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Jul 20

Jul 20

Retro/Grade Coming to PS3!

Matt Gilgenbach's Avatar Posted by Co-founder, 24 Caret Games

!NSP no desaeler eb lliw ,esrever ni yleritne deyalp emag tsrif eht ,edarG/orteR… errr… Sorry! I’m used to time being reversed. What I was trying to say is that Retro/Grade, the first game played entirely in reverse, will be released on PSN! Actually, let me start from the beginning. I’m Matt Gilgenbach, co-founder of 24 Caret Games. We are proud to announce that we will be releasing our first game, Retro/Grade, on the Playstation Network for Playstation 3. Retro/Grade stars ace fighter pilot Rick Rocket who has just saved the universe. Unfortunately, the massive destruction he left in his wake has caused a temporal anomaly that reversed the flow of time. You must assume control of Rick’s spacecraft and fight through the epic space battle… in reverse!

Retro/ Grade Sreenshot 1

At this point, you may be thinking, “How on earth do you play a game in reverse?” That is a very good question, and after many years of temporal physics research, we’ve finally come up with the solution. As you can see from our screenshots, Retro/Grade looks like a really exciting shoot ‘em up. However, it actually plays more like a rhythm game. In order to protect the health of the space/time continuum, Rick must undo his actions exactly the reverse of the way he performed them in the first place. That means he has to get in the appropriate space lane from which his shot was fired and press the shoot button at the appropriate time. As well, he must avoid blocking the path of the enemy shots as they return to the enemy’s guns. If he blocks their path, it creates a paradox since he is stopping the shot before it was ever fired. All of the gameplay is timed to original retro themed tunes by Skyler McGlothlin, aka acclaimed electronica artist Nautilis. Retro/Grade earned a nomination for Excellence in Audio at the IGF because of our great tunes.

One feature in Retro/Grade that we are really excited about is the ability to pilot Rick’s ship using a guitar controller. You can use the fret buttons to move Rick’s ship to the desired space lane, and the strum bar acts as the shoot button. It’s a lot of fun to use the guitar, but it is equally fun with the DualShock 3 controller if you don’t have any guitar controllers handy. Players that play a lot more rhythm games will probably feel more comfortable wielding a plastic guitar whereas shoot ‘em up junkies looking for an innovative twist on the beloved genre will feel more comfortable with their trusty DualShock 3.

Retro/ Grade Sreenshot 3

Retro/Grade features many innovative power ups including the ability to reverse time (again). You may be thinking, “But wait Matt… Time is already reversed!” This power up allows you to reverse the reversed flow of time, so time moves forward! Although that sounds confusing, the gameplay effect is really exciting! It allows you to undo any mistakes you’ve mde made and repeat a section again. This is extremely helpful for when you hit a hard section that requires a little more practice or you lose the rhythm and start making mistakes. Once you play Retro/Grade, you are sure to bemoan that other rhythm games don’t have that feature.

All of these compelling features earned us a nomination for Excellence in Game Design at the Independent Games Festival. There’s plenty more to get excited about that we aren’t ready to announce just yet. Stay tuned, and we will update you Playstation Blog readers with more information as development progresses! If you want to stay up to date, be sure to follow 24 Caret Games on Facebook!

Retro/ Grade Sreenshot 2

Add Your Own

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Keebzerz said:

July 21st, 8:08 pm

In other words, the HUD looks a bit bland and cluttered. With a game like this where your eyes are quickly bouncing up and down, it seems only natural to display any necessary score/health information at the bottom and top of the screen, with bigger, easier to read displays.

    Matt Gilgenbach's Avatar

    Matt Gilgenbach said:

    July 21st, 11:44 pm

    We\’ve gotten that feedback from many sources, so we\’re going to work on it. :-D

coastermaniac said:

July 21st, 9:43 pm

wow. that is an incredibly creative idea. Definitely keeping an eye on this one.

btw, thanks for all the answers in the comments

TheTekator said:

July 22nd, 4:15 am

Matt Gilgenbach wrote :
“We toyed with the idea of random level creation, but it can’t create as fun and balanced gameplay as something hand designed.”

So, could you allow user to generate their own path, and then, sharing it with other players ? (like the Echochrome system)

Honnestly, this kind of option would be amazing !
But I know it’s that easy to do.

Good luck for this game, which one is going to be very great I’m sure !

    Matt Gilgenbach's Avatar

    Matt Gilgenbach said:

    July 22nd, 10:30 am

    User created levels is definitely an idea that has crossed our minds. :-D

BSC94 said:

July 22nd, 5:42 pm

the game looks pretty cool.

BSC94 said:

July 22nd, 5:45 pm

Is it going to be a rhythm game?

    Matt Gilgenbach's Avatar

    Matt Gilgenbach said:

    July 27th, 1:42 pm

    Yes, it\’s a rhythm game with some additional cool elements of shooters.


July 23rd, 5:39 am

Any idea of when the demo might be out, Matt?


July 23rd, 5:41 am

Correction for Above – Wondering when PS3 demo will be out. (I know there’s a PC demo)
Sorry for double post.

    Matt Gilgenbach's Avatar

    Matt Gilgenbach said:

    July 27th, 1:43 pm

    Our plan is to make a PS3 demo simultaneous with the actual release, so you can try before you buy. Making a demo is a very time consuming process, and we want to keep our heads down and focus on finishing the game! Thanks for your question.

ShtayimPac said:

July 26th, 9:16 am

Hello Matt,
I might as well add I find your new concept rather confusing. Nevertheless I’m a big BIG Shoot’em Up fan and your game looks great. Is it possible to also play it the normal ordinary way of progress-forward-shoot-n-blow-up? :)

Best of luck to you guys!

    Matt Gilgenbach's Avatar

    Matt Gilgenbach said:

    July 27th, 1:46 pm


    We are huge shoot \’em up fans at 24 Caret, but we feel that there are a number of outstanding shoot \’em up titles available presently, so we are concentrating on creating the best backwards experience ever! It may seem confusing, but when you actually play the game, you\’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly!

    Thanks for your interest!

ShtayimPac said:

July 26th, 9:19 am

One more thing,
in the demo the spaceship seems to only move up and down. it does move sideways, right?

    Matt Gilgenbach's Avatar

    Matt Gilgenbach said:

    July 27th, 1:48 pm

    No the ship doesn\’t move sideways. All the gameplay is on one axis similar to space invaders. However, the movement is split up into discrete space lanes. The idea behind this is to make it really clear where you have to be in order to un-fire your shots. The game is more of a rhythm game than a shmup, but we are incorporating some neat aspects of shooters as well.

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