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Fred Raynal is working for Ubisoft Montpellier


barkbat
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Frederick Raynal is back in the game making business (YAAAAAY!) and working with Ubisoft on a major project (WOOOOO!). He is the creative director of a team around 70 strong - the team that has just finished Rayman Raving Rabbids on Wii and have produced messianic gems like Beyond Good and Evil.

I'd say - educated guess - it would be an action adventure game for Wii, seeing as thats the genre Fred knows, and Wii is what the team knows best.

Sadly, it's definately not LBA 3, despite the marriage made in heaven that is Twinsun hurling magic balls with the Wii remote.

Happily, Fred really wants to make LBA3, has been going over ideas for quite a while, and thinks it's not too far off.

I'm now working on a big project at UbiSoft. This pushes again LBA3 start further in time, but some (secret) events gave me a good feeling that it will be the right time!

That's from an email by Raynal to Axx, the web moderator at magicball.net

Axx recently visited Lyon and actually met with Fred. I'd probably ejaculate, shit myself and pass out if I met Sir Raynal in person. Luckily, I doubt I ever will.

LBA forum post on magicball.net

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And Wii is the perfect platform for it. Perfect.

I dunno, the LBA games were always about taking solid, well-established control systems with solid, well-established game mechanics and marrying them to a richly realised world. There are many things the Wiimote can offer, but it's not ideal for more standard games (see the vast majority of multiformat crap on it) - I don't think it'd be the best choice for making an LBA game. Not saying Raynal can't (or won't) make a good game on the Wii, just that I don't see it as the logical destination for LBA 3.

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I got really near to the end of the first one but never completed it, I might try and download a copy from somewhere. All I remember is it was good but bastard hard, I imagine I'll play it now and wonder how I got so far in an age without GameFAQs and the like.

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I dunno, the LBA games were always about taking solid, well-established control systems with solid, well-established game mechanics and marrying them to a richly realised world. There are many things the Wiimote can offer, but it's not ideal for more standard games (see the vast majority of multiformat crap on it) - I don't think it'd be the best choice for making an LBA game. Not saying Raynal can't (or won't) make a good game on the Wii, just that I don't see it as the logical destination for LBA 3.

When LBA came out, the control system was actually a marriage of something new and something very strange.

The new part was the behavioural mechanic that changed the trajectory of the ball and the use of the action button. This sort of economical use of one main button for four abilities was genius and totally uncharted.

The strange part was having forward/back fixed and having to turn Twinsun clockwise/anitclockwise like a top down car game - actually very like the jeep in Halo. This was in some ways a step back and was not well recieved at the time. It took a good few hours to get used to.

I agree the world was richly realised.

For my money I think Mario Galaxy controls are perfect for LBA. Movement with nunchuck - point a cursor with the remote that aims the magic ball.

What would be great is if you could say hold B - which would freeze the pointing cursor - and then use a throw action with the remote to set the throw strenth/direction of the magic ball.

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Hmm, never realised the MicroMachines-style controls were poorly received, seemed intuitive to me at the time (essentially the same as Alone in the Dark/Ecstatica - the closest games to LBA that I can think of, but with very different moods and scale). I'd forgotten all about the stances as well - must be old age. I do, however, remember the amazing cruelty of the game dealing you damage if you should run into a wall.

I think the main issue I have is that the magic ball really didn't play that big a part for me. Aside from a few puzzles, I'd generally stick to fisticuffs or alternative weapons, and there weren't actually that many puzzles that needed it in the first place. It was always a game that relied more on the player's puzzle-solving than their gaming dexterity, and I'm not sure a sequel would benefit from more 'accurate' control system. To be honest, Beyond Good and Evil probably comes closest in my mind to making for a 'proper' LBA game, with its simple, mostly context-sensitive controls.

(Also, and I know I won't make many friends with this, the Nunchuck stick's horrid)

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Ecstatica

Oh my God. Yes. Yes yes yes. I jumped from my seat playing that. Wonderful, terrifying game. Not LBA wonderful mind.

I'd forgotten all about the stances as well - must be old age. I do, however, remember the amazing cruelty of the game dealing you damage if you should run into a wall.

Only on atheltic mode. And they took it out of the PS1 version.

I think the main issue I have is that the magic ball really didn't play that big a part for me. Aside from a few puzzles, I'd generally stick to fisticuffs or alternative weapons, and there weren't actually that many puzzles that needed it in the first place. It was always a game that relied more on the player's puzzle-solving than their gaming dexterity, and I'm not sure a sequel would benefit from more 'accurate' control system.

I remember using it quite a lot! The enemies were so tough I'd often play cautious - holding off - chucking the ball from afar - expereimenting with different behaviors to see which was most suited. Plus its ability to pick up fallen keys and hit far away switches was invaluable. I must of played it through totally different to you, which just shows its quality.

A more accurate control system could change things for the better though.

I think the subtleties of modern analougue control make the seperate sneek and run modes redundant. Really all you need is the ability to jump, the ability to hit things, and the ability to throw the ball in different ways - which the remote motion sensors affords.

As for BGE - totally baseless speculation, but I think Raynal is working on an Ancel storied sequel. It's not even wishful thinking as I'm yet to properly play BGE (I know I know). For me, it is the perfect first project for Raynal to adopt. It will be his Majoras Mask. Instead of Miyamoto popping in to oversee, it will be Ancel.

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I loved Little Big Adventure 2. I don't think I ever completed it, the game was absolutely HUGE. It was incredibly difficult too, I only got through it by constantly inputting the cheats that gave you extra lives. I have no idea how people got through the game normally. You could easily waste all your lives on a tricky jump in the isometric indoor sections.

But yeah, fabulous game, I really loved it. It seemed a bit unpolished and unfair in places, but it was brilliantly realised, fiercely inventive and very funny.

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i loved the creeping stance and the noise it made when you turned around... drunken master style was also amazing.

i'm just remembering bits and bobs about the game but damn i have the biggest grin on my face. <_<

I love the drunken master style growls he made as well.

The way that game made violence not the norm for the main character - the way you had to change his whole walking style, stance, and attitude before hurting an enemy.... just so damn good. Way ahead of its time.

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That place is great, and legit. Problem is, if I rememeber right, is the CD tracks aren't there, just insanely crappy MIDI files and silence.

And really, the music of LBA 1&2 is just utterly sublime. If you get it from here, you must promise to hunt down both soundtracks elsewhere. Utterly essential.

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For those interested in two of the finest videogame soundtracks of all time, both LBA 1 & 2 can be found here...

LBA 1 and 2 soundtrack

(Lba 1 is on pages 10-11, Lba 2 on page :ph34r:

Must listen - In the Temple (LBA 1) and The Empire (LBA 2).

oh man, the music 'the quest' is totally making me grin like a loon <_<

*edit: they all have the same 'wow' effect as they did the first time around. i don't know if i should play the game though for fear of finding i can't get on with it..........!!

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Oh wow, it's been a long time since I last heard the music. Too long.

Hell, I miss Adeline and their splash screen (nice and minimal, and somehow fitted with the LBA intro's) <_<

Also, I never realised there was a PS1 version of the game. Last time I played LBA was pre-98, might have to hunt it down.

Though, then again, I imagine it won't look as sharp on a PS1. I'll just stick to building my DOS PC, then work from there.

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The PS1 version is actually very good. It cuts the music everytime you pause/go to menu which is very annoying, but other than that it is ace.

Plus LBA 1 really hasn't dated nearly as badly visually as its sequel. Something timeless about the crisp 2D isometric style.

Apparently a PS1 LBA 2 was in early development, and there were even a few screens, but it all came to nothing.

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