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JBraamz: The Sci-Fi Inspirations of Velocity 2X

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JBraamz: The Sci-Fi Inspirations of Velocity 2X

Hi everyone! My name is Hussain Sheikh and I’m the Technical Director at FuturLab! I’ve been writing a series of ‘making of’ articles about Velocity 2X over on our blog, and today PlayStation.Blog has kindly offered to host this particular post about the most awesome of visual effects: LENS FLARES!

Velocity 2X on PS4 and PS Vita

Velocity 2X on PS4 and PS Vita

Since the release of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek in 2009, people noticed just how much lens flares were synonymous with sci-fi. Carrying that baton forward, we decided to go full on J.J. Abrams crazy with on Velocity 2X.

Have a look at these beautiful things in our early concept art, seen just to the right of this paragraph.

Actually we were so inspired by J.J. Abrams’ style of lens flares that we started talking about them all the time.

After many months of this, the inevitable abbreviations began, and what started as “J.J.Abrams style lens flares” soon became “J.J. Abrams flares” then “JAbramzFlares” and finally settled as “JBraamz”.

JBraamz is now part of our codebase:

Velocity 2X on PS4 and PS Vita

All lens flares in Velocity 2X are generated as a post-effect and are triggered by intensity levels of the rendered scene. This means the lens flares react to dynamic lighting, get hidden by foreground objects and react to other effects.

You can see our lens flares reacting to explosion lighting below. Notice the very subtle blue lens flare generated by the blue light above of the switch numbered 3.

Velocity 2X on PS4 and PS Vita

Now see how the lens flare becomes brighter and stronger when the switch is blown.

Velocity 2X on PS4 and PS Vita

We also wanted our lens flares to feel like they are being generated by bright or hot spots in the scene. To achieve this, our lens flares also generate halo glows around bright objects, making the flares look more natural. In the screenshot below you can see how the lens flares appear to be just streaks pasted on top of lights.

Velocity 2X on PS4 and PS Vita

Turning on the halos gives the lights a more natural and brighter feel.

Velocity 2X on PS4 and PS Vita

The particle effects also generate lens flares!

Velocity 2X on PS4 and PS Vita

We are very proud of our JBraamz lens flares as they truly make the game feel sci-fi when seen in action! See if you can spot them in the trailer!

This game looks amazing, can I win it?
Yes! If you complete our short survey, you could win Velocity 2X on PS4 and Vita, a Velocity 2X t-shirt and a limited edition Velocity 2X Art Book!

Yes I want a chance to win!

Velocity 2X is released for PS4 and PS Vita on September 2nd.

You can catch us on Twitter @FuturLab. Read more about Velocity 2X here, and read more about FuturLab here.

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45 Comments

  • James Marsden
    James Marsden
    James Marsden

    Hey folks, Hussain doesn’t have his login details for the US blog yet, so I’ll tide you over until he arrives. Any questions, just shout! =)

  • snakeeyes211

    I am so excited for this game can’t wait day one buy

  • First time seeing gameplay for this.
    Definitely getting this for Vita. Looks like a game I’ll love to play while I’m on break at work.
    But will you guys be supporting cross buy by any chance?

  • Brink-2-Chaos

    Surprisingly Lengthy survey DONE enjoyed the post cant wait to play

  • Johnny_iS_A_bOy

    I wonder what the platinum trophy well be called this time got my Show Thumb Respect! My little thumbs will be plugging away on this gem very soon can’t freaking wait!

  • Johnny_iS_A_bOy

    Also, I forgot to mention is minesweeper still in the game in some fashion? ;) Please god no!!!! lmao that was a nightmare

  • Brink-2-Chaos

    @5 its a diehard reference “Yippee Kai Yay”

  • I hate J.J. Abrams and I hate his terrible Star Trek movies. He’s going to ruin Star Wars next and now he’s corrupted a videogame I was looking forward to. Thanks, J.J. >_<

  • The game looks like it’s coming out great so far! Definitely going to end up buying it, even if I don’t win it from the survey- I am curious though, what made you guys decide to go in this direction for Velocity 2X? It seems like a fantastic direction, but, for example, a lot of game studios would think it was a terrible idea to add in side-scrolling action bits into a top-down shooter, but it seems you guys executed it perfectly- what made you come up with the idea?

    • James Marsden
      James Marsden

      That’s a question with a big answer…

      We were lucky with Velocity as we had the element of surprise. Nobody had seen the mechanics we were introducing to the genre. We couldn’t afford to rest on our laurels after that, and we wanted to convince people who ‘hate shmups’ that our game was unique and worth their time.

      I knew platforming would work as the mechanics are very similar, so it was a case of being able to scale up the game, surprise people again, and not take much of a risk as the mechanics are solid =)

  • Johnny_iS_A_bOy

    Thanks, I absolutely love you guys. Futurlab will continue to get my money day one! I haven’t been let down a single time like most who play your games, I hope continued success and 2x is gonna be killer.

  • @James Marsden – Yeah, it’s a bit distracting. Sorry. Maybe you can include an option to turn off JBraamz. :p

    • James Marsden
      James Marsden

      I think you’ll just need to trust us when we say it’s not distracting. The action is so fast paced, it just creates a sense of speed with the horizontal lines being created. They’re all off the player’s path though, and there’s plenty of contrast between where the player needs to go, and where they can’t.

  • 11 more days!!! Been waiting for this for over a year now!

  • PiotrRasputinBR

    Can’t wait! Looking great so far, definitely day one buy!

  • Are all these lighting and particle effects on the vita version too?
    I’m afraid something like PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate happening for V2x, where the PS4 and Vita versions where the same in regards of gameplay (which is good) but the PS4 version had all the lighting and particle effects where as the Vita version had none.

    • James Marsden
      James Marsden

      Hey man, so listen up…

      The game is a PS Vita title – it’s our lead platform, so all this stuff was created on PS Vita, and then transferred to PS4 with HD assets.

      So yes, absolutely, the game looks this good on PS Vita.

      In fact, unless you’re a master of setting up your TV, it’s going to look slicker on PS Vita because of that beautiful OLED screen.

      Hussain worked his **** off to make sure the game runs at a solid 60fps too =)

  • What a great article! This is why I love the PS Blog: it’s the perfect place for interesting articles like this to be posted that show insight on development and technical information without being overly complicated or unapproachable. Plus, we get to speak with developers directly. So excited for this game. Keep up the good work!

  • Very much looking forward to Velocity 2X, Velocity Ultra was a blast and I spend a lot of time playing it on my Vita. I’m very interested in video game music and the listen I got a couple of weeks ago… not one bit disappointed. Velocity Ultra had a great soundtrack! If I don’t win the survey, expect a day one or within that week purchase. :)

  • Thanks for the reply James, this is very reassuring!! This is a day 1 purchase for me :D Velocity Ultra was the very first game I bought with my Vita.

  • dummysystem

    can’t wait for the game. I loved Velocity Ultra and already bought the soundtrack for Velocity 2X.
    And all these particle effects combined with the Vita OLED … so beautiful
    http://i1.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/007/762/337.gif

    ps : this article was really interesting to read. It’s nice to get some details , from the developers side, about the game.

  • CrusaderForever

    Loved the first game and cannot wait to play this soon! This looks absolutely fantastic! Filled out the survey and my fingers are now x!!

  • GAME OF THE YEAR! unless The Witness ships this year…then I don’t know. ;) I love your work.

  • FuturLab is definitely leading the Indie Game Revolution on PlayStation.

  • JackmoveJohnny

    I’m anticipating Velocity2x more than any AAA game this year FACT.

  • Rezolution77

    Really liked Velocity Ultra.

    Let me know when there is a sale, and I am on it.

    I only say that because linear games are good for records and trying to beat your last score, but not as much fun to relax and play casually.

  • Rezolution77

    Personally, CounterSpy is my fav. for Indie Platformers to date.
    But Velocity Ultra is probably 2nd.

    Of course Transistor and Valiant Hearts have not made their way to Vita :(

  • KazeEternal

    When will the shirt(s) go on sale? I need Swag to show my love for this game at my studio.

  • Another’s xcellent game I can’t wait o get this as well indie games are the best.

  • PrinceofXIII

    Getting this Day 1 :)

  • AizawaYuuichi

    J.J. Abrams gets a lot of hate for his love of lens flare. However, I for one love it. Seeing that you guys took inspiration from him and loosed a deluge of lens flare all over this gem of a game just makes me that much more excited for it. Can’t wait to pick this up beginning of September. Hopefully I’ll be done with First Light by then and can give it my undivided attention.

  • Velocity 2x will be a damn great game….will be getting for sure…had tons of fun with Velocity and with Ultra.Damn we’re already this close from the release?…Time flies.

  • Soulwind613

    @James/Hussain

    When you stated that your game was: “The game is a PS Vita title – it’s our lead platform…”, from an earlier post, a very large tear came forth!

    Great to see a dev. working on such a rarity these days by wanting to hit up the Vita first, then converting to the bigger machines.

    Shazaam! to that! and Day One for me!

    Lates’

  • Killzone Shadow Fall used its lens flares poorly, killing red dot sights and whatnot. From that I’ve seen, I think you guys have used them in a good manner.

  • Day one! Really enjoyed getting the platinum earlier this year in Velocity Ultra.

  • Can’t Wait Guys, Loved the first one, had it free with PLUS, could not believe how awesome it was.

    One of the BEST games on my VITA, so I have been looking for a way to say thank you..

    THANK YOU….

    DAY ONE Purchase right here ;P

  • Wow, I shoulda checked in here; only caught that survey thanks to a post in the flood of PS+ update comments. Fingers crossed!

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