Rayman Origins is one of the most gorgeous 2D games ever created. The "UbiArt" framework used to create the game produced spectacular results, and surprisingly, was born from technology developed for the perpetually in-limbo Beyond Good & Evil 2.
"It was a continuation of what we were doing with Beyond Good & Evil 2 -- a visual pattern generating-based engine," Ubisoft designer Michel Ancel said.
"Artists make some patterns, like samples, and we use them to quickly model levels, as to have a forest, for example. Everything started from this tool, which we called the UbiArt Framework," Ancel told Gamasutra. "Then we said to ourselves, 'To prove that this engine works, let's make an entire game with it!'"
So then what happened to BG&E2? Ancel says that the first game became too ambitious for its platform, and history repeated. "It turned out that we were heading to the same syndrome -- that is to say that, even if current consoles can apparently feature some very good-looking things, with lights, shadows and so on, architecturally speaking, we felt bounded. So I said, 'Let's make a full 2D game instead of half of a 3D game.'"
Ancel seems pleased with the results, and the game has received a positive critical reception. We've heard that BG&E2 is aiming for next generation, which will hopefully enable Ancel's ambitious visions to come to fruition.