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Revolution Software announces the return of the Broken Sword series

A sixth game, Parzival’s Stone, is in development for mobile alongside a remaster of the original game
Revolution Software announces the return of the Broken Sword series
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British developer Revolution Software has announced that it’s rebooting the Broken Sword universe with a new title, Broken Sword: Parzival’s Stone and a full remaster of the original game, The Shadows of the Templars: Reforged.

Both games are in development for mobile, console, and PC, with Shadow of the Templars: Reforged set for an early 2024 release.

The Broken Sword series follows lawyer George Stobbart and journalist Nico Collard as they travel the world, solving historical mysteries. Parzival’s Stone will put the two heroes on the trail of the mythical holy grail.

Parzival’s Stone will feature what series creator Charles Cecil calls “super 2D”, applying hand-drawn textures to 3D geometry.

Cecil discussed the development of the reboot, specifically the use of AI. The original game consisted of 30 thousand hand-drawn sprites, each of which took around an hour to create. At an estimated cost of “£15 to £20” per hour, this would put the cost of sprites alone at between £450,000 and £600,000 ($566,464 - $755,286).

Intelligent design

For the reboot, Revolution instead produced several hundred sprites, then gave those sprites to an AI research team at the University of York to train a generative adversarial network (GAN) to produce more. Despite dissatisfaction with the original results, a tip from an Nvidia engineer helped the company use AI to greater success.

“Instead of taking an hour to do each one, it takes between five and ten minutes to do each one,” Cecil told Polygon. “We’re training the model on our own sprites. What we’ve really focused on is the outlines and the detail in the body, because there’s no way that the hands and the head are going to [look right]. So we have to manually draw their hands and faces.”

At BIG Festival, a panel of industry experts discussed the use and potential of Artificial Intelligence in game design.