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Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was Built Almost Entirely from Scratch

by Jennifer Locke

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Vicarious Visions is bringing Naughty Dog’s classic platformer Crash Bandicoot back to PlayStation 4 on June 30th, and in a new interview the developers revealed just how much work went into the process. As it turns out, Vicarious had to rebuild nearly the entire game from scratch without the source code.

“Almost everything was missing,” Vicarious Designer Dan Tanguay said to Ars Technica in an interview.

“The original engine was specifically built for PlayStation 1. Naughty Dog pushed [the PS1] to the limits. They made a fantastic engine for doing that. That engine didn’t see the light of day beyond PlayStation 1, as far as I know, and it certainly wasn’t usable by us. Any code, anything like that, we didn’t have access to.”

Though they could not get their hands on the code, Tanguay did mention that the team received all three games’ 3D meshes thanks to Sony and Naughty Dog, who provided the team with a series of hard drives. Unfortunately, Vicarious went through some amount of work decoding them as they were compressed in weird formats according to Tanguay. These meshes then helped create the architecture and worlds that Crash explores.

Kara Massie, a Producer at Vicarious, said that the team watched video comparisons to ensure that the remaster was faithful to the original. The developers even relied on “hardcore fans in quality assurance and design” who tested the game and offered feedback.

Making games is undoubtedly hard work, and it seems that Vicarious had to perform some technical wizardry to make this remaster happen. In a little over a week, players will find out if all that labor paid off.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is coming to PlayStation 4 on June 30, 2017 and features remasters of Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. Coco, Crash’s sister, will be a playable character in all three games.

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