PlayStation Mobile Developer Interview: Panic!
Green alien blobs always seem to be causing trouble. We have seen this with the Tales From Space games, but this time you are trying to stop the destruction of the world in Panic! a new game coming to PlayStation Mobile. We had the chance to ask Nicolas Marinus from Thumbs Up and Phil Gaskell from Ripstone all about it.
Q: What is Panic!?
Nicolas Marinus, Managing Director – Thumbs Up: Panic! is a top-down action puzzler for PlayStation© Mobile that requires quick thinking and fast reflexes. A giant alien slime monster is attacking the city! What can you do? Help a few survivors escape the city by creating blockades. Topple houses, drop bombs and throw buoys to save those about to be swallowed by the slime!
It’s all about action and fun! And a whole lot of slime. You know, the green kind you find in your handkerchief.
Q: What type of game modes and missions can we expect?
NM: There are two modes, campaign and survival. In campaign mode you can play 30 levels in 3 different worlds. Survival takes the best from these worlds and brings it all together in an ever-increasing challenge with more and more civilians to save and quicker and quicker slime racing through the streets.
Q: How exactly do you stop a huge alien slime monster?
NM: A huge handkerchief!
You don’t fight the monster; you are focused on saving civilians by diverting the slime. Just get it to the edge of the city and let the army handle the rest.
Q: Who’s doing the music and why did you decide on ‘surf music’?
NM: When we did the initial pitch to our publisher Ripstone, we made a trailer using Cowboy Bebop’s “Tank” song (look it up, it is incredible!). It fit the mood perfectly. It was fun, roguish and had a good drive, ideal for the anxiety you feel when a slime monster moves through the city.
The music is done by Kenneth Pichal, a talented musician from the band Until Broadway. We feel he absolutely nailed the tongue in cheek aspect of the music and was able to create some really catchy tunes.
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Q:Is it all busy city streets or will the giant alien slime monster strike other places?
NM: The attack starts near a small town, moves on to bigger cities, passes through an industrial area full of factories, trains and containers and reaches its climax in the big metropolis where its towering form defies the skyline and the army’s bullets.
Q: Is there any difference when playing on a PlayStation Vita instead of a phone or tablet?
NM: The colours! The Vita has this incredible OLED screen that make the already vibrant colours really pop! I got excited seeing it for the first time on the Vita. For the rest we made sure that the experience is very much the same across all devices.
Q: As a publisher, what are your thoughts on PSM so far?
Phil Gaskell, Co-Founder & Creative Director – Ripstone: Anything that helps great games get into the hands of gamers is a good thing in my opinion. As any developer or publisher in the mobile space will attest to, with the barriers to entry being so low it leads to high volumes of content, which in turn inevitably creates a disproportionate amount of low quality software. It’s also well documented that piracy levels on Android devices are unbelievably high. The commitment to quality that the PlayStation brand brings, coupled with a robust anti-piracy solution means both gamers and game makers will benefit.
Q: What has you most excited about PSM?
PG: The most exciting thing for me as a hardcore gamer is the opportunity to fuse my gaming experiences on smartphones with my gaming experiences on handheld and console devices. Right now Sony are very well positioned to combine their strong console offering with their presence in the smartphone space. Unified trophies, ranking boards, and even the holy grail of smartphone gamers playing live online multiplayer against console gamers is no longer a far fetched dream. I think we’ll see this and much sooner than everyone thinks.
Q: When can our readers get their hands on Panic!?
PG: Thumbs Up are perfectionists so have one or two last minute fixes to make. We don’t have an exact release date yet, but expect the game to hit the PSM store very soon.
Thanks to Phil and Nicolas for answering our questions. We will be sure to let you know more about Panic! as soon as we get word.