How PS VR sequel Pixel Ripped 1995 created the perfect homage to 90’s gaming

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How PS VR sequel Pixel Ripped 1995 created the perfect homage to 90’s gaming

Enjoy throwbacks to classic game genres in this nostalgia-fueled title, out next week

We’re thrilled to announce that Pixel Ripped 1995 is coming to PS VR Tuesday, 19th May in Europe! In anticipation, we decided to share more about our new co-protagonist David and explain how we designed his world to transport players back to 1995!

In the Pixel Ripped series, Dot is a video game heroine who must protect the Pixel Stone, an artifact keeping the balance between the Game World and the Human World. As the evil Cyblin Lord takes the Stone’s power for himself, Dot seeks the help of a human player to beat the villain in both realms. In Pixel Ripped 1989, Dot fought alongside the rebellious British student Nicola, but now it’s time for David Keene, an unassuming nine-year-old boy from New Jersey, to prove he’s the best player from 1995.

Pixel Ripped 1995 on PS4

Virtual reality has the power to transport us to the most fascinating places, and with Pixel Ripped, we have the opportunity to travel through time. Designing David’s universe, we wanted players to feel immersed in a distinctive 90’s world, seen through the eyes of an eager child. The environment should feel authentic, but we knew it needed a lot more wonder and excitement than reality could provide.

Pixel Ripped 1995 on PS4Pixel Ripped 1995 on PS4

 

Our approach was to ground our research not only in real life places and experiences, but also in the way movies and TV shows portrayed life at the time. That means our players can relive glorious mundane moments, like fighting for the last copy of your favorite game at the rental store or beating your friend’s high scores at the arcade, while feeling like the star of a kid action movie with parents that could have come straight out of a family sitcom.

Pixel Ripped 1995 on PS4

The change of setting from Nicola’s authoritarian school to David’s winter holidays with his parents spontaneously turned the story into a more intimate tale, focused on personal relationships. Unlike the satirical villains from 1989, our new characters needed depth to feel like people David cared about.

Pixel Ripped 1995 on PS4

During playtests, we implemented rough versions of the dialogue, recorded by ourselves, to gather feedback about the characters. Our biggest struggle was with David’s mother, Karen, whose overprotectiveness and fear of technology set her up as one of the main antagonists. Through various rewrites, we realized that showing Karen’s quirks and vulnerabilities behind the strict mother facade helped players relate to her, even when she was making their games harder.

Pixel Ripped 1995 on PS4

This process also helped us find Karen’s voice. Since I had recorded her dialogue tests, Karen used to share my Brazilian accent. This resonated with our Lead Artists, who proposed to redesign her as Latina. The team loved the idea and, by the end, we decided she would be Mexican. The team’s collaborative work, amplified by the incredibly talented voice actress Michelle Bonilla, made Karen go from just a gameplay obstacle to a vibrant, memorable character.

Pixel Ripped 1995 on PS4

Designing the universe of Pixel Ripped 1995 involved a lot of research, hard work and hilarious brainstorming sessions. But above it all, it was about pouring our hearts into this story. Our amazing creative director Ana Ribeiro lets her passion for video games shine through each corner of the game and every day she inspired us to do the same. Slowly, David’s world became a mosaic of our collective childhood memories, carrying a little bit of ourselves in the most significant ways. Now, we invite you to make it your own as well!

Pixel Ripped 1995 on PS4

We can’t wait to hear all of your thoughts after the game’s launch! And while you’re here, why don’t you tell us some of your favorite memories of being a gamer in the 90’s?

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0 Comments

  • Somehow this motivates me to buy the first one

  • I really wanna pick up the first game before this. Been meaning to do that For a while. They look exactly like my sort of game.

    Memories of gaming in the 90’s… Playing SEGA and Nintendo games in HMV. Trading in and buying old cartridges, many without a case. Playing games like Sensible Soccer and Mortal Kombat with mates. Arguments with school mates over which was better SEGA or Nintendo, Mario or Sonic. Good times.

  • “And while you’re here, why don’t you tell us some of your favorite memories of being a gamer in the 90’s?”

    SWOS and F1 with friends on Amiga 500. Mario on NES, Mortal Kombat 2 on SNES – writing special moves on paper (copied from a friend’s gaming magazine) and then practising. Prince of Persia on Intel 286 at school.

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