Since January, I’ve been following the work of Reuben Ward (reubs) via his YouTube channel, specifically his series focused on the remake of the game “The Simpsons: Hit and Run”.

The game, “The Simpsons: Hit and Run” was developed by Radical Entertainment (now owned by Activision Blizzard), released in September 2003 for the Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo GameCube. At launch, the game received mostly positive reviews but subsequently established itself as a fan favourite.

The remake project began as a “hackathon-style” challenge, where reubs attempted to remake the game in one week using Unreal Engine 5.

The video documenting the process (embedded below) went viral (7.8 million views to date), which prompted the questions… What if you had more than one week? How much of the game could be remade by a single developer?

As of December, reubs has released nine videos, demonstrating unbelievable progress. At this stage, the game is largely playable and includes many “quality of life” improvements, covering performance, graphics, gameplay, artificial intelligence, etc.

If you are interested in game development (or retro gaming), I highly recommend watching this series of videos (playlist linked below). Not only does reubs do an excellent job of documenting his process, which is great for learning new tips/tricks. He also delivers the content with light-hearted commentary, making it a joy to watch.

Not only do the videos highlight the power of the Unreal Engine. They also demonstrate how far game development has evolved over the past twenty years.

I find these types of personal projects inspiring and motivating. Helping fuel my passion for game development. I have always avoided Unreal Engine in favour of other (simpler) engines, such as Godot and GameMaker. However, these videos do open my eyes to what is possible with Unreal Engine as a single developer.

I look forward to seeing how the project evolves and would love to see some formal acknowledgement/backing from Activision Blizzard.

Finally, I recommend you subscribe to reubs YouTube channel, as well as support him via his Patreon.