Posted 30 October

PlayStation Mobile: Sixty Second Shooter… Deluxe!

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Many years ago I quit a pretty sweet job as creative director on Activision’s Spider-Man series, in the middle of development on Spider-Man 3. Why did I do such a crazy thing? I’d love to say it was because of the screenplay, but no – a big part of the reason was that even though I had the highfalutin’ title “Creative Director” I didn’t feel like it was my game. Somehow, not enough of my own creative input and ideas were making it into the thing, and I thought that at a small company I could start making games I could call my own again.

And I’ve been getting my butt kicked ever since! Every mistake you can make as an indie developer… I’ve probably made it twice. We did okay with Schizoid, which made it into the PAX 10, but didn’t bring in enough money to make the next game, and although we managed to hold on for a while longer, doing some contract work here and there, we eventually had to call it quits.

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My partner went and got a real job and I was about to as well, but then I heard that the Chrome web browser had this new ‘native client’ technology that would let you run blazingly fast C++ and OpenGL code right inside your browser. I couldn’t resist – I had to make a game with it.

And what would the perfect game be? Something that showed off the 3D OpenGL-ness in the browser but was also a snack-sized game; something that someone browsing the web could try out on a lark; a game that would load quickly, play quickly and hook the player.

Well then! How about a shooter game (to show off the 3D OpenGL-ness) with a 60 second time limit (so it would be snack-sized) – and to keep those loading times down, I wouldn’t load any graphics over the web: I’d make all the art procedural abstract shapes generated by the code itself. And thus sixty second shooter was born.

I kept the title all in lower case just as a reaction to other games that shout their titles at you: AMAZING HEAD EXPLODY GAME! No – sixty second shooter is understated, it’s all about the gameplay, not the BLASTING VISUALS!

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Since the art was procedural, I didn’t need an artist. I could make this game all by myself, a childhood dream come true. Talk about it being ‘my’ game. If you don’t like sixty second shooter Deluxe, well, that is my fault. I’ve got nobody else to blame.

But here’s the exciting bit: it turned out to be really fun. I couldn’t put it down – and friends would tell me they were hooked, that they stayed up all night playing it. Shooter + time limit turned out to be two great tastes that taste great together. It became one of the highest user-rated games on the Chrome web store and VentureBeat said, “sixty second shooter takes a simple concept and delivers it in small, intense bites. You can come back at any time and attempt to improve your performance, and you’ll want to.”

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Enter Sony and PlayStation Mobile. Through my secret underworld cabal of indie game developer contacts, I got in touch with Shahid Ahmad, SCEE biz dev guy, and we agreed that a new and improved version of sixty second shooter would be a great thing to have on PSM, so I set to work making it. Even better, I go to add things I didn’t have time to do the first time around, like more enemies and power-ups.

But my biggest surprise came when I took something out: the extra lives. Now, in sixty second shooter Deluxe, when you die, it’s Game Over, and that little change has taken the fun to a whole new level. I’m not even totally sure why – you’d think after making games for 20 years I’d start to figure this stuff out – maybe it’s that the sessions are even shorter? Maybe it’s the added challenge? Maybe it’s because it changes the balance of risk and reward?

But don’t take my word for it. Give it a try and see when it launches tomorrow, priced £2.39/ €2.99/AUD4.95. Oh, but then you’ll have to buy it … ka-$ching!

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Comments

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Dr-abdulelah 30 October, 2012 @ 1:10 pm   1

PlayStation Mobile wiil come to saudi arabia ????

 

I’d love to play this on my Vita…if PS Mobile was available in New Zealand.

 

So when will PSM launch into more stores? like the for Scandinavian.

 

Amazing how this mobile service isn’t rolled out yet to other countries. I just bought a new phone but this service isn’t hear so I opted not to buy the Sony mobile. Please don’t bother Sony, it’s a lot of work so you better go to the pub instead.

 
Noisepurge 30 October, 2012 @ 2:10 pm   5

Would love to buy it! But can’t due to region restrictions :(

Is Sony trying to localize these games to our language or something? Don’t bother! Just release them in english and put up the Youtube app while you’re at it please! :D

 
Project2insanity 30 October, 2012 @ 2:13 pm   6

@SpitelordDekka; Give it a rest. Show the developer at least enough respect not to hijack his entry.

 

Hello! Any news when PsMobile will come to Sweden? it sucks as some people here in Eu got it and we dont, so please any update on this matter?

 

The PSMobile games are great and I can’t to get them, but I have an Asus Tablet, so until there’s a version for it, all I can do is wait. Sumioni is available outside PSMobile so that one I’m thinking on getting.

 
SpitelordDekka 30 October, 2012 @ 2:45 pm   9

@6 I have the utmost respect for the developer which is why I posted my now deleted comment. I think it’s fundamentally bad that SCEE pushes their own product so aggressively compared to every other offering on the store. I want to know when this anti-competitive practice will be addressed.

 
INTERista_DMC 30 October, 2012 @ 3:39 pm   10

what about the other countries ?? we are still waiting for PSM

 
Carnivius_Prime 30 October, 2012 @ 3:45 pm   11

I’ve obviously been a bit busy and out of the loop cos I don’t even know what PlayStation Mobile is. Has it replaced Minis or something?

 
almighty-slayer 30 October, 2012 @ 3:49 pm   12

Your game sounds fantastic, my friend. I will buy it tomorrow :)

 

Looks and sounds really nice!

I would suggest writing out a feature or something explaining the roll out phase for PSM. Every blog post about PSM will be bombarded with queries on it’s release.

 

Looks like good fun and a nice PSM game.
I know Trophies are coming to PSM games, is this something that might be patched in later to this game?
Either way I’ll probably pick this up as it looks right up my street.

 
Yasir_Said 30 October, 2012 @ 5:44 pm   15

I’m not sure why all these “updated” versions of new games are getting released on PSM at prices that people generally just aren’t willing to pay for them. If it is a tiny game that was free. Charge £0.99p

Most people won’t risk anything more for these games, even if they bought a vita.

 

Yeah must admit £2.39 does seem a little steep compared to other PSM games.
It’s more a PSN price point….. Which gives you online and trophies.

Having said that….it’s less than a Starbucks coffee!

 

I’m sorry to hijack this, but I am getting tired of reading about PSM when it’s not available here (NL) and no update on when it will be.
This is just highly annoying.

 
infernalmonkey1 31 October, 2012 @ 2:22 am   18

Looks like a lot of fun! Might get it, but the Australian pricing for PSM titles – where the exchange rate is apparently completely ignored – hurts the wallet.

 
Yasir_Said 31 October, 2012 @ 3:11 am   19

Sorry about my earlier post that seems quite cranky (especially the “updated” ;) sorry).

I didn’t mean to sound like the games wouldn’t be worth that! Just that most people won’t take the risk like they would at 99p due to conditioning to iOS etc..

£2.19 seems like a reasonable price though, good luck!

 
infernalmonkey1 31 October, 2012 @ 3:51 am   20

Actually, scratch earlier comment, I just purchased it. It’s bloody amazing!

JamieFristrom 31 October, 2012 @ 8:50 pm   21

Thanks for the kind words! My heart flutters.

 
RottenFoxBreath 31 October, 2012 @ 9:42 pm   22

Great game. Works fine on Vita, and Xperia Play mobile phone.

 

trophys? no? then its a “no buy”.

 
nobodies_romeo 3 November, 2012 @ 1:53 am   24

I’m so gutted, I have an xperia play and only just found out about playstation mobile offerings and that ps one classics were available for the playstation pocket but with the PSM update they’re no longer available :(