UPDATE: Hey, folks. Thanks for all the comments. It’s always great to get feedback straight from the fans. I just wanted to give you a short update on Eden.
First of all, be sure to check out the demo when it hits the PLAYSTATION Store tomorrow. Just a hint – if you explore the “main menu” you’ll find access to more than one demo stage. Also, to give you an idea of how cool the YouTube recording function works, here are a couple of videos taken by someone at Sony today.
This first one shows single player on an early stage.
This second one shows some 2-player action on a later stage, although the
demo and the full game feature multiplayer for up to 3 people.
Don’t forget to download the demo tomorrow!
We’ve just wrapped up PixelJunk Eden, and it has been an incredibly interesting project from start to finish. We started off by getting an intern programmer from France to try and implement Baiyon’s out-of-this-world foliage designs, and he did a good job with the help of one of our tech guys, and managed to replicate the look. So after he went back to France, we assigned a proper team and went gung-ho into development. That was around December last year. Back then all it had were plants. There was no player character or any real idea for what the game would become, but over the new year I had some sparks of inspiration and that’s when things really started getting moving, leading to the demo video we played at GDC ’08.
Anyway, this all leads into trophies somehow. Ah yes, because our development cycle is so short, we find ourselves being able to implement all the latest OS-supported features before anyone else can. For PixelJunk Monsters it was Dual-Shock 3 support, but this time there have been a couple of really cool new features and we have put both in. These are the Trophy support and the YouTube video upload support. Both of which are really cool.
Initially we implemented all our own trophy screens etc., but then Sony Computer Entertainment built it all into the OS, which really helped us out. The trophy comparing and your “gamer card” screen really up the ante for those hard core gamers out there. In fact, it might make some of the non-gamer types even turn hard-core as chasing trophies can be rather addicting.
PixelJunk Eden is a short-form PSN title so there are fewer trophies when compared to, say, a Blu-ray title (which can have the esteemed platinum trophy), but we still managed to pack in quite a few. To begin with, you can get a bronze trophy for opening every “seed” in a stage. This is quite a challenge on some of the stages as the gardens are large and expansive. Then there are trophies for a load of other things, such as destroying 500 of the “prowlers,” or collecting 15 “crystals” in one jump. My personal favorite is a trophy that you can only achieve in 3P mode, where you have to “volley” a player between you back and forth five times without him/her landing on a plant, a bit like tennis.
The YouTube upload feature is going to revolutionize how people share tips. Up until now it has been limited to people with video capture equipment, but from now on, anyone can record their game and upload it directly to YouTube from within the game! It is as simple as pushing one button to start and one button to stop and upload, and there is no affect on the gameplay thanks to the power of the PS3 and its abundance of SPU processors.
For more info on the YouTube API and PixelJunk Eden and to see it in action, take a look at the YouTube API Blog.
Oh, and we have been totally inundated with requests for trophies in PixelJunk Monsters via some kind of patch. As this goes to press, I can say we are definitely looking into it – you just need to badger Deborah Mars and her team in Santa Monica to get some dates set. If we release a patch, we will not only implement this but we will also implement XMB music and a couple of other things.
One final note about Eden, I really can’t emphasize enough how much pure fun this game is, and I’m saying this as a gamer, not as the developer of the game! My mail box has been overflowing with direct mails full of the same kind of comments from online review sites who have preview copies and I have never had that before, so we must be onto something (fingers crossed)!