Posted on June 03 2011 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
Nintendo World Report tells us that aside from the already-announced Excitebike and Xevious, there are four additional titles undergoing a “3D Classics” retreatment for the 3DS. What exactly they are is still under wraps, but I imagine at least one or two more first-party Nintendo games are among the bunch. They also got some insight into the development history for the classics line – how long they’ve been in conception, and the challenges of converting old NES games into 3D.
Development on 3DS Classics started at the end of 2009. The latest Iwata Asks has some insight on the process. The games may seem like straight ports, but there is a lot of work in making them 3D. For instance, the first title the team tried was Xevious, but when they made it they realized it looks off to have these enemies shooting at the flying ship from the ground, or having the ship drop bombs to the ground on 2 simple planes.
In other words, there has to be a clear sense of intermediate depth between the 2 planes for it to look correct.
At first I was a little surprised that it’s taken so long to produce a simple 3D effect on an already ages-old game, but hearing some talk about the process has put me in my place. None of these games were designed with 3D in mind, so they really do have to be totally reinvented in order for it to come off correctly. Add the challenge of maintaining its original integrity amidst the revisions, plus the fact that it certainly must have taken a long time to get used to correctly developing in 3D in general on top of that, and I can definitely see the justification for a long development cycle.