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How do you think a PSP version should work?

posted by hansschmucker on - last edited - Viewed by 362 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
  • @Ash735 said: 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.

    Atrac3... completely forgot about it ever since I gave up my Minidisc player :)

  • @hansschmucker said:
    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.

    I think that would work pretty well in addition to the controls I mentioned, good idea.

    @hansschmucker said: 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

    That could work too but I wasn't very fond of that style of object selection in W&G on the 360, I much preferred the way the cursor was handled in S&M on 360, but maybe they could put in both control schemes? :)

  • Maybe we could add a twist to the classical point-and-click walking system by making the player follow the cursor all the time, while keeping [ ] pressed would cause the player to stop following. It could still provoke the dreaded floor-not-visible issue though.

  • Another idea: And if ToMI continues to have relatively few open spaces, it could work:

    There could be rails that the player follows from hotspot to hotspot. So if you press left below the clothline, he will automatically walk up to the fire. Then if you press x, a cursor appears at the current player position, which you can move until you release the button. The player will then interact with whatever the cursor is pointing at.

    Actually, now that I think about it, that could work without the rails. Just make the player walk with the analog nub and switch to cursor mode as long as he presses X.

  • dont underestimate psp ..if they can port GTA and God of WAR ..monkey shouldnt be a problem..thats what iiiiiiii think

  • I doubt it's worth the headache. It certainly could be done...all the capabilities are there, but from what I hear programming for the PS2/PSP is kinda a PITA. I can see why they do Wii and XBOX (yes I mean 360) versions, but far less have PSP.

    They'd then have to worry about publishing them to UMDs and such, whereas XBOX and Wii they can be just downloaded. And even if you did download it to PSP, (which would mean using a 1gb memory stick at least) how would you keep it from being pirated?

    So...don't hold your breath I think. I happen to have one and I love it btw...before any of you accuse me of fanboyism. :) I definitely wouldn't mind a portable telltale game.

  • We're not, but that discussion belongs into the other thread linked to at the top.

    Kolgax, I answered your post in the other thread.

  • @Kolgax said: They'd then have to worry about publishing them to UMDs and such, whereas XBOX and Wii they can be just downloaded. And even if you did download it to PSP, (which would mean using a 1gb memory stick at least) how would you keep it from being pirated?

    Considering that when PSP Go launches, most (if not all) PSP games will be available as digital downloads on PSN, what you said here isn't true at all.

  • Okay then - if you want to be stubborn, and you really want it to work...

    The only way that I think it'd ever work would be for some VERY enterprising people to get together and make a team to create a TelltaleVM.

    But like you said before, there's no good hardware reason it can't work - all the capabilites are there hardware wise...

  • @Pale Man said: Considering that when PSP Go launches, most (if not all) PSP games will be available as digital downloads on PSN, what you said here isn't true at all.

    My apologies then...erm what is PSP Go? It it like the Wii Store?

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