Retro/Grade: Playable at PAX Prime & Win a Chance to be in the Credits

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Matt Gilgenbach here. We’ve been pretty silent for the past year since I last visited the PlayStation.Blog about Retro/Grade, but that’s because 24 Caret Games has been hard at work transforming our prototype shown at the 2009 Independent Games Festival into an awesome PSN title.

As you can see in the screenshots, all the graphics have been redone in order to take advantage of the power the Playstation 3 provides. Retro/Grade will look amazing on your HDTV because it runs at Full HD (1080p) with anti-aliasing at a silky smooth 60 frames per second.

retrograde4 retrograde3

On the gameplay side, we’ve been very busy working to ensure that it is the most fun possible. After some serious focus testing, any rough spots in the gameplay have been smoothed out. Our composer, Skyler McGlothlin, has worked hard to improve all our original tracks for the game. We’ve adjusted the gameplay patterns for maximum enjoyment. In order to help people wrap their minds around our time bending concepts, the tutorial has been greatly improved.

If you are going to the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle on September 3-5, stop by booth 3008! Retro/Grade will be playable, and we are giving out posters and info cards. As well, you can win a Retro/Grade t-shirt by beating our challenge.


On top of all that, we are having a contest to get your name in the credits for Retro/Grade! The gamers with the top five scores using the guitar controller and the top five scores with the DUALSHOCK 3 at PAX will be mentioned in Retro/Grade’s credits. It should be a great time, so be sure to stop by!

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9 Author Replies

  • not much of a schump fan, but this looks kinda neat.

  • Yeah, I think I’ve see this game before but the graphics are totally different. Cool Beans!!!

  • Wow, you really overhauled the graphics! Looks fun.

  • I thought this game looked cool before! It was such a cool concept, and now it has the graphics to boot. I still think it would be weird to play this with a guitar controller though.

  • oh ! look like einhander ?!?

  • This game intrigues me. I still don’t fully understand it, but, even if there is a demo; i will insta-buy it without even bothering with the demo lol. :D Something about it just… I need to play it haha. >.>

  • I’m really excited about this game! (I love music games… and I love unique/creative games… so this is a combo of two of my favorite types of games!)

    Honestly though, that trailer wa kinda dumb… The voice was boring, and the trailer made the game look pretty boring as well.

    I’m still very excited about this game though, so no worries about losing me at least!

    • Sorry you didn’t like the trailer. It’s hard to put together a trailer for the game since the idea is off the wall, so we tried to do just introduce the idea of playing backwards.

      I’m happy to hear you are still interested!

  • I forgot about this game, but now I want it again.

  • ‘da hell is this?

    • Retro/Grade is a rhythm game/shmup hybrid game where time is reversing! The player has to undo his/her actions during backward battles. It’s coming to PSN in 2011. Did that answer your question? If not, I’d be happy to explain more about the game.

  • @9
    ‘da hell is your problem?

    anyway, i thought you guys had abandoned this game after not hearing anything about it for a while. nice to see improvements made. i love colorful games so this one is definitely on my watch list :)

    • No, we definitely have not abandoned it. We’ve just been busy improving the game, so we haven’t had time to release new info.

  • Looks fun.

  • Looks like fun. Thanks for taking the time to optimize it for PS3 — 1080p + AA @ 60fps looks great! (Assuming, of course, there’s no screen tearing. I’m looking at YOU, DeathSpank!)

    One question on the visuals, though: why don’t any of the lights reflect off of the surfaces below or to the side or on the ship itself?

    Will the music be 24-bit HD? at least losslessly compressed? I was excited for Fret Nice, but after hearing the awful audio quality in its demo, I skipped the purchase.

    It’s been a great summer sales-wise for indie developers on PSN, I hope your guys’ release does decently as well!

    • There won’t be screen tearing. Don’t worry!

      As far as the lights not appearing on other surfaces, we are constantly improving the graphics, so the released game will have more visual effects than what we have currently. I can’t promise we’ll have time to implement that, but we’ll do our best.

      We haven’t decided on how we will encode our audio, but we’ll make sure it’s very high quality.

      Thank you for the well wishes!

  • Do the winners get residuals to go along with the credits? :p

  • looks much better since the last time!

  • I was just wondering what the game was. I couldn’t even guess what was going on. So i said “‘da hell is this?” But it does look pretty cool, since you explained it to me :)

    • My bad! I should have included some background on the game since our last post on the Playstation Blog was over a year ago, so many people may not be familiar with it. Although it looks like a shooter, time is flowing backwards, so you have to match your previous actions, which are all timed to the rhythm of the music. We have just relaunched our website: so you can find more info about the game there.

  • Yeah, that’s it – a rhythm game. Seem like this was on a different system (I’m not going to say which).

  • This game reminds me of TURMOIL for the atari 2600!!!

  • re: audio quality,

    I totally understand there’s a bit budget with certain pricing tiers that needs to be acknowledged in order to reduce digital distribution costs and maximize income.

    There’s a couple of ways to balance HD audio and minimizing distribution costs:

    1. mix at 24-bit and use both 16-bit and 24-bit assets, upsampling the 16-bit assets during the mix. That way, assets that get a lot out of the increased dynamic range of 24-bit (explosions, live orchestral score/drums, unprocessed human voice, etc) can be encoded that way, while the rest can be 16-bit.

    2. use mixed AAC and losslessly-compressed (FLAC, etc) assets. maximizing AAC @ 320kbit/sec is pretty much a no-brainer unless one is making a WiiWare or iPhone app. For my tastes, AAC for 16-bit assets and reserving FLAC for 24-bit is usually fine.

    3. 48khz is useless for heavily processed human voice. using 44.1khz with AAC in VBR can save quite a bit of space when compared to 48khz. again, saving 48khz for 24-bit assets can help make the space in the bit budget for those 24-bit assets in the first place.

    Thanks for answering my nerdy questions, this is looking to be a day one purchase for me!

  • Looks really slick :) but I’m struggling to focus on the shots when the lit building windows pass in the background.

  • You need a better union Matt :p

  • Game looks good. That voice-over sounds absolutely terrible. You should really change it.

    • Sorry to hear you don’t like the voice over. It’s just something we put together for the purposes of the trailer. It won’t appear in game.

  • Whoa, I was wondering what happened to this when I saw the first blog post a year ago. The concept sounded awesome when I first read about it.

    I see this being a Day 1 for me.

  • wow, this is my first time seeing this but i really want this now. hopefully we’ll see more til its release.

  • Doesn’t look that interesting. I’ll stick to Söldner-X.

  • The first time I saw a trailer for Retrograde…seems like at least a year ago…I was tickled. Call me intrigued but the idea of a time-controlled rhythm-based SHMUP is absolutely delightful.

  • I wish I can go!

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