Now that the latest Ratchet and Clank game for the Sony PlayStation 4 is complete and a best seller, it's time for the game's directors, Shaun McCabe and Chad Dezern, to talk about the lessons learned from the development process. Gamasutra hosts the discussion as the two cover tying the game into the Ratchet and Clank film, using the film's development to boost their own processes, and organizing their old PS2 Ratchet assets.
We simply don’t have access to our source files from the PS2 era. Back then, we had a numbers-only naming convention, with number-to-name directories scribbled in private notebooks. We used a home brewed asset management system that we can no longer access. And our directory structure was a free-for-all, with source files frequently hidden away on local directories.
Luckily, the PlayStation 3 R&C Collection proved to be our saving grace. Idol Minds went through the painful process of extracting our assets from the PS2 master disc for the collection. We realized early on that we could use those libraries. So we enlisted support from technology consulting firm Tin Giant to extract data from the collection and convert it to our engine formats. Amusingly (to us, anyway) the assets retained metadata from the PS2, so we got to revisit our asset numbering system and remember our fledgling development practices.
I enjoyed both the new Ratchet game and the tie-in film, although the game is the better experience of the two. I enjoyed it so much that I put in the extra work to earn the PS4 platinum trophy. You have to admire the work that goes into the Ratchet games. The team at Insomniac Games clearly loves the franchise and wants to give their all when they create a new one. Even they don't know where the series goes from here, but I know we'll see a new installment before too long. I have a feeling there are still too many solid ideas written down on brainstorming notebooks for the Solana Galaxy to know permanent peace.