Just announced today for PlayStation Vita is Velocity Ultra. If you can’t tell by the name it is a native Vita version of one of our Games of the Year, Velocity. FuturLab is putting their all into making this the best version of the game so we snagged James Marsden away from development for a little while to answer some questions about it.
Q: What was the driving factor for the decision to create a Vita version of Velocity?
Developing Velocity for PS Vita was our original intention, but our timing was off. When we realised we couldn’t reach PS Vita with the initial release, we decided instead to set ourselves the goal of making the best game on minis instead – to over-deliver for that platform – in the hope that it would get enough attention to warrant further development of the franchise. Fortunately that gamble has paid off.
Q: Had you already planned to create a native Vita version of Velocity or was this something that came about from the deal you signed with Sony?
We’d thrown everything we had at the minis release. There was no more money in the tank, so although we hoped we would get a chance to revisit the game on PS Vita, it was the deal with Sony that allowed it to happen.
Q: While everyone hopes their games are received well, were you surprised by the great reception the minis release of Velocity received?
We’d learned a great deal about the industry publishing Coconut Dodge, managing to get traction with press – to build buzz, even with such a teeny little game. After that I knew we could take Velocity much further.
The holy grail for developers in the UK is to have their game written about favourably in Edge, and whilst we were developing Velocity and facing difficult challenges, I would say to Robin our programmer: “If we keep going at this level, we can get into Edge!” That sounds really arrogant in retrospect but I was totally convinced we had something special, and we just needed to finish it and we’d be on our way.
Q: How has the development process been bringing the minis title to the Vita?
It’s been mostly fun. We’ve yet to start on the PSN integration so ask me again in a month’s time :p
Q: Besides the updated graphics, trophies and leaderboards what other new additions can we look forward to in Velocity Ultra?
That’s it. It’s the same game recreated natively for PS Vita. We’re saving new additions for … other … projects…
Q: Even though this is an HD remake, will Velocity Ultra shine any light on what happened to Kai at the end of Velocity?
I’m afraid for that you will need to wait…
Q: Will the game take full advantage of the more powerful console’s sound functionality?
I don’t think so, no. We’re not going to try and fix anything that wasn’t broken
Q: How will the game use the Vita’s additional functionality? – Near, touch screen, back touch
It will use front touch for menus and we’re considering using it for Teleportation, but really it doesn’t work very well in practice.
Velocity’s levels are designed for extremely fast-paced action, and forcing the player to use the touch screen in these levels is not going to work. We will experiment with putting bombs on the right stick though, as a lot of people have asked for that.
Q: Do you plan on adding any more Easter eggs into this version?
You’ll have to wait and see…
Q: Anything you would like to let our readers know?
I’d like to thank them for their support. It’s your readers, your writers and the great PlayStation community that has resulted in us being able to realise our dreams
While some might have wanted a sequel to Velocity and not a revamped remake, Velocity Ultra is on my radar and won’t be coming off anytime soon. Speaking of sequels… Let them know what you would like if they were to make a Velocity 2.
You can look for more on Velocity Ultra in the coming months as we get closer to its “May” release date.