Family Guy: Road To Death (partially found prototype build of third-person shooter based on Fox animated sitcom; 2010-2011)

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Official Prototype Logo.

Status: Partially Found

Family Guy is an animated sitcom for Fox created by Seth MacFarlane, and originally ran between 1999 and 2002, with the show being revived in 2005 thanks to unexpected popularity and is still going today. The show's popularity would bring out merchandise, including books, toys and games, including two made for home consoles.

In 2010, Heavy Iron Studios and Fox would start development for a third-person zombie shooter entitled Family Guy: Road to Death, set for release sometime in 2011. However, due to concerns about it being "too dark" for the show's standards and objections from Seth himself, the game was retooled twice, once to tone down the content, and again to what would eventually become Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse.[1] These changes in development caused the game to be delayed by a whole year, and would finally release on November 20, 2012 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.


Death is on vacation amidst a zombie invasion in Quahog, and it's up to the Griffin family and various other Family Guy characters to find Death and "get his ass back to work".


Like what eventually became Back to the Multiverse, the game was a third person shooter. Zombies were mainly featured as enemies, and also to riff on popular games like Call of Duty and Left 4 Dead. Throughout the game, characters could gain different weapons to fight against the zombie invasion. Melee combat is also included. The graphics were cel-shaded to make it resemble the cartoon. Much of the show's humor was featured, with pop culture references spread throughout and iconic quotes being reused from the show.

Modes included in the prototype builds include the game's story campaign, an online multiplayer mode, including a horde mode and deathmatch, and several others not specified by the developers. Most of these would transfer over to the final game, but online elements have been cut.[1]


Development started some time in 2010, with Heavy Iron Studios, known for SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom and their Pixar games, taking the mantle.[2] While development for Back to the Multiverse took roughly two years, the final product didn't start out that way. According to Brian, an ex-Heavy Iron employee on ASSEMBLERgames, there were three incarnations of the game. The first iteration for the game took six months in development in collaboration with Fox Interactive with several game modes included. The zombie concept was suggested by Fox themselves. It was only halfway done when Seth MacFarlane objected to the game's violent content and was shelved. Despite this, the development team started over and built another iteration of the game. On February 9, 2011, Activision announced during its fiscal year conference call that they were the publisher for the game and that the game would release later that year.[3] Said iteration was based on the original design, but heavily toned down in terms of content. This incarnation took six months and was only three-fourths done before it was shelved due to Seth objecting again. Despite this, the project restarted a third time, this time written by show frequenters Anthony Blasucci and Mike Desilets, as appointed by Seth MacFarlane himself. By that point the original concept was dropped and instead became a "sequel" for the show's iconic "Road to the Multiverse" episode. The game would eventually be formally announced on May 7, 2012 by an Activision press release for a Fall 2012 release, which it did meet.[4]


While the final product, Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse, got a release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, the prototypes for the original concept are have been unreleased. A prototype build, although it was unknown which version it was, was donated to the National Videogame Museum in Frisco, Texas.[5] What remains of the game are two trailers on YouTube uploaded by an ex-Heavy Iron employee under the alias "ispeedonthe405", along with several other prototype videos from select Heavy Iron games under that timeframe, and pieces of concept art that were uploaded on the blog of Heavy Iron's art director.[6] Both videos are based off of the second incarnation of the game. Several assets from the prototypes were reused in the final game, and sounds from the original prototype could be found in the files for the game, but unused.


A trailer for the second iteration of the game featuring gameplay.

Another trailer featuring gameplay and clips from the show.

See Also