The new content additions for COM:R were extensive: from new maps and navigational challenges to new enemies and game-changing powerups, randomly generated levels, as well as a co-op mode.
But as with most projects, there were definitely a few hiccups along the way. One of the first being feature creep. As we neared the deadline, we came to the conclusion that adding all the features we wanted to see in the rebirth of this classic simply wasn’t possible. This was compounded by the client’s requests to change certain decisions and features during development.
However, the silver lining was that we were able to experiment. Through the help of game testers, we ended up flushing out which features simply weren’t fun and had to be cut and expand upon those that made the game as addictive as the original was in 1981.
Lastly, another challenge was porting the game to the Switch. The problem stemmed from random level generation, which heavily impacted the platform’s ability to run the game. We solved this by rewriting the level generation logic to take advantage of features exclusive to the Switch, like boosting cores to get a silky smooth 60 FPS.
For us, Cavers of Mars: Recharged was truly a labor of love. It was a privilege to reimagine one of Atari’s classics with the help of talented musicians, artists, and clever game testers.
Now you can experience the game that took 1981 by storm anew on the PC, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One; Series S and X, Switch, and Atari’s own VCS console.