Loya (lost build of cancelled multi-platform adventure game; 2002-2006)
Loya is an adventure game that was meant to be released in the early 2000s for PC, Mac and Xbox. It was being developed by Belisa, now known as Les Poissons Volants ("The Flying Fishes").
The creators, who notably include Thomas Cheysson, also released Isabelle in 1999, an adventure game that gained two awards at the Moebius 1999 festival and was infamous for its weirdness, getting a "love-it-or-hate-it" reception.
It is unknown how much work went into Loya before cancellation.
It seems as though it was some kind of interactive fiction game that could be watched by other viewers through the Internet, or even projected in a movie theater, with movie-quality audio and visuals, as the player makes their decisions, thus creating their own stories. (Remember that this was before 2002, years before YouTube, Twitch and other such websites would make such an idea mundane)
Twenty years ago, Roman was an expropriator. With Loya and Eusèbe, his two-fight companions, he used to do armed assaults, kidnappings, funds extortions to finance the revolution. Sometimes it is a heavy past to carry around. Roman is involved one more time in a violent adventure, but this time, he is the victim. It seems as though his memories rush back to him, mixing up with the present. Digging in his memory, Roman will discover that his companions were not guided by the same simple and right revolutionary passion as he was. Some of them were driven by money, some other by love.
Loya would have followed Isabelle's tradition of being named after the primary female character of the story, despite she not being the main focus of the plot.
Along the game, the website describes a film made of fictional news archives and radio interviews that would develop a backstory for the characters and the setting. However, it is unknown if these were ever shot/recorded or if it was only in the planning stages.
The website advertised Loya's elements as:
- "A story like all the best adventure digiscopes."
- "Action, love, thinking and humor."
- "3 characters to incarnate, 4 different eras."
- "50 intelligent and autonomous characters that react to your actions."
- "Brand new and awesome 3D graphics."
- "An amazing high-quality soundtrack."
- "The ability to play over the internet."
- "On the internet, Belisa story server adding events and characters."
Keep in mind that the creators are French and their use of the English language can come off as a bit odd-sounding.
A lone page with a mail dating from July 2002 mentions Belisa's Loya as a game that uses DirectMusic.
Loya was originally intended to come out in Autumn 2002. The Belisa website kept on listing this release date way until 2006. After this, the Loya section was deleted from the site and is nowhere to be mentioned on it. It is safe to assume the project was completely cancelled, being way too ambitious for the creator's abilities.
The section subsists in the Web Archive, but many elements are lost, such as original concept art (part of which can be seen in the header image). A video showing an early demo of the game's engine with some character models has also been saved.