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Super Stardust Portable Coming Soon

Kimmo Lahtinen's Avatar + Posted by Kimmo Lahtinen on Nov 26, 2008 // Housemarque

Hi, my name is Kimmo Lahtinen and I was the programming lead for Housemarque on Super Stardust Portable. Super Stardust Portable is the PSP version of our previously released PS3 title Super Stardust HD with some nice additions we think you’ll enjoy. And you’ll be able to enjoy them very soon. Super Stardust Portable will be available for download on the PlayStation Store on Thursday, December 4th for just $9.99!


If there is one word to describe the game, that would be ‘intense’. Your goal in the game is to simply destroy the waves after waves of enemies we throw at you and try to not get killed. If you’re not constantly on the edge of your seat when trying to blow up everything in sight with dozens of asteroids coming at you all the while screen is filled with explosions and fireworks, you should probably apply for a job as an astronaut or something. :)

When we first got the idea from Sony about doing a PSP version of the game, we were thrilled. We think that Super Stardust is a perfect fit for a portable device, do a 10 minute session of Endless while riding on the bus into school. Pick up and play, it’s like it was designed to be portable from the start. Then it hit us, how are we going to get this thing running on the PSP. Even though the PSP is the most powerful for a hand-held console, it’s still a totally different animal from the processing power of the PS3. We’ve got more than ten thousand objects and hundreds of thousands particles flying around in the PS3 version and we probably use more than 10GHz of processing power from the machine.

SSPSP (35)

What we learned from developing the PS3 version is that sphere level is actually quite a large playing space and requires thousands and thousands of objects rotating around before the game level doesn’t feel empty. It took a lot of trial and error to get that working on the PS3 version. The PSP version is played on a wrapping 2D field that is optimized for the PSP screen. There was a lot of tuning to make it not feel either crowded or too large so we could have the gameplay and levels stay as fast as before. After we found the optimum size, we felt that we had lost nothing of the old intensity in the conversion. In addition we actually do a few tricks to make it look like you’re still playing around a planet too. After a lot of work and because of the choices we made, we managed to get more than a thousand objects on the field with 60 frames per second. That’s a lot of things to shoot. We’ve also got the Super Stardust trademark particle effects working on the PSP, so the explosions look as pretty as ever.

SSPSP (24) SSPSP (6)

SSPSP (33) SSPSP (15)

Another change we faced was the controls. The PS3 version uses two analog sticks for control and shooting. How are we going to get that working on the PSP where there’s only one analog stick available? What we decided to go with is to map the shooting to the face buttons and let the game interpolate the shooting direction when needed. This took a lot of effort to get right, but the end result feels perfect. We were glad to find out that even for those that are completely new to PSP system, it didn’t take long to figure out the controls. We also made a new shooting mode to make full use of the buttons. If you tap a shooting direction, the shots will spray around. This also makes for another interesting gameplay choice. More weapon power on one focused point or less in a wide spray? The controls are also configurable, so if someone out there doesn’t like the choices we made, they can remap the controls for their own liking.

SSPSP (26)

Some other new things we have for PSP version:

  • A completely new mode: Impact. In impact mode you cannot shoot, just bomb and boost. The boost is a bit different in this mode in that when you boost through something, you receive more boost energy and your multiplier goes up at the same time (max 100x), so the key to high scores is to chain your boosts into as long as you can and to collect points with huge multipliers.
  • A new final boss: One complaint on the PS3 version was that the final boss was way too easy. I should warn you that your first meeting with Professor Schaumunds’ new machine of destruction could leave a bit of something in you pants. ;)
  • Even more intense gameplay. We still have a casual mode that is suitable for everyone, but one thing we found out about the PS3 version is that for the best players it takes hours and hours to complete the arcade game. For this version we have upped the difficulty curve too after a few of the first difficulty levels. This is a portable game, you shouldn’t have to play a day to get challenged in the game even if you are that good.

Our main goals were to keep the same high intensity gameplay from the PS3 version and do it at a consistent 60 frames per second. We feel that both goals were successfully completed, but I’ll leave the final judgement to you.

See you on the high score lists! (Yes we have online high scores too!)

//Add Your Own

83 Comments

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1

+ D1rk-Knight on November 26th, 2008 at 12:05 pm said:

Nice I loved the one on the PS3 & definitely I’ll get this for my shiny PSP.

Thanks for the news & for your hard work.^^


2

+ depward on November 26th, 2008 at 12:10 pm said:

Was thinking it might release Tues (since the UK store got it) but I guess I can wait a week to pick it up :)


3

+ L on November 26th, 2008 at 12:17 pm said:

Me want


4

+ axeblade27 on November 26th, 2008 at 12:17 pm said:

Looks cool. Will definately be picking this one up. I hope one day Sony adds trophy support for PSP games. That would be awesome.


5

+ KidCommando on November 26th, 2008 at 12:17 pm said:

Great News!

I think Super Stardust HD is one of the BEST PSN games to date. I will definitely be picking up this PSP version.

is SSHD 2 in the works? I hope so.


6

+ Dan-I-Smith on November 26th, 2008 at 12:25 pm said:

Thank you very much. Got worried when other regions got this title and the US store did not.


7

+ TT-2k on November 26th, 2008 at 12:31 pm said:

Go Finland! I already bought this yesterday from European PS Store. Now I just need to have some more free time to spend with my PSP. :)


8

+ jcasanova on November 26th, 2008 at 12:33 pm said:

Looks great!!!! I’ve been waiting to purchase the ps3 version, now I don’t know which version to purchase!

Change of subject, are there any plans on making PSP games have trophies??


9

+ SantanaClaus89 on November 26th, 2008 at 12:40 pm said:

Ver cool guys. Wish I had a PSP so I could pick this up.

That said, any plans on another SSD for PSN?!


11

+ Wuggyboobeaufuf on November 26th, 2008 at 12:47 pm said:

Is this a UMD release or a digital download?


12

+ Torgo on November 26th, 2008 at 12:48 pm said:

HELL YES!!!!!!!!

Thank you Thank you Thank you

SSHD is still in my top 5 games of this generation. I can’t wait to take this game on the road!


13

+ Wuggyboobeaufuf on November 26th, 2008 at 12:54 pm said:

Oh, I see it’s a digital download.

Congratulations gentlemen, you just lost a sale.

DLC is *not* ownership.

Give me a UMD or I will not buy it.

Why are you not supporting Sony’s own media format?


14

+ JordanBlack68 on November 26th, 2008 at 12:54 pm said:

Its already on the EU store :)


15

+ Captain Fury on November 26th, 2008 at 12:56 pm said:

loved the PS3 version.

will get this one


16

+ Wuggyboobeaufuf on November 26th, 2008 at 12:58 pm said:

Digital content IS NOT OWNERSHIP.

How many times does it need to be said until you blunderheads get it through your thick skulls.

PEOPLE WANT PHYSICAL MEDIA.

GIVE US PHYSICAL MEDIA.


17

+ tezasaurus on November 26th, 2008 at 1:00 pm said:

Very cool, I like that you guys didn’t just take SSHD and tone it down for a portable. Is there any chance of the new modes and boss finding their way to the PS3 version?

Also, are there plans for more updates to the PS3 game? I still play it all the time with my friends, it has endless staying power IMO, but I’d love more; new modes, new levels, anything you can throw at us :) Please keep us in the loop, the Housemarque site unfortunately doesn’t do it in the slightest.


18

+ tdh on November 26th, 2008 at 1:06 pm said:

I’m getting this, just not next week. I have a bunch of games – just spent $26 at the PS Store last night – and next week Soldner-X is supposed to release. So with LBP, Resistance 2, SSF2HD, Bioshock, and then Soldner-X I won’t have any time for it or my poor PSP.

On question, since Super Stardust HD helped usher in the Trophy era, perhaps use a game like Super Stardust Portable to bring Trophies to the PSP. Trophies that you earn on your PSP and later can be synced to the PS3 or the Media Manager and adds those Trophies to you level. I don’t recall seeing any request or mention of it so I wanted to throw it out. See what people though.

Everybody wants “MOAR TROPHIEZ” and if you can get Trophies on the PS3 and the PSP there would be more happy gamers. I know I would.


19

+ 40cal on November 26th, 2008 at 1:10 pm said:

$10.00 I’m in. How big is the file? I might need to make some room on my Memory Stick.


20

+ erico316 on November 26th, 2008 at 1:11 pm said:

will there be a demo?how big is the file?will it support online to keep track of score around the world?


21

+ erico316 on November 26th, 2008 at 1:12 pm said:

and i love the ps3 version btw!!!!!!!!!!!


22

+ Trieloth on November 26th, 2008 at 1:13 pm said:

Look’n cool, I will keep my eye on that one.


23

+ RNBaran on November 26th, 2008 at 1:14 pm said:

is there going to be a co-op or verses mode found in the ps3 version?


24

+ KidCommando on November 26th, 2008 at 1:24 pm said:

@ #13 and #16

welcome to the future.

I also would prefer owning a physical copy, but you are fooling yourself with thinking that every single game will be made available that way.

It is much quicker and cheaper to make content available only in a digital format.

digital content may not be ownership, but unfortunately it is here to stay and will only increase over time.

The only way to prevent that is if NOBODY purchased digital content, but we both know that is not going to happen.

again, welcome to the future.


25

+ KazeEternal on November 26th, 2008 at 1:29 pm said:

sweet I’ll be all over this.

To the UMD nuts. I agree for certain titles that digital distro doesn’t work. However this title is not one of them.


26

+ IceCold on November 26th, 2008 at 1:30 pm said:

You know it would be nice to see trophy support for psp titles too. It would be even better for them to be visible via the ps3.


27

+ dkrefft on November 26th, 2008 at 1:34 pm said:

Excellent!! I loved SSHD and I’m sure SSPSP will be awesome, definitely a game that fits the handheld.

Thanks a ton!


28

+ enewtabie on November 26th, 2008 at 1:37 pm said:

@24
Don’t waste your time. If you’ve seen his post history you’ll understand.

Can’t wait to try this out and the price is just perfect.


29

+ Mana Knight on November 26th, 2008 at 1:37 pm said:

@24, don’t worry about 13 and 16, he loves to complain about everything such as Siren on one forum he use to post at.

Anyway, I love Super Stardust HD on PS3, so I’m really excited about it on PSP. $10 for a digital download is cheap. Much rather prefer that than a more expensive UMD version.


30

+ TT-2k on November 26th, 2008 at 1:39 pm said:

@19: Installed size is 74 MB on my PSP.


31

+ NeoTechni on November 26th, 2008 at 1:41 pm said:

I was going to buy it, but only if it came out yesterday. I hate waiting for things that other people have already. You lost a sale. Next time don’t screw over US/Canada.


32

+ Liddokun on November 26th, 2008 at 1:43 pm said:

Bought it yesterday (every now and then being in europe has positive sides for games, too!) and it’s awesome.
Also…. an UMD for that? I’ve always thought it was better to fill a disc before burning it, so the simple tought of a ~70mb game on a support that can hold almost 2gb makes me… i don’t know, but it’s not a nice feeling.


33

+ CrimsonFox13 on November 26th, 2008 at 1:43 pm said:

I can barely wait! I really want this game, as well as Everyday Shooter for the PSP whenever it comes out. I have both games for my PS3, so I feel a bit like I’m getting ripped off.

Oh well, both are amazing games, SuperStardust being more intense. It’ll be worth the money!

Oh, off subject, is Red Baron Arcade cancelled? :(


34

+ NeoTechni on November 26th, 2008 at 1:44 pm said:

To the UMD nuts: The UMD version would cost a minimum of $20 because of publishing costs. Plus you’d be getting it even later due to shipping and you’d have to actually walk to the store and back.

Sony’s 5 system DRM is as good as ownership.


35

+ Mana Knight on November 26th, 2008 at 1:53 pm said:

@ NeoTechni, This is a game from the SCEE area (since Housemarque is from Europe I believe). They normally got the SSD HD expansions before us too. This is like Europe having to wait for PSN games that come from SCEA area.


36

+ frostquake on November 26th, 2008 at 2:00 pm said:

Sweet…Will be getting this Day One!!
THANK YOU


37

+ Stoffinator on November 26th, 2008 at 2:02 pm said:

One game I want for sure. I wish it was on UMD though, not a big fan of downloads.


38

+ Jedi_webslinger on November 26th, 2008 at 2:11 pm said:

can’t wait to play this! is it possible to have some sort of connectivity between the two games?


39

+ d3adliner on November 26th, 2008 at 2:13 pm said:

The PS3 version needs an update! New Planets PLEASE!


40

+ GuyaneseG on November 26th, 2008 at 3:00 pm said:

yes the PS3 neeeds a new update!
Either new modes/planets/bosses!
Also cant wait to play this on my psp!


41

+ JuJuRMJ on November 26th, 2008 at 3:08 pm said:

Great game, and now portable too.. That’s awesome! Hope that there will be a sequel for the psn!


42

+ GGCAN on November 26th, 2008 at 3:10 pm said:

Thanks Kimmo.

I’m sure it’s going to do really well on the PSP…I know I loved it on the PS3.


43

+ X1rtam on November 26th, 2008 at 3:12 pm said:

You got 10 GHz out of the PS3? How do you figure?


44

+ kspraydad on November 26th, 2008 at 3:27 pm said:

It would be a nice gesture to offer this for $6.99 if your PSN history shows you bought the PS3 version already…just sayin’


45

+ jqtaxpayer on November 26th, 2008 at 3:29 pm said:

I like Super Stardust HD, but I don’t want to buy it twice. I appreciate the effort that goes into these kind of things, even a port — moreso when the port is to a lesser platform because you’ve got to retain what made the original great while working with what you’ve got for power. That being said, gaming’s an expensive enough hobby without buying games more than once.

Great work on Super Stardust HD, though. Definitely brings back some arcade memories.


46

+ emjayx on November 26th, 2008 at 3:46 pm said:

cool but UMD version anytime in the future?


47

+ lakaihigh on November 26th, 2008 at 3:47 pm said:

PSP is portable and this game is being added to my library of games on my mem stick. just gotta do something about its sucky size (1gig). perhaps on friday ill be able to upgrade to that 4gig i saw online somewhere.

thanks!
Lh


48

+ I.A.C.W. on November 26th, 2008 at 4:29 pm said:

Great port. Game would definetly suit it.


49

+ shinichitaicho on November 26th, 2008 at 4:49 pm said:

Are we going to see trophies for the PSP version? Are we going to see one trophy system for both the ps3 and psp systems?it would be cool and a first to have trophies portable.


50

+ crystalx3d on November 26th, 2008 at 5:48 pm said:

So are these online leader boards tied into our PSN IDs? I’d prefer to see better psp use of one unified PSN ID and all the stuff that goes with it like friends list access and messaging before we even start thinking about trophies. Especially considering that the playstation website is switching to just using the PSN ID.


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