ICO Playstation 1 Version [PSX Prototype - CANCELLED!]


video from Shadow Of The Colossus Japanese DVD Bonus

"Already a number of Ico's elements were in place, and Ueda began to work with Kaido at this point to turn the concepts expressed in the movie into a game design for a PSone title. Their three key points were "differentiation" (to make a game unlike any other), "artistic presentation" (a level of aesthetics such that any still screen of the game would be artistic), and a "non-realistic reality" featuring a vivid heroine who would make the player want to be heroic.

They began to accomplish this using a method they referred to as "subtracting design:" every element of the game that took away from its reality was removed. Instead of having a varied cast of enemies with unique strengths and weaknesses, for instance, there would be only one enemy type; instead of a castle, its environs, and nearby settlements, there would only be the castle and an escape from it. They also used unconventional hiring techniques: to put together a team capable of realizing Ueda's vision, they hired mostly outside of the industry to put together an initial staff of two programmers, four artists, and one designer in addition to Ueda and Kaido.

A movie Ueda put together during this period shows what they had so far on the PSone version. The lone enemy type is one of the masked, horned soldiers present in the final game only during a cutscene, though the horns are now on Ico rather than Yorda. Some locations are already familiar even at this stage; the outdoor sluice gate puzzle is clearly recognizable, as is the waterfall area.

Full production on the game began in October 1998; the team had made the decision to go with hand-done key frame animation rather than motion capture. Ueda claims that actors weren't able to understand the situation and move appropriately, while the key frame method allows for smoother transition between motions. Some of the fruits of this time are visible in a second PSone clip, where the horned guards now have a kick maneuver and Ico's stick weapon is in place. A couple of elements not present in the game also appear briefly: Ico dodges blowgun traps in the wall at one point, and has a visible health meter while battling the guards.

September 1999 marked a turning point for the project. Ueda wasn't satisfied with the results they were achieving, and became frustrated that the hardware wasn't capable of realizing his initial vision. He considered three options: either canceling the project outright, altering the design to try and finish the game on PSone, or changing platforms. After some deliberation, the team began converting the project for the PS2 hardware. It had a dramatic effect on the project: their graphical problems were over, with a new engine capable of 60 frames per second, particles, cloth movement, and a unique lighting system.
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