From Sketch to Screen: Secret Agent Clank

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The great thing about the Ratchet & Clank universe being such a diverse and creative place is that you can take something like a robot-spy-themed game and it fits perfectly in. Our Designers do such a great job of helping the Environment Artists visualize the world that on Secret Agent Clank we started with a brainstorming meeting between the two departments.

This consisted of the Designers saying something like “We would love to see Clank stealthily going through a Rio de Janeiro-esque carnival level,” and as the creative types we are as Artists we would say “that’s neat but how about a Space Circus?” After their laughter died down we would bounce ideas around until we all settle on a common vision such as a bird-people carnival level.

So for the carnival level it started as simply as having a tropical, but not beach, level that Clank would stealth his way through. Then the Art Director, Lead Artists, and the Environment Artists would get together and throw around some inspiration (art work, movies, tv shows, books, crayon art on napkins, etc) till we all could envision the level. Once that was settled on then one of the Artists create the concept art that you see below strictly in a 2-D painting program, sketch pad, oil paints, etc.

Carnival level Concept Art

After this was settled on and everyone agreed that this was the amazing level that Clank will be spying, fighting, platforming, and just plain being a super robot spy guy in then we created it in 3-D so we could run around in it. The final product of which ends up looking like is the shot below.

Carnival level Screenshot

The bird carnival level is actually one that stayed very close to the concept art. Some however just use the concept art for color palette, themes, etc. One of the later levels in the game, the half desert, half ocean planet is a good example of this. The concept art is very well done. But the level itself is actually just inspired by the concept art and not a spot on image of it.

Desert level Concept Art

The actual level turned out similar but is definitely different. Sometimes this happens. Once you get it up in actual 3-D and running around it feels different or needs of the level change throughout development. Regardless, it retains the overall feel of the concept art but has is different feel.

Desert level Screenshot

Other level fall somewhere in the middle. The 3-D levels aren’t dead on to their concept art counterparts but they aren’t completely different either. The nighttime skyscrapers level is a good example of this. The concept art was open enough but also had a great feeling to it.

Skyscrapers level Concept Art

So once it got into full production we ended up changing a few things. But keeping the tone, look, and overall feeling of it. It’s definitely much more similar to the concept art than the half desert, half ocean planet is but also not spot-on like the bird carnival level is either.

Skyscrapers level Screenshot

Whether the final level is a splitting image of its concept art, similar to the concept art, or vaguely like the concept art, the whole team is proud of what we’ve been able to push the PSP to in Secret Agent Clank and look forward to seeing what the fans think of all the cool, exciting new worlds that we’ve come up with here at High Impact Games.

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33 Comments

  • SUPER

  • i tryed the demo and loved its .keep up the good job.one thing i want to know will high impact games leave the psp behind like readyatdawn did?we cannt afford to lose another great psp developer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • When is it coming to the PS2, sometime this fall hopefully.

  • I was never a really big fan of clank I always enjoyed ratchet more.

    R&C TOD is in need of some DLC

  • This game looks cool.

    But what I really want are RPGs for the PS3.

    How about you pay some money to Square to get back some of what we lost today? Thanks.

  • If anyone happens to be standing near JamesL007, please slap him upside the head. Thanks. :D

    I have a good amount of respect for concept artists. My artistic skills have never been all that great, but seeing them come to life like that must be pretty cool. Thanks for the insights, and thank you for Secret Agent Clank. :D

  • i wish i could learn to make games, its really ccool how developers make games, from a picture to actual game.

  • I can’t wait for this game

  • Wonder if High Impact would be willing to do an Original IP for an RPG on PSP. PSP is almost as bad as the PS3 for new RPG’s.

    Maybe even do take over where Ready At Dawn left off with God of War COO.

    I really do enjoy their R&C work, but I’d like to see their talent shine on something new.

  • I love concept art, it’s amazing how things change in the final outcome. Keep up the great work High Impact Games, looking forward to Secret Agent Clank.

  • Yeah,yeah,yeah clank! lest talk about the better stuff.

  • I love my PSP, and there is no question I will be picking up this game. I am thankful to any company that takes the time to develop a good PSP game. What I don’t understand is why more companies don’t devote more resourses to making good PSP games. I understand PS3 titles sell better, but they also cost a lot more to develop. Even if a PSP title only ends up selling 300K-600K units, it is still probably very profitable due to the lower development costs. Anyway, keep up the great work!

  • despite of this.. i still love you sony..

  • I agree with you erico… also Naughty Dawg… I love those guys. Let’s get more developers into this whole Blogging thing cuz we gats stuff to tell em!

    Also this game looks sick, haven’t touched my PSP in a while!

  • It does look cool, so close to the PS2 R&C, apart from the AA.

  • Demo was awsome!! Clank need’s some CAMO (cough mgs4) in the next game!

  • lol why even bother? we all know that moneyhungry Sony will make a PS2 port happen. why does the PSP even exist? in other news Star Ocean 4 is a 360 exclusive. great job on securing exclusives, Sony.

  • After playing the demo more, I really like the game. I’m going to preorder this week, so I’ll be able to have it next week. :D

  • Why waste time with this if it’s only going to be on the PS2 later?

    Obviously Sony doesn’t care about selling systems since they sure as hell aren’t doing anything to secure exclusives to the PSP and PS3. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll get an RPG by 2010.

  • @necronzero i know what you mean, i’ve been a PS fan since the first PSone.Talk about a low blow.

  • @fullyshadow
    Seems they are deleting posts…
    and i thought they couldn’t go any lower T_T

    I WAS a PS fan since the days of the PS1, PS2 era was amazing… but PS3 era is just giving me headaches and reasons to cry.

    I WANT STAR OCEAN SONY, I WANT EXCLUSIVES!

    PSN: necronzero
    MSN: necronzero@hotmail.com

  • @23
    Probably because it’s not relevant to this topic.It’s not hard to understand…Your just spamming this blog now.Go to the playstation forums if you want to discuss this .

  • @24 i not spamming this is a blog in which ideas is suppose to be exchange with developer and us the customer.

  • @25 thanks for the support

  • @26
    Actually,the blog is for Sony to release info on the games coming out.Square has nothing to do with Ratchet and Clank.If you want to talk to Jeff,why don’t you click the button on the right side that says email us.He’s answered me several times about things on the blog here.
    The reason they are deleting your comments is that they have no place in this topic.So,yes you are spamming this section.

  • Getting this game day one.Keep up the good work.

  • love it

  • I find something strange with the screenshots posted for this game (not just today,but almost all of them). The screen shots look terrible, jaggy, bad all around. But i played the demo and it looks great, whats that about?

  • The Qore interviews were interesting. Thank you for posting this news, I was unaware that 3d levels can end up looking so far off the original concepts.

  • why did you delete my post??… i love you sony, but you can’t be beated by m$ … i’m angry because i love you so much.. haha.. GET BACK STAR OCEAN!!!.. and LAST REMNANT!! PLEASE.. and dont delete posts, that’s low

  • Very nice job.

    Played the demo and had fun, definitely looks like a good game.

  • I am definitely going to pre order this game next payday. I was skeptical when I first heard that the Ratchet & Clank game was being made by a different developer, but once I played the game, I realized that they did a perfect job of capturing and recreating everything R&C. So, I am really looking forward to see what they are going to do with this game.

  • Something I would like to start seeing in games is more then just the concept art, but after unlocking it that you can then copy it to the memory stick. That way, even when your not playing that game you can quickly show off some of what you’ve unlocked or a bit of the game.

    Besides, I really like a lot of game music and really like the idea of being able to get it straight to my memory stick for later listening.

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