Inside Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake, the Debut Recreation for Ubisoft India Studios


Prince of Persia is rolling again the clock, once more. Seventeen years on from the discharge of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Ubisoft has introduced its first-ever full-fledged remake. And in a little bit of surprising information, it […]

Prince of Persia is rolling again the clock, once more. Seventeen years on from the discharge of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Ubisoft has introduced its first-ever full-fledged remake. And in a little bit of surprising information, it is Ubisoft India Studios — the mixed would possibly of Ubisoft Pune and Ubisoft Mumbai — that’s main improvement on the remake. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake — because it’s formally identified — is the very first title created by Ubisoft India Studios. It has been created from the bottom up with a brand new engine, re-recorded dialogue, and new digicam angles.

Greater than 170 workers between Mumbai and Pune have spent over two years engaged on Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake, with its sprint to the end line falling below the COVID-19 cloud. Ubisoft’s India workplaces have been shut since March when the nationwide lockdown was introduced, and the gaming large supplied work-from-home tools and help to all of its workers, to assist them full the Prince of Persia remake, in what are the important thing months main as much as recreation’s launch.

Ubisoft India Studios managing director Jean-Philippe Pieuchot claims it is the end result of the primary end-to-end console manufacturing from India: “With this remake Ubisoft has pioneered AAA experience in India. […] This milestone paves the street to the way forward for the Indian gaming business.”

Why would not it look nice?

Whereas Pieuchot is touting it as a AAA title, the primary have a look at the sport — be it trailer or screenshots — is not very promising, when it comes to graphics. For a title that makes use of the identical engine (AnvilNext 2.0) as Murderer’s Creed Origins, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake appears to be like nothing prefer it. The truth is, it appears to be like one thing that belongs to the earlier period. It is a concern shared by different publications and plenty of Prince of Persia followers on Twitter.

“You may make certain that the sport shall be prime notch [upon release in] January 2021,” Ubisoft Mumbai and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake recreation director Pierre-Sylvain Gires advised Devices 360. “You may make certain that the polish shall be there.

“Sure, we’re utilizing Murderer’s Creed Origins’ Anvil engine, however that was only a base and we revealed quite a lot of issues round this engine to truly go well with Prince of Persia Sands of Time Remake. Not solely the tech method with the rewind options and all these issues that wanted to be reworked, however just like the creative path is meant to be totally different than Murderer’s Creed Origins.

“We needed the sport to have a novel look that served the aim of the sport. The narration and storyline [in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time] is a fantasy. It is one thing that’s near the [Middle Eastern folk tale collection] One Thousand and One Nights feeling. So, it’s intentional to have a novel look that serves the aim of the sport, with a brand new lighting method [and more] saturation of the colors to assist the magic and the fantasy of the story to truly pop from the display.”

Ubisoft Pune senior producer Annu Koul thinks the brand new Anvil engine allowed them to present a “fashionable twist” to Prince of Persia, however nonetheless keep “true to what our recreation was earlier than.”

A white actor voicing a Center Japanese prince

Talking of staying true to the 2003 unique, Yuri Lowenthal returns because the voice and motion-capture actor for the titular Prince. That is a curious casting selection, particularly in a 12 months the place there was renewed outcry over white actors voicing non-white characters throughout the realms of leisure. It is affected The Simpsons, Household Man, Netflix’s Massive Mouth, and Apple TV+’s Central Park. Many exhibits and creators have even pledged to now not have white actors voice non-white characters.

“It is a very, excellent query that you’re asking me right here,” Gires stated. “And I can let you know that after we handle the casting for our characters […] we did pay quite a lot of consideration to the origin of our actors. We are literally casting out of a really giant panel, and […] and we truly attempt to get as genuine as attainable.

“However relating to the prince, Yuri Lowenthal, […] he [was cast] as some other actor. He was shortlisted and chosen due to his voice. And we did take a name all collectively, that since we needed to play on the nostalgia [of the original] — I believe Yuri’s voice additionally hasn’t aged — and he has such an vitality and his character was like a lot just like the Prince, that we now have to go together with him.”

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Princess Farah and the Prince in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake
Picture Credit score: Ubisoft

Moreover, Gires famous that the feminine lead character of Farah, an Indian princess, was being voiced by Supinder Wraich, a Canadian actress of Indian origin.

And through a presentation to journalists, Koul spoke in regards to the native data and cultural expertise Ubisoft India Studios was in a position to deliver to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake that begins in Ninth-century India at a fictional Maharaja’s palace. She known as it “an honour.”

Why Prince of Persia remake is an honour

Koul’s crew at Ubisoft Pune took care of the extra technical facets, engaged on the sport engine, rendering, digicam, controls, fight, missions, and AI and information administration. Ubisoft Mumbai dealt with the artistic facet of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake, which concerned the artwork (design, idea, stage, technical and 3D artwork), animation, mo-cap, recreation and stage design, FX, and UI.

It suited the crew’s strengths. Ubisoft Pune was arrange in 2008 primarily for high quality management (QC). Even because it’s grown from 100 workers in 2009, 500 workers in 2016, and 1300+ in 2020, high quality management stays its major beat. 70 p.c of its workforce does QC, with the remaining 30 p.c dedicated to manufacturing.

Then again, Ubisoft Mumbai — arrange in 2018 to be devoted to AAA titles — is fully dedicated to manufacturing, although it does have solely 100 workers proper now. Ubisoft additionally has an R&D unit established on the IIT Bombay, one of many nation’s prime technical universities, with lower than 30 folks engaged on AI, information, and machine studying.

Pieuchot remarked that AAA recreation improvement is not an in a single day enterprise. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake has been made attainable due to Ubisoft’s investments over a decade in the past.

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The Prince operating on partitions in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake
Picture Credit score: Ubisoft

When Ubisoft India Studios learnt it might get to work on Prince of Persia, the groups have been elated. Gires stated: “We’re all very excited and really, very joyful to have the ability to work on this primary remake from Ubisoft. As a franchise, Prince of Persia is beloved locally, and for the studio in India as nicely. To have the ability to work on such a recreation is an honour.”

Koul added: “I am certain, like us, you might have grown up with this recreation. We now have all grown up with this recreation, and for a lot of crew members, this recreation has proven them that there generally is a profession in a gaming business. So, the sport which has given us a profession, it was at all times an honour to work on that recreation, and to showcase that recreation to the world now.”

Rewind the clock

Launched in late 2003 first for the Recreation Boy Advance, adopted rapidly by PS2, Xbox, Home windows, and a model for mobiles, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is famous as one of many best video video games of all time. It follows the titular Prince, the son of Sharaman and inheritor to a Persian kingdom, as he discovers an hourglass and a dagger as his father sacks a Maharaja’s metropolis. The Maharaja’s solely daughter, Farah, is kidnapped as a present for the Sultan of Azad.

Once they arrive in Azad, the Prince’s father presents the hourglass as a present to the Sultan, however a Vizier tips the Prince and has him stab the hourglass with the dagger, releasing the Sands of Time contained inside. They rework the residents into savage monsters and the Prince should then work with Farah to undo the injury. The dagger permits gamers to rewind time, kill, and freeze enemies.

Now, over 17 years on, you are able to do all of it once more. Koul famous that that is “a remake, not a remaster nor a reboot. We needed to present gamers the chance to expertise this recreation once more, or for the very first time however with a contemporary twist.”

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake shall be out there January 21, 2021 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Although the sport will not have a correct launch on PS5 and the Xbox Sequence household, it is going to nonetheless run on next-gen consoles due to backward compatibility, Koul assured us. It would price €40 (about Rs. 3,500) throughout platforms.

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