ArenaNet has released a video discussing the creation of its ambitious Guild Wars 2 April Fools' prank, which added an entire area inspired by classic 8-bit titles to the online game's world.
The idea for "Super Adventure Box" came from Guild Wars 2's Halloween 2012 event, says environment artist Josh Foreman. The Mad King's Clock Tower was a massive jumping puzzle entirely contained in its own map, and "this really got the wheels turning," he says. "I was thinking of all the other cool things we could do with that."
Foreman says he had always wanted to make an homage to the classic 8-bit and 16-bit games like Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda and Castlevania that had inspired him and a generation to create video games for a living. "So we got a team together, we started throwing around all our memories of these past games, all the tropes and cliches that really defined what the medium was in those days. We wanted to build a whimsical world based on our memories of playing video games as kids."
The team created an "old-school UI," a chiptunes-esque soundtrack, new weapons and powerups and even things like hidden bombable walls to their homage, which in-game is the creation of an inventor named Moto — himself a thinly-veiled tribute to Nintendo's famed designer Shigeru Miyamoto.
"Super Adventure Box" will be playable in Guild Wars 2 all throughout April.