Bringing Spyro the Dragon to life on Xbox One in the Spyro Reignited Trilogy was an incredibly fun project for the art department at Toys for Bob. We wanted to take the opportunity to do more than just give the world and the characters a shiny new coat of paint.
We had to literally re-design and build everything (over 100 levels and over 500 characters) from scratch, so while being faithful to the original spirit of the designs was our primary concern, we tried to add a rich new layer of visual storytelling wherever we could to bring even more personality and charm to the world. A great example of this approach can be seen in the 80+ Elder Dragons that Spyro rescues in the first game of the trilogy, many of which are showcased in the launch trailer for the trilogy (you can see above.
We took each dragon and gave them a distinct visual design that enhances their role in Spyro’s adventure. Delbin, the Artisan Dragon who introduces Spyro to his friend Sparx the Dragonfly has been re-imagined as a painter, who was working on a portrait of Sparx before being turned to crystal by Gnasty Gnorc (who you’ll notice has a bunch of scars and claw marks from run-ins with some of the realm protecting Peacekeeper Dragons). Lucas, the Magic Crafter Dragon who helps Spyro find the location of a hidden passage has been reimagined as a magical mapmaker with a treasure map drawn upon his wings.
We took this opportunity whenever possible, adding framed dragon portraits to castle walls, inspirational posters to Gnasty’s hideout, and even a giant mechanical dragon to house the roller coaster Spyro rides in Dragon Shores at the end of Ripto’s Rage. We can’t wait for people to have as much fun playing the game as we did making it!
We spent a lot of time finding just the right look for the game, trying to add just the right amount of detail while still retaining a simple and timeless quality to the visuals. Xbox One can produce amazingly detailed and realistic visuals, but for Spyro Reignited Trilogy we wanted to harness that power to make a game that was lush and immersive but felt more like a storybook that has been brought to life.
The grass has a soft painterly quality to it, and it responds to each swish of Spyro’s tail. Spyro himself was reimagined to highlight his iconic character design with an emphasis on clean shapes and flowing lines over hyper-detailed textures, but when you catch him with the sun shining on him just right, we can see all the richness and depth in his skin shader that brings him to life in a totally new way.
That balance of simplicity and fidelity was something we were always very conscious of, and we think we’ve managed to bring Spyro to life in a way that feels just like you remember and brand new at the same time. We’re thrilled for Xbox One players to be able to experience this in the Spyro Reignited Trilogy starting today!
All players who pre-ordered or purchase the Spyro Reignited Trilogy digitally on the Microsoft Store by December 1 will receive the Spyro Companion Avatar Prop. Item will be available 7-10 days after the promotion’s end. Promotion ends 12/2/18 at Midnight PST.