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Why remaking games like Wonder Boy can be creatively inspiring

It's one thing to work on another person's game, it's another to remake a game from 20 years ago and add your own flourish to it.

“For me, I really like working on an old game, because you can add so much and you have a prepared canvas for your work. If’s fun for me, because you don’t have to fight over gameplay issues, it would have been nightmare for for us because we’re both very stubborn.”

-Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap artist Ben Fiquet, referring to his coworker Omar Cornut

When it comes to creative freedom in game development, most developers often speak of wanting to work on their own vision for their own games, rather than trying to adhere to someone else’s style and design. But for Lizardcube artist Ben Fiquet, who recently wrapped up work on remaking the third Wonder Boy game, tuning up old games can be as inspiring and creative as working on an original project. 

Over on the Gamasutra Twitch channel today, we talked with Fiquet and his Lizardcube coworker Omar Cornut (who led development on this version Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap) about remaking old games from the Sega Master System era, and as Fiquet showed us, building art assets and animation for a classic game proved to be as intricate a process as building an emulator to run the game. 

If you watch the whole stream, (seen above), you can also hear Fiquet explain how specific updated animations helped improve the “feel” of Wonder Boy. “Just adding some frames here and there, you convey a sense of smoothness in the animation, of something more natural.”

For more great developer interviews, be sure to follow the Gamasutra Twitch channel, where we also stream our editor roundtables and occasional gameplay commentary. 

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