I've been trying to track down a 3D game from the late '80s/early '90s. It was on the Atari ST and featured simple polygonal (space)ships1 floating over flattish polygonal ground with the occasional berm that one could fly over. It was definitely not sprite-based. IIRC it was mouse controlled and the ships moved only in the plane (rise and fall but no tilting or banking). It used a third-person viewpoint, fixed relative to the ship (low/ground level and behind IIRC) and the gameplay was (to at least some extent) open world (i.e. not restricted like e.g. Zaxxon). The version I saw was a demo (probably off of a cover disk) and I believe it was a shooter (pretty sure it wasn't Elite or anything similar). I've looked through ST Format and ST Action and some of the online gaming sites but haven't found it. Does this ring a bell for anyone?
1 Simple as in under 10 vertices per ship, flat shaded but not texture mapped.
Rough drawing (from memory) of what it sort of looked like; the actual graphics were much nicer:
It may have been an early preview of Starglider 2. Its graphics are the closest match for what I recall but there are still many major differences.
The following don't match what I recall (differences listed):
- The Sentinel Landscape is rendered close to what I recall however the demo I played did not have any non-ship objects (trees, towers, etc.)
- Zarch/Virus Landscape is totally different (not full screen, wrong POV, very varied terrain), ships can tilt, heavy use of particles, non-ship objects (trees, buildings, etc.)
- Frontier Elite II Much more advanced graphics than what I recall. I had a (non-playable) demo of it and its style was quite different.
I'm starting to think this was either a very early preview of a work-in-progress or, as LangLangC pointed out, possibly a game that never ended up being sold commercially.
One other obvious possibility is that I am completely misremembering the details. Memory is, after all, notoriously inaccurate.