For those who played the Vita version, IGN has an article about the changes made to adapt the game to the PS4
So much was familiar – its vibrant art style and unique animation (there’s a stop-motion feel to the way things move in this world) – but it also felt very different. There was a sense of space and scale that wasn't there in the Vita version, which always felt like a very intimate experience. But how much bigger is Tearaway Unfolded?
“It’s a hard thing to judge,” says Rex. “A lot of people just want me to say a percentage, and you know it’s not really possible to do that. I think anyone who has played the Vita version will still recognise the environments and the journey they’re going on, but just the act of making it work on a big stage meant we had to scale things up.”
This is particularly noticeable in the more hub-like areas, such as Maypole Fields. There’s a sense of verticality that was absent in the original. “We found that any of the hub areas just needed to be 50% bigger to get that sense of scale. Those areas are much larger.” And it’s space that can now be explored, with the Messenger able to hop aboard a paper plane and take to the skies.
While the 'Unfolded’ subtitle is a cute pun, for sure, it really helps in conceptualising what Media Molecule is doing to the original. It’s as if the edges of the world have been pulled back a little, and instead of revealing blank white space, they're stuff with intriguing side notes – new characters and side-challenges to play around with. And as a result, the world feels more alive and bustling, not just bigger.
The Messenger's journey will remain the same – he or she will explore the same environments – but the pacing and flow of that experience will change. “We’re finding each area is taking a fair bit longer to play through,” Rex reveals. “We want to make sure each section introduces itself in a nice way and a has a nice conclusion as well. We’re putting a lot of focus into, say, the Gibbet Hills section at the end of the first third of the game so you don’t just arrive at this mountain. You are having this kind of joyful trudge up through the snow. You now really feel like you’re going somewhere.”
In one way, the track pad is similar to the touch screen in the original. Press down on it, and it will ping drum skins in the game world, making objects and characters bounce. Not that different.
But stroke a finger across it and a gust of wind, an entirely new god-power, will blow through the world moving objects. The light bar can also be ‘shined’ into the game world, and is being used as the basis for some entirely new puzzles; it can be used to ignite candles and germinate seeds. And if you own a PlayStation Eye there will additional features, like being able to customise the world with photographs and, like in the Vita version, you might be called upon to play a cameo role.
There’s a healthy interplay between adaptation and invention at work throughout Unfolded, but one of the most interesting new mechanics is definitely ‘Thrown Forth’. Tilt the DualShock upwards and the Messenger will ‘throw’ the object they’re holding into the controller. As it travels, it appears as if the object is bursting through the TV into the real world. The light bar will change colour depending on the object tossed, and you’ll be able to hear it rattling around inside through the speaker. But like with a lot of the cute aspects of Tearaway's world it's powered by a logic that makes it even more beguiling.
“It’s a great one for showing how we want to explore the world in the TV and us outside of the TV, and the relationship between these two worlds," explains Rex.
“With the Vita, it was all about a world in your hands that you were directly touching. For Tearaway Unfolded, we’re thinking more about this as a world that is about six-feet away from you and what that means. A lot of the interactions are exploring the distance between the two of you.
“Thrown Forth is a moment where we wanted it to feel like when the object comes out of the game, the game world turns back into a piece of consumer electronics. You actually see the TV as a TV: so we put scan lines on it, a bit of noise and some interference. Meanwhile, the piece of plastic that is in your hands is making sounds, shaking, and sort of coming to life. As you swipe that object or creature back out again, the two worlds swap back. You’re holding a piece of plastic again, and the world on screen comes back to life.”