Go Ahead and Jump!

Vicarious Visions talk about physics, mechanics, and handing in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

by Kevin Kelly on July 17, 2017

By Vicarious Visions Staff

Hi, Crash Bandicoot fans!

WOW! Not only did we here at Vicarious Visions succeed together in bringing Crash back, but that crazy marsupial has been exploding all over again! The support, passion and love from the Crash community is blowing us away. We couldn’t have done this without you.

Now, we can all agree that some of the Crash levels were, and still are, not easy. The challenge of the games is one of the things we all love, and that’s why it feels so, so good when you beat them. Our goal for the Trilogy was to reduce any points of frustration while preserving the challenge of the originals, and we feel we’ve done that.

Crash’s Handling

Many fans have picked up on the fact that Crash’s jump isn’t quite the same as it was, particularly in the first game, Crash Bandicoot™. We carefully considered the choice to unify the design of these games, for example, how save and bonus rounds work, so that players could have a cohesive experience across all three games in the Crash Bandicoot™ N. Sane Trilogy.

The reason for that is because we want the best experience for all players, and Crash’s handling falls into this category.  We spent a lot of time studying the three titles and chose the handling from Crash Bandicoot™ 3: Warped as our Trilogy’s starting point; it represented the most improved and modern approach as it gives players the most control.

We went through rounds of internal testing, user testing, and iterations to get each game’s handling to just the right place. In the end, we ended up tuning jump differently for each game, so that the jump metrics are the same as the originals. However, there are a few subtle differences in Crash Bandicoot, chief among these being the fact that you fall more quickly upon release of the X button than you did in the original first game.

Collision and Physics

We’ve heard some questions about how Crash’s model interacts with platforms and enemies. Our game engine features a different collision system than the original game, and combined with the addition of physics, certain jumps require more precision than the originals. Much like the handling, we iterated on collision and physics throughout development to make it fair to all players and as faithful to the original games as possible.

Difficulty in Crash Bandicoot

The modernization of the save and checkpoint systems make the first game a heck of a lot more forgiving than the original. On top of that, we added DDA (the dynamic difficulty adjustment that was originally only present in the second and third games) to our Crash Bandicoot, which gives Crash Aku Aku masks and checkpoints after a certain number of failures in a level. This certainly helps when players need it the most!

An increased precision is now required in the first game, which makes the gameplay experience different. Particularly if you are a new player, you may want to start with the second and third games first, and then come back to try Crash Bandicoot after you’ve had more practice. For those of you who played the originals and acquired a fair amount of muscle memory, re-learning the handling in our game may present an additional challenge you weren’t expecting. But we’re sure you up to the task.

We've heard from many, many fans who are getting through Crash Bandicoot and having a great time with it, and killing those top scores in the process. We’ve been very impressed with how skilled people have become so quickly! We’ve been following along with you every step of the way, and we’ve seen some seriously awesome runs online.

The team at Vicarious Visions is especially happy to see the Crash Bandicoot community coming together once again to share their own tips on some of the trickier levels with each other, and are excited to welcome a whole new generation of players into the Crash community. We can’t wait to share more with you, and make sure you check out our panel at San Diego Comic-Con next Thursday! There will be some news that you won’t want to miss!

For more information about Crash Bandicoot, follow us @Activision on Twitter, like Crash Bandicoot on Facebook, and bookmark the Crash Bandicoot website.