Posted 5:00pm

Classic platformer Another World is coming to PS4, PS3 and Vita next week

Legendary creator Eric Chahi discusses his cult platformer

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 PS4, PS3 and PS Vita.

Arrival

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

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 realised last year!

Martial: Ah yes! Well, then we realized 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.

Car

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.

Artwork

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: 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: 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!

When it will be available ?

Eric: On 25th June – next week!

hello

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Comments

45 Comments 5 Author replies
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Harrisown 17 June, 2014 @ 5:08 pm   1

ahhh a classic.
I hope it’s priced fair. It’ll sell well for a handful of £ .
£3.99?

madmanwithabox12 17 June, 2014 @ 5:11 pm   2

Wasn’t this supposed to be coming to Vita too?

     
    Archacus 17 June, 2014 @ 5:47 pm    

    I’m kinda afraid to ask for VITA version… why? because some mormon (without M) might misunderstand that I want only indie/small games.

    PlayStation Software Product Development Head for Sony Worldwide Studios America Scott Rohde: “You’ve got Freedom Wars, you’ve got [Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines]; these are very interesting, what you’re calling ‘big style’ platform games. But we’re also seeing that the audience is really hungry for an endless stream of these smaller games.[...]But we know that that’s what makes the most gamers happy.[...] And I’m one of those people – I can’t get enough of that style of game on my Vita.”

    Brace yourself VITA became indie machine…. something like steamboy or OUYA

    source:
    playstationlifestyle.net/2014/06/16/sony-ps-vita-audience-is-really-hungry-for-an-endless-stream-of-smaller-games/

    Abrial Dacosta 17 June, 2014 @ 7:42 pm    

    Hello! the game is coming to VITA as well !

 

i didn’t know Eric Chahi did Heart of Darkness aswell, i would love to see a remake of that one day it’s a classic.

    Abrial Dacosta 17 June, 2014 @ 7:44 pm    

    We would like too :)

     

    Would be sweet to play it on my OLED Vita! The graphics and colours were awesome!

     
    Kub-666 18 June, 2014 @ 10:17 am    

    Oh man, that game’s last level was super hard!

    I’d love to play that in better resolution.

     
    Kub-666 18 June, 2014 @ 10:18 am    

    Will this be based on Amiga version or PC version? The PC version contained additional level, if I remember correctly.

 

And What about VITA?

    Fred Dutton 17 June, 2014 @ 5:59 pm    

    Apologies, an innocent error. It’s releasing on PS4, PS3 and PS Vita.

 

I used to love the intro on this game on the Amiga (“Good evening Professor. I see you have driven here in your Ferrari”) but never ever saw the end of the game or got out of the 2nd level ( after being imprisoned in that swinging cage ).

 

Taught me two things:

1, Never sit at the action end of a particle accelerator during an electrical storm.
2. If your experiment settings includes a shield, you select YES!

infernalmonkey1 17 June, 2014 @ 5:25 pm   7

It’s also coming to Vita and PS3 next week with crossbuy, but of course Sony doesn’t want people to know a Vita version actually exists.

 
LimboSoquid-32 17 June, 2014 @ 6:13 pm   8

That’s awesome!! Will the PS4 version also include the original?

    Abrial Dacosta 17 June, 2014 @ 7:43 pm    

    Hello! you will just push one button to change the resolution…And back to Amiga resolution ! :)

     
    LimboSoquid-32 18 June, 2014 @ 1:00 pm    

    Yessss! Thank you! :D

    tomasj7799 19 June, 2014 @ 10:32 am    

    The resolution switch is also available in Android version but the touch screen controller was not very responsive in rapid action which game offered. Game-pad controls will solve this. Thumbs up.

 

Would be great if we get to know the price before the release…

 
ThugETH 17 June, 2014 @ 6:25 pm   10

Played it so many times on so many systems I doubt I’ll get it again.
I’d be all over Flashback for Vita though!

Chadders77 17 June, 2014 @ 7:04 pm   11

I think Sony are misreading the situation here.

One of the main reasons vita owner are buying so many indie title is because thats all we have to buy! Im pretty sure that if we had the option of buying 3 or 4 indie titles OR a AAA title a week, then the AAA title would win on most if not all instances.

Why are they not listening to all the complaints about lack of AAA titles. They only have to look at the comments on most of the vita topics on there own forums to see its what we all want. Nintendo are making the big titles people want and it seems like it could be paying off looking at how mario kart 8 is doing.

Make the titles we want and while your at it give us tv out function and an AV lead to buy. I didnt spend the best part of £400 at launch, including memory cards and games, to play crappy 8 bit looking games that can be done on pretty much any device, is it really to much to ask for you to support your machine/customers, NO.

 
Timberman80 17 June, 2014 @ 7:05 pm   12

Day 1 for me! And I really REALLY would like to have Flashback for my Vita. Absolutely loved that game :)

     
    Timberman80 17 June, 2014 @ 7:06 pm    

    The old classic of course. Havent tried the remake, since I only play on my Vita :)

     
    KaneTheGoth 17 June, 2014 @ 8:03 pm    

    It’s not bad.. feels more like a newer game than a remake. The original will always be my favourite though. Incidentally, on the main menu screen you can scroll to the right to play the original on an arcade machine. Only issue, and it’s a big one IMO – they weren’t able to get the licence to have the original music. Such a shame!

 
Witcher70 17 June, 2014 @ 9:31 pm   14

Colour me interested ! :D

 

I still have the Amiga version!

 
Debaicheron 17 June, 2014 @ 10:23 pm   16

Will buy and keep waiting for the same treatment for Flashback… god I miss that game…

 
Faustofausto 17 June, 2014 @ 10:27 pm   17

LOL, Sony forget their handheld console… again.

 
sporeboy100 17 June, 2014 @ 11:11 pm   18

mike aruba!

 
FriendlyFireOz 18 June, 2014 @ 1:37 am   19

I used to play this on my Amiga.

Really nice to see a release date so soon after the game announcement.

Looking forward to playing again on my Vita.

 
Earlofdenby 18 June, 2014 @ 5:50 am   20

This and Flashback were my all time favourites back in the day, also can anyone help me out there was a game on the ps1 main characters name was a boy called Andy where he built a craft of sorts flew and crash landed somewhere where he had to explore caves. Similar to above games where each screen was a new challenge where dark shadow type creatures would eat him or tear him apart if caught.
Excellent cgi cut scenes to help the story on, I just can’t for the love of me remember what it’s called. Please help!

 
Earlofdenby 18 June, 2014 @ 5:55 am   21

Got it!! Google is ace!
It’s called Heart of Darkness.
Please get this on the new platform ps4!

 
nulenvoid 18 June, 2014 @ 7:32 am   22

Yeah Heart of Darkness was a super challenging but mint, I have Another World on a couple of platforms but I’ll buy it again if it’s priced reasonably just to support a classic and one of my favourite Amiga era games.

 
zalwelgoedgaan 18 June, 2014 @ 8:56 am   23

I remember reading about this game a lot in the past, but I never played it. Guess I’ll try it out once it’s released on the Vita.

 
joedix88 18 June, 2014 @ 9:41 am   24

I’d buy it for £5 at the most but I’m predicting between £5 & £8.

Aces73High 18 June, 2014 @ 10:07 am   25

Can’t wait to grab Another World for my trusty Vita next week. As a huge fan of this classic adventure, I’ll also be picking up the Wii U version when it lands on the eShop tomorrow — these will be the third and fourth versions of this game that I own!

Now all we need is Flashback and Heart of Darkness to be added to Vita’s already stellar line-up of top quality cult classics :-)

Timebat 18 June, 2014 @ 10:25 am   26

I have played this game on the Amiga 500 and I couldn’t get pass the first bit of the game after the swimming part at the beginning. It was a very hard game then and hopefully when the game is released here next week, I hope there will be some hints added to the game.

 

Fantastic, I shall be enjoying this game yet again, and on my birthday as well :D

nakano1987 18 June, 2014 @ 3:14 pm   28

This was an excellent game on the Amiga era! Don’t remember whether I ever played the sequel Heart of the Alien.

 
therapy7 18 June, 2014 @ 3:34 pm   29

Great game, but I’ll stick with my Atari Jaguar cartridge ; )

jorgeche 18 June, 2014 @ 3:36 pm   30

Buena noticia, gran clasico para vita, que olvidados nos teneis….se sabe precio para la store española?

saludos

 
anunnakid 19 June, 2014 @ 3:50 pm   31

Oh yes,
My vita plays almost all of the classic games that imo are ever made.
I only miss Flashback now. Please SCEE, cant you ask a Dev team to port the resently released ps3 version of Flashback to ps vita? It makes no sence as a ps3 game really.

 
OmegaAmiga 19 June, 2014 @ 4:41 pm   32

HD version of the game + SegaCD soundtrack, almost the perfect version of the game and a day one purchase. For perfection can we get the updated version with the extra level back onto the Amiga? I always wondered why the Amiga never got the updated version when it got re-released on budget. Perhaps even a version for Amiga CDTV/CD32 with the segacd audio, now that would be the mega ultimate edition

    Abrial Dacosta 20 June, 2014 @ 3:49 pm    

    Why not? we are still big lovers of our Amiga, we have to study this option with Eric !

 
Chris_Oblivion 19 June, 2014 @ 5:44 pm   33

Had this for the Commodore Amiga, back in the day! Great game! Innovative and before it’s time. Good to see it back. Any chance of bringing the Mindscape gory classic “Moonstone: A Hard Days Knight” back? Updated and improved, that game would be AMAZING.

 
mikemc1958 24 June, 2014 @ 1:21 am   34

i may give this ago

 
anunnakid 25 June, 2014 @ 5:11 pm   35

available now on the psvita store. thank you!

scaram_diddy 26 June, 2014 @ 1:52 pm   36

Enjoyed playing this on my Amiga back in the day, although i thought then (and still do) that Flashback was a better game. Cruise For A Corpse needs a this/next gen release as that was awesome and looked fab on the Amiga. I might even get a chance to finish it this time!