SEGA requested d3t build upon a working concept and prototype for a 3D environment to act as a ‘wrapper’ and launcher for the “SEGA Mega Drive Classics Hub”. The brief was twofold: to create an environment that invoked the spirit of a 1990’s teenager’s bedroom, and to add a suite of Steam Workshop functionality to the game wrapper, including the ability to share user generated ROM mods.
The d3t Solution:
SEGA wanted the gaming environment to tie into the timeframe involved in the MEGA Drive’s story, so we set about creating a bedroom, complete with CRT TV and pre-digital hifi system. It enabled us to hark back to our own gaming histories to reminisce about what excited us at the time.
Even though the room had to have a retro look, it was being made for contemporary tech, so it had to look the part. Using Unity’s proprietary shaders allowed a quicker turnaround without compromising on the quality, and meant we had more time to enhance the atmosphere with the beautiful time-of-day lighting.
The contrast between the room’s appearance and the menus helps remind the player that they’re experiencing a retro console – the styling of the UI was an important part of the overall experience.
We wanted to make the user experience of uploading ROMs as smooth as possible, so we wrote a tool specifically for this. The functionality of Steam’s Workshop was critical here, and this side of the project would be a big draw for the community.
We were delighted by the positive feedback from the community regarding the modding capabilities of the end result. The nostalgic appeal led to the project being well publicised, receiving acclaim in the mainstream press as well as from enthusiasts.