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Nintendo Employees Discuss Challenges Of Porting Classics To 3DS

Adding stereoscopic 3D graphics to classic titles for the Nintendo 3DS' "3D Classics" series is not as simple a process as it might seem, according to the developers responsible for some of the ports.
Adding stereoscopic 3D graphics to classic titles for the Nintendo 3DS' "3D Classics" series is not as simple a process as it might seem, according to the developers responsible for the ports. In a new Iwata Asks conversation, Nintendo special planning & development department employee Takao Nakano recalls some of the problems that caused development on the 3D Classics version of top-down space shooter Xevious to take roughly 20 times as long as a normal port. Elements that made visual sense in the 2D original game -- like bombs that hit the ground immediately when fired -- caused "all sorts of discrepancies" once the player's ship was shown floating above the ground in the 3D version, Nakano said. Adding a short interval between firing and impact fixed the visual problem, but ended up altering the classic Xevious gameplay slightly, he pointed out. "It was a big challenge making something that would satisfy fans of the original and provide a fresh surprise on the Nintendo 3DS system," Nakano said. The team also ran into trouble porting NES/Famicom classic Tennis to a stereoscopic view, finding that adding new 3D collision detection for the ball and racket would "[take] as much work as making a tennis game from scratch," Nakano said. The port was eventually scrapped. Elsewhere in the interview, Nintendo software development & design employee Kenta Tanaka talked about his efforts to make 3DS eShop versions of classic Game Boy titles as authentic as possible, adding effects like a green tinted background and old LCD-style "ghosting" afterimages for moving sprites. "I even recreated the way the red LED on the left-hand side of the screen cover would grow a little faint when the power started running low," Tanaka pointed out. "I don't know if anyone will like that, but I paid attention to that as well."

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