Published on September 5th, 2014 | by gareth0
In Space We Brawl Developer Interview
Aside from being a hot looking game and a Playstation exclusive, we found out that there is more to this retro title then meets the eye in our interview.
- What is the background and setting for the game?
In Space We Brawl is a classic couch multiplayer experience. You can invite friends at your place (bringing their controllers!) and play together.
It’s a game of skill, fun and competition, as the twin stick control system is pretty classic but the game offers a very deep and rewarding combat system.
The setting is a fictional galaxy divided in eight different areas. They host our battlegrounds that can be small, medium or very large and feature a lot of space hazards that should be kept in consideration when fighting.
- How many different ships will there be and what are some of their features?
In Space We Brawl features 11 spaceships, each one with its peculiar stats. Parameters like speed, mass, energy and boost influence the performance of the ships and there are also some special features, like the chainsaw of the Grinder or the super heavy armor of the Juggernaut.
There are also 11 special weapons and each one is completely different in term of usage, effect and power. The Ion Vulcan is a classic gatling gun but we have also more exotic weapons like the Plasma Sword or the Quantic Slinger, a slingshot that can be used to grab and shoot asteroids around.
- What made the Playstation 4 the ideal platform and will the game come to Xbox One in time?
Some nice couch multiplayer games were launched this year on Playstation 4, like TowerFall Ascension and Sportfriends. That’s why we decided to target the Sony platforms first. We also added some cool features that are only possible using a DualShock 4, taking advantage of the light bar and the embedded speaker.
- Why do you think there has been such a rebirth of casual and retro themed titles of late?
Many independent studios are producing incredible games with limited resources, so it’s easier to work on a game with a retro inspired aesthetic. Talking about gameplay, our main focus has always been the fun factor and we designed the game starting from classic mechanics, twisting them to create something new, accessible but very deep.
There will be always huge AAA games and medium/small indie titles and both can coexist in such a large but demanding market.
- What types of multiplayer does the game offer?
We have a lot of local multiplayer game modes, with many options and variations. Tournament is the classic sequence of matches with the final scores calculation. Championship is a little bit different, as the score goal is set and the first player that reaches that wins. Both modes can be played like a classic deathmatch or with teams, adding also the opportunity to place bounties on the head of your friends, trying to kill them to grab additional points.
Moreover, we are working on a bunch of single player challenges. The first set teaches you the basics of the game but you can unlock special spaceships and the craziest weapons berating the hard ones.
- What were the inspirations behind the game?
The main mechanic of the game is maneuvering and shooting at the same time, so the twin stick control system was the perfect fit. That’s why took inspiration from a lot of shoot ’em ups of the past, like Geometry Wars and many other classics from the ‘80s and ‘90s.
The game flow and the multiplayer modes are new for the genre and the inspiration comes from versus beat ‘em up games like Street Fighter.
- What separates the game from others in the genre?
In many couch multiplayer games, every player has the same character or set of abilities. In Space We Brawl is different as it features more than 100 spaceships and weapons combinations.
That’s why we say that we took inspirations from versus fighting games: approaching those titles for the first time, players usually look for the fighter that better fits their style. In Space We Brawl is similar as you have to find the spaceship that you consider the best, because you are able to leverage those peculiar stats. You also have to pick your weapon of choice, trying to master it and finding all the special effects that it can have on the environments.
- What were some of the biggest challenges and triumphs in creating the game?
Balancing more than 100 different configurations requires a lot of playtesting and we’re constantly improving the game, tweaking all the stats. To achieve that, we brought the game into public places and we started to play, using a laptop and four gamepads. The outcome has been incredible and we published a video about what we call our “Street Playtesting” sessions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX59HCD9ZiI
The design of the game has been a challenge too, because we created a lot of different battlegrounds, spaceships and weapons but not all of them were fun or interesting, so we dropped some ideas and we focused all our efforts in what proved to be really working in term of added value to the gameplay.
- What can you tell us about the control system and A.I. in the game?
The A.I. is pretty smart and you can encounter some alien spaceships in the Leonis Prime sector of the galaxy. They maneuver between dense group of asteroids, can shoot at you from great distance and also use their bullets to stop yours. We also added some alien nests in the Uroboros Serpentis area: if you destroy a nest, some small aliens are spawned and they’ll desperately seek the nearest player.
This is only an example of a space hazard that should be evaded but that can also be used as a weapon against the other players.
Aliens are also aware of their own health and they can decide to look for a repair supply pod, avoiding frontal fire from the players.
- What are some of the enemies players will face.
The main enemies are the friends that are seating with you on the same couch. Fighting and destroy them can lead to gain points for the final score.
Other enemies are the aliens that we already talked about but also many other space hazards. Black holes can attract spaceships and bullets and there are also white holes. Solar wind is also pretty dangerous and space wrecks can be used as a shield to deflect enemy fire, hoping to avoid a still active defense turret.
We’re also thinking about a new co-op mode, so players will have the opportunity to join forces against a common enemy.