PlayStation Mobile Developer Interview: Switch Galaxy
Here is another look into an upcoming game on PlayStation Mobile. This time Chris had a chat with Gary Nichols from Atomicom Ltd. about Switch Galaxy, a futuristic survival racing game.
Q: Could you tell us a little bit about Atomicom and Switch Galaxy?
Sure thing, we started Atomicom back in 2010 after having developed console games under the name of Playbox since 2004, we’d started to see many developers going to the wall and we wanted to make sure we were not one of them. It was becoming increasingly more difficult to sign console games so we took the decision to start a new mobile company concentrating on Android and iOS development. We’d just launched Bang Bang Racing as our first android title and we were trying to figure out what to do next when I had the idea of paying homage to Dodge-em the old Atari 2600 game but it soon became obvious that it wasn’t going to make a very good game in 3D so we just made the track straight rather than having corners like in Dodge-em and it became Switch which went on to be downloaded over 1.7 million times since its release. People really loved the game and we had great feedback from players and lots of ideas for a sequel so when we had the opportunity to develop a sequel for PlayStation Mobile we couldn’t say no. Some of our team including myself are ex-Psygnosis so it’s really nice to be able to develop for PlayStation as it has a special place in our hearts.
Q: What differences can we expect to see coming from Switch to Switch Galaxy?
Well the essence of the original game is still there, the feeling of speed and quick reaction times are what the game is all about but Switch Galaxy has lots more content. The original switch had one game mode and that was it, in Switch Galaxy we wanted to add lots more content for the player. The game now features a level structure, lots of pick-ups, power-ups, new enemies and of course a huge upgrade to the graphics as you would expect from a PlayStation title. We left the original survival mode in there though as that’s still a lot of fun.
Q: How do ship upgrades work?
We have a number of ways these work, during the game you earn credits both on the track itself and from finishing quickly you get credit bonuses, you can then spend these on ship upgrades such as Speed, Acceleration and Dexterity. You can also buy new ship skins and permanent barrier passes to help you beat the levels. Secondly there’s extra objectives you can take on and if successful you get awarded extra upgrades.
Q: Are there in-app purchases to buy credits for ships and skins or are they purely gained from playing?
No, there are most definitely not any in-app purchases to buy, everything that you can gain you can earn from playing the game.
Q: What type of modes are there in the game?
We have just two modes, we have the original Switch survival mode where you have one life to get as far as you can which is a very fun mode, you get to beat your record and you also earn credits for breaking new records. The other mode is Mission Mode, the idea of the game is to get from one side of the Galaxy to the other in the fastest time possible, why? Well, you’re working for Dakur Technology who need you to collect Tantallum, a metal that can only be collected at very high speeds, they need you to deliver this to their secret research base where they are developing a jump drive which needs Tantallum to work. Once you deliver it you receive the Jump Drive and can then go back and earn gold on any levels you missed.
Q: How do you control the ship?
We wanted to keep the controls simple as they worked and we didn’t want to mess with something that worked, you just tap the left or right sides of the screen to switch lanes or you can use the bumper buttons or the D Pad if you wish but the touch screen is the most sensitive and the best was to play.
Q: What was it like working with the PSM SDK?
Like most SDK’s you take the good with the bad, there’s a lot of tools there that get you up and running very very quickly but there’s also some issues such as the PlayStation Vita version not being able to use mipmaps which is a bit strange. It also lacks a bit of power, if the game was using our own internal Aqua engine we’d be running at 60fps.
Q: When can we expect to see Switch Galaxy on the PS Mobile Store?
TODAY!!! 🙂 we’re very excited, the game launches on the 6th March and we believe it’s probably the most advanced PlayStation Mobile title yet, but we’re also slightly worried that the game will be lost in PSM as it’s not the easiest thing to find on a new tablet/phone.
Q: Anything you would like our readers to know?
We are hoping to work on a 3rd sequel and have some awesome ideas based around exploring who Dakur Technology are and starting to expand the story of the galaxy as well as giving the player a much more open world playing experience with lots of ships, trading, multiplayer but we’ll have to see how people take to Switch Galaxy before we plan the next title.
Thanks again to Gary for answering these questions. Switch Galaxy will be out later tonight on PlayStation Mobile for £1.99/$2.49/€2.49.