Rayman: Revenge of the Dark

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Rayman: Revenge of the Dark is a fangame currently in development by a small team led by Adsolution. It is intended to be a prequel to Rayman 2 and a sequel to the original game, bridging the events between the two while telling an original story.

While no public playable versions have been released (outside of an environmental stress test in 2012), it is the oldest 3D Rayman fangame, having begun development in 2009, and has gone through many iterations. The current version began development in 2020 and is projected to be the final.

Development

Concepts for the game date back as far as 2005, as a 2D platformer titled Rayman & Moskito, where Rayman and Bzzit would team up in a co-op adventure to save the latter's family from Dark Rayman; though this version only existed in concept across various sketchbooks.

In 2009, the idea for the game was reworked, dawning its current name. Unsatisfied with the fact most 3D indie titles at the time had very primitive graphics, the goal was to create a 3D game that would rival AAA titles in production quality, and therefore began its development as a mod of Crytek's first-person shooter video game Crysis, running on CryEngine 2, one of the most advanced game engines available at the time. Rayman's first model (and all modelling for the game henceforth) was created in 3ds Max, mostly composed of distorted primitives. Initially skinned to Crysis' base human rig, the model shared said rig's animations and sound effects, resulting in an awkward and humourous appearance. In early 2010 the original model was scrapped in favour of a NURBS-smoothed version of Rayman's model from Rayman Arena that incorporated custom animations and movement for the first time. As Adsolution did not yet have experience with text-based programming languages, CryEngine's built-in flow graph system was used to create game logic and mechanics.

Beginning in February 2010, an original soundtrack also started production, with a video containing multiple compositions uploaded approximately once per month. Parts 1 through 11 had every instrument track for each piece recorded live on a Yamaha MO8 synthesizer with no further editing, which is responsible for some of the audible timing and quantization issues. As of part 12, composition work shifted to Logic Pro and Pro Tools, with the former being used exclusively after a few months and the Yamaha MO8 used as a MIDI controller. As of Part 29, the soundtrack began incorporating higher-quality libraries from Native Instruments' Komplete Ultimate and ProjectSAM's True Strike.

In 2011, the project migrated to the newly-released standalone version of CryEngine 3, along with a new, much higher-quality player model, making use of a proper skeleton rig, and morph targets for detailed facial animation. Many new environments and models were created, culminating to a large update in 2012 that gained some media attention from smaller gaming news outlets.[1][2][3] Following this, an environmental stress test was released to the public that allowed players, in first-person, to walk around the opening setpiece of Gemstone Ruins, an early level in the game.

Knowing most of the assets and visuals showcased so far weren't up to the desired standard, the project was largely restarted in 2013 with a much higher standard of quality in place. While further videos were uploaded showcasing more refined mechanics and animations, the project entered a limbo state around 2014 due to limitations caused by a lack of traditional (non-visual) programming knowledge, and focus was put on other projects in order to learn C++, and C# in the Unity engine. Between 2016 and 2018, attempts were made to resume development in newer versions of CryEngine, but it proved difficult to navigate due to a lack of community knowledge and documentation regarding certain aspects of the engine.

Development began on a completely new iteration of the project in 2020, now using Unity. In September 2020, for the first time in four years, a new gameplay video was released. Rather than playing like Rayman 2 or Rayman 3, the mechanics were heavily reimagined, controlling more akin to a 3D counterpart of Origins and Legends. A more abstract, painterly art style is present, rather than the much darker, grittier appearance of older iterations. Physics simulations are also heavily employed to make the game world feel more interactive and immersive to explore.

At the end of 2022, the game was showcased at Rayman Alive 2022, and is set to appear at Rayman Alive 2023 showcasing far more detailed animations, a large variety of mechanics, cinematic sequences and new environments.

Plot

One year after the defeat of Mr Dark, the residents of the Dream Forest are preparing a ceremony to bestow upon Rayman the blessing of the Great Protoon, designating him the guardian of the Valley.

External links

References