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Nick Robinson sits down and interviews Adam Isgreen, Microsoft Studios Publishing creative director to discuss the Phantom Dust Remaster and oh boy, does it look badass (and for those wondering, the game is going to be in 1080p and the card system is going to be apart of the cloud now, so the developers can make changes to the card in real-time)
The 2004 original Xbox game Phantom Dust always felt slightly ahead of its time. A unique hybrid of collectible card game and third-person fighting game, Phantom Dust featured gorgeous graphics, a world that felt unlike any other and robust online multiplayer in an era where such a thing was rare.
After Microsoft put a 2014 project to reboot Phantom Dust on hold, it said little about the property until E3 2016, when it dropped the surprise announcement that a re-release of the original game was coming to Xbox One and PC this year. Yet until now, we had little idea what exactly that remaster would look like, beyond one screenshot tweeted by Xbox head Phil Spencer early last month.
So what’s new in this release of the game? We spoke to Adam Isgreen, creative director for Microsoft Studios, to find out exactly what’s changed.
“The biggest thing is moving [Phantom Dust] to 16:9 and moving to native resolution. So what that basically means is that if you’re playing on Xbox One, you’re running at 1080p so the game is going to render at 1080p; if you’re on a PC and you’re playing at 4K resolution, the game will render its assets at 4K,” Isgreen said. “So basically, if you put it in a window, the resolution will be the window size. So we’ve been able to actually take full advantage of whatever you’re playing on and render Phantom Dust correctly at that resolution.”
According to Isgreen, there’s a reason last year’s announcement was so light on details: the team simply didn’t know what it would be able to pull off.
“The biggest challenge that we faced in bringing Phantom Dust back was when we recovered the archives from Japan for the original project, there was no final source code,” Isgreen said. “So everything that we’ve been able to do in this version of Phantom Dust has been through reverse-engineering the binaries, and actually hacking and cracking the code back open again in order to make the improvements and changes that we have.”
“This is one of the reasons why, when we started talking about Phantom Dust and people were like ‘What’s the resolution of the game? Is it 16:9? Is it 4:3?’, the reason was ... we didn’t actually know what we were gonna be able to do because we didn’t have the source,” Isgreen said.
Another huge change: the card data for every single one of Phantom Dust’s skills is now stored on Microsoft’s side, allowing the company to rapidly push out patches and tweak the game’s balance in real-time — something that would’ve been impossible in 2004.
“The really cool thing is that on the data side, we can do anything,” said Isgreen. “The great thing is, we’ve moved all of the card data up into the cloud, so on [a] daily basis I could completely rebalance the game right now,” said Isgreen.
In addition, the team has also made changes to Phantom Dust’s single-player story progression — specifically, the fact that the game’s first few hours previously prevented players from getting right into the game’s core deck-building mechanic.
“If you fail three times on any mission while you’re playing the campaign, you can skip it,” said Isgreen. “You still get your rewards, and we’re OK with that. There are some achievements that are tied to not skipping and doing challenging things, so if people just want to experience the wonderful story of Phantom Dust, that’s definitely one way they can do it.”
On top of that, Microsoft is introducing downloadable content — free and paid — to ease that ramp for newcomers. “There’s a free DLC download you can do the minute you start the game that gives you a whole bunch of skills and an arsenal case so you can jump right into multiplayer with a nice assortment of cards that you can buiild decks from,” said Isgreen. “We’ve also got a whole bunch of accelerants that are in the game on the multiplayer side, so if you want all of the skills immediately, for a couple bucks, you can get all of the skills.”
Isgreen is quick to point out that the team has not altered the original game’s progression to push players towards paid DLC.
“We haven’t changed anything about the way that the original game worked; we’ve just added this as a convenience thing,” Isgreen said. “So if people want to grind and they want to play exactly like they did when the original game came out, that is all in place. Everything about how the game works and functions is there. We really wanted to allow people to jump into multiplayer and play immediately.”
https://www.polygon.com/videos/2017/5/3 ... play-video
Just been re-announced at E3 2016. Out 2017. Seems like a HD Port with modern Xbox Live features & Arena.
Old info -
A new Phantom Dust game is coming exclusively to Xbox One, Microsoft announced today during its E3 press conference.
The new Phantom Dust appears to be an upgraded remake of the original with new gameplay and remade graphics.
Microsoft published the original Phantom Dust for Xbox in Japan in 2004, and by Majesco in North America in 2005. The game was developed by Microsoft Game Studios under the direction of Panzer Dragon and Crimson Dragon director Yukio Futatsugi.
Phantom Dust is an action-strategy game with card-based battling elements in which players explore and collect skills to help them complete missions and defeat other players. The goal is to discover why the Earth has become the way it is: Normal humans have taken to subterranean dwellings to avoid the mysterious dust that coats the world's wasted surface, while humans that can use the dust to fight prowl in search of the Ruins, a memory that exists in the mind of those who now live underground.
http://www.polygon.com/e3-2014/2014/6/9 ... d-xbox-one
Studio developing game closes, MS continuing to work on it -
Independent development studio Darkside Games, which was working on the planned reboot of the cult classic Phantom Dust, shut down this afternoon in the wake of news that Microsoft had cancelled their version of the game, Kotaku has learned.
Microsoft, however, says they're still working on the upcoming Xbox One reboot.
"Microsoft partnered with Darkside Game Studios in the development of 'Phantom Dust,' but our working relationship has now ended," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "We have great respect for their studio and their work in the industry. While we do not have anything new to share on 'Phantom Dust' at this time, we can confirm that development of the title continues. We look forward to sharing more details on the game as we get closer to release."
http://kotaku.com/studio-behind-phantom ... 1686398613