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Herculean Task: Remastering God of War: Origins Collection for PS3

Nathan Phail-Liff's Avatar + Posted by Nathan Phail-Liff on Aug 12, 2011 // Art Director, Ready At Dawn Studios

Re-mastering both of the God of War PSP games in full HD for the PS3 God of War: Origins Collection definitely had its share of challenges for us. The first goal we had was simply the daunting task of up-rezing the engine and content authored on a PSP running at 480 x 272 resolution and 30 frames per second to 1920 x 1080p at a steady 60 fps on the PS3. This required a custom PS3 version of our engine, coded in-house exclusively for the Origins Collection, as well as a painstaking process by art team. We ended up going through every single character in the game and doubling or tripling polygon count by hand, as well as up-rezing and re-painting every texture across both games at 4x resolution on both characters and environments.

Being gluttons for punishment, we also decided from the beginning of the project that just re-mastering content from PSP resolution to 1080p wasn’t necessarily challenging enough (as a quick aside…we were wrong), so we also wanted to take advantage of our custom PS3 engine and try to implement full stereoscopic 3D support. After a first pass of 3D implementation and careful playthroughs of both games in 3D, we identified certain trouble areas with and addressed them with techniques such as near-screen fading on certain particles and camera focal plane compensation for a smooth and enjoyable 3D experience. The quality of the final result of the 3D on the Origins Collection so surprised us that it actually sold myself and a number of others on the team 3D TVs in general. Personally I wouldn’t want to play the games any other way after being able to experience it firsthand.

God of War: Origins Collection HD for PS3God of War: Origins Collection HD for PS3

Besides adding upscaling in-game content and 3S support, there was one other challenge that is worth noting (and elicited groans of despair from both artists and programmers alike). Between Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta we had over an hour of pre-rendered cinematics, and the gap in video resolution between our PSP source footage and full HD was so extreme that no matter how many custom video up-scale solutions we tried, there was just a glaring quality difference between the 1080P real-time gameplay and the video. It was pretty demoralizing for us to play the game in beautiful HD and hit a cinematic trigger where Kratos looked like he was rendered through a dirty sock, so we realized we would just have to bite the bullet and properly re-render all cinematics in full 1080p. To do this we ported all of our cinematic scenes to the PS3 and, months and terabytes of data later, had every single frame re-rendered in HD through the new Origin Collection’s engine. From there we had to up-rez all of the post production effects and re-composite every single cinematic again in HD, giving us a final result that blended seamlessly with the in-game quality.

Needless to say, all of the above made for quite a laborious process for us, but we were set on doing justice to the original games that we put so much blood, sweat, and tears into. We hope this effort really pays off for God of War fans able to experience both PSP games in glorious 1080p!

//Add Your Own

108 Comments   2 Replies

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1

+ TarzanSr on August 12th, 2011 at 6:09 am said:

“Besides adding upscaling in-game content and 3S support” 3S (You mean 3D) oh and you can delete this (comment) when you fix the mistake.


2

+ Enforcer_X on August 12th, 2011 at 6:13 am said:

So this game runs at 1080p in 3D at 60FPS? I thought this wasn’t possible or Sony had limited games to 720p 30FPS on the PS3.


3

+ TarzanSr on August 12th, 2011 at 6:22 am said:

no 720p and 30FPS is just what most games default to. But, any game can be 1080p Wipeout HD is 3D and 1080p and so is some other games.


4

+ FullMetalGear on August 12th, 2011 at 6:25 am said:

Looks like all the hard work payed off. I haven’t tried the PSP games but I’ll definitely play them now as the PS3 HD/3D remake. I’m a fan of 3D gaming and I have enjoyed the experience thus far. Can’t wait to get my hands on this. Thanks for making this happen :)


5

+ Enforcer_X on August 12th, 2011 at 6:30 am said:

The reason I ask is because Sonic looks terrible in 3D but smooth in 2D, I’ll double check Wipeout HD 3D tonight.
Thanks.


6

+ Shin-Ra on August 12th, 2011 at 6:32 am said:

Glad to see you re-rendered the FMV.

Will the game have anti-aliasing at 720p? Either supersampled from 1080p or MSAA/MLAA?


7

+ Enforcer_X on August 12th, 2011 at 6:36 am said:

I guess I should have also clarified 720p 3D 30FPS


8

+ TarzanSr on August 12th, 2011 at 6:41 am said:

Some games when you play in 3D cut the frame rates so that now half the frame rates are going in each eye. If the original resolution was 720p at 30 frames-per-second, the new frame rates are 15 frames at 720p 3D that is probably why it didn’t look smooth.


9

+ Enforcer_X on August 12th, 2011 at 6:51 am said:

Which is why I asked my original question if this game really runs at 1080p 3D 60FPS


10

+ marlyt on August 12th, 2011 at 6:57 am said:

Very good games. Too bad they couldn’t make them longer as well. These will both take 5-6 hours to beat on regualr-hard difficulty. Still buying day numero uno!!!


11

+ spoonTRex on August 12th, 2011 at 7:00 am said:

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I preordered this because I liked God of War 1-3 and heard good things about these games. But it was going to be a play through of “when I get to it”. But hearing that this game is 1080p, has increased polygon count, and painstakingly re-rendered cinematics just sold me 100%. I’m sure the 3D will keep me entertained for an hour or so, so that’s cool that it’s in there too.


12

+ Ladykiller64 on August 12th, 2011 at 7:05 am said:

Low res cinematics was one of my (few) complaints about God of War Collection. They did a fantastic job giving it the HD treatment, but it just looked lazy when it came to the cinematics. Glad to see you guys are doing some about it for Origins.

Already played Chains of Olympus on PSP (really short btw), but am definitely picking this up.


    Nathan Phail-Liff's Avatar

     

    + Eric Levine on August 12th, 2011 at 9:11 am said:

    If you liked Chains, you’ll def like Ghost of Sparta, it’s awesome!


13

+ cman199 on August 12th, 2011 at 7:10 am said:

will we ever hear of a brand new god of war game for ps3, psp, or vita at all


14

+ JonJonXD on August 12th, 2011 at 7:22 am said:

I will definitely be picking this up.


15

+ rafael_martines on August 12th, 2011 at 7:26 am said:

Amazing and Challenge work… my present for you? my money \o/


16

+ MRGamer01 on August 12th, 2011 at 7:39 am said:

Don’t know really if I’ll be buying the disc for PS3 since I already own both for the PSP, but if I were to, could I use my Ghost Of Sparta DLC for the PS3 disc?


17

+ ThreeLeggedFreak on August 12th, 2011 at 7:39 am said:

Will these games be put up on PSN? And will they be playable on Vita (the digital download version, assuming there is one)?


18

+ kNoWlEdGe22 on August 12th, 2011 at 7:40 am said:

I’m sure it was a very big undertaking and the games are looking great in HD… keep up the good work!


19

+ Phillyblunz on August 12th, 2011 at 7:43 am said:

No wipeout HD is 1080p 60FPS, but in 3D it is 720p I think but still 60FPS.

Glad you guys didnt pull a GOW collection on us where every other cutscene looks like what it is.

Looking forward to the 3D if its as good as you all mention.

seems the trend is always to scale back the 3D so prolonged gaming doesnt bother peoples eyes, I say let me worry about my eyes.

Make the default 3D be set as 50%, but with that still having impressive pop out, I want to be able to scale that right up until I have blood on my face.

If 3D isnt right in your face, then whats the point????

Its movies/games that “try to save our eyes” which are giving 3D a bad name.

If my eyes hurt I’ll turn it down, so far this has not happened, so bring it on!!!!


20

+ ButtersThaatsMe on August 12th, 2011 at 7:47 am said:

Sounds like you put a TON of work into this. I’m excited!


21

+ jazzyrider on August 12th, 2011 at 7:51 am said:

Some very detailed info the work involved. Can’t wait to see the result. Does it change the gameplay?

Also, when is the release? price?


    Nathan Phail-Liff's Avatar

     

    + Eric Levine on August 12th, 2011 at 9:14 am said:

    GoW Origins will have the same controls are GoWIII, available on Sept 13, price is $39.99 — a great buy for two epic games!


22

+ igorrocks2 on August 12th, 2011 at 7:51 am said:

wow thats going to be kill shot if you don’y have this game….


23

+ igorrocks2 on August 12th, 2011 at 7:58 am said:

demo I call for demo! (which I usually don’t do…) I just buy games I like but this I need tpo see with new PlayStation TV = BTW: Is PlayStation 3D TV will have more then 1 HDMI out? I want to use it as monitor as well.. For my custom build PC…Why don’t you guys post full specs on TV or you did?!


24

+ Superstrokey1123 on August 12th, 2011 at 7:58 am said:

Love the game collections that are out and others that are coming! Missed the last GOW on the PSP so this will be nice to replay the one and then get the second one as well.


25

+ igorrocks2 on August 12th, 2011 at 7:59 am said:

@21 59.99 – Gamestop, Best Buy and Futureshop


26

+ PhantomTroc on August 12th, 2011 at 8:03 am said:

Thanks for the awesome technical article. It’s always cool to read stuff like this. Between this, the Sly Collection, the Tomb Raider collection, the ICO collection and the Splinter Cell collection I’m going to have a mighty big number of games to play.

Keep up coming!


27

+ PhantomTroc on August 12th, 2011 at 8:05 am said:

Amazon has it listed for $39.99 to be released on Sep. 13.


28

+ igorrocks2 on August 12th, 2011 at 8:10 am said:

@ 27 thanks for tip will look into this


29

+ KazeEternal on August 12th, 2011 at 8:11 am said:

@Nathan Phail-Liff
Thank you for adjusting the cut scenes.


30

+ ImProdigyChild on August 12th, 2011 at 8:41 am said:

I will def get this, I have almost all three platinum trophies for the first three. Will there be Trophies in these two games? I Love hunting trophies for games I love, and GOW is one of the best Trilogies I have played. Anyways, Trophies on these two games?


31

+ sethchilders on August 12th, 2011 at 8:44 am said:

@30

Yes, both games will have trophy support. You can find the list of the main trophies here:

http://ps3.ign.com/articles/118/1187301p1.html


32

+ xxnike629xx on August 12th, 2011 at 8:45 am said:

Good to see Sony doing a better job with this than they did with God of War Collection. The thing that really irked me in God of War Collection was how they didn’t remaster the cut scenes and only the in-game graphics.


33

+ xxnike629xx on August 12th, 2011 at 8:46 am said:

Oh and what I’d love to see is like an Ultimate God of War Collection that has God of War, God of War 2, God of War Chains of Olympus, God of War Ghost of Sparta, and God of War III in 1 package…and have Sony go back and remaster the cut scenes for God of War and God of War 2.

=D


34

+ Korbei83 on August 12th, 2011 at 8:50 am said:

Kudos RAD! You set a tremendously high bar on PSP and it looks like you’re doing it again with HD remasters.

You should be very proud of yourselves.


35

+ pitythefool852 on August 12th, 2011 at 8:50 am said:

I don’t see much difference between the two videos

[notices and then clicks the HD button]

Oooooh, the PS3 version does look better :)

Actually the video quality isn’t perfect but I suspect that’s the video and not the game itself. Still, this looks like it will be a great title, especially for those who didn’t try the PSP version.

As you guys had all the assets already out of the box, did you take the time to make a PS Vita optimised version? I don’t really want to re-purchase, but if the collection is available as a PSN download for both PS3 and PSVita, and if we can share gamesaves, then I’ll definitely buy.


36

+ ImProdigyChild on August 12th, 2011 at 9:04 am said:

Gamestop is doing it for 39.99 too by the way, and gamestop says it is Trophy compatible so yeah woohoo


37

+ Sephir007 on August 12th, 2011 at 9:07 am said:

It was a lot of work guys I can see that, but let me tell you, that this work doesn’t go unnoticed, Thank you very much!!
Please have a PSN release too!


38

+ themajestic-2 on August 12th, 2011 at 9:10 am said:

see this it how you remaster a game


39

+ DrunkRaba on August 12th, 2011 at 9:15 am said:

Looks great! I will be picking this up as playing the GoW games on PSP tended to hurt my hands quickly, so I stopped with the demos. :( Glad I will be able to play these soon!


40

+ erivera_1994 on August 12th, 2011 at 9:19 am said:

Not much of a difference with the Graphics.


41

+ bubit13 on August 12th, 2011 at 9:23 am said:

Call me crazy but for some reason the PSP version looks more detailed then the PS3 version; PS3 Version looks more polished.


42

+ MartiniMan on August 12th, 2011 at 9:26 am said:

Thanks for posting this. It’s sometimes easy to lose track of what it truly takes to bring a game over and do it justice. Sounds like you and your team really went above and beyond the effort. The FMV in Prince of Persia may be a testament to how your game will differ. It’s such a stark comparison when playing the game versus watching the cut scene.

I have played and finished both GoW games on the PSP and am looking forward to playing these on the PS3. I am hoping for true trophy support (not in-game trophies only but actual XMB trophies) which I still haven’t seen confirmed.


43

+ DarkRecoil on August 12th, 2011 at 9:30 am said:

That video is deliberately misleading.

Anyone who owns the PSP games knows that they look better than what is being portrayed here, at more than double the PSP’s actual resolution.

If you don’t believe me, search for Ghost of Sparta videos right here or on youtube.


44

+ digitalman123 on August 12th, 2011 at 9:31 am said:

Definitely purchasing this collection! The PSP games were great! And on PS3 with trophies? Much win right there. Now where’s a Jak and Daxter HD Collection…


45

+ MoeRonimoe on August 12th, 2011 at 9:40 am said:

If only so much work was put into the MGS:Peace Walker HD Version … I’m tempted to buy this :3


46

+ Ethereal on August 12th, 2011 at 9:45 am said:

Awesome. Thanks for all the hard work. I own both games for PSP already but Ill be getting this as well.


47

+ mastorofpuppetz on August 12th, 2011 at 9:48 am said:

@2, sigh these games are much less demanding then real PS3 games, its not rocket science.


48

+ DZORMAGEN on August 12th, 2011 at 9:48 am said:

Game is already pre-ordered! I loved the PSP games, and now I am ready to play it on his big brother the PS3 with trophies, and HD graphics.


49

+ xaos on August 12th, 2011 at 9:52 am said:

I’ve played the hell out of both games on the PSP and am looking forward to seeing the remastered ones so I can do so even more. You guys really do awesome work. Quick question: is a PSN release being considered?


50

+ BJtheLegend on August 12th, 2011 at 9:54 am said:

AMAZING!!!


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