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Spare Parts: Simon Pegg, Robots, and Co-Op

Gary Napper's Avatar + Posted by Gary Napper on Jan 17, 2011 // EA Bright Light. Game Designer

Spare Parts for PS3 (PSN)

Spare Parts is a game we made about these two robots – Mar-T and Chip – who find themselves dropped out with the garbage on an alien planet. To be honest, we cast robots as the main characters because we all love robots. Robots are awesome template for characters for a number of reasons, and you can apply so many things to their character, personality and abilities. I am a massive sci-fi fan and the basic story elements dealing with two buddy robots, cast out with the garbage and forced to survive on an alien planet appealed to me a lot. Very early in the game our two robots meet Con-Rad (voiced by Simon Pegg) in an abandoned space ship and he becomes their guide and mentor. Con-Rad explains that the evil race know as the “Krofax” are in orbit and if they detect that the robots are operational, will come after them with a vengeance. Their only hope is to collect enough spare ship parts that have been littered all over the planet by the Krofax in an attempt to repair the ship and escape.

Spare Parts for PS3 (PSN)Spare Parts for PS3 (PSN)

Essentially, Spare Parts is all about exploring the world, solving puzzles, beating up enemies, collecting items and finding hidden goodies. It was important to the team that the player feel a sense of progression and reward when playing through the game and one of the best things about robots is…you can upgrade their parts! We hit upon the idea of giving them abilities that you would find throughout the game and these took the form of Action Parts. The parts give you new attacks and abilities to use on the environment. Some of these can be used to stun enemies or reprogram them, others can be used for greater damage or to reach hidden areas. This allowed us to create the levels around the new abilities you would gain when playing through and also find hidden areas in levels that you have already been through upon re-entry. I think my favourite part at the moment is the Nano Trigger, which allows you to re-program enemies to attack each other and control Krofax Technology.

There are also 100 ship parts scattered around the planet for players to find. Some of the parts were amed after people who worked on the game, others are little nods to our favourite sci-fi films and games. As well as Mar-T and Chip, there are also eight other robots to find and play as in the game. They are hidden around the world and need re-activating to be of use.

We wanted to make a game that could be played by anyone really and capture that co-op feel you find in a lot of modern games. I love playing third-person action games and, for me, there weren’t a lot of games out there on PSN that I could play through with my girlfriend, or that people could truly play through together. The team came up with the idea of using specific co-op moves that would allow the players to work together for greater effect. Initially, we thought it would be cool to have both players combine their attacks to cause more damage to enemies. Very quickly, however, the original idea then lead on to enabling players to performing special moves together to unlock hidden areas, take out bosses faster and also, just to let players mess around and have fun. Thus, the break dancing and rock-paper-scissors ideas came about.

Spare Parts for PS3 (PSN)

When creating the story we realised that we had made a great way of giving purpose to a lot of our levels. We didn’t want to make a game that was the done-to-death “lava level, ice level, water level” style of game, so the planet we created had to have some cool twists to it. Alien worlds and strange unknown lands are food for imagination. Space is awesome and interesting because it contains (at least in fiction) ships, planets, aliens and most importantly, the unknown! We decided on having a jungle-based world which had been littered with technology, but also had local inhabitant wildlife that would populate the surroundings. This gave us a great foundation to play through mountain tops, river beds, caves, cliffs and deserts, and have interesting scenery, enemies and puzzles that didn’t feel out of place.

The main enemies in the game are lead by the evil “Lord Sulba Krung” who travels around the galaxy in his ship, decimating planets and stealing their technology for his own use. Frequently, anything he can’t use he drops on planets that pose no threat to him or his Krofax. The heroes in our game are cast out onto one of these planets before the Krofax detect movement and realise they are still alive. Sending down his troops, Sulba Krung is determined to stop them from repairing Con-Rad’s systems and steal the Power Core that Con-Rad has been protecting in his ship’s hull. Sulba Krung’s main forces are called the Krofax and we wanted to make them a kind of incompetent storm trooper who would be a problem in larger groups, but individually are very dumb. This gave us a chance to use some funny situations with the cutscenes and also a reason for them to be inherently evil… they are just too dumb to know better.

Very early on we decided that the ships computer Con-Rad, should be the narrator and guide for the players in the game. We needed him to have great character and personality so we wanted to cast someone great to perform the role. As the only speaking character in the game, it was important that we got someone who could fill Con-Rad with personality and charm and also someone who understands videogames and loves sci-fi. We managed to sign up Simon Pegg to perform as his voice and were thrilled with the results. When the audio recording started appearing in the game it really added another level to Con-Rad and made him feel so much more than he was on paper.

We have really enjoyed bringing Mar-T, Chip, Con-Rad and their adventures to life and hope you all enjoy playing it when it is released.

//Add Your Own

44 Comments   27 Replies

1

+ depward on January 17th, 2011 at 9:05 am said:

You know you’re going to get the question about price, so I may as well ask. How much?

Will there be a demo?

Is this online co-op or local?

Thanks!


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 9:07 am said:

    Hey there!
    So its gonna be $9.99 on PSN.
    There WILL be a demo! :D
    It is BOTH online and Local co-op.
    Hope that answers your questions.


2

+ jonathan_val on January 17th, 2011 at 9:05 am said:

Price ???
Online co-op??


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 9:08 am said:

    See above! ;)


3

+ G-Force08 on January 17th, 2011 at 9:05 am said:

Oh wow, to be honest, I have not heard much about this game until recently. Thanks for the updated information guys! :) I am pretty excited for it as it looks like something new and fun to try.

I’ll download the demo for sure tomorrow and try it out. Looks like a title to purchase though for sure.


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 9:09 am said:

    Thanks for the support! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it.


4

+ ravagespawn on January 17th, 2011 at 9:09 am said:

This game sounds great!! It’s the first time iv’e heard about it. I’m glad Simon Pegg is onboard. Cant wait!


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 9:11 am said:

    As a big fan of Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz I was stoked to have him on board for the game. He did a great job.


5

+ jonathan_val on January 17th, 2011 at 9:10 am said:

Online CO-OP !!!
$9.99 !!!
SOLD!!!!
I can’t wait…


6

+ G-Force08 on January 17th, 2011 at 9:13 am said:

I hope I didn’t miss this, I’m still leaning towards purchasing this game regardless because it just looks like something enjoyable to play, but any info on trophy support?


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 9:20 am said:

    Yes we do have trophy support in Spare Parts. There are 13 trophies to unlock across the game including a platinum trophy.


7

+ Zezzler on January 17th, 2011 at 9:15 am said:

I love EA’s support for smaller games like this and Deathspank. Between full featured AAA titles to these small PSN titles, and even EA partners, I can really appreciate what you guys do.

Looks awesome btw, and I cannot wait to try it out :D


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 9:22 am said:

    Thanks for the support! Glad to hear you are into what EA are doing. We hope you enjoy playing the game.


8

+ saiyanknight87 on January 17th, 2011 at 9:21 am said:

glad you all are starting to listen with games supporting online and local co-op this should be standard for all games that have more than one character anyway. lol :D


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 9:23 am said:

    I agree. I love co-op games and have been itching for a game to play co-op with friends on PSN. In the end, we had to make our own! ;)


9

+ JLP_M on January 17th, 2011 at 9:24 am said:

I just heard the game is coming out tommarow yesterday! I never heard of the game but it caught my eyes. I love how the two robots look like. Also the price seems really good for a online Co Op game. Gonna check out the demo and most likely buy! You guys should look into making Premium Avatars for this game, I would love to have one of those robots as my avatar for PS3


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 9:30 am said:

    We love the fact that we were able to make the robots look just like the concept art we created for the game. There are actually 8 other robots in the game you can play as and they all have thier own style. We do have themes and wallpapers on PSN that are free for download but no avatars.


10

+ krae_man on January 17th, 2011 at 9:26 am said:

Okay game that I didn’t know even existed till 30 seconds ago, you have my attention. Art style reminds me of Ratchet and Clank which I love So, you will have my money if the demo isn’t garbage.


11

+ JrXC on January 17th, 2011 at 9:34 am said:

Game looks amazing. So I’m assuming it will be out tomorrow?


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 9:36 am said:

    Thanks! Yep, its out on the 18th in the US and the 19th in Europe. Only one day to wait ;)


12

+ MARLLOW-X on January 17th, 2011 at 9:35 am said:

I promise to buy this game if you comment on this post.


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 9:36 am said:

    I will hold you to that


13

+ BiezulbubBill69 on January 17th, 2011 at 9:37 am said:

Wow a platinum trophy in a 9.99 game with only 13 trophies? AND it’s about robots?! This game looks awesome i’m definitely buying it! :)


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 9:42 am said:

    Thanks dude! Enjoy


14

+ KwietStorm on January 17th, 2011 at 10:01 am said:

Amazing that people still ask about trophy support. Amazing. Are there trailers around?


15

+ F-minus on January 17th, 2011 at 10:04 am said:

Hmmm, I thought it was against the law to have a platinum trophy in a PSN game, I guess its perfectly legal.

Since your responding to alot of comments Gary, and Im about to head off to eat lunch, Yummy hotpocket for me…

Whats your favorite vending machine snack?


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 10:12 am said:

    Space Raiders! Not sure if you guys get them in the states but they are these crisps (chips) that are shaped like aliens and they used to be 10p. Now they cost a WHOLE 20p which is like 39 Cents. Still, they taste of beef or pickled onion but also its a bit like eating packing foam.


16

+ kittydog20 on January 17th, 2011 at 10:06 am said:

Is this game going to be as totally awesome as I hope it will be? :D


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 10:14 am said:

    This is obviously going to be a biased response, but YEAH it’s gonna be awesome!


17

+ GEKKO-GO on January 17th, 2011 at 10:08 am said:

Will there be voice chat in the online co-op?


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 10:19 am said:

    Yes it has voice chat unless your PSN ID has it disabled.


18

+ Bertillo55 on January 17th, 2011 at 10:10 am said:

This game has hidden little gem written all over it! About how long is the campaign?


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 10:22 am said:

    It should take an average player between 5-7 hours to complete the story. If you want to get 100% of the items you will need to return to previous levels with the necessary Action Part.


19

+ vanwinkle on January 17th, 2011 at 10:15 am said:

@15 I don’t understand that either. EVERY PS3 game, be it PSN or retail will have trophies.

Anyway, I will definitely get this. Looks like my kind of game. Is there platforming (maybe Ratchet and Clank-style) elements to it?


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    + Gary Napper on January 18th, 2011 at 1:11 am said:

    Yeah, its a combination of platforming, smashing stuff, collecting things and puzzle solving.


20

+ Arcadian_Rebel on January 17th, 2011 at 10:20 am said:

Looks alright. I’ll have to wait for the demo.


21

+ KwietStorm on January 17th, 2011 at 10:26 am said:

@F-minus

If that was the case, then the law would have been broken several times already.


22

+ Enforcer_X on January 17th, 2011 at 10:31 am said:

Awesome price even awesomer voice acting and who doesn’t love online co-op robots?
Day 1!


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    + Gary Napper on January 17th, 2011 at 10:41 am said:

    Surely everyone loves online co-op robots! ;)


23

+ Butters360 on January 17th, 2011 at 10:46 am said:

Everything about this has me excited.


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    + Gary Napper on January 18th, 2011 at 1:09 am said:

    Us too! Can’t wait for release


24

+ Tank_Baked on January 17th, 2011 at 11:05 am said:

This looks fantastic. I’m gonna have to get this . I will try the demo but I can’t see a reason why I wouldn’t buy this.

Also I like the fast responses and answering any questions. Shows dedication and will definitely nab you more buys .


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    + Gary Napper on January 18th, 2011 at 1:00 am said:

    Thank you! I am happy to help with questions about our game. We put a lot into it so are thrilled to hear such a positive response.


25

+ figureguy on January 17th, 2011 at 11:21 am said:

Gary,

Not a fan of co-op at all. Besides none of my friends/family are into gaming. :( Can it be played as a single player game with a computer controlled second robot, or only with another player? Say I can play by my lonesome, and you have a purchase on your hands!


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    + Gary Napper on January 18th, 2011 at 1:01 am said:

    You can play it in single player yes. It is not a forced co-op game so you dont need a second player. you can still have lots of fun as a lone robot. Also, as it is both offline and online co-op you should be able to find another player if you wanted to give co-op a go.


26

+ TheGuardianFID on January 17th, 2011 at 11:27 am said:

I’m liking it Gary, consider it SOLD!!! 8)


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    + Gary Napper on January 18th, 2011 at 1:00 am said:

    Thanks! Enjoy our game :)


27

+ JLP_M on January 17th, 2011 at 11:30 am said:

Thanks for the reply Gary. Anyway you can look into making Avatars?


28

+ JrXC on January 17th, 2011 at 11:45 am said:

Thanks for actually commenting on our comments and answering our questions.


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    + Gary Napper on January 18th, 2011 at 1:02 am said:

    My pleasure. its been fun reading all the questions and feedback. Looking forward to its release.


29

+ Sharkonnen on January 17th, 2011 at 3:42 pm said:

Simon Pegg! Why has no one else yelled this out! I’m getting this for sure! Simon Pegg & Robots, you can’t go wrong!


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    + Gary Napper on January 18th, 2011 at 1:04 am said:

    That is exactly what we thought! :)


30

+ wolfzero1 on January 17th, 2011 at 5:12 pm said:

game sounds interesting, I will definitely download the demo


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    + Gary Napper on January 18th, 2011 at 1:07 am said:

    Awesome!


31

+ pacnyc on January 17th, 2011 at 9:04 pm said:

Can’t handle this onslaught. I’m supposed to be focusing on full retail stuff this year, not PSN stuff! LBP2 and ME2 tomorrow were in my plans, now this…


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    + Gary Napper on January 18th, 2011 at 1:05 am said:

    You will just have to make time. It’s a hard life ;)


32

+ Redikol on January 17th, 2011 at 9:42 pm said:

Awesome! Can’t wait! Can you play this game solo? Just like “figureguy” asked “Can it be played as a single player game with a computer controlled second robot?” I guess the demo will answer this question for me/us..haha. I have nothing against Co-op..but I don’t have anyone other than my nephews who only come visit every blue moon to play together with, so Co-op doesn’t do “this” solo gamer any good..haha


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    + Gary Napper on January 18th, 2011 at 1:07 am said:

    There is no computer controlled second robot but you can play single player. As said above, if you don’t have any friends to play with locally you can always play it online.


33

+ Hi-Q47 on January 18th, 2011 at 6:17 am said:

Like a previous poster I’m reminded of Ratchet & Clank as well, which is my favourite series.

Unlike the poster before me, I do have something against co-op, or any other multiplayer form, which means I won’t do that offline or online.

So I’d like to know if there’s stuff when playing solo you miss out on. If so, I’ll pass.


34

+ jack__burt0n on January 18th, 2011 at 12:35 pm said:

That is the best dev comments section I have ever read kudos to you!


35

+ Xanadir on January 18th, 2011 at 1:20 pm said:

I don’t think this has been asked, so I’ll do so. Does one have to play co-op at some point to get certain Action Parts, collectibles, or trophies?


36

+ Sum-Mischief on January 18th, 2011 at 10:33 pm said:

I need to go to the store so many games I never heard before being released. What a pleasure …


37

+ krae_man on January 21st, 2011 at 9:52 am said:

Wow EA, did you really have to make the jumping so terrible? It took me like 2 minutes to find the jump button because the first two times I pressed X nothing happened.

It’s like you decided “meh, the penalty for death is next to nothing so we don’t need to fix the controls”.

Also, you should have stuck with a non existant plot “Him bad guy, parts needed, go get” instead of long boring naration with the same failed attempts at humor again and again and again “I only calculated blah blah blah” UGH shut up already!

You could have had something fun and worth $10, instead all you have is a game that’s slightly below passible that only Trophy whores will buy since you gave the game 2 silver, 10 golds and a platinum.


38

+ odd69 on January 22nd, 2011 at 9:33 pm said:

I got it day one and have been enjoying it. This is a great deal for ten bucks in my opinion. Online games were easy to join, Ive experienced no lag so far, the camera is kinda weird but the action is solid and looks great.


39

+ Lugoves on January 23rd, 2011 at 7:12 am said:

Will someone please support my gaming habit? I need a sponsor so I can stop working and keep up with all the neat games coming out. lol. I Either buy them and barely get to play, or I leave the DEMO on my PS3 forever hoping there will be a ‘lull’. The polish on this is really good for less than 10$. .. Decisions decisions … of course I f I wait … PS+ subscribers might get a discount later …


40

+ Android66 on January 23rd, 2011 at 3:42 pm said:

Any word on the apparent bug? There is a part that doesn’t show up where it should in Ancient Temple, Zone 2. Looking at the forms, the glitch may be related to the 1.01 game update. Frustrating, when you’ve got 99 of 100 trophies… :(


41

+ Android66 on January 23rd, 2011 at 3:44 pm said:

@35: You don’t have to play co-op to get the Action Parts, collectibles, and trophies. However, you can’t do it as a single robot–you’ll need to plug in a second controller and position both of the robots at once. I was able to beat it solo, but it definitely would have been easier with a second player.


42

+ Kreutznaer on January 28th, 2011 at 5:18 pm said:

Bought it and loved this game! Already beat it thrice, it’s so addictive!


43

+ PureSharpness on January 29th, 2011 at 2:12 pm said:

this game has a error on it,i cant get one part from the 3rd from last stage,this game needs a patch


44

+ ronatola66 on February 6th, 2011 at 9:24 am said:

The DEMO is great. My 7 yr old Daughter loves it and is begging me to buy it. Well her Birthday is coming up Feb 23 – guess what she’s going to get.
Our internet is down at home tho, so I’m not sure when I can get it.
Is PSN on the PS3 the only way?


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