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Ubisoft India Explains Why Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake Looks the Way It Does

Siri

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What's wrong with expecting better? People are disappointed because they were interested. That much should be obvious.

LOL.

What’s fairly obvious is that a huge number of people love to dog-pile on anything Ubisoft. You see it in every thread - people nitpicking over the silliest things, not because they actually care, but because they have an excuse to shit all over Ubisoft for the umpteenth time.

Sure, some people love Prince of Persia... but you’re being awfully naive if you believe this thread is filled with Prince of Persia enthusiasts.
 

Iced Arcade

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Canada eh
remake
 

Nico_D

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For me it is really hard to see this as anything else than lack of skill and/or direction when there's loads of great looking games by very small indie studios. If you decide to call it "remake", it comes with certain qualifications

I don't see any artistic choices in this one. There may be, who am I to tell, but to me it doesn't scream artistic vision.
 
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PanzerAzel

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That’s a great wall of non-explanation.

Shit is hideous any way you try to justify it. Garish and tacky as fuck. Much of the beauty of the SoT was in its subtlety of art direction, here it just looks like they felt that the environments were too barren or something and are slapping these needlessly gaudy textures onto everything. There’s a misunderstanding of the aesthetic approach. This also looks to be lacking the lighting and atmospherics of the OG that lent it its unique ethereal and majestic feel of being in the period.

I really wasn’t holding out much hope for this anyway given Mechner’s absence, it’s his baby, and it’s tangibly noticeable to me when he is/is not involved. Still a disappointment that they can mess up nigh perfection handed to them on a platter. All they really needed to do was fix the spaz of a camera and clean it up.
 
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TexMex

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LOL.

What’s fairly obvious is that a huge number of people love to dog-pile on anything Ubisoft. You see it in every thread - people nitpicking over the silliest things, not because they actually care, but because they have an excuse to shit all over Ubisoft for the umpteenth time.

Sure, some people love Prince of Persia... but you’re being awfully naive if you believe this thread is filled with Prince of Persia enthusiasts.

Why do you have to be an enthusiast to think this looks terrible?
 

Udham

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its Ubisoft India. did anyone really expect top tier graphics from them? on the other hand. people praise 16 bit looking indie games all the time but get mad at this lol you cant win these days with gamers.

getting 16 bit type art right, is a huge task.

One of the Indian indie studios, just released Raji on Switch, with a team of less than 20 members. Look it up.

No reason why a Ubisoft studio which is in existence since 2008, cannot match up the global standards.
 

TexMex

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getting 16 bit type art right, is a huge task.

One of the Indian indie studios, just released Raji on Switch, with a team of less than 20 members. Look it up.

No reason why a Ubisoft studio which is in existence since 2008, cannot match up the global standards.

Agree. The 16 bit comparison is completely irrelevant. Not just because 16 bit art is hard to do well, but the entire purpose of remaking a game is to bring it to modern day technical standards. If it looks like a game that was released 15 years ago, there is no point in remaking it.
 
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Nico_D

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What’s fairly obvious is that a huge number of people love to dog-pile on anything Ubisoft.

Is it now? I have bought a lot of Ubi games. Two rabbids games, 8 Assassin's Creeds, Watch Dogs 1 and 2, Starlink and Rayman Legends and Steep. Those are the ones I remember.

Saying their games are not what they used to be quality-wise is not dog-piling. It is legit criticism. They have gone from unique quality games studio to a very generic AAA studio which doesn't interest me.

This being a forum people talk about things.
 
Feb 27, 2013
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Ubisoft India Explains Why Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake Looks the Way It Does
Ubisoft’s made-in-India Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake was revealed last night. While it marks a turning point for game development in a country that’s not traditionally known for console and PC talent, the trailer for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake was met with a swell of dislikes on YouTube with players and pundits alike commenting on its visuals being lacklustre.

It made us wonder what challenges arose when making a game like this, and why Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake looks the way it does. The Mako Reactor spoke to Ubisoft India to find out more.

“Obviously when you touch such an iconic game our main challenge as a team for production was to actually provide the right feeling of the gameplay for Prince of Persia because it is such an iconic game,” says Pierre Sylvain-Gires, Game Director. “The character is not moving like Bayek is moving in Assassin’s Creed [Origins] or other different characters. It’s very unique. According to the acrobatics, the velocity of the Prince and really wanted to respect the brand for the fan and the player to understand why Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time [the 2003 original] was the first game of its genre and actually create a new trend for the gaming industry.”






Movement and momentum aside, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time featured time bending mechanics like slow motion and rewind. Sylvain-Gires describes how translating these core gameplay mechanics posed a concern when working with the Anvil engine — it’s Ubisoft’s in-house tech that powers its Assassin’s Creed games.

“The principle of the rewind is a headache technically,” he says. “The Anvil engine was not made at all to do rewind, to do slow motion, to do all those time manipulation. The tech approach was a challenge.”

Another issue is the engine itself and what it was originally meant for. It powers a lot of Ubisoft titles that focus on systemic and reactive gameplay loops rather than the straightforward adventures Prince of Persia games tend to be.

“Anvil engine is mainly for open-world games,” says Senior Producer Annu Koul. “The game we have is a short, linear game and not an open-world game so there are many challenges we have to be wary of.”

“At the same time the main challenge was to create a game where we had to play on the nostalgia and we have to give it the modern twist,” she says.“Keeping this balance intact is important.”


Why does Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake look like that?
When pressed further on the reception to the games visuals, the team explained it was a stylistic choice.

“If you take the game that was made 17 years ago, there’s definitely room for improvement in terms of graphism and we really wanted to give a unique look to the game because Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is actually is a fantasy story,” says Sylvain-Gires. “The narration, the 40 different levels you have to go through to finish the game are an immersion into the Thief of Baghdad and all these magical environments. So we decided to go for a unique visual treatment to make this game standout from other games. It’s not another Assassin’s Creed, it’s not like the same Prince of Persia from 2008. It has to be unique. This magic, this fantasy is shown through the saturation, through the light, so it also a challenge to redefine the visual identity of the game with this remake.”


Essentially it appears to be an attempt at having a different aesthetic sensibility versus most console and PC games on the market all while drawing from the well of inspiration known to many a Prince of Persia fan — One Thousand and One Nights. That made us wonder if there was any oversight from Ubisoft’s other studios given the legacy of the Prince of Persia IP.

“It’s completely led by Ubisoft Pune and Mumbai,” says Production Director Sashi Menon. “The advantage of working in a company like Ubisoft is we have a lot of support from experts around the studio and that’s something we always leveraged upon. But the development is completely led from here.”

We pressed further if this visual approach is a result of a constraint in terms of budget or timelines, the usual culprits for games turning out the way they are. This does not seem to be the case.

“No it was not a problem of timeline or budget,” says Syed Abbas, Deputy Managing Director. “For us at Ubisoft quality is of the utmost importance and this is something that we have kept in mind from the start. The project has been in development for the last two and a half years. We have had at peak 170 members working on this project and not to mention other investments in infrastructure and set up to make a modern game. No there have not been any cutback in budget or timeline for the game.”

Stay tuned for our full interview with the studio soon. For now though, it’ll be interesting to see how Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake is received when it’s finally out next year for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. A Nintendo Switch version is possibly in the works as well, though we won’t be surprised if the reception to the announced versions of the game determines if Nintendo’s hybrid console gets it as well.

my buddy says there were more managers than actual artists to do the work in head count for sands of time remake :D, they should've looked at the RE2 remake and been faithful in their approach in a true next generation remake for current gen consoles. Instead they did a remake of PS2 version for the PS3 and did a remaster of that to render it at 1080p for PS4.
 
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I was never interested in the original or the 2008 version. This recent remaster looks great to me though. I know I'm the minority opinion here, but horses for courses. I hope they keep the art style and don't give in to the uproar. Also, smh when people mention Uncharted, the most generic character and art design in existence. Game uses like 3 colors to boot.

How does it look "great".

Is this user employed by Ubi India?
 

Vick

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How does it look "great".

Is this user employed by Ubi India?
He shat on Naught Dog art direction and use of colours, when they always made a huge deal out of having employees working on colour palettes only and the importance of it, to defend this scam while claiming it looks great and hoping for them to not change the, non-existent, art in it.. color me surprised if he isn‘t.
 

kruis

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LOL.

What’s fairly obvious is that a huge number of people love to dog-pile on anything Ubisoft. You see it in every thread - people nitpicking over the silliest things, not because they actually care, but because they have an excuse to shit all over Ubisoft for the umpteenth time.

Sure, some people love Prince of Persia... but you’re being awfully naive if you believe this thread is filled with Prince of Persia enthusiasts.

For what it's worth, I got just about all Prince of Persia games for PC/PS in my collection. First PoP game I played was the Jordan Mechner original on a 80286 PC with VGA graphics. The last games I played and completed were PoP 2008 and Forgotten Sands.

I'd played Sands of Time on PS2 but I never completed the other two games in the trilogy, so I was looking forward to a remake of all three games. So imagine my surprise when Ubisoft announced only the first game would get a remake. And it looked like a PS3 game.
 

Greeno

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Why the hell are the characters wearing Indian clothes in the remake? They should be wearing Persian clothes.
 
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Saruhashi

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I'm really feeling a bit annoyed by this recent trend of remakes.

Some of these "remade" games are all time classics and to be honest it would be better to preserve the originals that to entirely remake them.

The main thing they should be focusing on is just giving the original games an upgrade so that they don't look awful on modern screens.
So the originals can be played and enjoyed while also retaining a sense of the time in which they were originally developed.

I much prefer the idea of remastering or just cleaning things up a bit for modern technology.
I don't even know who really wants these remakes?

Maybe they should just leave iconic games alone?
Give them a quick resolution upgrade and you're good to go.

Imagine going to watch a classic movie only to discover that they've kept the script but changed every other aspect "for modern audiences". WTF? Why?

It's like they want to do a new Prince of Persia but don't have any decent ideas so it's like "lets just redo the original".
This is completely unnecessary.
Really, why not just do a new game in the series and then you can have your "unique" artstyle and your new ideas and everything and it's all good?
 

BabyfaceRe

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Fucking knew it! Was chatting to the only PoP fan friend I have and said exactly this; it looks like shit because it's likely using the AC engine and that engine was not built for that. Idiotic decision by Ubi when UE4 exists. They will pay the price with low sales, PoP is one of my all time favourite games and this remake is a fucking embarrassment .

Genuinely what stupid company has the balls the release a trailer that looks like that after seeing spyro,crash, re2 and 3 remakes. How can they think this is up to standard, what a joke.
 

UnNamed

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Siri

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The OG Prince of persia is still the best. Looks better too


For its day Prinice of Persia was a breakthrough title. Incredible animation. And one of the very first 256 colour VGA games to reach the market.

I’ll bet a lot of people looked at your screenshot and thought, yeah, so what - but prior to this game colour palettes were limited to just 16 colours. EGA graphics they were called. The move to 256 colours was huge for its day. Prince of Persia and The Secret of Monkey Island were both on the cutting edge of technology.

Personally, I find it a little weird that most people now think of Sands of Time as being ’a classic’, because for me that description goes to the original game.

Also, I don’t know if anyone else here feels this way, but many of my summers are now defined by the games I played and the movies I saw (in theatre). The summer that E.T. released was memorable. And the summer that Ghostbusters released was memorable. I can even remember the theatres I saw these two films at (both have been demolished).

The summer during which the original Prince of Persia released is memorable for me because I spent a whopping grand on a vga monitor and everyday after work went home and played PoP, giddy with excitement over the amazing tech. I was house-framing that summer (still in university) and making $4.25 an hour, which was minimum wage at the time.
 
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kuncol02

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Fucking knew it! Was chatting to the only PoP fan friend I have and said exactly this; it looks like shit because it's likely using the AC engine and that engine was not built for that. Idiotic decision by Ubi when UE4 exists. They will pay the price with low sales, PoP is one of my all time favourite games and this remake is a fucking embarrassment .

Genuinely what stupid company has the balls the release a trailer that looks like that after seeing spyro,crash, re2 and 3 remakes. How can they think this is up to standard, what a joke.
That game looks that bad not because of engine but because it has atrocious art direction.
 

BabyfaceRe

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That game looks that bad not because of engine but because it has atrocious art direction.
Nah I disagree. Art direction seems totally fine , completely inline with OG sands of time, colour palette, focus on Persian architecture, realism with a stylised edge. Exactly what the franchise needs.

The problem it is incredibly poorly realized, poor models, animations and lighting. That's due to the engine, as I predicted.

Oh and the post is literally the devs confirming that.
 

kuncol02

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Nah I disagree. Art direction seems totally fine , completely inline with OG sands of time, colour palette, focus on Persian architecture, realism with a stylised edge. Exactly what the franchise needs.

The problem it is incredibly poorly realized, poor models, animations and lighting. That's due to the engine, as I predicted.

Oh and the post is literally the devs confirming that.
No it's totally fucked up with changed styles of textures (like throwing highly contrasting tiles where simple stone was in original game). What's more they also changed parts of level design and that changes are baffling to me (why they moved save point from middle of fountain?). And don't foget about contrast cranked to 11.
 

BabyfaceRe

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No it's totally fucked up with changed styles of textures (like throwing highly contrasting tiles where simple stone was in original game). What's more they also changed parts of level design and that changes are baffling to me (why they moved save point from middle of fountain?). And don't foget about contrast cranked to 11.
Dude this is originally a ps2 game obviously visual elements are going to change 2 generations down the line.

They seem to have changed the overall game, it's not a SoT remake looks like the trilogy smashed into one.

Instantly recognizable as PoP, that's what art direction is. Not how much contrast is on the tiles.
 

Neo_game

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This game deserved better treatment. Looks like it was made for PS4. But the time it is released next gen consoles will be out.



 
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kuncol02

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Dude this is originally a ps2 game obviously visual elements are going to change 2 generations down the line.

They seem to have changed the overall game, it's not a SoT remake looks like the trilogy smashed into one.

Instantly recognizable as PoP, that's what art direction is. Not how much contrast is on the tiles.
Are you working on that or what?
You seriously don't see how much they fucked that art style?
How they give background (walls and floors) so much contrast that whole screen become almost unreadable? You don't see how they ruined composition of some levels by moving objects? How ugly everything is, even taking into account fucked up lighting? That whole game looks like some cheap mobile clone of Sands of Time, which is not suprising when you realize that it's made by former Gameloft studio. Epitomy of cheap mobile clones.
 

GreyHorace

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I don't think it looks that bad, but it definitely could have been better.

I'm more pissed at the fact that Ubisoft pulled a Naughty Dog and is using virtue signaling to market this poor excuse of a remake. I really don't care if it was made by their Indian division. At the end of the day, the end result is what speaks to us gamers.

 
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BabyfaceRe

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Are you working on that or what?
You seriously don't see how much they fucked that art style?
How they give background (walls and floors) so much contrast that whole screen become almost unreadable? You don't see how they ruined composition of some levels by moving objects? How ugly everything is, even taking into account fucked up lighting? That whole game looks like some cheap mobile clone of Sands of Time, which is not suprising when you realize that it's made by former Gameloft studio. Epitomy of cheap mobile clones.
Angry much ?

Someone literally posted the comparison right above your comment.

The art direction is clearly intact, that is objectively true.

Your comments about lighting are relevant to how bad it looks now how the art direction has been betrayed, u seem confuse on that one.

As u can see from my original comments I think the game looks like shit and as a fan I wont be buying it as it doesn't hit the standard set by other similar remakes in the last few years.

But saying the art direction is fucked is just dumb dumb talk. Graphics and art direction are not the same, go look at Ghost of Tsushima for a recent example. Also get off your high horse.
 

kuncol02

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Angry much ?

Someone literally posted the comparison right above your comment.

The art direction is clearly intact, that is objectively true.

Your comments about lighting are relevant to how bad it looks now how the art direction has been betrayed, u seem confuse on that one.

As u can see from my original comments I think the game looks like shit and as a fan I wont be buying it as it doesn't hit the standard set by other similar remakes in the last few years.

But saying the art direction is fucked is just dumb dumb talk. Graphics and art direction are not the same, go look at Ghost of Tsushima for a recent example. Also get off your high horse.
If that video for you show intact art direction then we really have nothing to talk about. Seriously it's botched in every possible way and totally missed atmosphere of original one.
 

GreyHorace

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Stylistic choice my arse, this looks like a mobile port.

Even the artstyle itself looks cheap, lazy and generic.

PoP 2008 was far more heavily stylised and original, while looking infinitely better than this bollocks.










Just wanted to say I loved that game. Still pissed that Ubisoft never made a sequel to it.
 

nemiroff

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The more I see, the more I can't fathom why this project wasn't cancelled earlier in the process. Heads will probably roll in the aftermath of this.
 

BabyfaceRe

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If that video for you show intact art direction then we really have nothing to talk about. Seriously it's botched in every possible way and totally missed atmosphere of original one.
So ridiculous, utterly ridiculous.

We clearly have nothing to talk about because you literally don't understand what 'art direction' means.

The art direction is stylised realism with Persian architecture, not stone instead of tiles or X amount of contrast. Their is actual dev diaries where the original devs talk about the what the art direction is. Its not something u make out of a personal choice kuncol02, it is what it is, not what you want it to be.
You may not be happy with how its represented (neither am I) but to say they've pooped on the art direction is just wrong and misinformed/opinionated, sorry.
 

Bombolone

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UBI = Easy money , lazy developer.

That remake will need a remake the same day is released.

Ubisoft is a company who unabashedly shows you where their priorities lie. In game design, budget/intellectual allocation, social/corporate marketing.
I don't hate them for it, but they are such a 'company' within the gaming sphere.
Its like if McDonalds got into gaming.

Ubisoft could be Ubisoft making movies, cars, sweaters and they would still 'feel' and 'operate' in the same way.

Like someone posted in this thread. Some AO would go a long way to making it look more cohesive.
 

BabyfaceRe

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That's not art direction. That's theme.
One and the same buddy. That's the 'theme' or the art direction, the 'theme' of the story is something different and the 'theme' of the combat different again. A good games themes would intersect.

Keep trying though.

How is the difference between the contrast of tiles on a ps2 game compared with the contrast a of tiles of a ps4 game core to art direction?

Is Prince of Persia 2008's cel shading the theme or the art direction? Answer is easy, stop being silly kuncol02, seriously you're misinforming people.
 
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Traxtech

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Anyone else really worried about what they're going to do with splinter cell because of this??