There are several ways to breathe life into game titles, including remasters, remakes, and ports. Updating your game using any of the above methods can effectively renew interest in games. They can be equally effective if they’re beloved classics or newer titles seeking new platforms to launch on.
No matter which avenue fits your game the best, remastering, remaking, and porting are time-tested ways to expand your title’s audience. In the Magic Media group, we’ve seen the success that these reinvigorating processes can bring. We understand there are strategic reasons for choosing any of these options and the importance of knowing which is best for your business and game. While remastering might be beneficial for one title, remaking or porting could be a better option for another.
Remastering can be seen as an update to an existing game without recreating its code or art assets, leaving those aspects relatively untouched. This process is usually done on games that aren’t considered completely outdated or old and have been released within the prior few years. Remastering is mainly concerned with visual and technical performance updates, and is often achieved with a development partner.
In most remasters, texture quality and sometimes models are updated and even remade to be closer in quality to modern standards. This includes higher-quality textures, models with higher polygon counts, and overall more detailed visuals.
To match the improved quality of visual assets remasters commonly have updated resolutions to be closer in line with modern TV and monitor outputs. For slightly older games, their resolution is often dynamic, with 1080p being achievable. Thanks to modern gaming industry technology, higher frame rates are also achievable with many remastered games achieving a smooth 60FPS.
A perfect example of a well-executed remaster is Dark Souls Remastered, released in 2018. This version of the game featured all the visual upgrades expected and runs smoothly at 60FPS up to 1080p resolution. It maintained the gameplay experience adored by fans globally in a much improved technical and visual state.
Remaking a game is a more intense undertaking than remastering, as it entails rebuilding an existing title from the ground up. Remaking is a sensible move when a game can’t be remastered, which can happen if the code or engine is too out of date, or if the game is simply too old and would benefit more from being rebuilt completely than brushing up its visuals and performance.
The goal of remakes is to recreate an existing game as if it was a brand-new title. This means that its code, visual assets, audio, gameplay, and everything else are completely new, and the game is created in a modern game engine such as Unreal Engine or Unity. The scope of remakes is traditionally kept close to the original version of the title, but it can happen where the remake’s developer includes new content.
Remaking a classic title is a great way of breathing new life into a game and harnessing the nostalgia gamers have for the original version. The Destroy All Humans 2 remake is a perfect example of this. The original version is admired for its humor, unique visual style, and fun gameplay. The remake leaves the spirit of the game intact, but it operates smoother, looks up-to-date, and makes it accessible on modern platforms.
Game porting stands apart from remaking and remastering as an exercise in refinement, testing, and quality assurance. Remaking and remastering games have their own set of challenges, but with our vast experience porting games in the Magic Media group, we understand that porting has its difficulties.
Porting is the act of taking an existing title and bringing it to new platforms. Porting titles between PC, consoles, and mobile devices requires keen attention to detail as it’s time-consuming work. The goal is to ensure a game performs as well as possible on its new target platform, each platform comes with navigating unique intricacies and challenges.
PC is a wildcard as they can have wildly different performance capabilities. Consoles can present difficulties for developers through adapting control schemes and potentially downgrading visual quality if the game is being ported from PC. Mobile platforms face the same challenges, in addition to the large variety of mobile screen sizes, operating systems, and comparatively low potential for outputting high-end visuals.
Quality assurance is a significant part of game porting. Every new version of the game needs to be optimized for its target platform, meaning thorough testing is required to ensure every aspect of the game is working as well as possible before it’s released to the public.
At Magic Media, we understand that maintaining the game’s atmosphere and spirit is paramount, whether we’re working on a port, remaster, or remake. We endeavor to do the original title justice and deliver work that is on par with the original, if not exceeding it.
Whether you’re looking for a co-dev partner to remake a title, port it to new platforms, or remaster it for a modern audience, get in contact with us today! We have a wide range of services including art, VFX, and cinematics that can help breathe new life into your game.