PlayStation Mobile Developer Interview: Fuel Tiracas
Continuing my discussion with James Marsden about FuturLab and PlayStation Mobile, this time all about Fuel Tiracas. It is their second game that is launching with the platform on October 2nd. I have had the game for a couple days now and it is quite fun.
Q: Where did the inspiration come from for Fuel Tiracas? How did the game get its name?
Fuel Tiracas started life as a Flash game that one of our colleagues, Dan Bibby, came up with back in 2005. You can still play the Flash game here: http://www.futurlab.co.uk/flashgames/fuel/
Whilst the concept was cute, and we liked the style, the game was really hard to play using a computer keyboard, so when Sony asked us to make some ‘slick and futurlabby’ games for PlayStation Mobile, we figured this would be an ideal little game to update for touch devices.
It needed some tweaking, but it’s largely intact – the biggest change we made was changing it from being completely random to sequenced events that are memorisable. It’s this that makes the game addictive a player is rewarded for their practice.
Tiracas is a planet at the outskirts of the Toron Nebula; part of the Velocity universe. There are some other games called Fuel, so we tacked Tiracas on the end of it so that people could find it reviews and info on Google and not face hundreds of pages of those other games instead 🙂
Q: One thing that I noticed right away were the online leaderboards. Is this something you are excited about?
Definitely, seeing you and Alex from TheSixthAxis battle it out made me chuckle. I just hope our server can cope with the one-upmanship between you two 😉
Q: One thing that other mobile platforms have is the quick ability to push out patches and new content. Is PSM more like this or closer to how it was with Minis?
The submission process is much more streamlined than Minis and other submission types to Sony. Fuel Tiracas and Beats Slider both passed QA in one day. I believe patches are also QA’d, but time will tell how that works out.
Q: What is stopping players from just spamming there way through the levels?
Starting with level 3, different types of fuel pod are introduced, which requires a player to think, whereas the first two levels can be cheated through. I find that quite funny really, and think it’ll be fun to see who can cheat the fastest.
Q: Out of all of the different fuel types which do you like encountering the most? Which messes with you the most?
I love encountering the long sequence that was modelled after Bishop’s Knife trick from Aliens. I can do that so fast that it’s automatic now (as you may have seen from the Annoying Teaser video).
I also really like the Bedlam Fuel type that Robin introduced one day, as that sounds really good with the music, and it’s a moment’s challenge to find the right colour in time.
The one that screws me up the most is the arrow type, but they’re satisfying to get right when you can do it quickly. It’s the most challenging type by far.
Q: When can everyone check out Fuel Tiracas?
Wednesday when the store launches!
Q: So you have one PSM title left that you are working on… I assume you are saving the best for last?
I hate to say that we’ve left the best ‘til last, as it undermines Beats Slider and Fuel Tiracas a bit. Having said that, I am incredibly excited about the next game – I think it’s going to rule. You’ll have to wait and see and let us know what you think!
Q: Looking in the future, do you see Futurlab working on more PSM titles past these three?
We’ve got another in the works at the moment (making a total of three PSM titles initially), which I am tremendously excited about. I also really like the platform SDK.
It depends – if these launch games go well for us, we’d be silly not to keep cranking them out as we’ve got loads of good ideas 🙂
Q: Lastly, is there anything else you would like our readers to know about your launch games?
Only that we care a great deal about making high quality experiences, and we’d like to continue doing it! Support from your readers will help us do that 🙂
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I would like to thank James for taking the time to do both these Q/As. Fuel Tiracas will be on sale for only 40pence in the UK, cheaper than iOS games. There is no word on the official price here in the US as of this posting.