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Alien Year Zero was the in-development title for Alien: Isolation.

Developers Creative Assembly officially started hiring for the project in 2011 after creating internal prototype demos as early as 2009 to pitch the project to SEGA, utilising engine technology from the studio's previous game Viking: Battle for Asgard (that engine later becoming Cathode).

It is believed that the project changed title around mid 2013 during the final of many story rewrites and changes which occured during the game's development. In this rewrite several maps and cutscenes were removed or reworked including a mission aboard the Solace, and missions taking the player to the Gravity Anchors and Dry Docks. The character of Ransome was also removed from the core storyline. Notably although the title changed in this final rewrite, it survived through a series of other rewrites and changes to the game during development - including at one point the removal of an online co-op mode, which was believed to be scrapped due to the poor reception of Aliens: Colonial Marines. These changes, including the recasting of Amanda Ripley's voice actress due to a denial from Fox, reportedly caused the game to be delayed - missing its originally intended reveal at E3 2013.

AlienIsolationPrototypeLoading

A screenshot of the Alien: Isolation pre-production prototype loading on an Xbox 360 devkit. The prototype is titled "AYZ - IL0 - Demo".

There was no public mention of the Alien Year Zero title, aside from the name appearing on various portfolios from employees of Axis Animation (who produced the game's cutscenes before the final story rewrite) and some other 3rd parties. The name can also be found within the Steam Database for the depot and package names of the game: the beta of Alien: Isolation is named "AYZ Beta" and the early access package of the game is named "AYZ Early Access Comp". On Xbox 360, the game's executable is named "AYZ_Final.exe".

Alien-_Isolation_Pre-Production_Prototype

Alien- Isolation Pre-Production Prototype

The greenlight demo of Alien: Isolation, referred to as "Alien Year Zero". This also acted as a tech test, running in-engine. Produced in April 2009.

Alien: Isolation's infamous third person demo was seemingly internally titled "IL3", and was at a point where the project still held the Alien Year Zero title. Some environments from the IL3 milestone demo made it to the final game, including the offices around the reactor core. The initial pre-production demo was also titled IL0, indicating that Alien Year Zero stuck through at least 4 milestone demos.

A large number of files within the game (such as animations) typically begin with the prefix of "AYZ", with one "AYZ" sound file being dated as late as 7th October 2013. The trademark for "Alien: Isolation" was filed on the 17th of October 2013, with no trademark being filed for "Alien Year Zero". The domain "alienisolation.com" was however registered on the 6th of February 2013, showing that the title was planned to be used around a year before the game's announcement - even though the AYZ logo found in an animator's portfolio has metadata dated for 6th March 2013.

Trivia[]

  • Other codenames are found within the files of Alien: Isolation such as "Legend" and "Moon", both being codenames of cancelled projects which utilised the same engine. It is rumoured that Legend was a game about Robin Hood, and Moon was an IP-less 1st person sci-fi horror title set on a moon base.
  • The "Alien Year Zero" title was dropped in-part due to an album released by Nine Inch Nails in 2007 of a similar name (Year Zero).

Links[]

  • BraisPerezReel - a showreel containing the name Alien Year Zero for the game's CG trailer.
  • Steam Database - the Alien: Isolation depot, named "exe_ayz".

Gallery[]

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