We’ve just launched a competition to name our new game on PlayStation Blog! If you haven’t seen it already, check it out!
For those that have, here is some more information on the game; our goals, design philosophy and the reason behind doing such an elaborate teaser campaign for a minis title.
We surprised many people with Coconut Dodge. It’s a game that is very simple because we didn’t have any money to spend. We knew our limitations before we started, and we knew that if we worked hard at gameplay design, we could make something unique and addictive with a great deal of longevity and value for money. This approach resulted in glowing reviews and a handful of perfect 10/10 scores, culminating in a Metacritic rating of 81. Not bad for our first game!
This is the same approach we’re taking with our shooter. We still don’t have a lot of money, so we need to be very careful about the design, to ensure the same level of fun, addictiveness and value for money.
With that said, our space shooter is a lot more original in terms of game play mechanics than Coconut Dodge.
NB: this section is repeated from the Name Our Game site
When we first decided to create a space shooter, we knew we couldn’t compete with the likes of R-Type or Ikaruga, so rather than attempt to recreate a classic with a small budget (and ultimately disappoint fans of the genre with a lack of variety and longevity), we looked at inventing a completely new game mechanic, so that our game would be judged on its own merits.
Firstly, we came up with a reason for why the world should be constantly scrolling. Have you ever played a scrolling shooter and wondered why you can’t just turn around and shoot the stuff you missed? This is never explained.
So, in our shooter, there is a reason the world scrolls vertically, and a reason that you can’t turn around: everything is being sucked into a giant black hole!
Player Is King
Ok, that’s cool, so now let’s give the player the power to bend the rules we’ve just created, and let them do something they’ve never been able to do in a vertical shooter: Teleport!
Awesome, now the player can save other people that are being sucked into the black hole, because the player can get out of the situation nobody else can; they’ve got a prototype ship capable of teleporting!
Now we have a game that’s worth making.
With these two small but very significant changes to the genre, we have a completely different game to other shooters. Fans of the genre will understand how to play the game, and will find it fun and challenging, but they will also be playing in a way that is new and exciting.
We believe this is what indie game development should be about; using a platform like minis to do something original; designing a game specifically for the category, that has a budget scope by design, and doesn’t try to cash in on clones of classic games without delivering longevity and variety.
An Awesome Game Isn’t Enough
Our shooter game is going to be awesome. It’s going to be more awesome than Coconut Dodge, and that’s pretty damn awesome, but the minis platform isn’t getting a lot of love by the mainstream gaming press, and for good reason; it’s littered with games that aren’t very fun for very long, or fun at all.
Additionally, many PlayStation users have been burned by these low quality games, and now have a distrust for the platform. Indeed, for many people Coconut Dodge was their first good experience of minis.
We knew that if we sent a straightforward press release out, we’d just get the same level of apathy as we did towards Coconut Dodge – and that’s unacceptable.
So, we thought of a way to get as much attention as possible by inviting the PlayStation community to name the game for us, and to make the most of all the sites that gave us support with Coconut Dodge by using a cool little jigsaw puzzle to build awareness of the game!
Our goal is to make an awesome game and we’d like your input, so if you haven’t done so already, come and Name Our Game!