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Revisiting Another World 28

Posted by Zonk
from the hate-those-slug-thingies dept.
The Delphine Software title Another World was a singular experience in early 90's gaming. The game is coming back to life in the here-and-now, in the hands of creator Eric Chahi. From the Edge Online article: "It's a collector's re-issue, not a remake ... When I created Another World I was already thinking that one day it would be able to run on higher end computers. The idea was to create something that respected the original release, so the enhanced backgrounds are in harmony with the flat polygon animations. And, of course, the game in its original 16 color form will be available too."
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Revisiting Another World

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  • Soap opera (Score:4, Funny)

    by booch (4157) <slashdot2010@NOsPam.craigbuchek.com> on Thursday April 13, 2006 @10:40AM (#15120906) Homepage
    I didn't realize that there was a big demand for games based on soap operas [wikipedia.org]. (I guess that's why the game was renamed in the US.)
    • You gessed right. Just read the second (as of now, it's a wiki :) item in the Trivia section [wikipedia.org] of the Wikipedia linked article. I played that game entirely, and loved it. The sound effects were stunning, even without a sound card. It was one of the first games to use the PC speaker to make realistic sounds. I connected the speaker from the motherboard into real large stereo speakers just to play this game. The sound was frightening.
  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Thursday April 13, 2006 @10:41AM (#15120916) Homepage Journal
    Since I'm 32, many of my favorite games are those that remind me of my gaming youth. Days playing Astrosmash on the Intellivision with pops, or playing Utopia on the Aquarius with my friends -- these were low res but very high fun-factor games that today's batches don't really compete well with (for me). Even newer games like Dreamcast's Chu-Chu Rocket tend to give me more hours of fun, mostly because the basic games seem to need less hardware, less overhead, and give me more playing time. I guess the lower resolution adds to the imagination-creation that tabletop gaming created, too.

    I've been thinking often about how the old games could be refreshed and renewed, but I can't figure out if it would be feasible. MOST gaming companies will re-create the game with the mess of 3D animation, large storage needs and slow cut-scenes, probably destroying them in the process. Civ4 is the most frustrating game I've ever played, I even battled to return it to the store since the only way to get it to work was to pirate it (the boxed release didn't work on 6 different PCs). Sid can go choke on my box for all I care -- the love of the game is gone.

    Yet I do see the "50 games for $5" that contain some of my favorite games of my youth -- Sinistar, Pole Position, Joust, Galaga, you name it. Thinking back, were these games my favorite because that is all we had at the local teen hang-out? I don't think so, we spent enough time at the super arcade to get our pick of 100 machines. Are they "the best" because they're from my childhood? I'm not sure, as my friend's 3 kids love to play them at our house, moreso than any of their X-box games. Are the games still powerful because they have some uniqueness to them? Not at all, there is just something about the story+gameplay+graphics that pulls you in.

    I wish I could figure it out, I've been dying to create something similar to the old games, but without making a copy. Tying some of the best features together might be a real winner, especially now that almost every cell phone can run most older games with better speed, maybe there is a new market for bringing the old tech back.

    Can you imagine Space Quest 3 on a Samsung d500?
    • Go play Resident Evil 4.

      Then tell me how today's games stink.

      I think it's just that the people who used to game don't know where to look to find the new good games. We look back on gaming history and only remember the good games. There were just as many crappy games (Battletoads) then as there are now.
      • There WERE a lot of crappy games, but today's "great" games seem to be a huge hassle to play. Almost every game I've bought in the past 4 years has been returned (with restocking fee if necessary) because of compatibility issues.

        I'm a geek, I have very high end hardware, I've tried all the various OSes and drivers and software patches, and they still have issues.

        The X-Box and whatever Sony's machine was called are good to a point, but many of them are just more eye-wash window-dressing gorgeous graphics th
        • The X-Box and whatever Sony's machine was called are good to a point

          Wait. Whatever Sony's machine was called? Are you serious? And you're posting on Slashdot about games?

          Give me a second... I think my brain is going to explode :)
          • In all seriousness I can't think at the moment what Sony's machine was called. Was it Dreamcast? I like older stuff ... Atari 2600, 5200, Nintendo, early Super Nintendo, Epyx games on my Apple II. I just don't like what people call a "game" today for the most part. (I enjoy Freeciv. Does that count?)

            • I still find myself playing my Lynx, too. Freeciv is decent, I need to get that re-installed.

              I still love Utopia on my Aquarius (great game, I wonder if there is a PC version that is low res). I also play a ton of Dreamcast when I have time -- I once had a Dreamcast in my old Subaru RS :)
              • Last night for my birthday I received an Atari Flashback 2 from my wife, and it's one of the best gifts I can think of. (And it only cost $15 on ebay.) And there's a secret code to enable two paddle games, which I could never play on my old Atari because there was a problem with the jacks that kept them from working with paddles. We had a blast playing, with the baby crawling all over the place getting in the way. :)

            • Dreamcast was Sega. Sony is the Playstation/PS2 and eventually PS3. :)
    • Right.. firstly I can tell you why games today don't compare to yesterdays games. It's the same reason todays best cars don't get you from A to B as effective (cheaply) as yesterday. We have too much power so we forget that cars are vechiles not cock extensions.

      People forget that games are ment to be fun. The thing aboy all those classic games is "lets just STFU and play, have a giggle, go home and we're done". It didn't try to change the world, impress you or dazzle you with eye candy. It just tried to ent
    • Recommendations:

      A: One developer, working full time. Get a tight iteration time on the gameplay and code side, making changes as you go.
      B: Incredibly limited scope. You're not making the world's greatest space opera: you're making a 5-minute title about flying around and shooting stuff (or what have you)
      C: Release early, release often. Make one thing and move on to make another.

      Flash games are probably the way to go. Orisinal [slashdot.org] has a lot of original games in this vein.

      Games like this are cheap enough to b
  • This is the type of classic re-issue I like to see! It really looks likethey've kept the heart and soul of the original, while subtly updating things just enough to match my subjectively enhanced memories of what the original was like.

    Yes, classic games industry, there are reasons why we liked the originals, and sometimes it's nice to revisit them without them being completely mutated beyond all recognition.

    I am so grabbign this when it comes out.
  • Excellent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zoeblade (600058) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:06AM (#15121115) Homepage
    The original game was already beautiful, with stunning animation (achieved by rotoscoping, soon to become popular again when A Scanner Darkly comes out). It was really quite amazing considering it was all "conceived, written, programmed, drawn, and rendered by one individual" (see the Wikipedia link). This looks like an update that actually stays true to the original, making it closer to what its creator originally wanted to make had the technology existed at the time, only with a slightly slicker look. Let's hope it is as good as it looks.
  • by HunterZ (20035) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:07AM (#15121127) Journal
    Another World (known to me as Out of this World) was a truly great game. The graphics were something vastly different from anything else at the time, and were beautiful and immersive in an odd way. The game also unfolded a story without a single line of dialogue; you really felt like you were running through some alien world where you had no idea what was going on, but were too busy trying to stay alive to stop and figure it out.

    Then there was the frustration. Many parts of the game are so frustrating that I remember wanting to smash my monitor with my keyboard. Being able to continue an unlimited number of times just meant that I had to perform an intricate series of jumps or combat moves hundreds of times just to get *to* the part where I kept dying. In the end it was worth it (the late part of the game and the ending music were pretty cool, although the open ending was a little bit of a letdown after the effort involved), but you can bet your ass I've never tried to seriously play the game since.

    I'm not sure what I think of the idea of bringing this game back in an enhanced form. I looked at the screenshots and they weren't what I was hoping for. Something much more detailed is currently possible; the screenshots look like they just touched up the background art and rendered the flat polygon foreground models in a higher resolution, and it looks like something that would have run on Windows 95. What they really ought to do is render the game world in 3D from the same perspective, and place even higher-res, shaded flat polygon models into the scene. They could still easily retain the abstract polygon look of the original (I've seen it done in 3D console games) while achieving a much more immersive and higher quality effect. Unfortunately the current "touch up" will probably kill any chance of that, unless they turn this game into another Myst by releasing new versions every couple of years for the next decade (which I think is not feasible due to the game's more frustrating aspects, which will undoubtedly limit its mass appeal).

    One final thought: I hope they also remember to touch up the sound and music. Some additional ambient background music during the actual game would be really really nice.
    • Yes, this game was friggin hard. I'm not sure there's a market for such a twitchy arcadey experience these days, but I'm all for a remake if it will introduce this gorgeous game to a new generation.
    • Something much more detailed is currently possible; the screenshots look like they just touched up the background art and rendered the flat polygon foreground models in a higher resolution, and it looks like something that would have run on Windows 95. What they really ought to do is render the game world in 3D from the same perspective, and place even higher-res, shaded flat polygon models into the scene. They could still easily retain the abstract polygon look of the original (I've seen it done in 3D cons
  • I'd really appreciate it if Delphine not only published the game, I also want to play a sequel (and one with more levels, winning the game is possible in 30 minutes).

    Also, Flashback ABSOLUTELY ROCKED. I WANT MORE!
  • I played this game back in the day on my Amiga 500. In the past couple years I discovered it was released for SNES, so I was able to play an emu version on my current PC.

    It's one of the most beautiful games I've ever played, and the graphics style helps it look great even today, when most old games look old and crappy now.

    But it was also the hardest game ever. Each and every scene required precise timing to get through, and you'd have to play several scenes over and over and over. I never even got halfway t
    • The beauty of emulating the SNES version is the ability to use save states. Had I not been able to instantly save/load any part of the game with my extra controller buttons, I'd have done a lot more crying.
    • It was certainly one damn impressive game technically. The visual style was pretty much unique (a trait that I recall from several other French games as well; at least Captain Blood [wikipedia.org], the not-really-sequel Flashback [wikipedia.org] that I nonetheless liked more and Passengers of the Wind), and even the gameplay felt different than your average arcade adventure.

      I always wondered if the makers of the State of the Art demo [untergrund.net] had been influenced by the game. (Well, it was not the first game ever to use rotoscoped graphics, but st
  • This game definitly had great graphics, I'd even say, memorable graphics, but there's something that distrubed me last time I played it.

    Besides the time it took me to find out how to find out of water, or how to slowly smash the lil black worms, this game is like, either try to find out by yourself what you gotta do, or follow a walkthrough and do what you're told to do. It's like it's not a game, it's more like you're watching a show and you gotta find which buttons to press to get to the next scene. That'

    • GHAAA those effing little black worms! I had a deep abiding love for this game from the first time I watched the intro sequence on my trusty Amiga 500, but I HATED that goddamn worm level more then anything, one slight overstep and it was poison fang death. Grrrr......no video game that old should inspire an instant upwelling of hate when a part of it is mentioned. Thats what makes it legendary! Ma-choo-ba!

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