AuthorTopic: Flashback HD & The terrible truth of remakes  (Read 35378 times)

Offline Dusty

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Re: Flashback HD & The terrible truth of remakes

Reply #20 on: January 23, 2013, 07:00:55 pm
About Rayman : You are true, the game looks extremely smooth & good. I just used it as a proof of today's laziness. Nobody wants to draw frames tediously. Everybody want the shortest path to achieve the "ok it looks good it's enough". This is the same for 2D Dreamworks / Disney Movies. I rewatched The Prince of Egypt a few days ago, and the animation is astounding. You can feel the volumes, the weight, the physics, the intention of each character, each move, this is incredible. This is the same for some good old 2D anime like Akira or Ghost in the shell. I'm sad we don't have anything like this today. There is only a few japanese like Ghibli because these people are hard worker. But overall, the production shrank so much it's really depressing.

Nothing about Rayman Origins ever game me the impression of "lazy" when I played it.

Also, multi-million dollar top IP or not, Pokemon B/W had nearly 700 Pokemon... now I won't get into a discussion about what's wrong with that, but rotation seems like the only viable method to animate 650 sprites; even if they paid someone to sit and neatly clean up thousands of frames the DS cartridges do have space limits. Probably the biggest flaw is the DS hardware doesn't have anti-aliasing.

Offline Facet

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Re: Flashback HD & The terrible truth of remakes

Reply #21 on: January 23, 2013, 08:34:21 pm
The Flashback shot does look pretty bland and strangely disproportionate but it's not actually confirmed as being representative yet.

Sonic though! have a look at the official site, I'm getting shades of Sonic 3D.

Neither are really 2D/3D/whatever process or medium problems directly, just art direction. It can be hard to see past the technological gulf to inherent pictorial qualities if you're not particularly interested in art, which I can sympathise with; I remember scoffing a bit at some stuff which I actually still cherish today in favour of some early 3D that is pretty unplayable now.

Rayman is all-round lovely imo :)

Edit: Delphine previously worked on an unreleased 2D Flashback sequel for the GBA: Flashback Legends which looks dramatically removed stylistically; incongruously Rayman-like actually.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 10:44:19 pm by Facet »

Offline Arne

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Re: Flashback HD & The terrible truth of remakes

Reply #22 on: January 25, 2013, 09:08:19 pm
Those jungle bits almost have Psygnosian qualities, though not the drab palette.

Offline tim

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Re: Flashback HD & The terrible truth of remakes

Reply #23 on: January 28, 2013, 08:28:17 am
I met one of the guys working on the remake.
He told me himself the game "is gonna be shit".

Animations & gameplay aren't precise like the old one, there is a lot of playability issues. Freedom vs Quality.
No more grid, no more areas, just smooth camera on the entire level… That's also why we have free aiming now.
You can also see the problems just from the screens : the character is not "aligned" on any grid, hence the feet floating
instead of touching the ground.

I'm good to make the next-gen retro cyberpunk game of my dreams myself.
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Offline Helm

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Re: Flashback HD & The terrible truth of remakes

Reply #24 on: January 28, 2013, 03:46:09 pm
What's interesting is that even on the indie arena, the games inspired by Flashback like Deadlight or that Rocket Chicken game misunderstand the valuable lessons of their source material. Some set their games to the grid, but the grid by itself isn't what makes Flashback Flashback. It's lush animation and movement flow, keeping momentum. The best new-school take on Flashback was Mirror's Edge and those 3d Prince of Persia games, really. If someone wants to make a new Flashbackesque game set on a grid, they should really look into how Flashback handled invinsibility frames, why it automated its ledge-grab on the full run, why and how the duck-roll worked, why you could queue in pulling out your gun while you were still falling or rolling, why there's a fast pull animation when you land, why you can turn while dropping from a ledgegrab, those sorts of things.

Most people who love Flashback can't play it very well, which goes for the developers that take from it. Flashback looks pretty and has rotoscoped animations, but those are not what made the subconscious impression alone, it's about movement flow.

Let's face it, it's very difficult for today's gamers to accept a game where the animation has such deliberate priorty where you press left and the character has moved left a full second later. But the lessons of Flashback can be kept and utilized in a game that is fluid at a higher pace than it. In fact, it would be great to give a good player more to think about while still keeping flow.

And some of that flow I am certain Delphine didn't think about themselves consciously because their level design at many places hurts the flow or ruins it completely. Flashback would work MUCH better without screen whipes but with some controlled scrolling. In that you think Flashback is about flip-screen, you show you don't understand the game you love that well either, see what I am saying? This is why nobody has made a very good spiritual follow-up to this game. Hard to play, hard to explain, hard to master, even when you master it, it flows only for a few seconds at a time and only on a few screens per level. The aesthetics are fine and there's a million games with that european sci-fi Moebius influence to them. The gameplay mechanics are mostly still untouched upon.

If you want a better future for the Flashback influence, understand it better and communicate it better as well!

Offline tim

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Re: Flashback HD & The terrible truth of remakes

Reply #25 on: January 28, 2013, 11:35:40 pm
Despite what you think, I'm actually an excellent player of Flashback and well aware of the subtleties of his gameplay.

I'm coding myself a 2D game since a few months now, and I understand very well the issues of responsiveness vs prioritizing animation. But games like Abe's oddysee showed that it's possible to manage these two in a way you don't have to sacrifice any of them. For my own game, I ended up with a system without any grid, which really helps to shorten the general responsiveness but I still finish the current animation before launching the next-one. Actually it works really well even if it's not as instant as Sonic or Mario, it's still a lot better than Flashback while retaining the animation flow and the overall feeling of quality.

Anyway. I will post soon about it with all the artistic choices and technical details to discuss all together, because it's kind of overwhelming to make all the choices alone without feedback. And I think I need people like you with a deep technical understanding of these old games, their playability, what made them so good and where they're outdated now.
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Offline Helm

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Re: Flashback HD & The terrible truth of remakes

Reply #26 on: January 29, 2013, 12:58:20 pm
I am much looking forward to seeing your game.

Offline tim

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Re: Flashback HD & The terrible truth of remakes

Reply #27 on: April 11, 2013, 09:48:25 am
First video of the game : as I expected, it's hideous.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eqdGLJly1wY

The Art direction is poor, the colors are terrible, the animation makes me cry, and I don't even talk about character design…
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Offline Carnivac

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Re: Flashback HD & The terrible truth of remakes

Reply #28 on: April 11, 2013, 10:36:35 am
Eh I dunno.  Compared to some other HD remakes of 2D games it looks alright to me.  But maybe I'd feel different if the original was 'my favourite game ever' and I had my own ideas about how it could be redone.  I was never a big fan of the original game.  I owned it on Amiga, completed it, but apart from a couple scenes and a bit of music it never really stayed in my mind and I always found the character extremely frustrating to control and not particularly interesting to look at (smooth animation yeah but I never cared for the flat undetailed, unshaded paper-like look of the sprites against some nicely detailed backdrops).  Also while I felt the cutscenes were kinda interesting because it had rarely been done at the time I still found them pretty ugly and impossible for me to feel attached to the character when he looked so terrible.  I let it slide at the time because cutscenes were still a pretty new thing at the time and it was cool to attempts at some fullscreen animation going on (although I hate how they've come to pretty much dominated games.  If there's no 'skip' button I ain't playing the game).  So yes in those ways at least I do find the remake somewhat more appealing graphically even if I'm not a big fan of 3D graphics usually.  And maybe I find some bits hard to see in the video with the contrast and shadows a bit overdone but perhaps that's just cos it's a youtube video and I'd probably find it easier to see the actual game on my big HDTV with a brightness setting adjusted.  I do agree about some games looking quite generic and like you can swap assetts between them but that's not a new thing either.  I found a lot of 2D RPG's to often look quite similar and particularly the masses and masses of 2D beat 'em ups that came out after Street Fighter II.  Same goes for a lot of shoot 'em ups particularly of the spacey kind.  I remember finding a game like UN Squadron refreshing at the time cos it wasn't set in space at all and had more military sprites rather than alien and spacecraft. 

Anyways I far more dislike the HD remakes done still in 2D but not in pixel art.  I still think Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is one of the most godawful looking things in recent memory.  Wasted £11.99 on that and can't even turn it completely back into the classic pixels.  Only lets you do the character sprites and then they clash with the HD backdrops and the shadows go funky...   Not fond of Rayman up there either but then that could be that I've never ever liked the detached hands and feet thing.  It's cheap, looks bloody awful and I find the effect totally unconvincing.  That run cycle just looks like a mess to me...

But hey that's my opinion or taste or view or whatever the heck you wanna call it...
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 10:40:11 am by Carnivac »
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Offline Helm

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Re: Flashback HD & The terrible truth of remakes

Reply #29 on: April 11, 2013, 11:37:23 am
lol what have you done Agent Conrad B. Heart?

Well, that looks uninspiring.