September 17, 2010 // 7:01 pm
- Firemint CEO Rob Murray
has shared a few videos today covering the introduction to Flight Control HD on PlayStation Network.
To quote: We're really excited to bring you Flight Control HD on the PlayStation Network. You will be the first people able to experience Flight Control on the big screen!
If you haven't come across Flight Control on other platforms, it's a really simple but elegant game that invented a new genre, combining path mechanics and time management. It's also incredibly addictive.
3D? In Flight Control?
Believe it or not, the stereoscopic 3D mode in Flight Control HD has some real benefits. It helps to separate the important action (the planes in the air) from the landscape, which is more distant. You can play any map in 3D mode, which feels like looking into a diorama or a snow globe. You can also easily switch back to 2D to enjoy full 1080p HD resolution.
How do you control it?
Flight Control HD supports both PlayStation Move and DUALSHOCK controllers. We weren't really expecting the Move controller to work so well, but it's incredibly precise! You simply move or point the controller, hold the trigger or Move button to select a plane and then trace its path to the correct runway.
The DUALSHOCK controller was a tricky one to get right and our coders spent a lot of time on this. The magic was in finding the right speed and acceleration for your selection cursor, combined with some subtle targeting magnets and a few other tricks to make the controls really natural. Anyone familiar with the analog sticks should find it easy. You can mix and match different controllers any way you want in multiplayer - they all work together.
We're calling our multiplayer mode "collaborative", but the way much of our own games turned out at the studio, I think collaborative is a very loose term. Each player can join or leave a game at any time and the idea is to work together to land as many planes as possible. It can get pretty crazy; we found that the best way was to assign very specific duties to avoid everyone going for the same plane.
However if you ignore a problem in another player's domain then it could be game over for everyone, so the temptation to mess with their area is huge. Of course if you do have designated areas of control, at least you will know who to blame if there is a crash!
Here are a few Controller Archetypes we discovered during our extensive "testing" sessions:
Control Freaks absolutely must grab every single plane but rarely do anything useful with them, leaving others to tidy up in their wake.
The Ace leans back on the sofa looking far too relaxed (which really bothers everyone else). Somehow he manages to never crash.
The Tourist always takes the scenic path and draws long, meandering loops. You're dying to correct his paths because it kills you that they are not optimally efficient.
You've just drawn a perfect path. The planes will zip past each other with sublime elegance, shaving dangerously close in optimum trajectories with mere millimeters to spare... except that the Backseat Pilot rips apart your brilliant paths because he is convinced that the planes will crash.
The Field Marshall is so busy barking instructions at everyone else that he doesn't watch his own planes and causes a crash. Usually has a very red face by the end of the game.
So, over to you - let us know what your Flight Control "collaborators" get up to!