The bandicoot is back! Almost. Enjoy a Q&A with Vicarious Visions
Everyone’s favorite marsupial is in the process of getting enhanced, entranced, and ready to dance in HD graphical glory when he bursts back onto the scene in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. But don’t worry, because the process isn’t that painful for him. Well, it’s not anything that a couple of wumpa fruits won’t fix.
We know Crash has plenty of fans out there, all eager for news about when he’s going to spin things up again. Your patience has paid off! Activision and the development team at Vicarious Visions have been hard at work updating this classic trilog, and they have some big news to share with you — as well as answes to some questions they’ve received from fans — so read on!
When is the N Sane Trilogy Coming out?!
(Yes, that’s 2017)!
Can you believe it?! We can hardly believe it.
Why did you wait until now to tell us?
To torture you!
No, seriously, from our point of view it’s about being confident in a schedule that allows us to deliver on the quality of games we all want. We had to ensure everything’s aligned to deliver it smoothly. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to know these things.
— (Kara Massie, Producer)
What has changed from the original games in the environment art?
This is a great question and something that we’ve been working pretty hard on. The addition of real-time lighting in a PBR (Physically Based Rendering) engine, along with an increase in texture size, can sometimes make our environments look different than the originals.
Generally, while we strive to recreate each level so it looks and feels like the original, we also want to make sure that environments are fun, colorful, and read well in the fast-paced action with the addition of the new technology we are using.
— (Dustin King, Art Lead)
What’s been your favorite level to make art for and why?
I’ve enjoyed working on the prehistoric levels, and I found them to be a good case for reinterpretation. As I started working on them, I found that adding more greenery helped bring more of the earthy, prehistoric look that hearkens back to the illustrations in dinosaur books I loved as a kid. I also decided the path is more like shallow swamp water, since a tar pit would slow the player down.
I like the contrasting mix of familiar elements of earth, fire, water, and plants, and it has been fun trying to effectively blend these elements.
— (Aaron Trulson, Environment Artist)
My favorite level to work on was Future Frenzy. This level was jam packed with lights, signs, and all of these cool futuristic shapes. It was really fun making the city look alive, with all of the neon signs and the flashing lights. Getting the reflections on the buildings to look just right was a lot of work for the engineering team, but I’m really excited with how it turned out.
— (Jeffrey Lee, Environment Artist)
My favorite levels to make art for have been Deep Trouble and Under Pressure. These underwater levels are full of colorful and exotic sea plants that bring the whole environment to life. I wanted to give more depth to these levels, so look out for a fuller looking ocean.
— (Andrew Lee, Environment Artist)
Is The N. Sane Crash wearing shorts or jorts or jeans?
Wow, I actually had to look up ‘jorts’! Our version of Crash is wearing surfer shorts which we felt reads much closer to the shapes, colors, and forms in the original games, and is in line with the original concept art we started from that was provided to us by Sony. We feel it also speaks to his ’90s era persona.
— (Dustin King, Art Lead)
Who are the Voice Actors?
- Fred Tatasciore (Dingodile, Koala Kong, Komodo)
- Debi Derryberry (Coco, Tawna)
- Greg Eagles (Aku Aku)
- Dwight Schultz (Papu, Lab Assistant)
- Maurice LaMarche (Nitrous Brio, Lab Assistant)
- John DiMaggio (Uka, Tiny Tiger)
- Jess Harnell (Crash Bandicoot, Pinstripe Potoroo, Ripper Roo)
- Corey Burton (Doctor N. Gin, Doctor N. Tropy, Baby Cortex)
- Lex Lang (Dr. Neo Cortex)
Why did you remake the soundtrack compositions, instead of reusing the originals?
We are recreating the original compositions to match the high-definition visuals and the updated look and feel of the game. The original music was brilliantly composed and arranged to get the most out of the memory and processing power of the original PlayStation. With much expanded resources, we are able to really improve sound quality and fidelity, while staying faithful to the original compositions.
— (Justin Joyner, Audio Lead)
Remaster or remake? It’s a remake isn’t it? It’s totally a remake? Please settle this.
This is a AAA remaster. We’re giving this the love and attention to detail that we pay to all of our AAA games. We’re building it using the original level geometry so that it plays as close to the original as possible. We’ve also referred to this as a remaster plus, as we are adding new features that we think the fans are going to love!
— (Dan Tanguay, Game Director)
Did you see my idea? Did you read our thread / watch our video / get my letter?
We actually do check online now and then, and we read all our letters. But honestly we’re really, really busy. Did you notice that date? It’s coming up very soon. Like you, we are really huge Crash fans, and we feel that we are taking very good care of what we know is precious to you. There is so much to explain, and we will, in time. For now, please know that we love you, and that we love and appreciate your kind words and support.
— (Kara Massie, Producer)