The Wonderful 101 Remastered Environment Lead Talks Super-Sized Challenges

Platinum Games' Yasutaka Maeki says a hero-sized effort went into making The Wonderful 101 Remastered's environment designs.
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The Wonderful 101 Remastered launches May 19 for PlayStation 4, PC via Steam, and Nintendo Switch. Ahead of that date, the game’s lead environment artist, Yasutaka Maeki, spoke about the challenges involved in bringing the superhero drama to life in a dev diary video.

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The team’s overall aesthetic goal for TW101 was to make it look like a diorama, where all the action takes place with a handful of miniatures. Maeki said in theory, that’s easy; it just involves tilt-photography effects and blurring the background a bit. However, it also puts a heap of strain on the processor, so the team had to find other ways to optimize the look.

Maeki’s job as environment artist was, thus, basically to harmonize the concept artist’s vision with the direction team’s goals outlined in the production document. The big task was making sure both goals were something the team could realistically create and achieve the graphical and technical goals set out for the game as well.

However, it’s not just the level design and their unique gimmicks and requirements that take up the environment art team’s focus. Maeki mentioned they give an equal, if not greater, amount of attention to lighting for cutscenes and making sure everything’s just right for character interactions and expressions in general.

In fact, Maeki said that’s one thing he really hopes players notice this time around with The Wonderful 101 Remastered: everything involved in making the character interactions so unique and special.

The Wonderful 101 Remastered‘s insanely successful Kickstarter is technically still ongoing — nearing $2 million — even though development seems complete on the port. However, we don’t know whether optimization is still ongoing or if it’s just a way to help pave the road for future Platinum Games independent projects, like the mysterious Project G.G.

Either way, there’s still one more Platinum Games announcement left for this year, so stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Platinum and The Wonderful 101 Remastered news as it develops.

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Josh Broadwell
Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.