It may surprise a lot of people when they learn that the Worry of Newport series' first chapter, Part 1, has been remade in a shockingly small time frame compared to it's debut. I've been asked dozens of questions: Why even bother releasing it the first time? Why work on part 2 when you're remaking the first? What will you do about existing reviews and ratings for the old version?
The answer to all of these questions is a simple one. I am doing this series for those of you who enjoy a horror story, or a horror game. I am not doing this for rating, views, download counts, publicity and PR. The old download will stay but be renamed, a new moddb page will not be made, and the old reviews will exist as testament to a time past. I am glad that this series is, so far, an immensely small niche. I am glad it's a drop in the bucket, because that's what makes you--the player--and me connected.
I have looked over the tons of feedback given generously and intelligently to me through here, gamefaqs, crymod, incrysis, emails, and so forth and decided that the best route of pleasing this audience is to deliver the same game again with innumerable improvements, catered towards the aforementioned complaints or issues.
I released part 1 with the attention of pleasing an audience, albeit a small one, that I am part of. Unfortunately through the constraints of knowledge and experience, the finished product of Part 1 is a serious mixed bag at best, with the three reviews at the time of this writing summarizing my own feelings perfectly. It would seem that for the most part, with the release of part 1 now soaked in, that it has been a failure. The graphics and lighting were horrible, one might say. Another might say the esoteric or minimalistic level design of waterfalls out of no where or mountains in the middle of the ocean was bizarre and unfitting. And everyone would say that without a threat or plausible pacing mechanic, the game felt too short and too useless.
All of these questions got under my skin and as I've been heavily boiling down the formula and creating part 2's engine, design philosophy and level design basics I realized I simply can't leave the previous entry in shambles.
I intend to undo the failure in some people's eyes regarding part 1. All of the problems, every one, from level design to the previously mentioned issues, have been removed as best to my ability to keep true to the original game's story and atmosphere, to please this audience. But what is all this theoretical discussion aiming towards? What is the consensus?
Basically that the remake is the same game done better. All navigational bugs have been removed, the entire lsland and port have been redesigned to be easier to navigate and also scarier and more unsettling, the soundscape has been entirely redone and trackview is now used quite a lot in order to introduce previously impossible things. I will give one example, to clarify the type of changes that exist here.
Previously on a scare on the port when the narrator tells Gray about the things living in the water, a growl and splash will proceed and then the top of the pier was charged through by an inviisble assailant. 100% of the gameplay feedback I have watched had players diving in the water, diving into a prop and getting stuck, or standing there dumbfounded as they don't die.
The new scare works like this. The same audio plays warning the player of the immediate attack. The far end of the port is struck by an immense beast, with water splashing every which way. The pier crunches, and sinks a bit down, then again, with the props sliding off or bouncing off the edges. The player can either be knocked out by staying in the area, with a special event happening, or they can escape relatively easily, and the rest of that section of the port will be drug under.
Sounds fun, huh?
While I am beyond excited to have a second shot at pleasing the audience for this series, I know that hypothetical and theoretical discussions and feature updates must be driving you batty. In short, here is a look at one chunk of the final changelog. I should note that Part 1's remake is basically done, so this is not made up on the spot.
Thanks for reading. I hope you're excited again, as I am, for the new refined experience. Please keep your eye out for new images inbound of the remake once decoration and eyecandy work is done.
Expected release date: January 20th, 2011
- A tangible threat has been subtle introduced. You won't fight anything, but through use of trackview or flashbacks I have introduced the basics of what the monsters are, as well as elevating existing scares to whole new levels. Previously on the port, a growl and splash. Now, the pier being dragged into the ocean with you crawling up and away in horror.
- An entirely reworked atmosphere better suited to the story Part 1 tells. If you have read my development log on Blogspot, you will be aware of the first intended atmosphere in the late afternoon, with rich browns and greens and an overall muddy atmosphere. This has been restored on top of a brand new time of day for maximum effect.
- Level design has been streamlined to be way, way less confusing and more guided and professionally done. Lanterns literally exist to guide you on top of the narrative now. Rather than having the entire island lit up in lanterns, they only light up when you need to go that way, and turn off behind you. Not to mention overall level design, including vegetation, has been studied and improved upon to not be constricting or confusing but still look so much better.
- The new book reading system has been polished and tweaked, with all previous overlay messages done away with, replaced with an interactive book/page system.
- Minimalistic level design has been replaced with pseudo realism. Proper mountain design, waterfall/lakes and forest vegetation, with slopes and hills, not just a flat plain.