Rocketbirds, our cinematic platform adventure game, has come a long way from its three IGF finalist nominations back in 2010. Since then, we listened to people’s feedback and vastly improved the game for its PS3 release in October 2011. That version had more technical improvements than we could shake a stick at; we made it fast and included stereoscopic 3D, added a new Jet Pack mode, a two-player couch co-op campaign and polished the heck out of it. We received more great feedback, so when it came down to the PS Vita version, we jumped at the opportunity to iterate on the game once more. We added things like new chapters, puzzles and humor; a unique new Hardboiled difficulty setting; improvements to the controls to utilize the PS Vita’s unique features; and improved connectivity for the cooperative campaign.
From the beginning, I’ve really wanted to include these large Orwellian video panels where a boss character would be able to literally talk down at his underlings. For the PS Vita release, we created a couple of huge new chapters from scratch to house these animated panels. I think there’s something funny about such overcompensation. Now that we’ve managed to get them in the game I’m trying to figure out how to install some here at the office.
Inspired by Mega64’s take on “IndieFilms: Rocketbirds”, we took the idea of stabbing a Penguin grunt and incorporated it into a new Hardboiled difficulty setting. In this mode, you’ll be expected to take down the Penguin regime with just a pea shooter and a very large knife.
The game supports the PS Vita’s front touch screen and rear touch panel and you’ll be playing at full native resolution without the ‘jaggies’. Like a proper cinematic platform adventure game, Rocketbirds does away with scrolling to give you big detailed screens. In interviews we jokingly referred to our PS3 game as a “non-scrolling-TILT-er” since the screens tilt a bit as you moved from left to right. For the PS Vita version we turned it up a notch and wired the tilting to the built-in motion sensors. Now you can counter-tilt at will and it looks great.
The final feature we’d like to highlight is improved connectivity for the game’s co-op campaign. To better fit with the portable nature of the game, you’ll be able to easily connect with a friend via online or ad-hoc mode for co-op play. We’ve also added two new playable co-op characters (Sniper Guy and Agent-H), exclusive to the PS Vita.
We’re really looking forward to the release and hope you’ll enjoy this ultimate version of Rocketbirds on PS Vita when it comes out in Q1 2013!