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How do you think a PSP version should work?

posted by hansschmucker on - last edited - Viewed by 379 users

This is not a petition. The decision to make a PSP version of this or any other game is entirely up to them, I'm simply thinking aloud here how I think a PSP version could work best.

If you want to discuss why a PSP version should or should not be done, please go this thread that DjNDB found.

Graphics
The thing about the PSP is that the screen is relatively low-res for its size. For example if the screen had the density of my cell phone's screen it would be around 800x480 pixels, but it's 480x272. That's not a problem for movies, but since the PSP isn't fast enough to enable antialiasing on even moderately complex scenes you get a lot of flickering for small objects.
However, there's a lot of storage available, so why not prerender the backgrounds? Sure, that sounds like you could only walk through static images, but hear me out:
The PSP has a pretty good h264 (video) decoder. And even considering that you would have to include most routes twice (you can't easily play a video backwards) one route like the pier that's roughly 20 seconds end-to-end plus 10 seconds for the side routes (to jungle, to ship) would end up around 3 MB for EXCELLENT quality. Add a Z buffer at high quality and it may be 5 for but never more.

Of course these scenes would have to be static. Having animated parts would multiply the size of the whole route by the number of frames.

Using realtime animation for certain elements (like actors) would usually look pretty horrible, but since the video decoding would take up far less processing time than rendering the scene, maybe there would be enough time to enable antialiasing on the remaining elements.

Put that all together and you'd get a pretty amazing package that would far exceed the usual standard of PSP games and would probably require less work than trying to make the scenes look good in realtime.

Sound
Well, no big surprises here. Midi would work out nicely.

Controls
For a PSP release the controls would definitely have to be adjusted. Hot spot selection would have to make a return.

The Rest
One thing you have to keep in mind on mobile platforms is that users often play for only a very short time. So add a summary of the current tasks to the pause screen, so that when a user returns, he gets a short reminder what he was doing before he left.
Also, autosave is crucial. Users zap in and out of games far more often on a mobile device than they do on a PC. So do a quick autosave when the user exits and when he returns, don't bother loading the menu. Just return straight to the pause screen with the aforementioned reminder.


Any other thoughts?

34 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I doubt Telltale would ever develop games for the PSP (and probably not DS either) but I'd love to see some exclusives on those consoles. They don't really need to worry about the graphics - it's the humour and story that makes their games. I'm afraid I don't have anything useful to add to your suggestions!

  • Clever thought on using video for pre-rendered backgrounds.

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    DjNDB Moderator

    There is a PSP port thread in the support forum you might be interested in.

  • Thanks, I've updated the first post with a link, so that people who want to discuss why a port should or should not be done can talk about it there.

    LuigiHann, as much as I would like to take credit for it, it's not really a new idea, just one I think may be worth considering. That kind of thing has been done ever since CDs appeared. Final Fantasy 7 comes to mind, or Rebel Assault.

  • @hansschmucker said:
    Sound
    Well, no big surprises here. Midi would work out nicely.

    PSP can be coded to playback whatever audio type as long as the engine allows it, to be really honest, if the PC episodes stay around 200MB, then it seems perfectly possible to fit a whole season onto a Single UMD without compressing the audio even more or switching the music to MIDI based, it could still use the PC style of the higher captured OGG files.

    And yes it does seem sad that even a PSP has a major storage advantage over the Wii. :p

  • I think TMI would work really well on PSP, use the analog nub for movement and the buttons to move the cursor, left bumper could open the inventory and right could click on things.

    PSP is just a little less powerful than PS2, and Wii is just barely more powerful than an Xbox, so the graphics from the Wii version would be roughly equal quality (considering how compressed they were to fit in 40mb in the first place) to what PSP could handle, given the smaller screen resolution and all.

  • PSP is actually weird, Developers can now use the full CPU power which now puts it past the PS2 in terms of power, combined with the Memory Stick (and soon to be Hard Drive) loading it pretty much puts the game reads and seek speed past the PS2 as well. Given that TellTale have squashed the game into a compressed mess for the Wii, doing a PSP versions would seem to have miles more freedom. :)

  • @Ash735 said: PSP can be coded to playback whatever audio type as long as the engine allows it, to be really honest, if the PC episodes stay around 200MB, then it seems perfectly possible to fit a whole season onto a Single UMD without compressing the audio even more or switching the music to MIDI based, it could still use the PC style of the higher captured OGG files.

    And yes it does seem sad that even a PSP has a major storage advantage over the Wii. :p

    Both would work. I was just mentioning MIDI since it's a good deal smaller while offering good quality. But in the end you'd probably use whatever is easier to implement, which would probably be AAC.

  • Console view, AT3 would be best for the PSP as that's what format it uses for menu sounds, clips, etc, and most games use that to, for example, the GTA games used AT3 for Cutscene Audio and the Radio Stations.

    But once again, with a bit of tweaking it can play any format, ScummVM on the PSP is in a small way proof of that, barly using more CPU power to decode MP3, OGG and FLAC. That and the console itself by default has the codecs for WMA, MP3, AAC and PCM playback.

  • @Pale Man said: I think TMI would work really well on PSP, use the analog nub for movement and the buttons to move the cursor, left bumper could open the inventory and right could click on things.

    PSP is just a little less powerful than PS2, and Wii is just barely more powerful than an Xbox, so the graphics from the Wii version would be roughly equal quality (considering how compressed they were to fit in 40mb in the first place) to what PSP could handle, given the smaller screen resolution and all.

    You think so? I am a little bit afraid that the imprecision of this setup, combined with relatively small objects could make this an issue.

    Maybe it could be combined: The cursor moving mouse-style, but snapping to the closest hotspot if you let it rest for half a second.

    Or the controls could be rewritten entirely:
    Analog nub: Move. Focus on closest hotspot when movement ends.
    L/R: Cycle hotspots, closest to farthest.
    X: Action
    O: Back
    /\: Inventory
    Start: Pause
    Select: Menu

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