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Unreal Are all Remakes the same?

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Sorry I have ask a question like that on here but I can't find answers anywhere else.

Recently I had a heated discussion with my buddy who insisted that technically all remakes are the same. 

The example we talked about was the recently made "Link's Awakening" for Switch and the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro Trilogys.

Could you guys shed some light on this discussion between two people with no idea how to Programm? Is the process to create a game like Link's Awakening really the same as something like Spyro? 

Thanks for your help! 

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No, there is absolutely no standard process for what consitutes a 'remake'.

Some are basically just clones with entirely new code and assets, just authorised by the original intellectual property owners.

Some are code rewrites where the old assets (art/sound/etc) are available, and potentially remade or edited to bring them up to date.

Some might be the other way around, where the code already exists and just needs fixing up for new platforms.

And obviously each remake could have new features or new content which didn't exist in the original.

Each project will be different and how it is done depends entirely on the intended outcome. Generally speaking it's going to be a very similar process to making a completely new game, except there are existing things (designs, art, music, code) which may or may not be directly usable in the eventual product.

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This is usually were I would make a distinction between a remaster and a remake.

remaster is usually a few updates like support new resolutions, controller support and upgrading assets but no changes to gameplay outside of bug fixes(example: inventory bug which would make you lose an item if you did 'x', 'y' action before).

a remake can be more or less anything, unless they actually say a "full remake" in which you could also consider it a "reimagined" game meaning the way the story unfolds, characters, basic lore changes etc.

But this is by no means any 'standard' and both these words means different things for different people.

best examples to differentiate, Resident Evil 2 HD is a remake, Final Fantasy 7 is a remake, crash bandicoot to my knowledge would be a remaster.

Edited by Zervoxe

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Well, I can say that you and your buddy are both correct to different degrees.

If you already have the code for a game the best option is to use as much as you can from it and ship it... it makes business sense to do so. But in reality you can't use the 100% as it is, even when porting it to a new platfrom requires some level of adaptation to support the new platform... some times you can think of a remake as a simple porting to a new platform... other times you add some new functionality that wasn't present before (like adding achivements to PS1 games)... and if the original game has some decades behind it its very possible that the hardware architecture and technology has evolved in that time that most of the original code simply won't work on modern platforms (games are heavily optimized with low level tricks to take as much advantage of the hardware as it can)..

So, the degree to which you would decide to use more or less of the original code would depend on how different is the platform you're targeting at, how much technology has evolved, and how much new functionality you want to ship it with.

Just consider that porting a game from one generation (say XBox360) to the next (XBoxOne) needs to be changed in so many little places that it's not worthy for Microsoft to release all of them again because of the work it implies.

In the specific case of Link's Awakening, you're talking about a 2D game that was originally made for a monochrome platform from 1989, under a 8-bit architecture with limited resources (8kB of RAM).. things have certainly evolved now... and changing it into a 64-bit full 3D game, and with a few adpatations on the gameplay mechanics to make it feel more modern.... I'd say in this specific scenario there's no way the original code would be of any use.... i't would be way simplier to just make the game from scratch again.

On the other hand, the remake of FFVII for PS4 (not the remaster they're doing right now) probably that takes at least around 70% of the code on the original game released on PC on 1998.

My 2Cents


Edited by jakovo

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