When should developers go back and remaster or remake their most popular games?

  • @Aremel
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    476 months ago

    My vote is 10 years as an arbitrary number, or 2 or more console generations as the graphics technology will have (hopefully) have advanced enough to make an impactful difference in graphics quality.

    Control schemes have largely not changed since the PS3/360 era, so there would be no point in remaking a game solely for that, at least not if it’s from around that era. For anyone that has played the Rare Replay, Rare Studio’s entire collection of games, Jetforce Gemini (a N64 game) had an option in the control settings to make the controls modernized.

    All in all, a game should be remade/remastered if it is going to be significantly different to its original form. A fresh coat of paint does not a remake, uh make. For the best example of proper remakes in my opinion, see the Demon Souls remake or the Halo 2 Anniversary edition.

    • @RGB3x3
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      66 months ago

      The Resident Evil remakes are also great examples of doing it right.

      They’re not just a coat of paint, they’re the clearest examples of remakes with better everything.

  • @[email protected]
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    406 months ago

    I think the issue is calling a next gen port a remaster. Yea it is technically a remaster but adding that to the title makes it seem like more then that.

    If said game was released as definite or something nobody would be talking rn

  • @echo64
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    166 months ago

    A remaster implies that it’s taking what exists and bringing it to a new thing.

    If there’s a 4k scan of a movie that was made for blurays and then a few years later that 4k scan gets used to release an uhd version, we don’t complain.

    If developers want to re-release their games on new platforms, I say sure? No skin off my back, helps them work on engine and tooling for the new platforms, gives games another wind. Literally does not matter to me.

    I really struggle to see why anyone would be against these ports, honestly.

    • 520
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      6 months ago

      People aren’t against them. They are against pointless remakes like the PS5 version of The Last of Us 1 (not the remaster, they fully remade the game), which changes…fuck all. Like seriously, what does it change of significance?

      Like, sure, if the game isn’t otherwise playable on the platform then by all means, but otherwise why waste all that time?

      Then there is the confusion as to the categorisation of returning games and what label to put them under. In my book, you’ve got:

      1. Emulation: literally the same game from the old console running in an interpreter program. Examples: NSO Collections, MGS 1 from MGS Master Collection

      2. Port: Same game, more or less, but running natively on the console/PC.

      3. Remaster: As above but with updated textures, models, FMVs, etc

      4. Faithful Remake: The game code, assets, etc are completely re-done but the game strictly adheres to the source material, save for a few modern amenities like auto save, ironing out bugs and maybe some things they wanted to do but couldn’t because of hardware limitations. Examples include Spyro Reignited, Resident Evil 1, Halo Anniversary and Kingdom Hearts 1+2 on all consoles except the PS2.

      5. Interpretive Remakes: Basically a completely new game using the old game’s basic plot points and designs. Examples include: the Resident Evil Remakes (except 1) and the Final Fantasy 7 remake.

      But my list isn’t industry standard. There is no industry standard. FF7R and the REmakes are considered as much a remake as Spyro Reignited or Crash N’sane trilogy. The version of MGS 1 in MGS Master collection is sold as a remaster despite being blatant emulation. It makes it very hard to know what you’re gonna get.

      • insomniac_lemon
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        6 months ago

        Some people might be against them for the reason that they can de-list their old games from digital storefronts. For newer games especially it’d make that hard to compare what was changed.


        I guess it’s not as relevant with newer titles, but I feel like many of the classics looked fine (especially with higher internal res which is a good option for emu) and had some really cool tech that gave it a nice aesthetic without it being bloated. So it kind of feels like it’s missing the point (limitation and ingenuity or something like that).

        Like with Spyro, a big draw for me is the usage of vertex color including the skyboxes (one example, album). So it went from ~300MiB to 30-60GiB+. I mean sure some old games were designed with raster graphics that look crusty now, but for something like Spyro I’d rather play even a fan _de_make (leaning further into vertex colors) with more fleshed out gameplay (/more content) though too many fan game creators haven’t learned to distance even their game titles from trademarks.

        • 520
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          16 months ago

          I mean, indie games do exist that scratch that itch, so you do still have options

          • insomniac_lemon
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            6 months ago

            Well I have a lot of problems with how people design games so I don’t really buy stuff anymore, plus I haven’t really seen a lot of stuff that focuses on vector (esp textureless). In other words it’s pretty niche even for indie, and discoverability generally isn’t great even on the best day.

            I’d probably have more luck doing it myself, I’ve done a few 2D things (meme made with Godot 3.X, 4.0 eye animation, not-yet-in-4.X test of someone elses’ PR) but I’m not a dev and I don’t have much energy or many ideas.

            • 520
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              16 months ago

              Ah. I think the problem there is that pure vectors can be much harder to work with. it’s hard to make something that looks good with purely vector based approaches, especially as your scenes get more complex.

              • insomniac_lemon
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                16 months ago

                I don’t think that’s it. For 3D the workflow is already there and vertex colors are powerful (though usually used for shaders or other effects like terrain-based sounds). Even going for Spyro’s approach (esp. grayscale textures that disappear with LoD so it’s just color) wouldn’t be too bad as I imagine its music/voice is actually what takes up the most space (newer audio compression or MIDI-like music would reduce that), though a more minimal/stylized look could make it a lot easier. Certainly some things are more suited for it than others.

                I could say a lot of technical reasons for or against this workflow, but I think the biggest is just that it’s something that people don’t think about or would rather have photorealism or blocky pixels instead (or at least that’s a large chunk of the market). Vertex lighting is cool but doesn’t have much use over modern lighting (if it did, it’d be very niche) and developers often don’t really care about optimization much, instead telling players ‘upgrade your PC’.

                (admittedly my experience with 2D vector seems less supported as far as editors and AA, though I’m not sure if Godot’s clip children feature has an equivalent in 3D or if you’d just need to use meshes/rigging more cleverly… which is fair, I’m not aware of non-skeleton rigging tools in Godot’s 2D either)

                • 520
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                  6 months ago

                  3D vectors can work well, but as an artist you are often better suited by going with the N64 approach. Due to technical limitations, textures were often used quite sparsely, with vertex shading providing the main colour and textures providing details. It was especially prevalent in games with cartoon art styles such as Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie, but even games like GoldenEye used this trick to a degree.

                  The problem with pure vertex is, the more detail you add to stuff, the more calculations you are doing, and they can really add up. The same is kinda true of bitmap (in terms of resolution) but the problem doesn’t scale the same way. With that said, it will work well for a cartoony/anime art style where massive amounts of detail isn’t necessarily needed, and shaders can be used to complete the look.

      • @echo64
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        06 months ago

        People are against them. Demonstrably.

        Also worth reading everything I wrote not just the bits you want to read

        If developers want to re-release their games on new platforms, I say sure? No skin off my back, helps them work on engine and tooling for the new platforms, gives games another wind. Literally does not matter to me.

        • 520
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          6 months ago

          None of what I wrote contradicts that. Like I said, they are against pointless remakes and remasters. That’s what’s being discussed in the article.

          While PS1, PS2 and even PS3 games could do with a fresh lick of paint if released today, it’s not exactly uncontroversial to say that PS4 games don’t need it. PS4 games don’t even have the argument of simply making it available to modern consoles because PS5s can play PS4 games directly.

          The law of diminishing returns has hit this generation pretty damn hard, to the point where most people are hard pressed to tell a PS4 game from a PS5 game. So when the differences are that miniscule, you aren’t really meeting the objectives of a remaster. Just do a straight port with better FPS and/or resolution support.

          • @echo64
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            06 months ago

            Like, sure, if the game isn’t otherwise playable on the platform then by all means, but otherwise why waste all that time?

            If developers want to re-release their games on new platforms, I say sure? No skin off my back, helps them work on engine and tooling for the new platforms, gives games another wind. Literally does not matter to me.

            • 520
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              6 months ago

              I mean of course they’re free to, and I don’t take any any sort of umbrage against those who do but… How does it make more sense than something like a paid compatibility patch? (Tbf that’s what TLoU2 is doing with its ‘remaster’)

              • @echo64
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                6 months ago

                you can’t do a ‘patch’ for a new platform, you have to release a new SKU. that’s just the mechanics of it. that’s what 99% of these things that people are mad about are. it also gives people an excuse to print mode physical medias which makes people who like physical media happy.

                • 520
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                  26 months ago

                  you can’t do a ‘patch’ for a new platform, you have to release a new SKU.

                  Tell that to Microsoft and Sony. Xbox Series X and PS5 have been enabling exactly this for X1 and PS4 games respectively.

                  The consoles not only have native backward compatibility, but they allow developers to make patches for 8th gen games to specifically target 9th gen hardware.

  • Match!!
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    116 months ago

    No more remakes until Xenogears is remade.

    • @money_loo
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      16 months ago

      I just want to play the resident evil I missed out on growing up. C’mon Capcom, remake Code Veronica already!

  • key
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    66 months ago

    I’m going to go with 1 year for every 2 years since 1970. So 10 years for a game released in 1990, 26 years for a game released this year.

  • Dem Bosain
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    46 months ago

    How long until the next Skyrim release? Todd, you sonovabitch…

    • @[email protected]
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      16 months ago

      You don’t get it, the 13th time they remake the first gen games, then it will really be different.

      I’m so glad I found persona/SMT to scratch that same itch but with actual depth, difficulty, and variety.

  • Computerchairgeneral
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    26 months ago

    I mean, is it too soon if people are still going to buy it? More seriously, I think one whole console generation is a good standard for remasters. Just so long as you can point to something that looks or plays better than the original did. For a remake, I think you need more time and the game your making needs to feel like it couldn’t have been made on the original hardware. Either way three years feels way too soon, especially for what is essentially a next-gen port or a definitive edition.

  • Dariusmiles2123
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    16 months ago

    I don’t see the point of doing a remaster of that game now as it still looks and feels perfect.

    But, I also won’t complain about it if it makes other people happy and lets them experience the game while allowing Naughty Dog to maximize their earnings with such a masterpiece.

    I just hope a fresh project isn’t pushed back because of that remaster.

  • @De_Narm
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    -26 months ago

    I may be an outlier here, but I don’t think remakes should be done at all anymore. They were great when the medium was still new and we made major jumps between generations or when we started to figure 3D out. Nowadays, I can’t even tell the difference between a PS4 and PS5 game. The medium is evolved enough to just go back and play the originals without them feeling dated in a bad way. Take for example the demon souls remake: Yes, it looked nice, but people argue to this day whether or not it’s better. The gameplay is identical. Or even worse: Look at Pokemon. The remake for Gen 4 is worse than the original and didn’t even include Platinum content. Instead of wasting dev time on a full on remake, they could have ported Platinum to the switch and called it a day. A remake probably only makes sense anymore if you can’t port a game at all. Make new games instead.

    • @[email protected]
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      66 months ago

      New games don’t make as much money as old games that people are nostalgic for. I hate that fact but its what the AAA industry has turned towards

      • Coelacanth
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        26 months ago

        It’s not just AAA gaming but all over Hollywood too, has been for a while. Nostalgia is a powerful force and churning out sequels or prequels or spinoffs off of recognizable IPs is just less risky an investment than trying to make something new.

        • Match!!
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          26 months ago

          Buddy I have news for you about folktales and oral histories

      • @De_Narm
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        6 months ago

        Unfortunately you’re right seeing how well the Super Mario RPG remake does. They could have put the original on their online service and worked on a new one instead. That’s something I dislike about pretty much all media.

        If I want nostalgia, I go back to the original anyways.