What Could Have Been.
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- Rivet City from Fallout 3: Concept art◊ and the finished product◊
- Knights of the Old Republic II was supposed to be a truly epic followup and was originally planned to be much larger than the original, as evidenced by the massive amount of content Dummied Out of the final release.
- Concept art for Epic Mickey reveals a deeply disturbing vision of a rotting Disney universe. The finished game is pretty obviously a Lighter and Softer compromise between Warren Spector's original vision and Disney's brand-enforcing creative police.
- BioShock Infinite's Irrational Studios had to put up with a lot of Executive Meddling and make a lot of concessions (heavy focus on combat, a tough male main character, etc.) in order to secure the funding they needed to complete the game, but nearly all those concessions became thematic fodder for the game's story. For example, the obligatory ISO standard male shooter protagonist is an Atoner with a laundry list of past sins, many of which involve murder, and more than one critic has theorized that the reason the game has far, FAR more combat than necessary was Irrational passive-aggressively commenting on the artistic demands made of them.
- The soldier digging in the book The War of the Worlds is planning on keeping civilisation alive underground. He managed to dig a small tunnel.
- On Arthur, this happens a couple of times. Once when they had to rebuild the treehouse, everybody had great plans but they ended up basically rebuilding it as it was before. And again when Grandma Thora gave Arthur and DW her attic to use as a clubhouse - Arthur wanted to make it into an adventure park and DW wanted to turn it into Mary Moocow-topia. Neither happened.
- The subversion of this trope is the entire point of the show Phineas and Ferb.
- Happens all the time in construction projects, usually due to financial reasons. One example is the Currie building at the Royal Military College of Canada. The original plan was to build it as a replacement for the Mackenzie building. Construction began with part of the Currie building built against the Mackenzie building but the college ran out of funds to complete the project, so they left the Mackenzie building standing and joined the Mackenzie and Currie buildings together. The result is one larger building that looks somewhat disjointed◊, though the consistent architectural styles help to mitigate the effect somewhat.
- The famous cathedral of Notre Dame was originally supposed to have a massive central spire rising far above the two existing towers, which were meant to be far higher, as well.