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Metroid games could easily be among the cheapest and less time consuming "AAA" games to produce.

nkarafo

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Nov 30, 2012
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Not going to say the "easiest" because designing a good Metroid game still means you need to nail the level design and aesthetics. But other than that, there shouldn't be any other aspect that needs too much time and money.

Because other than good level design and aesthetics, Metroid fans don't need anything else. So a "big budget" Metroid game like, say, Metroid Prime 4 would still not need:

- A rich story to write and direct, with plenty of characters. It's just Samus herself alone. At best there would be a background story to uncover. Even Mario games need more characters but not Metroid.
- Voice actors. No other characters means nobody talks and there's nobody to talk to. The best Metroid games are the ones where you are isolated. No need for monologues or flashbacks either. No need to spend money on recording studios and more people.
- Orchestral music. I think Metroid sounds best when there is electronic/midi music involved. It needs to have a catchy/atmospheric/alien-ish soundtrack, not an expensive orchestra. Just one guy and his synthesizer.
- Cutscenes/cinematics. This goes hand to hand with the story. Metroid only needs a few cutscenes here and there using the game engine and that's it. No fancy CGI stuff that lasts for minutes.
- Less stuff to test. Samus only has a handfull of moves/abilities and that's it. It's a pretty simple game if you think about it. There aren't many things to balance (like weapons and armor in Dark Souls) and not as many variables and things that can happen as in an open world game. Even something like Bloodstained needs a ton of items to test and balance, but not Metroid.

So most of the budget would go to graphics and art. And designing the game obviously, but plenty of indie developers have nailed the Metroidvania design. So that leaves us with the graphics. That's the only expensive part of Metroid. I feel that it can be even cheaper to produce than something like Dark Souls, only because there can be no other characters and voice actors and less variables. So i don't think Metroid can ever be a financial/business risk for Nintendo. Making a good Metroid game as fans want it to be should be a much easier (business wise) endeavor than making something like OtherM where they tried to make it more story driven.

Thoughts?
 
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TUROK

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I think you're massively overestimating how "easier" they are to develop.

You're not just dealing with graphics, you're dealing with programming an engine that does exactly what the ideas in your head envision, or at least hope the middleware you're using has everything you need.

You're dealing with making traversal and combat feel good, with whether the ideas in your head can even be done with the target hardware, and if not, how do you scale your ideas back or work around the hardware limitations?

I'm sure a seasoned developer with the ideal software and tools could make a Metroidvania game in a very efficient manner, but from all I've read, and my limited experience in java programming, that shit NEVER goes according to plan even when you have great resources at your disposal.
 
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Kagey K

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Dec 18, 2013
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I think you're massively overestimating how "easier" they are to develop.

You're not just dealing with graphics, you're dealing with programming an engine that does exactly what the ideas in your head envision, or at least hope the middleware you're using has everything you need.

You're dealing with making traversal and combat feel good, with whether the ideas in your head can even be done with the target hardware, and if not, how do you scale your ideas back or work around the hardware limitations?

I'm sure a seasoned developer with the ideal software and tools could make a Metroidvania game in a very efficient manner, but from all I've read, and my limited experience in java programming, that shit NEVER goes according to plan even when you have great resources at your disposal.
There’s a reason why the Metroidvania is a favourite for indie devs. You get the most out of the space you created. It would be hard for anyone to call any Metroidvania game AAA after Shadow Complex and Ori.

Those are some big boots to fill.
 

H4ze

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Seems a bit like a naive fallacy, but I get your point, still, I think it's not that easy to nail the metroid feeling
 

nkarafo

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Seems a bit like a naive fallacy, but I get your point, still, I think it's not that easy to nail the metroid feeling
Not saying its easy. Im saying its cheaper than other "big" games that have higher production values. Metroid is the type of game that is best when is kept low cost.
 

-Arcadia-

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Aug 20, 2019
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OP has some really good points.

I think some people may end up taking it personally, as if Metroid is somehow less worthy, for being less expensive to make. That’s silly, though.

As a mega-fan, and also being cognizant that these games don’t sell a whole lot, I’m very thankful Metroid happened to fall into a category that doesn’t require 100 million dollar budgets and massive open worlds to create in modern times, because we’d probably never get another one. :messenger_confused:
 
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