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Saved from Development Hell: Development on Final Exam was first mentioned in early 2008. It was released five years later, after the dissolution and reformation of its studio, and after being divorced from the ObsCure series.
As seen here, Final Exam went through multiple incarnations and quite a bit of Development Hell before it was released.
The first incarnation, ObsCure: Dark Aura, was to take place right after the end of the second game, with Shannon as the main character. It was scrapped, with elements from it being used for...
ObsCure D, which was to have been an interquel to the two ObsCure games. It would have been about a group of people, led by Ashley's younger sister Liddyah, searching for Josh and Ashley a few days before the events of the second game. It was here that the more exaggerated, Lighter and Softer art style of what became Final Exam is first known to have showed up, as well as the 2½D gameplay. That version was canceled after Hydravision went out of business.
After the project was resurrected by Mighty Rocket, it was intended as a reboot of the series, but fan backlash over the game's radically different gameplay, art style, and story forced the developers to retool it into a non-canon spinoff.
The data files for the first game also reveal that Dan was intended to play a much larger role than he actually did. Instead of getting killed in the prologue, he was supposed to have been one of the main characters instead of Kenny, who was originally the one who got killed off. Indeed, the end of the game's trailer shows Kenny getting killed and dragged off by a monster, which obviously wasn't in the final game.