Switch Galaxy Ultra Brings Wipeout Pedigree To Vita And PS4 (Dev Q/A)
Switch Galaxy might be one of the best games currently available on the PlayStation Mobile store. Earlier this year we reported that a native Vita version would be coming, but we now have some some more details to share. I chatted with Gary Nichols about the game earlier in the week. The concept image he gave us makes me even more excited.
For anyone that hasn’t played Switch Galaxy on PS Mobile, how would you describe the game?
It’s a reaction based adrenaline rush.
With very simple controls you “switch” your ship between lanes avoiding barriers, enemies and broken track. As you progress through the game it really tests your reactions as it gets incredibly quick. You can also collect credits which you can spend on upgrading your ship and this helps combat the speed of the levels but it’s still quite a challenge towards the end of the game. We kept the controls very simple so all you have to worry about is weaving out the way of obstacles and grabbing pick ups. The background story is you’re working for Dakur Technology who have a secret research base on the other side of the galaxy and need you to collect and deliver Tantalum to it in order to power up their new Jump Drive technology. Tantalum can only be collected at very high speed which sets the scene for why you’re trying to get record times on each level.
We originally developed Switch as an Android title which only had one level, it was an endless racer and you only had one life to travel as far as you can, people really loved the game so we also kept this mode for Switch Galaxy so that’s also available for a quick blast of play.
What sets the version of the game apart?
Switch Galaxy Ultra says it all, it really is an ultra version of the game with a super smooth and fast 60 FPS. Everything is bigger, better and faster. There’s more ships to choose from, loads more levels, we’ve overhauled the graphics with lots more detail, higher poly count and beautiful new high-res backgrounds. We’ve also added lots of new shader effects, better lighting with real-time shadows and reflections, so basically everything you would expect from a next gen game. If that wasn’t enough we also updated all of the front end menu’s, buttons and even the in-game HUD, we were very proud of Switch Galaxy and the fantastic reviews it got but Switch Galaxy Ultra has us very excited.
We’re also excited to be working with Wipeout legend Darren Douglas. Wipeout’s original concept artist and the only person to have worked on every version to date, he’s also a published Judge Dredd cover artist. Darren’s been helping us to create a really awesome comic for the game that introduces two new characters and it works really well, very funny, gritty and a bit nuts. We’re introducing Amur who heads up Dakur Technology and Vince who is her “out of control” pilot, it’s really cool how the story and their relationship pans out through the game. We’ve also got Amur talking to you as you play the game which is a nice touch and helps with the atmosphere so even the audio is being updated, we’re even working with a couple of really cool DJ’s to incorporate some of their music into the game.
Finally would love to just touch on one other awesome thing we’re doing. We’re working with Caudwell Children a really amazing charity that helps disabled kids and their families, so we’re planning some exclusive content in the game in an effort to support them although we’re still planning how that will work in the game whether it will be unlocked or as DLC. Maybe your readers would like to offer some thoughts on whether they would prefer to buy DLC that supports a charity or they’d rather see a percentage of the purchase price be donated to them instead.
What has it been like bringing the game over from PS Mobile to Vita and PS4?
Luckily my founding partner, CTO and long time friend Mike Clarke is a technical wizard as well as a musical genius (he did all the sound and music for the game too). We’re both ex-Psygnosis and have been making games for a long time, it’s always been important for us to have our own cross platform technology and Mike has done an incredible job of both creating and guiding our team to the point were we have some pretty awesome tech for a small company. So whilst Switch Galaxy was created from scratch on Sony’s PSM SDK we always had our own tech in the background and over the last few months we’ve been bringing the game back into that.
Did you take any feedback from players of the PSM game and address them here?
Yes we did, player feedback is very important to us and we read every review we could find, we watched lots of YouTube reviews and we listened to players that emailed us and posted comments about the game. Based on player feedback we decided to change the front end, the galaxy map is now a lot more user friendly and interactive and one of the other key points that was raised was the amount of levels in the game so we’re increasing those a lot too.
So what do you think of Switch Galaxy Ultra? In the mean time check out their new site.