Remake your remakes

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As the old saying goes, all ideas have already been invented – there are no new ideas. Remakes or reboots are the word of the day, and have been, for a long time now. Whether it’s a movie or an obscure videogame from the 90’s, it can (and probably will) be remade in the future. Why is that?

Remakes, reboots and reinterpretations essentially mean the same thing: taking something old that works and remaking it to fit modern customer sensibilities. It sounds a like a great idea, to take an existing property and updating it. Compared to a new idea – the old one has a proven track-record and we know it can be successful. It was before, so, why wouldn’t it work again? But you have to smart about the way you do it.

What should you consider when remaking an existing title? You have to understand what was the thing that made it a hit in the first place. Was it the story, graphics, music…? Maybe it was part of a cultural movement that cannot be recreated in modern times, making it impossible for the remake to succeed. Whatever it might be, you have to find what was so essential about it and carry that into your new version.

All the other stuff, that now seems outdated, like maybe the used language, clothing, title cards, sound effects, special effects – they can and should go. You want to give a new audience the same essential experience but in a modern context. Make it easy for the new audience to fall in love with your project. Use the new technology available to you today to overcome the deficiencies in the old. Use technology as your secret weapon to modernize the experience and to take it even higher than before.

Think about projects that have been done before and if they have found something essential that has endured time. Start remaking your old projects. Start to rethink their use cases. Do you need to update the UI for modern customers? Maybe use the same idea but in a different context. Maybe a mobile app would better suit your audience than a desktop application? These are just simple suggestions, but you get the point.

True progress is an evolution, not a revolution. It is a slow and long iterative process that demands remaking and constant recontextualization. The world doesn’t stop, it keeps constantly moving forward. And that means that your software project, album or a movie will inevitably fall behind, unless you remake it. But the universal human truths that govern us all, don’t change, they can stand the test of time. Grab a hold of these truths and pour them into your project. If you have something essential, it will always find a connection with someone. But first, they have get past the exterior. Remake the exterior, keep the interior.

Tuukka Virtanen

About

Test automation consultant with technical experience in test automation and quality assurance. TMap Next certified Test Engineer with knowledge in test planning and execution and test design techniques. Master of Science in Information Management. Indie game development as a side project. Creative and visual thinker. The latest assignment included web and mobile game test automation with Appium and Robot Framework in an Agile customer project and regression test automation for websites.

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