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terça-feira, 5 de maio de 2009

Let's Make a Game Remake

Conceive a good idea for a game (or to anything) is not so simple, even more when who decides if it is really good are the other people and not the author. So wouldn’t it be nice if we could reuse one idea that was already accepted and make it profitable? That’s when the remake appears.

Whatever you do for the second time will be easier and when we are talking about artistic creations, usually, every time you look up everything from the start to rework it, it gets better. When we look to a finished job we can find things that we could not find when we were working on it. There is also one natural evolution of the creative minds behind the ideas and other from the tools that are used to create a game and also reviews from specialized media and fans. It all contributes to make a remake (?!) relevant.

Maybe the greatest thing about a remake is give to producers a new opportunity to make that work better, to include things that they wanted to include and wasn’t possible at that time, or correct things in the script, or many other things. A very good example of this is the Resident Evil series. With the GameCube, Capcom had the tools to make the game better than the game they wanted to do when they first created it to the PlayStation 1.


On the left the Resident Evil 1 remade to the GameCube, on the right the original PlayStation version

A remake can also give a second chance to a game that wasn’t a success, but had the potential to be. You can also appeal to a nostalgic strategy, with a remake that will only borrow the name, the main character and the main villain of the original, giving it a completely new feel. This strategy is also used in movies when they bring back series from the 70’s and 80’s, like Charlie's Angels or Miami Vice.

I believe the best thing about remakes is when they get an old game to transform it into something new, trying to use all the potential that the original idea had. When they try to do something we could call a “retake”, like what they are doing now with the original Silent Hill to the Nintendo Wii.

From an economic point of view remakes are even better. Risk is reduced because you have a game that had reviews from media and fans, telling you what was good and what was bad, so it’s natural to think that this project has more potential do return any invested money. People already heard once about the game, there is probably even a fan base, so you don’t have to worry all that much with advertisement cause it won’t be a completely “never heard before thing”. The production will also be cheaper, you already have everything done, you just have to polite it, or update it, the creation, the design, all that is pretty much already made.

So, let’s just say we should not be so angry when a game company says it will make a remake, or a “retake”. It is economic interesting, in most cases, interesting in the gaming side and even if you lose something in the freshness front, it may be what a “not so good game” needed to became a true classic. Oh, and just to make it clear, I didn’t forget we should be careful with some projects that are only a trick to make money, but that’s another story.