September 19, 2012 // 9:28 pm
- Bluepoint Games Senior Producer Daryl Allison
has announced today that PlayStation All-Stars on PS Vita puts the fight in gamer's pockets!
To quote: Hello PlayStation fans! My name is Daryl Allison, Sr. Producer at Bluepoint Games, developers of the PlayStation Vita version of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
Since Sony's announcement at Gamescom of their awesome promotion pricing program for PlayStation All-Stars - where gamers who purchase the PlayStation 3 version also get to download the PS Vita version at no additional cost - it has been great to see gamers getting excited for the PS Vita version, so it's time Bluepoint gets into the blogging ring.
As fans of Bluepoint know, the studio has worked hard over the years to give gamers the highest quality remasters for classic titles God of War, ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, and Metal Gear Solid. Now, for PlayStation All-Stars, we've taken our passion to the next level. Our mission: To create the full PS3 experience of PlayStation All-Stars on PS Vita.
By that, we don't mean a game with similar features carrying the same name. PlayStation All-Stars is about showcasing the possibility of true Cross-Play between PS3 and PS Vita. The feature richness of the PS3 version's arcade mode, online modes, player progression system and its unlockables and customization, etc... it's all here on PS Vita. The connectivity and gameplay is a frame-perfect, seamless experience.
The only separation between the versions is where players choose to play, not which platform. Four friends can get together with four PS Vitas and battle via an ad hoc connection. You and a friend can grab your PS Vitas, team up online and compete against everyone else playing from their PS3s or PS Vitas.
Or bring your PS Vita over to a friend's house, and while three of them elbow each other and mess with each other's controllers on the couch, you can lounge anywhere you want, playing against them with a handheld screen all your own. SuperBot serves up PlayStation All-Stars on the PS3 and Bluepoint makes it feel like the PS Vita was always its home.
You'll set down your Dual Shock, pick up your PS Vita, wonder how the PS3 squeezed into it, and continue your progression up the leaderboards.
It's been awesome watching the R&D behind recreating the PS3 version's high-quality graphics on the PS Vita. We could not settle for a reduced graphical experience - no one should! - so we set off on a journey of crazy problem solving for each character, environment and effect.
Bringing the very best out of this portable platform has led our team at Bluepoint to hit back with a combo of high-end math and old-school dev tricks. It hasn't been easy, but we're doing it, and all with the game blazing at 60 frames per second. PlayStation All-Stars makes you believe that with PS Vita you have a PS3 in the palm of your hand.
It's one thing for the graphics to impress. It's another to ensure the PS Vita provides the genuine experience for fighting game fans. We regularly grab raw HD data and 240 FPS video to check that input latency, rendering fidelity and "the awesome" remains tight. Running at 60 FPS is as much for the smoothness of the graphics as for the controls.
It's important that there are no advantages (or disadvantages) due to the different hardware - no network lag, no input lag, so PlayStation All-Stars on PS Vita must be - and is - tuned to have the same tight gameplay responsiveness.
From button press to character action, the quality of fighting is upheld to PS3 standards. We also take advantage of both SuperBot and PlayStation being in California - Bluepoint is in Austin, Texas - working with them to tune network code and optimize bandwidth, to deliver the best possible online experience.
There's much more cool stuff to talk about, but for now, get ready to take the PS3 PlayStation All-Stars experience on the road. As we do not endorse driving while brawling, we recommend you find yourself a designated driver... then have them find the nearest gaming retailer, insist they buy a PS Vita, and kick their butt.
Finally, from the PS Blog
comes some details on stage mashups in PlayStation All-Stars, as follows:
"We have a huge team of designers, artists, and programmers working on the characters, but we have a team that's at least equally large working on the levels," Game Director Omar Kendall told PlayStation.Blog in a revealing new interview. "It's a huge undertaking in a game like this, because the levels have such a loud voice."
The inspiration to fuse two seemingly unrelated game worlds came early in the game's development, with the now-familiar Hades level serving as the germ of the concept. "We had this idea of a giant Hades wreaking havoc on the playspace, when suddenly this happy-go-lucky music kicks in and the Patapons come over the hill to overthrow him," Kendall remembered. "Once that came together, we knew we were onto something."
Gameplay rests firmly at the heart of each stage's design. "We start by sitting around a table, a bunch of designers and artists, trying to figure out an interesting combat space to fight in," Kendall said. Sometimes that manifests itself as a specific gameplay interaction, whether it's Dreamscape's ever-growing level architecture (a nod to LittleBigPlanet's level creator) or the vertical scrolling in Alden's Tower (a homage to inFAMOUS's final stage).
"Some characters excel against enemies that are in front of them, others directly above and below them," Kendall explained, "so we create playspaces that leverage those advantages and disadvantages." Case in point: Chop-Chop Master Onion's tiny dojo is designed to create a uniquely claustrophobic play style, while Metropolis is wide-open and favors longer-range strategies.
"Technically, the process can be extremely complicated based on the ideas we're introducing," Kendall admitted. "So many of the levels in the game are essentially one-offs. We'll create a lot of technology to construct a specific type of encounter, and then toss it and build a totally different experience for the next level."
Though inefficient, that approach is yielding some dazzling results. Such is the case with the game's exhilarating mashup between UNCHARTED 3 and 2013's BioShock Infinite. "When we first watched the demonstration of Columbia, it left a strong and lasting impact," Kendall remembered. "We knew we wanted to incorporate that world and those characters into one of our levels." Then UNCHARTED 3's famous cargo plane sequence entered the picture, and the rest is history.
Other times, an interesting visual contrast might spark the inspiration for a mashup. Time Station begins firmly rooted in the whimsical Ape Escape universe. Halfway through the match, a teleportation error sees the Resistance 3 universe bleed into the environment – including a monstrous, rampaging Widowmaker.
It's important to note that these stage evolutions are no mere cosmetic flourish: new hazards, new level layouts, and new strategies develop organically as the stages bleed from one universe to the next, creating a truly dynamic combat arena.
Be sure to watch our new video documentary to get an inside look at SuperBot's process for constructing stages in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.