Its not too dissimilar to a job listing I wrote about in a much bigger post covering several studios I made recently, but I wanted to expand on my thoughts on what is going on at Rare.
On the 8th December they posted (or updated anyway) a job listing for a Lead UI Artist and theres a few interesting things in there:
(Via Microsoft Careers)
These were the things I wanted to highlight really:
- “…exploring a variety of styles across multiple genres and projects”
- “Work with the game designer and art director to build out wireframes for multiple titles“
- “Manage a UI team and their deliverables across multiple projects“
- “Drive forward the vision for the wider user experience on multiple titles“
- “Basic practical skills of implementation inside of UE4, Unity“
Thats very specific language and seems pretty clear as to what it means and this is what I think is going on at Rare: Unreal Engine 4 is being used for their next AAA game – which we know they are making, its the obvious choice, now whether they are modifying it significantly or not I don’t know but considering how widespread UE4 is at MS its not a surprise, there have been rumours of a new Banjo-Kazooie game being in development, I’m not 100% convinced they are making it but it could be.
Next up Unity, now UE4 and Unity are very popular and modern engines and whilst I’m not development I suspect they’re completely different engines, they want people with experience for modern engines and I think they are likely developing something else on a smaller scale using Unity. Lets not forget Rare remade Jetpac in Jetpac Refuelled for XBLA so they do have form for it, this would also explain multiple genres and multiple titles, titles being games and projects being something thats not a game. Battle toads was recently trademarked, its the obvious thing to guess really but there is nothing to specifically say what it is.
FInally, Rare some impressive new tech for Kinect Sports Rivals for their “champions” which are like next-generation avatars and I suspect they will have a team adapting that to work on embedding that within the Xbox One OS as well. They could be working on other games beyond that, with the way Microsoft like their studios to have “Incubation” teams I suspect Rare have something similar to that.
At a glance I think that seems like a decent guess of the activity going on, now it could be something completely different to Banjo-Kazooie and Battletoads, or maybe Banjo is the Unity game and the AAA game is a new IP, time will tell but we know that Rare have shown a game to Head of Xbox Phil Spencer so I suspect we will only have a few months to wait until we start to hear more concrete news on what Rare are developing.
Personally I would like to see a new Perfect Dark, now you might be think “another FPS etc” but I think if Rare took a different approach, going for something like Splinter Cell Conviction/Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a proper secret agent with stealth etc they could be onto something unique and different and wouldn’t need to compete with the Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo crowd.
I do think that they need to be getting back to multiple games of all shapes and sizes and it seems like that certainly could be happening, i’d like to see them do more Jetpac Refuelled makeovers for some of their other N64 games like Jet Force Gemini and Blast Corps, and maybe do something with that Xbox Conker game if they’re not going to make a sequel. Finally an Xbox One port of Trouble in Paradise would suffice, I don’t feel like I need another one as good as the series was.
All eyes will be on Rare hopefully at some point next year.