Wipeout 2048 Developer Interview

By on January 22, 2012

Wipeout is speeding onto the PS Vita – are you ready?

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First Impressions
My reaction is

We were lucky enough to attend an exclusive hands-on with the Playstation Vita this week, and we got a chance to sit down with Karl Jones and Mike Humphrey from Liverpool Studios, who are working on Wipeout 2048. Here’s what they had to say:

For such a small device, Vita packs quite a punch in terms of its processing capabilities – how have you tapped into the Vita’s internal mechanics to really flesh out Wipeout 2048?
Well as designers we kind of just ask for things – it’s the coders that really go out and make all the magic happen. I’ve not hear any of our coders complain (yet) about working on the Vita’s hardware. One of the first things we did was plug in a physics model into the Vita to see how it would handle it, and we were just blown away with the result. It’s technically the best thing we could ever ask for – as designers we’re able to throw so much more at it and come up with some really fantastic ideas for the game. We were able to handle our assets the same way we did for the Playstation 3, which was really remarkable.

The Vita has multiple inputs and sensors – how have you utilized each one to perform in the game?
We’ve pretty much tapped into everything that the Vita has to offer, that’s the simplest way to put it. Obviously we experimented with tilt controls with the Sixaxis controller on the Playstation 3, so it was a no-brainer to bring that control option to the Vita as well. The difference here is that when you tilt the Vita, you actually see the horizon tilt as well, which is quite cool. We’ve got the rear touch controls which you can use to drive your ship, and the front touchscreen can be used to activate your weapons. We’re also using the ‘near’ functionality to allow players to share their best lap times with other players, as well as set your own lap times.

I hear you’re also using the front camera somehow in the game?
Yes – we’re using the front camera to take snapshots of players when they beat lap times, so they can really show off their victories in style.

Given that the Vita has so much power packed into it combined with multiple controls and sensors, were there any challenges when designing the game for this platform?
Because there’s so much to produce, it can be a little bit intimidating at times, but I think we did a really good job overall. The Vita offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to design, so we were able to really tweak the game to make it worthy of a Wipeout game.

At the E3 demo last year with Sony we were shown the Crossplay feature of the game – can you elaborate a bit more on that?
Crossplay is an exciting feature that we’ve been talking about for a while now. Right out of the box, you’ll be able to play Wipeout on the Vita against other Wipeout players on the Playstation 3. So that opens up a world of possibilities in multiplayer gaming and it really is an awesome feature of the game.

Wipeout has been around since the original Playstation –  how have you managed to keep the core feel of the game the same while still bringing all these new amazing features to it?
We’ve certainly designed this game in a way that fans of the series will be pleased with it, as well as making it more accessible to new gamers. We identified what some of the core mechanics of Wipeout were – super fast ships, awesome tracks, great visuals, futuristic soundtrack – and brought all of this into Wipeout 2048. We also made sure the setting wasn’t too far into the future, so the levels feature actual streets and buildings, rather than towering masses of steel that you drive past.

Lastly, what’s your most loved feature about Wipeout 2048?
The main campaign mode is what we love most – it’s going to be interesting to see how gamers react to seeing that in a Wipeout game. The multiplayer is of course also something to look forward to, especially with Crossplay coming into the mix.


About

A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys hurling fireballs and tinkering with the latest gadgets. Follow him on Twitter as @theregos

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