So whatever happened to...

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So whatever happened to...

Postby Golf Wang » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:05 am

The supposed "HD" Shenmue remakes? I mean, the Sega representative (forgive me, I forgot his name) hinted at a possible Shenmue HD remake and that was it? Has there been any followup? Just curious.
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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby lavrentis » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:20 pm

I still believe they will do it but it will probably take a lot of time and effort to port over.
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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby Peter » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:03 pm

I have no doubts that Shenmue HD DLC will be released. I just feel it will be the last to be released for 2 reasons:

1. "Save the best til last". It really is the most talked about game of the Dreamcasts tenure. Wether you loved it or hated, it it still got people talking. Someone severely hating Shenmue and thinking its boring is as valuable to me in terms of its legacy because its as much an emotion given towards it, so its re-release will be the most talked about game from the Dreamcasts list of games. Also, its easily the biggest game, in terms of size, following, and legacy so its a good game to possibly be the last Dreamcast title to be released, at least for a sustained period of time.

2. The bigger and more logical reason of the two for me, is that it surely will take a long time to upscale this entire game, both visually and audibly. All of the items, locations, characters...... i mean if you forget how huge Shenmue is, just spend your first day in the Hazuki household and try to lift every possible item, explore every possible room and also open every cupboard. I did it last night, and i didnt get to visit Fukuhara in the dojo until 9.45pm. This game is huge. Fact. Having to sit and go through its entirety will be no easy feat, and also not one that can be achieved overnight.
The audio of Shenmue (not VA work) is what doesnt age as well as the rest of the game. I have been playing Shenmue again with a VGA box and LCD TV and it looks as close to HD as you could get, but you can tell the quality of the audio isnt up there, especially with gaming headphones on. Again,this is something that will take some time. Add to that, if they are also going to include both native VA with subtitles, as so many fans have requested. Again more time.
Then there is also additional features that Sega would surely want to incorporate into the game. First thing that comes to mind is the difference of todays controllers compared to the Dreamcast controller, namely a second analogue stick. Obviously for Shenmue, this would be used as a camera stick, and some sort of freedom camera development would have to be organised. If this is to be a double planned release, then not only would i say it would take double the time to do so, but id say it would take more than double the time for it all to be finished.

I do believe that Shenmue has been in development for DLC. I also feel that Ben Harborne was more or less announcing this with his interviews earlier in the year. I have watched the two interviews a load of times, and in the first, he practically couldnt wait to say Shenmue. In the second interview, he made a slight joke about it with his facial features. I still maintain its coming. Just gotta be patient.
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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby Bluecast » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:07 pm

Talk about reading too much into things
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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby Martin » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:07 pm

Peter wrote:1. "Save the best til last". It really is the most talked about game of the Dreamcasts tenure. Wether you loved it or hated, it it still got people talking. Someone severely hating Shenmue and thinking its boring is as valuable to me in terms of its legacy because its as much an emotion given towards it, so its re-release will be the most talked about game from the Dreamcasts list of games. Also, its easily the biggest game, in terms of size, following, and legacy so its a good game to possibly be the last Dreamcast title to be released, at least for a sustained period of time.


I don't see it as the same thing. I know 'any publicity is good publicity', but in the gaming world this generally only equates to controversy. Something like GTA or Manhunt kicking up a stick, thereby generating interest, thereby boosting sales. If Shenmue is known as a shit game, that will not encourage sales.

Peter wrote:2. The bigger and more logical reason of the two for me, is that it surely will take a long time to upscale this entire game, both visually and audibly. All of the items, locations, characters...... i mean if you forget how huge Shenmue is, just spend your first day in the Hazuki household and try to lift every possible item, explore every possible room and also open every cupboard. I did it last night, and i didnt get to visit Fukuhara in the dojo until 9.45pm. This game is huge. Fact. Having to sit and go through its entirety will be no easy feat, and also not one that can be achieved overnight.


I don't think the graphical 'upscale' is really much of an issue. If you look at the existing Dreamcast HD re-releases, the only actual work done to the graphics is in the fonts/menus and so forth. All that is done to the game itself is that the framebuffer is told to spit out rasters at 1920 × 1080 or 1280×720, rather than 640 x 480, which was the SD 4:3 that the Dreamcast version would have been coded for.

I'm sure it's not quite that simple, but it's not a big issue. Sure, they'll have had to tinker with the graphics engine in some instances so that geometry is rendered all the way out to the edges of the 16:9 aspect, but that's about it. I guess in Crazy Taxi HD they had to do new textures for stores and stuff, because the licence to include KFC and GAP etc had expired. But Shenmue doesn't have any real-world IPs or anything that'd need to be changed.

Redo the fonts and menus in HD, make sure the graphics engine can deal with the widescreen aspect, rasterise the graphics at HD rather than SD. Done.

Peter wrote:The audio of Shenmue (not VA work) is what doesnt age as well as the rest of the game. I have been playing Shenmue again with a VGA box and LCD TV and it looks as close to HD as you could get, but you can tell the quality of the audio isnt up there, especially with gaming headphones on. Again,this is something that will take some time. Add to that, if they are also going to include both native VA with subtitles, as so many fans have requested. Again more time.


I agree with you, here. The soundtrack is beautiful, and the music needn't change. A lot of the sound effects are quite low-fi, though. I actually would include the VO in this assessment. So a decision would need to be made; leave as it is, or redo this stuff. In my opinion, this would mean redoing all the voice work as well. I'd be fine just leaving the sound how it is, personally.

Peter wrote:Then there is also additional features that Sega would surely want to incorporate into the game. First thing that comes to mind is the difference of todays controllers compared to the Dreamcast controller, namely a second analogue stick. Obviously for Shenmue, this would be used as a camera stick, and some sort of freedom camera development would have to be organised. If this is to be a double planned release, then not only would i say it would take double the time to do so, but id say it would take more than double the time for it all to be finished.


Well, the 'free camera on right stick' thing was already implemented into Shenmue II Xbox. So not exactly a new feature, or a headache. It's already been done in Shenmue.

Peter wrote:I do believe that Shenmue has been in development for DLC. I also feel that Ben Harborne was more or less announcing this with his interviews earlier in the year. I have watched the two interviews a load of times, and in the first, he practically couldnt wait to say Shenmue. In the second interview, he made a slight joke about it with his facial features. I still maintain its coming. Just gotta be patient.


I'm in two minds about this, personally. While it could be seen as clandestine confirmation, it could also just be the Sega are eminently aware of Shenmue's fierce little fanbase. We love our game, and over the years we've clung to to any pathetic glimmer of hope as if it were confirmation. After all these years, I still can't go on Kotaku without feeling betrayed.

I would personally just see it as a nod to the Shenmue fans, that they haven't forgotten it or us. It's clear that a lot of people within Sega love Shenmue, but it's a financial-minefield. Pretty much nobody cares about Shenmue except it's creators and relatively small base of fans. It's like the The Grim Fandango in that respect. Awesome game, fiercely loyal little fanbase. Not much else.

It's for that reason that I'm loathe to see Harborne's comments as anything near to confirmation. He confirmed nothing. At most, I would personally say that his comments confirm that certain people within the company are looking for any way they can release Shenmue HD without losing money. In my opinion, that would mean fairly basic ports in the style of Jet Set Radio HD with nothing done to them except HD fonts and menus. If we're lucky - online leaderboards for the arcade machines.

I believe nobody would buy it except the fans, and for that reason, if we do get it, it's not going to be all remade up to top-notch standards. It's going to be as basic a port as they can get away with.

I'm fine with that, too. I just want Shenmue again. I've gone through enough Dreamcasts now to not ever want to bother with them again. I've got my two favourite games gathering dust. It's been years now since I've played Shenmue. To play it again in HD, widescreen on my reliable console which works all the time without giving me any bullshit would be wonderful, and I think that's probably the market for any Shenmue HD.
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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby Peter » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:47 pm

:lol:

Christ sakes bud, i will buy you a Dreamcast if you want.

But i see where your coming from. My feelings on it come from a mixture of logic and optimism, but the latter can muddy the logic at times. Also i am not technically minded in how these games are developed, but i still think that due to the overall size of Shenmue (it is the biggest game on the DC) that it will take quite a while. The only reason i place so much emphasis on Harbornes interview though, was his openness in regards to mentioning Shenmue, in regards to a Sega standpoint. If any employee from Sega was questioned about Shenmue, they seemed to have had a well rehersed response, or even none at all. But Harborne wasnt even provoked to say Shenmue, he was asked a generic question which he could have answered in any way at all.

The only reason i say i think negative publicity is good is because its still being talked about, even if its about how awful it is. At the end of the day its someones opinion, and if someone is talking about that, then someone is listening. Someone who hasnt played Shenmue before, and went from the N64 to the Playstation and just ignored the Dreamcast because he or she wasnt bought one, along with their friends back then. If it wasnt being talked about at all, to be that would be just a little bit worse. A game forgotten is a game lost. I dont think Shenmues legacy will die out anytime soon because of that.

Oh and i forgot about the camera completely in Shenmue IIx #-o
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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby Martin » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:58 pm

Peter wrote: :lol:

Christ sakes bud, i will buy you a Dreamcast if you want.


Hah, you're OK. If I do buy another one, it'll be to make my Satcast.

Peter wrote:Also i am not technically minded in how these games are developed, but i still think that due to the overall size of Shenmue (it is the biggest game on the DC) that it will take quite a while.


Well basically, simply upping screen resolution is essentially no effort at all. When I say 'rasterising' I'm referring to how the frames are converted from polygonal vectors into raster graphics; i.e. pixels. This is the last stage of the rendering pipeline, and is done so that your TV/monitor (a raster device) can display the image. Rasterising eats up fillrate, and higher resolutions demand more powerful hardware.

Ergo, in these Dreamcast HD offerings where all the textures and models remain completely untouched, the 'extra work' to display the game in HD resolutions is being done by the hardware, not the developers. They simply have to change the line of code in the rendering pipeline to tell its to render at 720p or whatever instead of 480i.

There are other things they have to do, such as redoing the fonts and menus. These would look bad in HD, since they'd either be tiny and unreadable, or take up their original amount of screen space (by scaling them), but be very pixellated. I suppose in the latter instance they could employ a filter to smooth the pixels, but this generally produces less-than-ideal results. A HD re-release (notice I'm not using the word 'remake') done right would at least have remade fonts and menus.

The biggest thing would be making the game run on new architecture. The Dreamcast code itself wouldn't just work on 360 and PS3. The latter two have PowerPC-based CPUs, whilst the Dreamcast CPU is SuperH-based. Both are grounded in RISC, but there would be many differences. They'd be reprogramming a lot of the language calls so that everything works. They'd probably emulate the Dreamcast for tiny chunks of the codebase in order to make some jobs easier.

Then there'd be the differences between 360 and PS3. Former has DirectX API, latter has a variant of OpenGL. They'd develop it primarily for one (probably 360), then use wrappers to emulate API calls on the other one.

In short: most of the real work would be nothing to do with the graphics as such, but stuff under the hood.

Peter wrote:The only reason i place so much emphasis on Harbornes interview though, was his openness in regards to mentioning Shenmue, in regards to a Sega standpoint. If any employee from Sega was questioned about Shenmue, they seemed to have had a well rehersed response, or even none at all. But Harborne wasnt even provoked to say Shenmue, he was asked a generic question which he could have answered in any way at all.


Personally, I'd say that just amounts to 'hearing what you want to hear'. I'd love to be wrong, though!
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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby Who Really Cares? » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:26 am

Sega don't have the balls to do it right now. Because IF they release them then success or not Sega put more pressure on themselves to finish the story.

Why they wont just give Yu the rights and let him try and find a publisher i don't know because its clear how little Sega thinks of Shenmue now.

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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby Tred » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:09 pm

They've had huge changes within the SEGA lately. I wonder if it got cancelled with everything else..

Or, they're spreading out their dreamcast games releases. Jet set Radio first, then Shenmue 1 and 2 afterwards.
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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby Poetry in Motion » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:38 pm

Surely just put it up on the Arcade and use the proceeds towards development, what we thinking 1200MSP for each title?
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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby shengoro86 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:15 am

What they need to do is to finish s1 and s2 in hd and give yu the damn license already.
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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby elfshadowreaper » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:44 am

Who Really Cares? wrote: Sega don't have the balls to do it right now. Because IF they release them then success or not Sega put more pressure on themselves to finish the story.


I think this makes the most sense. I'm sure they're slowly working on the HD remakes and in the event that they decide internally to conclude the series they'll finish the remakes and release them to increase hype. I think it's only a matter of time. I really want to believe that, at least.
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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby Schiff » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:02 am

I think this depends on how other digital titles do. I bought and love JSR HD but I don't think I will get also Sonic Adventure 2
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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby ys » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:05 am

Regarding the sound I would assume that they just downsampled the original recordings to fit on the GD-roms. I myself record/mix/master and I have backups of ALL original recordings I've done for myself and people. In much higher resolution and bitrate than necessary for any format. In case someone contacts me years later (which has happened) and wants some alteration here and there. So I can't even imagine that a very big company like Sega would not keep backups of things like these. Or... :???:

About Sega releasing the HD ports. Sure it can cost them a bit. But big companies sometimes just invest in something to improve their brand and attract more loyal customers that way. For example sponsoring events, research etc. It doesn't always earn them money immediately but it can improve an image. I know Sega do sponsor some things but why not earn some goodwill through releases?
There seem to be a few more fans out there than we think actually. When visiting Neogaf I saw quite some fans who are not members here. And I think the media would also give Sega lots of attention if they release HD-ports (or more) considering the fact that they still mention the game now and then.
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Re: So whatever happened to...

Postby Golf Wang » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:49 am

I really hope it happens, guys. I need a new Shenmue in my life, as desperate as that sounds :lol:.
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