How did the creators of Last of Ace Part 1 create a better game than the original version?

After the release of Last of Ace Part 2, there were rumors of a remake of the first game of Last of Ace at developer studio Naughty Dog. The project's director, Sean Skegg, says that in the studio, they thought to themselves, "What if we could remake The Last of Us?" What if people could experience both Last of Ace and Last of Ace Part 2 on the same console without any visual mismatch. How did the creators of Last of Ace Part 1 create a better game than the original version?

After the release of Last of Ace Part 2, there were rumors of a remake of the first game of Last of Ace at developer studio Naughty Dog. The project's director, Sean Skegg, says that in the studio, they thought to themselves, "What if we could remake The Last of Us?" What if people could experience both Last of Ace and Last of Ace Part 2 on the same console without any visual mismatch.

Now, with the release of the remake of the first game titled The Last of Ace Part 1, which was released a few days ago for the PlayStation 5 console, is scheduled to be released for personal computers in the future and at an unspecified date in order to achieve this goal and make this Sony classic game available to more people in the best conditions. Make no mistake, the first part is a faithful remake of the original game; Its story remains completely unchanged, but technical leaps in both combat and cutscenes and cutscenes have given it more depth. Its memorable and memorable scenes are now more emotional and tear-jerking, and the game's artificial intelligence is really smarter and better, which changes the game experience.

Obviously, there are differences between a remake and a remaster. According to Shaun Escayg and game director Matthew Gallant, who recently conducted a detailed interview with Polygon, a remake (like this one) gives developers the space and technology to make big changes. But the real beauty of its design is knowing when to avoid big changes.

You can read the full interview below. It should be noted that the text of this interview has been edited by the Paligan site for volume, convenience and, of course, clarity. Come on, I haven't played the original Last of Ace. What kind of people did you make this new version for? Is it for new players like me or fans of the original? Will these two different groups get different things from Last of Ace Part 1?

Sean Skegg: In my opinion, it is for both groups. This game is for both existing fans and new players who want to enter the world of Last of Ace. We consider Last of Ace Part 1 as a love letter to the series, to the fans, and even to ourselves. This puts a lot of pressure on us to develop Last of Ace Part 1 as the original game is without a doubt one of the greatest games ever made. When you touch a franchise like this, you step into the legacy of Naughty Dog and the history of their games.

We really wanted fans new to the game experience to be able to play the first and second installments back-to-back without Have big gaps in technology or quality and visual effects. We also thought it was important to expand the many accessibility-specific features we put into The Last of Us Part 2 and bring it to the first game so that even more fans can enjoy the game. Ultimately, we wanted to stay true to the experience of the original game and keep everything we loved about the original game and just use all of our artistic abilitiesall of our recent technological advancesto improve all the technical aspects of that game. . How did the creators of Last of Ace Part 1 create a better game than the original version?

Matthew Gallant: I think there are things in this game that can be attractive to both groups of audiences and serve them. When we look at Last of Ace Part 1, we know that many people like you are going to play it for the first time. There are people whose PlayStation 5 is their first PlayStation console. There are also fans on personal computers who are waiting to experience this game. We also expect that some people will be interested in experiencing this game after watching HBO's The Last of Us.

For all these new and different audiences, we didn't want them to start off with this. Let's go back to the work of two generations ago. While the original game still holds up very well and in some ways it feels like time hasn't affected it and the experience is still fun and enjoyable, it's definitely dated in some ways. The technological limitations we had at the time were very limiting in many ways. We had to be creative enough to desperately load everything in front of you and then empty everything behind you.

Working with the memory of the PlayStation 3 console was a very hard limitation for us to work with. We didn't want people who experience this game for the first time and then go to Last O Ace Part 2, this jump experience the great and strange. This qualitative distance seemed a little inappropriate. I think bridging that gap and giving people a great starting point was one of the goals of this project.

However, another goal was for players who want to come back and experience the game again. And with this version, they can experience their favorite moments and features in the first game in the best conditions and appreciate Last of Ace Part 1 for this. How did the creators of Last of Ace Part 1 create a better game than the original version?

One of the ways that Sean and I split up directing the game was that he was responsible for all the cinematics. As such, I experienced these moments entirely as a fan. I just wanted to enjoy them and had no hand in their development. I was watching some of the cutscenes in the game and there's a scene where Joel and Tess are discussing Ellie. They're not sure if they want to take him to the Fireflies. Joel wants to drop everything and bring her back to Boston. On the surface, he is very stern, serious, and has a very cold demeanor and acts like Tess can do whatever she wants with Ellie and it doesn't matter to Joel. But if you know the general arc of the story, there is a hidden meaning here. There is an inner dimension to her character that comes from vulnerability, fear, pain and sadness. By watching those movie scenes that have been recreated, the performance of the characters in the game is more in line with the performance of the main actors and voice actors who play them. You can see this contrast between Joel's exterior and interior in this sequence. You can see him saying one thing and feeling another.

I know the changes have also included the combat of the game. Can you talk about what the combat experience will be like for players?

Matthew Gallant: The core set of abilities that Joel has are very faithful to the original game but One of the things that has changed is that we have experienced 9 to 10 years of technological advancement in the field of artificial intelligence. When we were developing an in-game battle in the original version, we didn't have a good tool to manage the flow of the battle and we were faced with limitations on the number of enemies that could survive simultaneously. In the original game we were constantly making enemies disappear behind you and spawning new enemies in front of you, just trying to give you the illusion of a bigger fight.

We didn't always have to do that in Renovate. We can have more enemies at the same time. Not only that, but the way we were dealing with artificial intelligence at the time was much stricter. We had to make a lot of them by hand because there was no other way back then. In this decade we have developed a much more flexible AIO where we can specify a space with different strong positions to defend. It's more about having an ecosystem of things that can happen. The AI will try to surprise you and stick with you and interact with you much more dynamically.

When you're faced with a really dynamic fight sequence, like the one in the bookstore in the Pittsburgh area. Well, if you try different tactics in that fight, hopefully the game's new AI will respond to you with more dynamic faces. They can attack you from the flanks or from angles you don't expect. They coordinate and try to respond to what you're doing in a smarter way.

Let's also explore some of the game's accessibility options. Are there any that stand out to you in particular? Which of these are you most excited to see in the game?

Matthew Gallant: We need to build accessibility options from Last of Ace Part 2. At its core, one of the functions of these features is to allow players who are blind or have low vision to experience the entire game. They should not have any limitations to experience the game and be able to play the game without any problem and it will be very exciting and attractive for them because many of them with the ability to experience Last of Ace Part 2 are now fans of that game but have never experienced the first game. . They have not fully seen all the dimensions of these characters in the story of the game and the experience can be very enjoyable for them.

In terms of new technologies and new accessibility options that we have in Last of Ace Part 1, there are two things. I really want to highlight them. The first is that we've added audio descriptions for cutscenes. Normally, a blind player or a player with low vision cannot see what is happening in a scene. They are the unspoken interactions between the characters they do not know. They can't see that one character is pointing a gun at another, and they have no context for the details of what's happening in the scene. How did the creators of Last of Ace Part 1 create a better game than the original version?

Therefore, the work of the audio description of these movie scenes is that between the breaks in the dialogues, someone as the narrator describes the events that happen in the scene. For example, it describes what is in the scene or what the characters are doing. This is what we see in movies and television to make works accessible to blind people. We partnered with Descriptive Video Works, a professional company that provides this service for movies and series and game trailers. It was really great to work with them. There is a certain artistry to finding the perfect little descriptions that fit between these dialogues and provide you with the information you need in the most succinct way possible. This was one of the things that we got from the feedback we did for our work on Last of Ace Part 2. In that game, we removed some limitations in the gameplay experience for the players, and blind and partially sighted players were able to complete the game (and in some cases even get all the trophies), but there were still many things like the story, themes, and of course the richness of the game world. which was still not accessible to blind and partially sighted players.

Another new accessibility feature we've added, which I'll touch on briefly, is what's enabled by DualSense. We added this new feature that allows players to hear dialogue as vibrations and haptic vibrations in DualSense. It was an early idea and design that we tried out, and then our accessibility consultants and playtesters really enjoyed it. The idea of this project is that if you are deaf, you have subtitles that tell you how a sentence is said. As you can feel the sentence, you can understand where the emphasis is and how the sentence is phrased. What was the feeling behind it? When you can feel it on the controller and read the subtitles, it opens up more of the story and its richness to players with disabilities, especially deaf players.

A lot of things since launch. The original version of Last of Ace has passed. There was a time when we saw many fathers in games and father-daughter relationships such as the relationship between Ellie and Joel were very important and even for a short time players could play the role of the character. It was very important for Eli to play, but now we are witnessing another work (Lost of Ace Part 2) where we play his role completely. Do you think about how the world has changed culturally while developing this project?

Sean Skegg: We came to this game with certain foundations and principles. We came close and didn't want to take away from the core game experience that our fans really engaged with. However, there were a lot of options available that we wanted to take from Part 2 and bring to Part 1, but the guiding principle was questions like, "Well, does this add anything new to the experience?" or "Does this detract from your experience?" Again, I have to say that this game is probably one of the best games ever made. When we approach making these decisions, we are always cautious and careful and very careful about what we choose to keep and what to lose.

Most of our approach is about how to emphasize. It was in different cases. How could we raise the bar and delve deeper into the emotions going on in the game? Even in non-cinematic moments, you can get a more inner feeling by being immersed in the game space and understanding those spaces and the environment and stories inside it. There's a greater sense of realism or dynamic movement and life in those worlds, like landing on a vehicle and shaking. Either you get attacked by a military truck in battle or take cover behind a bookshelf or a car that rolls over on its chassis when bombarded by these bullets. How did the creators of Last of Ace Part 1 create a better game than the original version?

In the cinematic scenes of the game, you will gradually see a mixture of these things. New lighting, new environments as well as characters who, thanks to the recent technologies available to us, express their emotions in a much deeper way than before.

There is a famous and memorable scene from the previous game that if given the chance now Once you have experienced the original game, you can make a lot of good comparisons. I mean the scene where Ellie tries to run away in the fall, and then Joel and Tommy find her in a house, and there's an argument between her and Joel. Now, in this sequence, you can see the trembling and anxiety in her eyes, or the blush on her face when she realizes that Joel is about to let her go. These partial human emotions are now with the technologies that We've got a much better picture.

Even when Ellie and Riley are dancing in the mall, Ellie stops, there's a moment where she realizes and says to herself, Oh, my best friend. Love of my life is going to run away with Firefly. I may never see him again." You can see this conflict behind what is said in the dialogues. You can see it in the emotion in his eyes and the conflicts going on in his head. No dialogue is spoken to show these emotions, but those emotions are present in the scene. In this way, we care more about our fans today. Even if you've played this game a hundred times before, look at it this way now and see what more emotional and conceptual layers there are inside or behind these characters that you can tap into better.

Is the creative and technical process different between working on the development of a remaster and a remake and making a new game?

Matthew Gallant: The first One thing I would like to mention is to explain the difference between a remake and a remaster, at least from our perspective, because we've remade a few of our games and we usually explain what that means. Remastering is above all an endeavor of programming and technical artistry. In the process of that, you take the original assets and the original code, and you port it to, say, PlayStation 4, and then you do things like increase the frame rate, output the textures at a higher resolution, and things like that. You are not going to make radical changes and consider changes or revisions in your game design designs. You're kind of just making the numbers bigger.

However, for a remake we have to step in more seriously and rethink basic decisions. One of the advantages we had for Last of Ace Part 1 was knowing that many of the decisions made in the original Last of Ace were limited by the hardware available at the time. Shawn and I both worked on the original game, and many of the senior people on the project worked on the original game as well. For example, we knew for sure that the reason why a certain room was so simple was not because of a conscious decision. It wasn't something we did on purpose, we had to do it because we were struggling with hardware memory and the before and after area were more important and we wanted them to be visually appealing. So this kind of transition space was very simple and we had the opportunity to look at it and say to ourselves, "Well, what could this space look like?" How can we create environmental storytelling here? How can we make the game world richer and more detailed? How did the creators of Last of Ace Part 1 create a better game than the original version?

An example I feel can really do this A good example is the State House Museum in Boston. This area has these offices that were not noticeable in the original game design. They were like normal offices in offices. We thought to ourselves again and said, "What could this space have?" We added an art restoration station. We added all the tools and brushes, put in the framed pictures they were restoring. Eventually we got to the statues they had in the warehouse and added things like that to the area. We could have enemies with almost the same appearance. There might be a fight in the main game where there are only male runners (sort of in-game converts) and that's because we couldn't load female runners at the same time due to hardware limitations. Now we can go in and have more variety in these fights and things like that.

Also mention things like foliage in the game's nature landscape. Putting foliage in games is kind of expensive. It has a lot of small details and is very complex to render. One of the key elements of Last of Ace is just the beauty of its natural world, which sometimes revives these spaces. However, with this beauty, there is also a danger. If you look at areas like Pittsburgh or Beale City, we've made those areas much more lush and detailed, and now their nature has beautiful foliage that's fully grown, and it's really respectful and true to our original creative vision.

Sean Skegg: I would say this approach is carefully measured. When it comes to developing a remake of this level, sometimes it's the things we don't add that make all the difference. Having all the technology doesn't always mean that if we add something, we will have a better game, right? we ask That "does it really make the fights better?" Does it improve the sense of exploration in the game? Has this cinematic scene gotten any better? Or is it too distracting? Does this beauty add anything? How did the creators of Last of Ace Part 1 create a better game than the original version?

This constant and very measured back and forth, the struggle It creates between frantically moving or making something that is more beautiful than it needs to be. I will give you an example. The quarantine zone is a military town, right? You are in the quarantine area and it is safe. Narratively, it's supposed to be safe. I mean, it's like a ruin, but it's safe. It is the bastion of humanity, am I right? However, it is dominated by a cold atmosphere and devoid of life, apart from the humans who inhabit it. It is not green, but it is safe. It is adjacent to the non-quarantine area and only a border with its strong walls separates them. However, the area outside the quarantine is completely different and the nature is overgrown and beautiful and lush but dangerous. Sometimes you come up with ideas and you want to implement them and you say to yourself, "Oh, let's make this beautiful tree in a military town" and it's very easy to forget the right limit and go overboard. Or you might say to yourself, "Let's put a lot of canned food on the shelves." But no, the reality is that in the apocalyptic world of that quarantine city, resources are scarce. How do you feel at this moment? And are we adding something positive to the game by adding it, or are we taking away from its pure experience?

I'd say the biggest approach to making a remake in this particular case was restraint. How to control our urge to overindulge and instead use very selective enhancements to improve the feel of the game.

What is Naughty Dog's strategy for remasters and remakes? This studio has developed a number of these projects so far. How do they affect your studio's schedule and macro business decisions? Do they serve as a way to keep the studio's talent between bigger projects and brand new titles? Is it different because you already know how and what the game is going to be about?

Sean Skegg: The answer to that question is both yes and no. In terms of our approach to the remake, I would say that after the development of Part 2, there were whispers early on where people were saying to themselves, "Wouldn't it be cool if we could do a remake?" And there were a lot of comments saying, "I'd really like to experience Part 1 and Part 2 side by side, with the same graphics and the same level of visual effects and technology." That was kind of the driving force behind the idea of this remake. Is it completely relaxing? Definitely not. How did the creators of Last of Ace Part 1 create a better game than the original version?

One of the things I love about Naughty Dog is the passion. that the members of this studio have. No other place I've worked has been like this. Artists put all their efforts into games and dedicate everything to make them amazing, and that's exactly what happened here. It was probably one of the most difficult challenges we had, but we felt the responsibility to create this game and continued to develop it with the detail and tension that Naughty Dog Studios games have today. There was a lot of care and attention to detail in this approach to creating this remake.

In terms of business decisions as it pertains to the business of the studio, that's beyond Matthew's or my authority, but I can tell you that it's like a It was a blueprint or a blueprint of the original game, but it's almost as much the creation of this team because now we have expectations that we have to live up to, and meeting those expectations and beyond has gotten the team to where it is now. .

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