Launching a game is always a frantic, exciting time, especially when you are a small, close-knit team. The PlayStation Network launch of Hydrophobia Prophecy on November 1st is no exception; in fact we’re even more excited than usual to have it launch as Game of the Month on PlayStation Plus, and we’re really grateful to PlayStation for getting behind the game.
For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Hydrophobia Prophecy is third-person action adventure with a sci-fi twist and a unique dynamic feature; our custom HydroEngine fluid dynamics technology. It’s a full physics simulation for flowing water – the only one of it’s kind in games, which allows water to wash dynamically around the environments, carrying objects and characters along with it. If you’re a sucker for water or game physics, then it really is a sight to behold – we’re very fortunate here at Dark Energy to have some incredibly talented tech-heads!
HydroEngine allows us to deliver dynamic and unique physics-based gameplay. Shoot out a window or weakened wall and water will crash through, wiping out any enemies that stand in the way. You can also shoot environmental hazards like barrels to unleash floating oil fires (which can become a weapon or a hazard depending on the emergent flow behavior) or fuse boxes and cables to electrocute enemies. Combining these together gives you score multipliers, and you get tons of emergent behavior because the water physics is never the same twice, so chain reaction physics is the order of the day.
Since the lead character, Kate Wilson, is an intelligent systems engineer, you can also utilize her augmented reality MAVI device to hack into systems and CCTV networks so you can scan the area ahead or remotely open doors from afar and unleash more torrents of water into unsuspecting enemies.
If you are familiar with the game then you’ll be pleased to learn that Hydrophobia Prophecy on PSN is definitely our best version. The tech guys have done a great job of harnessing the power of PS3 to make some significant enhancements Dark Energy‘s in-house InfiniteWorlds engine, so the game really looks superb. Gameplay wise it’s in a different league compared to the original release; the design team went back to the drawing board reworked really almost everything from the ground up. It’s been a lot of work, but it was worthwhile in the end.
In addition there are literally hundreds of refinements sourced directly from Darknet – our built-in developer feedback system which allows players to drop comment flags at any point in the game. It’s really been fascinating watching the data points from real players build up in our dev builds of the game. It’s particularly delightful to play through the game and come across a concentration of positive feedback flags around a cool event, and better still to watch the evolution of the data as we’ve updated and improved the game. It makes it all the more exciting knowing that PSN players are going to get their hands on the most polished version to date, and it will be interesting to see a whole bunch of new Darknet data emerge from the PlayStation community.
Going back to the game itself, we’re also very keen to see how PlayStation Network players respond to our implementation of PlayStation Move motion control. The precision and enhanced immersion it brings to the table really helps to engross you in the action, and we think it adds a new dimension to the flow-combat gameplay. We spent a great deal of time tuning the PlayStation Move controls, and we’ve made sure there is a full range of customization options available so players can adjust it to their liking. Our goal was to bring a compelling third person action-adventure to PlayStation Network with really great PlayStation Move functionality – and it’s certainly the preferred method of play here at Dark Energy now.
We think you’ll find Hydrophobia Prophecy on PlayStation network to be a really unique experience, with tonnes of dynamic and emergent gameplay. We’re really excited about building a community behind the game too, so we’ve worked hard to ensure it’s great value for money, and we can’t wait to see the Darknet data points flooding into our system and really look forward to sharing the analysis with you.