death, according to Westecott, who worked alongside the author as a programmer on his 1998 PC adventure game Starship Titanic.
Stamp, a close friend of Adams and the former CEO of The Digital Village (Starship Titanic), claims the game ran out of resources — developers, time, and money — when Adams died unexpectedly after suffering a heart attack.
Perhaps even more unfortunate, Westecott says she doesn’t know what happened to the assets used to make the game, making the possibility of future release nearly nonexistent.
The narrative focus of the abandoned game was not revealed — although Westecott denied the game was intrinsically linked to the movie adaptation of Adams’ magnum opus that was in the works at the same time.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy eventually reached theaters in 2005, four years after Adams’ untimely death in 2001. The film, dedicated to him, grossed over $100 million worldwide, and the book series has sold over 14 million copies since it debuted in 1979.
Adams will always be remembered for his contributions to the world of letters, but he had his feet firmly planted in the medium of video games as well.
Besides the aforementioned Starship Titanic and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Adams also served as the designer on the 1987 text adventure Bureaucracy.