Complex: Rayman has been in 3D since Rayman 2: The Great Escape from 1999. How long have you wanted to bring him back to 2D?
Michel Ancel: It wasn’t really a matter of when I wanted to bring him back to 2D. It was more about when the technology and the engine were ready to bring him back in 2D.
We first focused on creating the engine which has a highly flexible architecture, which offers us an amazing amount of creative freedom as game developers. We can iterate on concepts with high-definition graphics and gameplay assets in real-time. This highly reactive approach to game development helps promote creative energy and innovations.
The ability to use the gorgeous hand-drawn artwork of our artists directly in-game is one of the reasons Rayman Origins looks so unique. In 2D, it’s easier to create content, characters and levels but also harder because you can't hide poor game design behind Hollywood types of sequences. 2D shows every collision mistake and control error. It's a precise kind of game that forces us to manage a lot of details.
After a long time spent on complex 3D games, it’s really cool to jump into a full gameplay experience with no turnarounds. On top of that, the 3D consoles of today support incredible graphics and sounds in 2D. It’s amazing to be able to create a universe with the quality of the best animated features, but in an interactive experience.