MASTERS OF THE REMASTER
“One of the challenges is bringing them up to current-day standards but keeping the original mood and feeling,” Mak Malovic says about remastering beloved videogames. Malovic has been in the industry for seven years, the last four of which he’s spent as an environment artist at independent videogame developer Bluepoint Games in Austin, Texas. The studio has now garnered a reputation for delivering high-quality updates of much beloved games, even being dubbed ‘masters of the remaster’.
During this time, Malovic has worked on upgrades of Gravity Rush and the Uncharted series but he admits that remaking the much beloved Shadow of the Colossus was the biggest challenge yet. “Since Shadow has such a large and dedicated fanbase, we knew that any changes we made would be highly scrutinised,” adds Malovic. “We constantly had to ask ourselves ‘Are we going too far? Does it still feel like the original game?’”
The added pressure wasn’t helped by the fact that this was the studio’s first fully blown remake, which involved re-creating all assets from the ground up. Malovic was responsible for creating the incredible architecture seen throughout the game. The process would usually begin with him looking for inspiration in real-world sources and a series’ newer titles, but Shadow of the Colossus is a standalone game so the latter wasn’t applicable.
He goes on to explain these early stages further. “We create a beauty corner representing the ‘new’ look and quality we are striving for.” This starting point is also helpful when it comes to figuring out an asset budget for the team’s performance goals. “We also try to understand how much more detail we can