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PlayStation Mobile: sixty second shooter Deluxe Lands Today

Jamie Fristrom's Avatar + Posted by Jamie Fristrom on Oct 30, 2012 // Chief Scientist, Happion Laboratories

Many years ago I quit a pretty sweet job as creative director on Activision‘s Spider-Man series in the middle of development on Spider-Man 3. Why did I do such a crazy thing? I’d love to say it was because of the screenplay, but no — a big part of the reason was that even though I had the highfalutin’ title “creative director” I didn’t feel like it was my game. Somehow, not enough of my own creative input and ideas were making it into the thing, and I thought that at a small company I could start making games I could call my own again.

And I’ve been getting my butt kicked ever since! Every mistake you can make as an indie developer… I’ve probably made it twice. We did okay with Schizoid, which made it into the PAX 10, but didn’t bring in enough money to make the next game, and although we managed to hold on for a while longer, doing some contract work here and there, we eventually had to call it quits.

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My partner went and got a real job and I was about to as well, but then I heard that the Chrome web browser had this new ‘native client’ technology that would let you run blazingly fast C++ and OpenGL code right inside your browser. I couldn’t resist – I had to make a game with it.

And what would the perfect game be? Something that showed off the 3D OpenGL-ness in the browser but was also a snack-sized game; something that someone browsing the web could try out on a lark; a game that would load quickly, play quickly and hook the player.

Well then! How about a shooter game (to show off the 3D OpenGL-ness) with a 60 second time limit (so it would be snack-sized) — and to keep those loading times down, I wouldn’t load any graphics over the web: I’d make all the art procedural abstract shapes generated by the code itself. And thus sixty second shooter was born.

I kept the title all in lower case just as a reaction to other games that shout their titles at you: AMAZING HEAD EXPLODY GAME! No – sixty second shooter is understated, it’s all about the gameplay, not the BLASTING VISUALS!

Since the art was procedural, I didn’t need an artist. I could make this game all by myself, a childhood dream come true. Talk about it being ‘my’ game. If you don’t like sixty second shooter Deluxe, well, that is my fault. I’ve got nobody else to blame.

But here’s the exciting bit: it turned out to be really fun. I couldn’t put it down — and friends would tell me they were hooked, that they stayed up all night playing it. Shooter + time limit turned out to be two great tastes that taste great together. It became one of the highest user-rated games on the Chrome web store and VentureBeat said, “sixty second shooter takes a simple concept and delivers it in small, intense bites. You can come back at any time and attempt to improve your performance, and you’ll want to.”

Enter Sony and PlayStation Mobile. Through my secret underworld cabal of indie game developer contacts, I got in touch with Shahid Ahmad, SCEE biz dev guy, and we agreed that a new and improved version of sixty second shooter would be a great thing to have on PSM, so I set to work making it. Even better, I go to add things I didn’t have time to do the first time around, like more enemies and power-ups.

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But my biggest surprise came when I took something out: the extra lives. Now, in sixty second shooter Deluxe, when you die, it’s Game Over, and that little change has taken the fun to a whole new level. I’m not even totally sure why. You’d think after making games for 20 years I’d start to figure this stuff out — maybe it’s that the sessions are even shorter? Maybe it’s the added challenge? Maybe it’s because it changes the balance of risk and reward?

But don’t take my word for it. Give it a try and see when it launches tomorrow for $2.79. Oh, but then you’ll have to buy it … ka-$ching!

//Add Your Own

12 Comments

1

+ Elvick_ on October 30th, 2012 at 7:00 am said:

Hopefully this means PS Mobile will get some damn attention this time… it’s had two updates since launch with nothing on here about either.


2

+ remanutd5 on October 30th, 2012 at 7:01 am said:

trophy support and im jumping in on psmobile games


3

+ NashTheSlash on October 30th, 2012 at 7:38 am said:

Scala + JVM dev support on PSM. kthxbye :)


4

+ punkmusic2009 on October 30th, 2012 at 8:29 am said:

dose anyone know when the plus is avable for vita wwwwaaahh no free games this week for vita no good i want 1 free game ech week until the plus is out


5

+ JonJonXD on October 30th, 2012 at 9:27 am said:

will check this out.


6

+ Neil on October 30th, 2012 at 9:56 am said:

Great story


7

+ Budapesti on October 30th, 2012 at 10:59 am said:

I will be purchasing this. It has a certain ‘Geometry Wars’ look to it, and I love games with that style.

Also, a question (which I know Jaime probably isn’t able to answer, bu perhaps someone from Sony can?) Is there any news on when Playstation Mobile is coming to the HTC One series of phones? The webpage just has a ‘more news soon’ placeholder, and the PSM app comes up with an error when I run it on my HTC One ‘S’.


8

+ h2omasnah- on October 30th, 2012 at 11:39 am said:

PlayStation Mobile games have to be priced the same as the prices on the competition. Unless proven, there is absolutely no reason for the games to be more expensive. Overpricing the games is just ripping off the consumers (us) and is a dirty, anti consumer practice. Anyone who buys any game with a price more expensive than it is elsewhere is dumb and I will not buy any PlayStation Mobile game that is more expensive than on the competition.

To make consumers want to buy more PlayStation Mobile games and what will be better for Sony and PlayStation as a whole is to have complete PlayStation Network integration on PlayStation Mobile, have offline and online multiplayer and release PlayStation Mobile on PlayStation 3 with purchase once, play on all your devices of course, continue your save and vs against any device. That would make PlayStation and Sony devices/services as one including the PlayStation Certified part of PlayStation Certified devices.


9

+ h2omasnah- on October 30th, 2012 at 11:40 am said:

Side note: change the PlayStation Mobile and Certified logos. Use the “PlayStation” for all logos and names that have “PlayStation” in them. When some thing is called PlayStation “Anything” if a logo is not going to have the “PlayStation” logo than it should have the “PS” logo because that stands for PlayStation not X, Square, Triangle and O


10

+ Heavenly_king on October 30th, 2012 at 2:20 pm said:

I want trophies :)


11

+ icurafuse on October 30th, 2012 at 10:25 pm said:

$2.79 for a retro blaster game. Count me in.


12

+ JamieFristrom on October 31st, 2012 at 1:54 pm said:

Thanks for the kind words!

As for pricing relative to the competition, if by ‘competition’ you mean the free version on Chrome, I’d totally agree if they were the same game, but the Deluxe version is vastly improved over the Chrome version and well worth the $2.79, IMO … but of course I’m biased. Others seem to think it’s worth the price so far, though!


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