Star Wars Episode 1: Racer Reimagined in Unreal Engine 4

cageymaru

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A Star Wars fan has recreated a track from Star Wars Episode 1: Racer in Unreal Engine 4. CG artist Rob Jin worked on the project for around 10 months and even created a trailer for the game. The article has download links for the files.

For those unfamiliar with Star Wars Episode I: Racer, the original was developed and published by LucasArts and released in 1999 on PC, N64, Game Boy Color and eventually Dreamcast. The game was hugely popular - selling over three million copies on the N64 alone - and prompted Sega to create a podracing title in 2000. It's since been recognised for its speed, nifty steering controls, and creating a sense of Star Wars wonder.
 

Skeetre

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I've been trying to and trying to get this thing to work on 64-bit Windows 10 to no avail. I loved this game! And this looks absolutely amazing!
 

KazeoHin

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Looks awesome, but he needs to add/increase the power of the skylight in the scene. Shadows are black as a sharpie when in reality there should be a ton of ambient light to fill in those shady spots...
 

Glock24

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I remember when I was in school a guy had this game for N64. It looked like shit to me, as I was used to PC gaming. It was fun though.
 

J3RK

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These "Unreal Engine Recreations" always add incredible amounts of detail, but suck all the life out of what they attempt to emulate. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but take the Mario one for example. Sure there was a ton of detail, nice effects, but it lost all of the Nintendo charm in the process. I guess it comes down to these being put together by software engineers rather than artists maybe? This Pod Racing one looks good on the surface, but I can think of a ton of racers that have enough of their own stylistic flair to blow it away. (Wipeout, Fast Racing Neo, or maybe Redout come to mind.) This Pod Racer looks exceedingly lifeless and generic in comparison to others that were designed from the ground up as full games, or in this case the actual Star Wars source material.

I've seen some impressive games on Unreal Engine that have plenty of their own personality, so it's not the engine. It must be a case of engineering versus art.
 

Kardonxt

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I played this on n64 as a kid and it was a blast. They also still have a working setup at a local arcade I manage to drunkenly find myself in once a year or so. Good times.
 

sirmonkey1985

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I loved playing that game when I was young on my n64, was never really a fan on racing games but I did like that
use to play the shit out of star wars episode 1 racer on the n64 wouldn't mind playing it again with updated graphics.

These "Unreal Engine Recreations" always add incredible amounts of detail, but suck all the life out of what they attempt to emulate. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but take the Mario one for example. Sure there was a ton of detail, nice effects, but it lost all of the Nintendo charm in the process. I guess it comes down to these being put together by software engineers rather than artists maybe? This Pod Racing one looks good on the surface, but I can think of a ton of racers that have enough of their own stylistic flair to blow it away. (Wipeout, Fast Racing Neo, or maybe Redout come to mind.) This Pod Racer looks exceedingly lifeless and generic in comparison to others that were designed from the ground up as full games, or in this case the actual Star Wars source material.

I've seen some impressive games on Unreal Engine that have plenty of their own personality, so it's not the engine. It must be a case of engineering versus art.
nah the original was just as lifeless as well, it was really just the audio and different vehicles that made the game what it was but looks like they're not being allowed to add any of that.
 
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Mohonri

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Has anyone ever done an analysis of how fast you'd actually go with nothing but two jet engines and a cockpit? The TWR would be off the charts!
 

Darunion

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These "Unreal Engine Recreations" always add incredible amounts of detail, but suck all the life out of what they attempt to emulate. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but take the Mario one for example. Sure there was a ton of detail, nice effects, but it lost all of the Nintendo charm in the process. I guess it comes down to these being put together by software engineers rather than artists maybe? This Pod Racing one looks good on the surface, but I can think of a ton of racers that have enough of their own stylistic flair to blow it away. (Wipeout, Fast Racing Neo, or maybe Redout come to mind.) This Pod Racer looks exceedingly lifeless and generic in comparison to others that were designed from the ground up as full games, or in this case the actual Star Wars source material.

I've seen some impressive games on Unreal Engine that have plenty of their own personality, so it's not the engine. It must be a case of engineering versus art.
I think it's the nostalgia thing. You can't replace or upgrade that kind of feeling. Plus we aren't the same people we were when we first played the originals. The WOW factor was there because of the time and technology available. Now it is just 'meh'. Bugs and bad controls at the time we probably thought were fine and became part of the game feeling. If you leave that in, it just feels like trash. If you fix it then it ends up feeling completely different.
 
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J3RK

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Now we just need to reimagine Episode I as a movie that didn’t suck.
I agree, but I also think it's becoming increasingly impossible in modern times. IMO Stranger Things is the only thing I've seen these days that lives up to that 80s style that would be required to pull Episode One off properly. Think Goonies as another example. Studios for the most part have lost their touch in this arena. They don't show kids as imaginative, capable little assholes with personality anymore. :D Anything with the Disney/Lucas stamp is going to turn out just like the original version of Episode One. (at least that would be my prediction) If Han Solo can't shoot first, we can't have a non-fluffy childhood Skywalker experience either.

Of course I'd love to be proven wrong. :D
 

J3RK

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I think it's the nostalgia thing. You replace or upgrade that kind of feeling. Plus we aren't the same people we were when we first played the originals. The WOW factor was there because of the time and technology available. Now it is just 'meh'. Bugs and bad controls at the time we probably thought were fine and became part of the game feeling. If you leave that in, it just feels like trash. If you fix it then it ends up feeling completely different.
I would almost agree, except that I still enjoy Nintendo first party games if I'm continuing that example. I think you're right in that nostalgia can play a significant part, but I also think it comes down to the pool of talent working on a project. Some possess magic, some don't.
 

Ebernanut

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I played the hell out of that on PC but it was the controls that made the game so addictive so unless they nail the gameplay and controls 100% I'd rather just play the original.
 

Darunion

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I would almost agree, except that I still enjoy Nintendo first party games if I'm continuing that example. I think you're right in that nostalgia can play a significant part, but I also think it comes down to the pool of talent working on a project. Some possess magic, some don't.
No no I think you are correct. If those nintendo games just had a huge graphic overhaul where the core was not touched just graphics, it wouldn't feel as good. It is almost like there is a type of uncanny valley for video games, where you can slightly tweak them to make them a little better, but if you go too far it just feels wrong.

Nintendo did always have that 'knack' of making something just fun.
 

J3RK

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No no I think you are correct. If those nintendo games just had a huge graphic overhaul where the core was not touched just graphics, it wouldn't feel as good. It is almost like there is a type of uncanny valley for video games, where you can slightly tweak them to make them a little better, but if you go too far it just feels wrong.

Nintendo did always have that 'knack' of making something just fun.
I think that may be it. It may also have something to do with the particular style of game too. Some games pull off realism better than others. Then there are some that just make your brain feel odd if you look too closely. An example I've recently noticed this with is Dead or Alive 6. There's a pretty ridiculous level of detail to the characters, but they've also got semi-anime styling, so at first they look almost real, then pow, anime. Then your brain takes a second to adjust. Definitely a weird sort of uncanny valley effect. I think characters like Nintendo characters are just enough removed from that toward the cartoony end (as well as their worlds) that this doesn't tend to happen.
 

T1125P

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There is only one way to make this game complete and release it without any of that bullshit DMCA. The creator needs to create his own website with download links using Tor and the Dark Web. Trust me no one will even bother to even try to locate you on there, there are far more worse shit still up there for years and it's not even taken down yet. Now if all remakes from fans were on the Dark Web think about how many awesome free games we would have, and they can't do shit about it. :D He can also provide torrent links up there as well on the dark web.
 

J3RK

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There is only one way to make this game complete and release it without any of that bullshit DMCA. The creator needs to create his own website with download links using Tor and the Dark Web. Trust me no one will even bother to even try to locate you on there, there are far more worse shit still up there for years and it's not even taken down yet. Now if all remakes from fans were on the Dark Web think about how many awesome free games we would have, and they can't do shit about it. :D He can also provide torrent links up there as well on the dark web.
I prefer to put quotes around "Dark Web". :p
 

Draax

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Is this the same game as the Star Wars racer arcade cabinet? When I was in college, a lifetime ago, a local theatre had the cabinet and I spent way too much playing it.
 

Navilor

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Is this the same game as the Star Wars racer arcade cabinet? When I was in college, a lifetime ago, a local theatre had the cabinet and I spent way too much playing it.
The PC version came out in 1999 and has multiple tracks to race. Your pod can be destroyed. The arcade version came out in 2000, has only four tracks to race, and your pod is indestructible. I've played them both. The only real difference is that you can upgrade your pod on the PC.
 

M76

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Probably the first star wars game I hated. I hated it more than the phantom menace. Now Rogue Squadron or Jedi Knight I'd be interested in.
 

J3RK

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Probably the first star wars game I hated. I hated it more than the phantom menace. Now Rogue Squadron or Jedi Knight I'd be interested in.
Incidentally, a Jedi Knight type of game is exactly where this sort of engine would shine.
 

Full Otto

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Not bad, I still fire this up every now and again on the retro-box. The AI is crap, but this is a great title to fire up at a retro-LAN.

I'd love a new Jedi Knight or Jedi Academy. I want my NF/SO duel loving back, schooling fanners into rage quitting. Those were good times.
 

DejaWiz

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Holy crap...that almost looks as good as the actual CGI from the movie. Very well done!
 

Tsumi

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That looks awesome. So many hours wasted on the original N64 game, still have it. Beat all the tracks except for one.
 

ScottSummers79

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Looks awesome, but he needs to add/increase the power of the skylight in the scene. Shadows are black as a sharpie when in reality there should be a ton of ambient light to fill in those shady spots...
Shadows need some work, especially the racer itself disappearing in them. However, I seem to remember the original game having some issues with shadows too, but it's been a decade and a half since I played it.
 

akaliel

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I remember this game, it was awesome. Me and my roommate in college used to get stoned and play it. Once he was so out of it that he thought he was using the force to steer. I laughed for about 3 hours. Yeah.... Stoned.
 
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