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Classic Platformer Another World Coming to PS4, PS3, PS Vita on July 8th

Abrial Dacosta's Avatar + Posted by Abrial Dacosta on Jun 17, 2014 // CEO, The Digital Lounge

Update: Another World is confirmed for launch on July 8th for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita — including three-way cross buy support across those platforms. We apologize for any confusion the previous version of this post may have caused!

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Video game creator Eric Chahi has left his mark on the gaming industry by designing titles that deeply immerse players in strong emotional content. Internationally acclaimed for titles such as The Time Travellers, Heart of Darkness, From Dust and, above all, Another World, Eric has created entire worlds that all bear the undeniable imprint of his personality.

Martial Hesse-Dréville is a Berlin-based engineer and freelance game developer, formerly the founder of Dancing Dots studio. Martial specialises in gameplay programming and handheld consoles. He is a perfectionist who likes nothing better than to fine-tune the details of his projects.

Another World is a part of video game lore and a very special landmark in Eric’s career. It’s a visceral game that Eric put a lot of his soul into throughout two years of development. His suggestive and non-verbal narrative gameplay gripped players’ imaginations, and has been a major influence for many developers. Now, Eric and Martial have teamed up to bring the legendary platformer to PlayStation 4.

We caught up with Eric and Martial to talk about the challenges of bringing 20 year-old game to a next-gen console.

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How did the project get off the ground?

Abrial (Digital Lounge): Although the game has been released on PC and iOS, it hasn’t been released on consoles since the ‘90s.

Eric: That is not exactly true, the Atari JAGUAR version was released last year!

Martial: Ah yes! Well, then we realised it was nice to play it on a console with a real gamepad.

Eric: Seriously, today’s consoles manufacturers are more open to exotic graphics and gameplay than five years ago – especially when it comes from another time. Also I felt very comfortable with Martial’s past experience on consoles.

What were the project goals?

Abrial: Simply to deliver the original experience of Another World faithfully, with the benefits of today’s hardware and a high level of polish.

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What changes or additions are being made to the game?

Martial: Since the original version, the re-editions have introduced a number of nice additions, like 256 colors backgrounds, up to 720p resolutions, more checkpoints and remastered sound effects. This version now delivers a full HD experience. The game is rendered at a higher than displayed resolution to enable clean anti-aliased polygon edges. On PS4 that’s a whopping 2560×1600 pixels! The backgrounds have been edited by Eric to a higher resolution and are now displayed in full color. The result is a noise-free, crisper, and more vibrant environment.

Eric: The animations were also refined to remove the rough edges revealed by such a high resolution rendering.

Martial: A popular fan request was to add a music soundtrack like the original game had. The Sega-CD soundtrack was added as an option and the game can now be enjoyed with a cinematic soundtrack. Finally, we took advantage of the PlayStation ecosystem by implementing useful features: cross buy, cross platform trophies and cross save for a seamless experience.

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What have the main challenges been?

Martial: At first the backgrounds took a while to load between each game screen. We employed a variety of tricks like pre-loading, caching and compression to get fast, smooth transitions from one screen to the next.

Eric: Retouching the background in such high resolutions was not so easy. I had to find the equilibrium between details and vectorial design. Recently I’ve been impressed by the visual art of Sword and Sworcery by Capybara Games – how very soft shades of colour can work in pixel art. Finally, I decided to use subtler shades of light than before with some very crisp detail and razor edge polygons.

Martial: But by far the trickiest part was refining the animations.

Eric: Yes, I wanted to do this because some frames looked really unpolished in full HD. Some of the expressiveness was lost. I knew what to do artistically but wasn’t sure how to improve the original data. Should we create a new tool?

Martial: After thinking about it, we chose to keep using Eric’s polygon editor because he is efficient with it.

Eric: The original tool on Amiga running on an emulator. A 20-year-old tool that can only display 200 lines, we had to mangle the original data without breaking it.

Martial: After several sessions of data scaling, offsetting and tweaking, Eric was able to preview and edit the full HD data set in his own Amiga editor. A real “Back to the Future” challenge!

//Add Your Own

92 Comments   4 Replies

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1

+ gerneric123 on June 17th, 2014 at 9:06 am said:

Digital Lounge also announced a Vita version, when will that be out?


2

+ Gorvi on June 17th, 2014 at 9:06 am said:

Nice, I never did get around to playing this. There were rumors going around about a Vita version of Another World as well, is that coming too? If so, will it be Cross Buy?


3

+ DuoMaxwell007 on June 17th, 2014 at 9:12 am said:

cant wait. I LOVED this game on Genesis


4

+ yowzagabowza on June 17th, 2014 at 9:13 am said:

Get outta here with this. Non-verbal narrative driven? Huh? I dont even care. I dont want a freakin 20 year old amiga game on ps4. Jeez,Sony is really scrapping the bottom of the barrell with the crap theyve been offering. Lemme guess, $15-$20? Ciz we’re all idiots?


5

+ domrael_psvita on June 17th, 2014 at 9:15 am said:

This game is a must buy for me! i loved it since the snes version and the Heart of the alien, the sequel that launched on the sega cd, i also heard it was coming to Vita and if it comes i’ll buy it! Keep the Vita alive!


6

+ maxcoronel2014 on June 17th, 2014 at 9:15 am said:

Awesome game and a great add to PS4 library. Any info about the price?


7

+ snakeeyes211 on June 17th, 2014 at 9:16 am said:

Wow I love this game I can’t wait for next week
happy happy joy joy :-)


8

+ DeRR1ck19 on June 17th, 2014 at 9:16 am said:

@2

The article says “Finally, we took advantage of the PlayStation ecosystem by implementing useful features: cross buy, cross platform trophies and cross save for a seamless experience.”

So definitely cross buy (yay!) and it sounds like the Vita Version might also be released on Tuesday? (though maybe that’s wishful thinking)


9

+ Ghostwize on June 17th, 2014 at 9:18 am said:

Oh to be a teenager again! This game was amazing back in the day. Shame some folks don’t know greatness when they see it. :D


10

+ pounceapex on June 17th, 2014 at 9:18 am said:

So excited! This is a great game which I have not played in ages. Maybe we can get an update to Fade to Black?


11

+ Gillberg on June 17th, 2014 at 9:19 am said:

Lol I bought this for about 2 bux on sale for pc. Vita version plz!


12

+ antibolo on June 17th, 2014 at 9:23 am said:

PS4 only? What happened to the almost-confirmed Vita version?


13

+ ghostaljjic on June 17th, 2014 at 9:27 am said:

Nice, remember playing this on snes. This game was wayy ahead of its time.


14

+ Neil on June 17th, 2014 at 9:47 am said:

This is seriously my favorite game of all time and the reason I got into the game industry to work in cinematics.


15

+ jkam2 on June 17th, 2014 at 9:49 am said:

Vita please.


16

+ styroteqe on June 17th, 2014 at 9:54 am said:

Vita version please?


17

+ Bad_Brains on June 17th, 2014 at 9:55 am said:

Whoa I forgot this game existed. Man I played this soooo long ago as a little gamer. How interesting!


18

+ spacemonkeyham on June 17th, 2014 at 10:02 am said:

Outstanding game. I’ll be very happy to have it in my library.


19

+ xClayMeow on June 17th, 2014 at 10:09 am said:

Does the Vita version feature both analog and touch controls and/or can you pick and choose?


20

+ Natureboy99 on June 17th, 2014 at 10:09 am said:

Sweet! Next up, Heart of the Alien please! OK then Flashback…


21

+ Matias_MG on June 17th, 2014 at 10:09 am said:

And the version of PS VITA?


22

+ Natureboy99 on June 17th, 2014 at 10:14 am said:

Also, many fans of this already have it on other platforms. I noticed you withheld the price from the article. Please don’t overprice it. For me, $4.99 or less is a buy, $5.99 and up I’m waiting on a price drop.


23

+ FifthDream on June 17th, 2014 at 10:14 am said:

Oh, man, i used to play this forever ago. I’ll have to see what it’s like on PS4.


24

+ melka_ashur on June 17th, 2014 at 10:15 am said:

Nice. I remember this game.


25

+ Skater_Ricky on June 17th, 2014 at 10:16 am said:

You mean June 24th which is a Tuesday not June 25th which is a Wednesday. PlayStation Store does not update on Wednesday’s. I think you thinking of the other platform *cough* Xbox *cough*

Now you left me with a horrible taste in my mouth.

I think I deserve a code to your game because I cracked a error in your coding of words ;)


26

+ Praxcelis on June 17th, 2014 at 10:16 am said:

According to the EU PlayStation.blog the game is coming to PS4, PS3 and Vita…


27

+ phoremat on June 17th, 2014 at 10:20 am said:

CLASSIC!!!


28

+ N30RYU on June 17th, 2014 at 10:25 am said:

Every store release relate article should have these three questions: -platforms? -release date? -price?


29

+ TwinDad on June 17th, 2014 at 10:28 am said:

@Skater_Ricky

Eric is a French game designer. His reference to coming out next week on June 25th is when the Playstation Europe store updates.

Interesting you went directly to troll mode.


30

+ Hayterfan on June 17th, 2014 at 10:29 am said:

Loved this game on my SNES, ill defiantly buy it


31

+ Doctor_Hank_Pym on June 17th, 2014 at 10:40 am said:

the memories!!! One of the many games I kept on a floppy in my locker in highschool and would frequently boot up during quiet periods in Communications Technology (aka computer class.) Finishing the game became a group project between multiple friends as we’d share progress-passwords and try different things in the more mazelike sections. Can’t wait to revisit it in the HD remake, and thanks so much for making it cross-buy/cross-trophy!!


32

+ Archacus on June 17th, 2014 at 10:41 am said:

Hey guys, to all wondering if the game will come to VITA

EU blog manager Fred Dutton:
“Apologies, an innocent error. It’s releasing on PS4, PS3 and PS Vita.”
blog.eu.playstation.com/2014/06/17/classic-platformer-another-world-coming-ps4/

Too many those “innocent errors” for me :/


33

+ gerneric123 on June 17th, 2014 at 10:44 am said:

After the Final Fantasy Typo debacle just last week, you’d think Sony would be more vigilant about this stuff.


34

+ IIL0YDII on June 17th, 2014 at 10:45 am said:

Forgot about Vita again? Motivates to buy your game really.


35

+ Disionity on June 17th, 2014 at 11:05 am said:

It great to see this coming to modern consoles, but seriously, how many platforms are they going to port this game on!? Counting the ports releasing soon on PS platforms, Wii U, 3DS, and Xbox One, I believe this increases the total number of ports to twenty-four.


36

+ Zionine on June 17th, 2014 at 11:12 am said:

I do recall there being a Vita version of this announced first…

@4 – This is a classic that people might have missed or want to revisit. Adding it to the massive list of games that PS4 can already play as well as perusing the list of amazing games announced during E3 week, it’d be idiotic to say that the PS4 is lacking in AAA games or attention. These indies are to fill the gaps in between the large games and for people who like the niche genres.

Vita on the other hand… (has more gaps to fill, I guess.) I just want Ratchet and Clank Collection and I’m satisfied for the year. — SPEAKING OF WHICH, we have no release date in the US yet. :/ Might import from UK if it’s a far enough gap.


37

+ xClayMeow on June 17th, 2014 at 11:13 am said:

@NatureBoy99, it’s priced at $9.99 on Steam, so I doubt it’d be less than that.


38

+ theXsilentXchild on June 17th, 2014 at 11:17 am said:

Played this game as a child and it creeper me out for some reason. I’m 30 now and it’s still kinda creepy. Think I’ll pass on the memories


39

+ RE4LNOiZE_42 on June 17th, 2014 at 11:18 am said:

@ IIL0YDII,

I’m not sure they forgot. I’m starting to think they did that on purpose. I mean, the annoucement of the game coming to PS3, PS4 and Vita is everywhere on the web right now. To not even mention it here, an official Sony channel of communication, I would think they did it on purpose. Either that, or they have a serious internal communication problem between the PS3/PS4 and Vita teams. If there’s still a Vita team, that is.

There may be other reasons, but Sony is doing a really, really bad job of promoting its handheld lately. Almost like they’re afraid at even the thought of mentionning it.

But anyway, I’m glad it’s coming to the Vita.

It’s just sad that Sony themselves don’t seem to even know about it yet.


40

+ Elvick_ on June 17th, 2014 at 12:09 pm said:

Sony didn’t write the article. So blaming Sony for the non-mention of Vita is stupid. But hey, people are often stupid when Vita is concerned so no surprise. Gonna cry about indies and how “Sony” shouldn’t waste “their” resources on them some more? Shoo


41

+ Bcrichmark on June 17th, 2014 at 12:13 pm said:

I Thought This Game was called “OUT OF THIS WORLD” at least it was when i played it on the SNES


42

+ dkarlowicz10 on June 17th, 2014 at 12:16 pm said:

Is this also coming out on the Vita? It would be a better experience on this awesome handheld.


43

+ dkarlowicz10 on June 17th, 2014 at 12:21 pm said:

EA blog prominently talks about this game coming to the Vita as well. Why does North America always ignore the Vita versions? Vita games here (in NA) always take a backseat to the PS3 or PS4 versions, and get announced after the fact, sometimes long after PS3/PS4 version had already been released.


44

+ iREVOLTER on June 17th, 2014 at 12:38 pm said:

CooL. But why just PS4? O_o. It supposedly must’ve come on PSV/PS3/PS4. PS3 and PSV are dead ?


45

+ Figboy on June 17th, 2014 at 12:42 pm said:

Awesome! I remember playing this back in the day on the SNES, but I never beat it (it was a friend’s copy). I will definitely be picking this up!


46

+ Archacus on June 17th, 2014 at 12:47 pm said:

@Dkarlowicz10
1. The game is coming for VITA, both Fred Dutton and Abrial Dacosta confirmed it on EU Blog
2. If you think that NA has problems with VITA… than what about EU? We would love to get as much games as you guys on VITA. (importing is not an option for me)


47

+ RE4LNOiZE_42 on June 17th, 2014 at 12:58 pm said:

@ Elvick,

People are often stupid when anything they like is concerned, actually. It’s easy to dismiss other people comments and complaints as “stupidity” when you’re not facing the same situation.

If the situation was about the PS4, a bit more than two years after its release, having almost no new releases to look forward to aside from indies (which are nice but one system cannot live on these exclusively), and then Sony just releases a new portable system and E3 is all about it and barely showing anything new on the PS4 front, would you be calling PS4 owners “stupid” for complaining about Sony’s lack of commitment to their platform?

I think it’s normal that Sony should focus a lot more on the PS4 right now. But not at the expense of their handheld platform that was just released less than three years ago. Vita owners rightfully feel burned by Sony’s apparent lack of support for the platform. Or lack of communication about it, at least.

No need to call anyone “stupid”, you know.


48

+ tusunami on June 17th, 2014 at 1:08 pm said:

Wow I never heard of this game but I will look into this so many great games making there way to the PS4 is just mind boggling!!!!!!!!


49

+ ClawOfTheFallen on June 17th, 2014 at 1:28 pm said:

Cross trophies, Cross-buy and Cross-save? Count me in!


50

+ poodude on June 17th, 2014 at 1:35 pm said:

Like the artstyle. Also, 2560×1600 resolution? Does that means the game will be downsampled? I’m not much of a tech guy, but I’ve heard methods like that can make the game look prettier.


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