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Posted 2:00pm

SHIFT Extended: Turn Your Brain Upside Down!

I’m Olivier Vermeille, Marketing & PR Manager at Zallag (an independent publisher from France) and I’m thrilled to be able to talk directly with the PlayStation Community once again through this blog!

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I’m here to talk to you about a game that was just released this week in the minis section (compatible PlayStation 3 and PSP) of the PlayStation Store: SHIFT extended.

It’s actually a very unique platform/puzzle game where you have the ability to reverse each level to find new ways out. It’s all based around this concept of “shifting” and the black & white art style.

Basically, you’re the subject of an experiment and you have to go through the 120 twisted levels using the only power you have: shifting. It lets you completely change the environment and the very structure of the level by reversing the gravity and the colours: black becomes white, plain becomes void and vice-versa. It’s not the easiest thing putting this concept into words, but you’ll instantly know what I’m talking about once you have a look at the trailer.

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This extended version of SHIFT was specifically developed and enhanced for the PlayStation 3 and the PSP. The content from the original version was doubled and there are five new gameplay features added as well (converters, mobile blocks, mobile spikes, elastic blocks and a time attack feature) which you can have a glimpse of in this second video.

I was really curious about the making of such a unique game so I asked the developers, Fishing Cactus, a few questions.

Why is the entire game in black and white? It doesn’t seem very complicated to add a few colors so why didn’t you?

The art style is completely driven by the gameplay mechanic. It’s the idea of completely reversing the space, of being able to play in a level and a second later in its negative form, which dictated this choice. Not to mention that a black and white game is much more pleasant to look at than, let’s say, a red and blue game for example.

On top of that, the levels are not overloaded with information. There’s a reason why the levels are so uncluttered: with that original a mechanic, it’s important for the player to be able to focus on the puzzles and therefore everything must be slick and intuitive. Having too many background elements would cause some confusion to the players.

When you think about it, this particular art style contributes to the success of the game: when you see a screenshot of SHIFT extended you just can’t confuse it with another title, it’s what makes the game so unique!

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60 in the original version, 120 for SHIFT extended. How do you manage to keep the player interested after so many levels?

Everything depends on the skill of our Level Designers, doesn’t it? More seriously, we introduced a lot of new mechanics since we have had a lot of creative possibilities. Actually, the biggest issue was to make sure that we were not redundant and that each level had its unique look and sequence, despite the recurrent black and white paradigm.

What’s the most time-consuming: the level design or the technical development?

Actually it’s quite the same for me since it is a 2D game with only one-screen levels. The development of the level is made in same time as the level design. The only restriction we had was to fix a well-adjusted curve of difficulty, and to make sure that the player had fully understood the mechanics we had introduced through the game before bringing new ones bit-by-bit.

What are the levels you are the most proud of?

The 20 last levels are among our favourites. Those are also the hardest of the game, so maybe is it linked. There is one we particularly appreciate. We can’t wait to see how long you will need to get through it.

SHIFT extended was released on January 19th on the European PlayStation Store for €3.99/£3.49. You’ll find it in the minis section (as it’s a minis, when purchased, the game is playable both on your PlayStation 3 and/or on your PSP). Everyone from Zallag and Fishing Cactus hope you’ll have a blast playing it!

You can find more information by following SHIFT extended and Zallag on Facebook.

Our official website at Zallag.com is also a great way to keep in touch with news, blogs and many ways to contact us.

Did you enjoy this?

Comments

8 Comments 2 Author replies
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MobileTone 20 January, 2011 @ 4:40 pm   1

not to be confused with SHiFT Unleased ;)

It looks like fun :D I’m going to check it out soon :D

I really have a hard time to justify purchasing minis since i can play similar versions or the exact same (in this case) on flash games websites

Maybe you guys could talk around the offices for implementing trophies to minis or maybe some sort of home rewards that way i’d be willing to spend 3-4€ on these

    Olivier Vermeille 21 January, 2011 @ 9:21 am    

    Hello YJDO,

    Thanks for your feedback!

    I just wanted to point out that this version here is not the exact same version as the original Flash game. It actually offers twice the content from the original version (120 levels versus 60) and brand new gameplay mechanics! Also you can play it on your PS3 at home and on your PSP on the go with the same version :)

ImperatorA3 20 January, 2011 @ 6:06 pm   4

Looks, but 3.99 is too much

3#

Minis are mostly too play on a psp so the ps3 version is just a bonus.

TehPhilosopher 21 January, 2011 @ 1:42 pm   7

I picked it up based on the trailer – very slick graphics and I love high-concept games like this!

liammassey 22 January, 2011 @ 3:35 am   8

This game is great for a MINI but there is 1 level that is literally IMPOSSIBLE!

    Olivier Vermeille 24 January, 2011 @ 9:15 am    

    Hi liammassey, which level are you having trouble with? Maybe i can help you.