After the release of OUTRAGE in December 2020 we celebrated a spectacular year 2021 full of game reviews, articles, gameplay videos and walkthroughs on YouTube and Twitch and podcasts with overlength interviews with Bernd Buchegger. OUTRAGE got covered by almost every major retro magazine like RETURN, ZZAP64!, Retro Format, Lotek64, K&A and others are already in preparation.
OUTRAGE was placed in the top 10 ranks of all major Game of the Year competitions and even won the glourious silver medal in the Retro Video Gamer GOTY Award 2020. OUTRAGE generally got top marks in various game reviews and scored the unbelievable MAXIMUM rating of 10 in the Retro Format mag, beating the outstanding Soul Force and Zeta Wing both rated 9,5.
The whole story shed fresh spotlight on the comprehensive heritage and artwork of Cosmos Designs with their many game and demo publications being done back in the old times. We were honored to get a fantastic press coverage in the very first ZZAP!64 Micro Edition Issue#1 where the whole list of Cosmos Designs game titles got presented.
So we decided to open the final chapter of this journey – the application for the GBR – GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS. Yes, we mean it serious so keep on reading!
The idea to this grande finale matured in our heads during the years 2018 – 2019 when the completion of OUTRAGE finally materialized. Some might have noticed that we started to spread the word when OUTRAGE was released.
It soon became integral part of the OUTRAGE homepage stating “OUTRAGE – the probably longest game development in history” and got additional support by retro mag authors. German RETURN print fanzine stated that OUTRAGE kicked the (inofficial) record holder Unreal World from its throne – they count remarkable 28 years from start to finish line.
With our 30 years development time Arnold and me were convinced that we can easily beat the current Guinness Book Record holder which officially is Duke Nukem forever. Duke Nukem counts “only” 14 years and 43 days in the category “Longest development period for a videogame“.
So I opened a new account at the Guinness World Records Homepage and started reading through the very comprehensive record application instructions. I can tell you these guys have defined a pretty extensive bunch of rules to comply with.
It turned out that applying for breaking the Duke Nukem record for some reason was NOT possible. I read their explanation several times to get a deeper understanding of what they might indent to express. I contacted their support but never got any response to my question – although they were quick with a reply on a technical inquiry from my side.
Some other GBR entries like “most protracted video game development“ showed the same “inactive record” status as Duke Nukem Forever. I therefore started preparing for a brand-new GBR record category. For that purpose I choose the title “Longest development limbo for a videogame“.
For those who might ask what the heck is a development limbo:
Development hell, development purgatory, development limbo, or production hell, is a media and software industry jargon for a project, concept, or idea that remains in development for an especially long time, often moving between different crews, scripts, game engines, or studios before it progresses to production, if it ever does. Projects in development hell are usually not released until development has reached a satisfying state worthy of being released, ready for production.
In my opinion I found that very appropriate for our case.
The GBR process demands a rather short application description as first step before I would be allowed to provide all the detailed attempt evidence data like the full historical track and a bunch of witness statements from people involved.
What suprised me was that I would have to wait at least 12 weeks or longer for their reply on a standard application to be reviewed before they come back to me with next steps. In case of a positive reply and afer having uploaded my attempt evidence, it can take another 12 weeks to review the evidence.
The GPR offered to get my review process significantly accellerated if I would choose to use their payable Evidence Review service. That would reduce the time for my attempt to be reviewed down to 5 working days.
Well I decided to follow the standard procedure – after 30 years this timeframe appeared totally neglectable to me.
So I handed in and got my first official Guinness book record application finally on track – felt like a historical moment!
These 12 weeks went by rather slowly with no lifesign whatsoever from the GBR team in the meantime. I got the automated application confirmation from their system but still no answers to my former inquiries leaving a hint of uncertainty.
Then on the 11th of February 2022 I finally had their e-mail reply in my inbox telling me … well, read for yourself:
WHAM – now that what a slap in the face. Obviously we were not that “officially amazing” as I was convinced we would be.
It felt like a flashback into the situation I encountered with BOEDER all these years ago – after I had been informed of being a winner through the 64’er Magazine I also had to wait many weeks until I finally got the official letter from BOEDER – and you remember how that story ended.
This is how I understand GBR‘s reply:
Obviously applications for this category must be provided by an expert consultant or institution and my “public” proposal therefore is considered invalid for a Gunniness Book of Records review.
Would you agree or do you have a different interpretation?
Do you have experience with the GBR and record applications?
Are you or do you know such an institute?
So our last and final chapter did not get it‘s happy ending – we dreamed big but the soap bubble imploded with a merely unspectacular pop. Although I envisioned this moment so much when I would be telling the team that we have achieved the record confirmation. Sometimes the universe does not fulfill a wish no matter how hard you believe in it.
On the other hand we came so far … it is still one of the most spectacular rides of my life I had the honor to be part of. And for that I am deeply grateful to everybody who made that dream reality!
Who needs the GBR when we already know that we proved to be …