PlayStation.Blog
PS4-Watch_Dogs

71% More echochrome PSP, Coming Tomorrow

Tsubasa Inaba's Avatar + Posted by Tsubasa Inaba on Oct 08, 2008 // Senior Producer, International Software Development

Hey, PlayStation Blog Readers!

Just when you were close to beating all your clear times on all 56 echochrome stages on your PSP, we have even more challenges coming your way!

Echochrome Expansion Pack - Oct. 9, 2008

An expansion pack for echochrome is coming to the PSN on October 9th for $4.99.
You can almost double the fun of the original with an additional 40 new stages to master. For those of you who don’t have the original version, not to worry. We have a bundle pack ready for you guys and gals too, so you can pick up the game and expansion pack all at once!

Also today, I have a message to you from my buddy (and counterpart) back in Tokyo.
Check out what he has to say to get a glimpse of what makes echochrome as fun and interesting as it is! echochrome wouldn’t be what it is without its core philosophy.

Hello, echochrome fans! This is Tatsuya Suzuki, Producer at JAPAN STUDIOS for this project. I hope you have been enjoying your experience so far.

Five months after our release in May, we are happy to bring you a whole bunch of additional stages for echochrome PSP/PSN. In an era when crisp, photo-realistic graphics are a pre-requisite for games, one may look at echochrome and perhaps question its artistic design choices, namely the modernistic approach of its monotone color palette and line art style.

Echochrome Expansion Pack - Oct. 9, 2008

However, you may be surprised to learn, this look was only made possible with modern
day technology.

First and foremost, there is the high quality wide screen LCD that is standard to the PSP. All of the artwork in echochrome is based on straight lines, thus clarity and resolution is a very important aspect to our game. The mannequin figure is also drawn just with lines, so it’s important that its outline is smooth. Another important aspect of the screen is its responsiveness. Since the core of the game’s design relies on rotating the stage, clarity and visibility plays a key role as you try to find the best perspective for your next move.

Echochrome Expansion Pack - Oct. 9, 2008

And then there is the all-important CPU that feeds the images to the LCD screen. Again, at first, echochrome may not appear to be such a CPU-intensive game. However, in the background, the title is pushing the processing power of the PSP to its limits. It’s like a swan swimming on a lake. It looks graceful to our eyes, but beneath the surface of the water that swan is actually kicking its feet pretty hard to just to move around.

Anyway…

The core of the graphics rendering and the calculation and rendering of the transformation of the stage as the perspective changes are two separate operations. Jun Fujiki, the creator of echochrome, originally designed it as a PC-based application, thus it relied heavily on the PC’s processing power. So, when it came time to bring this game to the PSP, there was a need to dig deep into the source code and fine tune the code to maximize the performance of the PSP processor. Without the PSP’s 333MHz mode, the game would not have been possible.

Music was another aspect where the PSP hardware performance shines. Not only were we inspired by the works of MC Escher, the father of optical illusions in art, but also for his love of strings quartet consisting of 2 violins, 1 viola and 1 cello. All of the in-game music was written and recorded with a string quartet. Only the PSP’s ATRAC support could have allowed for the streaming of such high-quality sound, faithfully reproducing the original studio recordings.

All of these elements are core elements in bringing the world of echochrome to life on the PSP.

The team took extra care in creating all of the intricate stages. The design team consisted of members who worked as planners and stage designers for puzzle games in the past, and even then they had difficulty during the initial stages of development. There was a learning curve because of how radical the designs and game rules are.

We also turned to some graphic designers who had no previous experience with game design. They were given a mission to explore the limits of their artistic skills and imagination, without worrying about how they would work when the rules of echochrome were applied. Obviously not all of their creations were suitable for play in echochrome, but it certainly was an eye-opener seeing their creativity and the beauty of architecture they were able to create. And these were eventually converted into playable stages.

It was a moment all of us realized that “it is when common sense and assumptions are let go of, that the hidden path opens up”. This later became a philosophical mantra for the development of echochrome.

With that said, we are happy to bring these 40 new playable stages to you as an expansion pack. There are plenty of new puzzles and challenges waiting for you inside, and maybe some of these new stages will inspire some new level creations in your own imagination.

Echochrome Expansion Pack - Oct. 9, 2008

Now, it is your turn to be tested with our echochrome mantra: “it is when common sense and assumptions are let go, that the hidden path opens up.”

//Add Your Own

32 Comments

1

+ ftwrthtx on October 8th, 2008 at 3:01 pm said:

I love this game.

Thanks for more content!


2

+ Dice_for_Death_ on October 8th, 2008 at 3:08 pm said:

I enjoyed the demo… I’m still trying to convince myself to buy this off the PSN. I’d like to; I welcome these interesting spatial challenges… I wish I knew what was keeping me from finalizing my decision. Still, kudos to Japan Studios; Echochrome is a most innovative brain game.


3

+ 001 on October 8th, 2008 at 3:11 pm said:

This is the stuff I like to hear about. :) Any updates on the MGO expansion? I know it doesn’t go through PSN, just figured you guys would know when it might be coming out.


4

+ Delriach on October 8th, 2008 at 3:13 pm said:

This is for the PS3 version as well or just the PSP one?


5

+ Koroshiya on October 8th, 2008 at 3:14 pm said:

Love Echochrome, thanks for the continued support of the game.


6

+ spyker3292 on October 8th, 2008 at 3:16 pm said:

Awww. I was hoping it would be free (like the small PS3 update was). Whatever, I’ll probably pick it up soon. Great game.


7

+ pick-e on October 8th, 2008 at 3:21 pm said:

I own the PS3 version and have been considering picking up the PSP edition as well and this might just push me over the edge. My memory stick is low on space though, could you tell us what the filesize for this expansion is so I can figure out what to clear off the stick in preparation?


8

+ Neil on October 8th, 2008 at 3:24 pm said:

echochrome, for me, needs 1) a story and 2) Trophies. Also, where’s Kumi?


9

+ Delriach on October 8th, 2008 at 3:28 pm said:

A story for echochrome? … You are this dude and you must go through endless amounts of puzzles to save the world.

>_> trophies? … can’t argue against that. Can’t go wrong with trophy support. Although I bet they would be hard as hell.


10

+ jazzagers on October 8th, 2008 at 3:29 pm said:

well what a delightful surprise. Hope more levels are in the works for the psp version


11

+ Money1 on October 8th, 2008 at 3:36 pm said:

WOOOOH!!! As you can probably tell, i love this mind bottling game, cant wait for expansion


12

+ stallyon84 on October 8th, 2008 at 3:38 pm said:

This game always confused me haha, I wasnt very good at it i guess


13

+ Sean McGeezer on October 8th, 2008 at 3:41 pm said:

worrd, there’s never enough echochrome


14

+ OLy on October 8th, 2008 at 3:57 pm said:

Wow! I want to express my thanks in keeping this game new and fresh. I’m glad to see that you still care about your customers!


15

+ CrimsonFox13 on October 8th, 2008 at 4:01 pm said:

AW! I just bought the game yesterday, and I bet the expansion plus the game will be less than buying both individually!!!

That’s just… Unfair! And I was playing it less than thirdty minutes ago! Gah! Oh well, this weeks been full of unluckiness for me so far.

Unless, of course, the bundle is the same price as buying them individually, but then I wouldn’t see the point in a bundle…


16

+ Nymo on October 8th, 2008 at 4:17 pm said:

ooh! More levels!

anywho, Just wondering:
Will we eventually see more Echochrome modes on the PSP? I hear that the US version lacks some modes found in the European version.
that, And will there be a way to share user-made levels online?

still, Looking forward to tomorrow’s PC PSN PlayStation Store update for the PSP!


17

+ skaterricky on October 8th, 2008 at 4:30 pm said:

Wow didnt know it was pushing the PSP to its limits Learned alot today!

I wonder how much of the PS3 Limit its pushing lol 5% of the raw power under the hood of the PS3.


18

+ matheaks on October 8th, 2008 at 4:37 pm said:

I agree with 17..
Congratulations to Tsubasa Inaba and the echochrome team!!!
you have created the only game “with lines” that gamers will actually play!
I love echochrome, whenever I am in a bad mood or something, i turn to the mannequin to lead me to the end :)!


19

+ jcasanova on October 8th, 2008 at 4:50 pm said:

This 40 new levels were created by gamers or these come straight from the developers??


20

+ Morphine16 on October 8th, 2008 at 5:06 pm said:

I really loved Echochrome, will definitely get this, patch some trophies in it and I bet more people will be happy :)


21

+ creid on October 8th, 2008 at 5:39 pm said:

I really wanted to like Echochrome, but it’s broken. Too many times, I lined things up perfectly, but my mannequin still bounces off the wall that isn’t there. Fix it!


22

+ KIT619KAT on October 8th, 2008 at 5:42 pm said:

cool, maybe once i get playstation cards i will buy the game and expansion pack!! bu i liked demo


23

+ X_TyranX_X on October 8th, 2008 at 6:24 pm said:

WE NEED A FIX FOR THE BLUETOOTH ISSUE NOW!

GET ON IT MICS ARE CRAPPING OUT!

FIX THE HEADSET ISSUE!


24

+ triple_lei on October 8th, 2008 at 6:27 pm said:

*sniff* Makes me proud to own a PSP!

Sure would be nice to be able to toggle speed to the full 333MHz for our other games… and while online, too…


25

+ Aeneman on October 8th, 2008 at 6:50 pm said:

A little confused, is this expansion for the psp version only?


26

+ ennemee on October 8th, 2008 at 8:15 pm said:

Wow, way to shun the whole ps3 fan base. what a crock ‘o shiznit. why is it developers never know what the people want?


27

+ lakaihigh on October 8th, 2008 at 8:56 pm said:

@ ennemee – I know what I want thank you very much! and that is more Echochrome.

peace,
Lh


28

+ illegalprelude on October 9th, 2008 at 12:02 am said:

THis is why I love PSN. There is such a variety of content. From Warhawk, to PJ Edn and Flow and echochrome and Ratchet & Clank. Its not just old arcade games. Its unique content! Thanks Sony team. I know you get heat for it but quality over quantity.


29

+ Letters2Kay on October 9th, 2008 at 2:08 pm said:

Whereas Linger in The Shadows is priced far too low, I think you’ve priced this one a bit high. I like Echocrome, and though I bought both versions, the PSP is definitely my preferred platform. I’m not sure if some new puzzles are worth 50% of the cost of the first game. I think I’ll pass, maybe… :(


30

+ Masterofallz on October 9th, 2008 at 4:39 pm said:

Im defiantly picking this up!
Keep up the good work!


31

+ pick-e on October 9th, 2008 at 5:49 pm said:

Just thought you should all know the echochrome bundle is $14.99 a penny more than buying the game and expansion seperately. It’s not much but a penny saved is a penny to be spent on the next great PSN release :)


32

+ herrjeff on October 16th, 2008 at 8:36 am said:

I downloaded the new levels last week, which took only 25MB, and was a bit surprized to see that the complete Echochrome package ($14.99) was also 25MB big compared to 65MB for the original game. When I checked on my PSP, I noticed that the game now only require 25MB on my memory stick…

What happened? If the game is as complex and RAM-demanding than his creator says, I don’t understand how it could significantly shrink while adding 71% more content???


Comments are closed. We close the comments for posts after 30 days