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

Prince of Persia is rolling again the clock, once more. Seventeen years on from the launch of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Ubisoft has introduced its first-ever full-fledged remake. And in a bit of surprising information, it is Ubisoft India Studios — the mixed may 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’s been created from the floor up with a brand new engine, re-recorded dialogue, and new digital camera angles.

More than 170 staff 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 underneath the COVID-19 cloud. Ubisoft’s India places of work have been shut since March when the nationwide lockdown was introduced, and the gaming large offered work-from-home gear and help to all of its staff, to assist them full the Prince of Persia remake, in what are the key months main as much as sport’s launch.

Ubisoft India Studios managing director Jean-Philippe Pieuchot claims it is the fruits of the first end-to-end console manufacturing from India: “With this remake Ubisoft has pioneered AAA expertise in India. […] This milestone paves the road to the future of the Indian gaming industry.”

Why would not it look nice?

While Pieuchot is touting it as a AAA title, the first look at the sport — be it trailer or screenshots — is not very promising, in phrases of graphics. For a title that makes use of the identical engine (AnvilSubsequent 2.0) as Assassin’s Creed Origins, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake appears nothing prefer it. In reality, it appears one thing that belongs to the earlier period. It’s a concern shared by other publications and lots of Prince of Persia followers on Twitter.

“You can be sure that the game will be top notch [upon release in] January 2021,” Ubisoft Mumbai and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake sport director Pierre-Sylvain Gires advised Gadgets 360. “You can be sure that the polish will be there.

“Yes, we are using Assassin’s Creed Origins’ Anvil engine, but that was just a base and we revealed a lot of things around this engine to actually suit Prince of Persia Sands of Time Remake. Not only the tech approach with the rewind features and all those things that needed to be reworked, but like the artistic direction is intended to be different than Assassin’s Creed Origins.

“We wanted the game to have a unique look that served the purpose of the game. The narration and storyline [in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time] is a fantasy. It’s something that is close to the [Middle Eastern folk tale collection] One Thousand and One Nights feeling. So, it is intentional to have a unique look that serves the purpose of the game, with a new lighting approach [and more] saturation of the colours to help the magic and the fantasy of the story to actually pop from the screen.”

Ubisoft Pune senior producer Annu Koul thinks the new Anvil engine allowed them to offer a “modern twist” to Prince of Persia, however nonetheless keep “true to what our game was before.”

A white actor voicing a Middle Eastern prince

Speaking of staying true to the 2003 authentic, Yuri Lowenthal returns as the voice and motion-capture actor for the titular Prince. That’s a curious casting selection, particularly in a yr the place there was renewed outcry over white actors voicing non-white characters throughout the realms of leisure. It’s affected The Simpsons, Family Guy, Netflix’s Big Mouth, and Apple TV+’s Central Park. Many reveals and creators have even pledged to not have white actors voice non-white characters.

“It’s a very, very good question that you are asking me here,” Gires mentioned. “And I can tell you that when we manage the casting for our characters […] we did pay a lot of attention to the origin of our actors. We are actually casting out of a very large panel, and […] and we actually try to get as authentic as possible.

“But regarding the prince, Yuri Lowenthal, […] he [was cast] as any other actor. He was shortlisted and selected because of his voice. And we did take a call all together, that since we wanted to play on the nostalgia [of the original] — I think Yuri’s voice also hasn’t aged — and he has such an energy and his character was like so much like the Prince, that we have to go with him.”

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

Additionally, 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 throughout a presentation to journalists, Koul spoke about 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 workforce at Ubisoft Pune took care of the extra technical facets, engaged on the sport engine, rendering, digital camera, controls, fight, missions, and AI and information administration. Ubisoft Mumbai dealt with the artistic aspect of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake, which concerned the artwork (design, idea, degree, technical and 3D artwork), animation, mo-cap, sport and degree design, FX, and UI.

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

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

Pieuchot remarked that AAA sport improvement is not an in a single day enterprise. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake has been made doable as a result of of 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
Photo Credit: Ubisoft

When Ubisoft India Studios learnt it will get to work on Prince of Persia, the groups have been elated. Gires mentioned: “We’re all very excited and very, very happy to be able to work on this first remake from Ubisoft. As a franchise, Prince of Persia is beloved in the community, and for the studio in India as well. To be able to work on such a game is an honour.”

Koul added: “I’m sure, like us, you have grown up with this game. We have all grown up with this game, and for many team members, this game has shown them that there can be a career in a gaming industry. So, the game which has given us a career, it was always an honour to work on that game, and to showcase that game to the world now.”

Rewind the clock

Released in late 2003 first for the Game Boy Advance, adopted shortly by PS2, Xbox, Windows, and a model for mobiles, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is famous as one of the 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.

When 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 remodel 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 wanted to give players the opportunity to experience this game again, or for the very first time but with a modern twist.”

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake can be accessible January 21, 2021 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Though the sport will not have a correct launch on PS5 and the Xbox Series household, it can nonetheless run on next-gen consoles because of backward compatibility, Koul assured us. It will price €40 (about Rs. 3,500) throughout platforms.

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