Brian Provinciano's nostalgia-tinged arcade throwback Retro City Rampage will be making its way to the 3DS eShop this "holiday season."
His cult classic was already released on PS3, Vita, Xbox 360, WiiWare and PC where the developer noted on his blog that it sold 170K units and moved another 270K on PlayStation Plus. With all these ports, one might wonder how necessary a 3DS version is, but Provinciano said that he "designed RCR with pick-up-and-play in mind," and it was arguably best-suited for a handheld device. As such, the Vita version was the best-selling one, despite the fact that very few people own Vitas. The 3DS is a far more popular platform and could give the game a whole new audience.
While the game is nearly a year old, Provinciano said that Retro City Rampage sold more and generated more revenue this year than it did last year, so it seems to have enough legs to make another console port worthwhile.
Hopefully it will for Provinciano's sake, as he explained that porting a game to 3DS isn't as simple as one might think. "While all previous versions were nearly pixel-for-pixel identical, the dual screens, lower resolution and less beefy processor meant some things had to go back to the drawing board," he explained. "Quality's important to me and for it to play well, it wasn't going to be a quick-n-dirty port. It packs all of the same content as the other versions, including the new Retro+ Enhanced Graphics mode, but every mission is being tweaked and adjusted to run best with the zoomed in camera."
Provinciano noted that he's still futzing around with ways to implement the touch screen. "I'm not a fan of flow-breaking minigames, but selecting weapons, scrolling the minimap, or even using the screen for dual-stick style shooting are on my list to explore."
Unfortunately, the 3DS port of Retro City Rampage won't actually use 3D due to a host of technical issues. Evidently the 3D effect is easy to achieve with 2D side-scrollers where you simply create 2D layers, but it doesn't translate so well to 2D games that use a faux-3D isometric perspective. "With a top down perspective using cube-like objects such as buildings and vehicles, it would require the graphics to all be recreated as 3D objects, a new rendering engine, a camera system that players would be happy with, and further optimisations," Provinciano explained. "For a new game it would be more feasible, but for an existing one, it simply would've taken too long."
While Provinciano is still working on how to best optimise the game for the 3DS he'll be gathering player feedback when he shows off the 3DS version of Retro City Rampage for the first time at PAX Prime next week in Seattle.