Retro Re Imagined Lgf

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  • Retro Re Imagined Lgf

    1. 1. <ul><li>Retro Revisited: </li></ul><ul><li>Reinventing the past for the modern gamer </li></ul><ul><li>Nick Burton </li></ul><ul><li>RARE </li></ul>
    2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Nick Burton, Senior Software Engineer at RARE </li></ul><ul><li>Worked for RARE for almost 10 years, StarFox Adventures, Kameo: Elements of Power </li></ul><ul><li>I was Lead on RARE’s first XBLA title – Jetpac: Refuelled </li></ul><ul><li>I want to tell you the story of its development, </li></ul><ul><li>Our motivations, </li></ul><ul><li>The design ethos we followed… </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>“ games aren’t as good as they used to be” </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>“ games are better than they ever were” </li></ul>
    5. 5. Background <ul><li>So what made us do it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developers with free time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Love of Retro Games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interest in trying something for XBLA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embryonic design idea for a new Jetpac </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything seemed to fit! </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Jetpac
    7. 7. Prototype <ul><li>No real team as such </li></ul><ul><li>No overarching design </li></ul><ul><li>Design brief; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be true to original </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be a ‘RARE’ / ‘ULTIMATE’ game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MP must be fun and has to be included as a key XBLA feature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must fit in 25Mb </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Code driven to start with </li></ul>
    8. 8. Prototype cont… <ul><li>Attracting a new generation of players </li></ul><ul><li>Concern over proliferation of tribute versions of the game </li></ul><ul><li>We didn’t know if it would be 2D or 3D </li></ul><ul><li>We didn’t know how many players it would be – maybe up to 8 </li></ul><ul><li>Limited asset size </li></ul><ul><li>We did know we didn’t want to emulate </li></ul>
    9. 9. First Attempt
    10. 10. 1:1 Sprite Upgrade, e.g.
    11. 11. Multiplayer?
    12. 12. Recap <ul><li>We have Jetpac HD – just! </li></ul><ul><li>Control works well, game feels nice to play at 60fps </li></ul><ul><li>Look needs a serious rethink! </li></ul><ul><li>How are we going to upgrade game play? </li></ul><ul><li>Multiplayer requires us to think about playfield vs. character size </li></ul><ul><li>No design docs – should we have some? </li></ul>
    13. 13. Pre-production <ul><li>Working test bed </li></ul><ul><li>Need to decide on the ‘look’ as a matter of urgency </li></ul><ul><li>Need to look at all aspects of upgrading game play </li></ul><ul><li>Other content decisions for ‘added value’ content </li></ul>
    14. 14. The Look
    15. 15. In Game Concepts
    16. 16. Front End Concepts
    17. 17. We found our style…
    18. 18. The Look
    19. 19. The Look cont…
    20. 20. Game Play – Single Player <ul><li>Control is sorted </li></ul><ul><li>Can learn game rules in less than 30 sec’s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t die, build and fuel rocket, take off to next level, shoot baddies for score, pickup bonus items for more score </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Game play is unforgiving but very simple </li></ul><ul><li>Game play is not dynamic by today's standards </li></ul>
    21. 21. Essence <ul><li>So what makes Jetpac, Jetpac? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rocket building and fuelling to get off level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Levels with a new rocket every so often </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2D Game play on a single plane </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Single screen, no scrolling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jetman can screen wrap </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to pickup game play, hard to master </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Back in the day it offered an unsurpassed arcade experience on the Spectrum </li></ul>
    22. 22. Change <ul><li>What can we expand, add to or change? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small number of one type of baddie per level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Single laser weapon seems ripe for upgrade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collectables only offered score, not function </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One hit death seems harsh </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One platform layout for the whole game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Static screen is quite boring, we need to look into upgrading this and expanding the playfield </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. The Scale Issue
    24. 24. Dynamic Playfield Expansion
    25. 25. New – Multi Player <ul><li>We now have plenty of playfield space for multiplayer </li></ul><ul><li>Aim for 4 players as we have 4 joy pads </li></ul><ul><li>Cause player attrition as much as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Key to multiplayer will be a race to leave the planet fastest to gain a high score </li></ul><ul><li>Players should be able to steal fuel and bits of rocket from one another </li></ul>
    26. 26. Multi Player – focus testing… <ul><li>Initial idea worked well </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of ‘clean room’ play testing in house </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Needed to ensure it was fun </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MP relied on fine balance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needed to be done early to ensure it worked </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Networking became an issue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can see everything in play at any time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dropped to 2 player </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. Production <ul><li>Finalise game play </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Added timer to stop camping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Added score multipliers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finalise more baddies and their attacks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Further weapon development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SP: Smart Bomb </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MP: Shooting fuel to make player drop it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set difficulty curve for 32 levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Platform position and background setup </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. Audio <ul><li>Audio keyed off 80’s artwork feel </li></ul><ul><li>Brief: ‘Kraftwerk’ meets ‘Balloon Fight’ </li></ul><ul><li>Left quite late for final two tunes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some work had been done before as tests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We tried techno, dance, retro C64 sounds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SFX needed to be very clean but strong </li></ul><ul><ul><li>80’s feel but very high fidelity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The most important sound is the explosion </li></ul></ul>
    29. 29. Finalise Graphics
    30. 30. Finalise Graphics cont…
    31. 31. Final Jetman
    32. 32. Tweak and Test <ul><li>Tweak GFX to ensure everything is keyed into easy play </li></ul><ul><li>Finalise difficulty curve and set all 128 levels </li></ul><ul><li>Tweak collectable generation </li></ul><ul><li>Add restart points for single player </li></ul><ul><li>Tweak and test cycle kept almost to the end of testing </li></ul>
    33. 33. Added Value <ul><li>A bit of back story about the original </li></ul><ul><li>Some original artwork </li></ul><ul><li>Most importantly original game; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This was NOT an emulation, skinned new ver. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ran at 60fps rather than 20fps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Had post process attribute clash </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Baddie movement slightly different </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retro border with lots old Ultimate characters for fans… </li></ul></ul>
    34. 34. Final Retro…
    35. 35. The Finished Article
    36. 36. Conclusions <ul><li>Difficult for the art team </li></ul><ul><li>Upgrading old games does not require 3D </li></ul><ul><li>Iterative design is good </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t produce huge design documents </li></ul><ul><li>Work on the project full time and treat it like a full AAA project </li></ul><ul><li>You need programmers strong in different development areas </li></ul>
    37. 37. Recommendations <ul><li>Remake with love, not haste! </li></ul><ul><li>Pick a team of people into Retro gaming </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the team small </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the team together </li></ul><ul><li>In a small team EVERYONE needs to be highly skilled and motivated </li></ul><ul><li>Allow them to experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t devalue your IP with a poor remake </li></ul>
    38. 38. Final thoughts… <ul><li>Other developers are now taking this more finessed approach to retro, look at XBLA Prince of Persia and PacMan C.E. </li></ul><ul><li>Some developers have been doing so for years, look at Tempest 2000 and Space Giraffe </li></ul>
    39. 39. Questions ? [email_address] www.rareware.com

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