Hi everyone! This is Zico Liu, programmer on WipEout HD; you all might remember me from the “Beat Zico” trophy. Before I talk about what I’ve been up to on the WipEout HD Fury expansion pack I would just like to let you know that the pack will be available from PlayStation Store on Thursday 23rd July.
The pack will be priced at £7.99 / €9.99 and will provide three new race types – Eliminator, Zone Battle and Detonator, 12 new tracks, 13 new ships, 6 new music tracks, a redesigned menu system, a new campaign to complete as well a host of new trophies to win. Oh and let’s not forget the additional ranks for you to achieve online. We are really excited about the content and hope you enjoy all the new features.
Also, on Tuesday 21st July, we are releasing a free update to the existing game. If you boot up WipEout HD at around 5pm GMT, you will be prompted to download the update. It will add a number of new features and tweaks to menus of the game including a brand new statistics section, new redesigned ship and track select screens and some new community/online features.
Now let’s get back to what I’ve been up to since HD was originally released. I’ve been busy working on the new game modes, mostly Eliminator and Zone Battle but also a bit on Detonator.
Eliminator mode was relatively easy to get in since it was taken from WipEout Pulse but we wanted to make it even better. Someone came up with the idea of having the 180 degree flip, which allows you to flip your ship, fly backwards down the track and fire your weapons at on coming opponents, like the Quake, which I know some people missed being able to do like they could in Pulse.
We also didn’t want people doing all the hard work of reducing an opponent’s shield, to then have someone else steal the kill and you receive nothing. So rather than the straight forward kills system seen in Pulse we have introduced a points system where you are awarded points for completing laps, inflicting damage and getting the kill. The winner is the first player to reach the target score.
Playable as both a single player game as well as online we are really pleased with the end product and hope that players will enjoy the new mode.
Zone Battle, our 8 player version of Zone mode, was a bit more difficult to get right as it went through several iterations and name changes. We started with just a one on one duel mode, which was basically a split screen version of Zone which you played until one person lost their entire shield. The initial idea of the zone bar was to speed up the other player so they go faster which hopefully meant they would crash more often and be destroyed sooner than if they were travelling slower. Unfortunately this idea didn’t really work as we had hoped and we returned to the drawing board. As we wanted the game to be played online with up to 8 players, we had to come up with an idea that didn’t have people sitting around waiting until everyone else had been eliminated, so we introduced the idea of racing towards a target zone which meant the race would end at the same time for everyone.
With this in mind the zone bar was changed to increase your own zones so you can reach the target quicker. To add a bit of variety we wanted some obstacles on the track which is where the zone barrier idea came from. Every time you use your zone bar to boost you leave a zone barrier on the track to try and slow down your opponents. This means that players have to constantly look out for the barriers and try to avoid them or use up their zone bar to shield themselves. I think it turned out very well and hopefully people will enjoy playing it in the Fury expansion pack!
Other stuff that I was working on was the new ship, track and campaign cell selection screens for the new front-end, and also the HUD’s for the new modes.
Finally I hope everyone enjoys this expansion and please don’t hate me too much, it’s not really that hard to Beat Zico….