Posted 3:03pm

Stylish exploration adventure forma.8 steers a course for PS4 and PS Vita

Striking side-scroller promises intrigue, puzzles and a unique world to explore

Hi PlayStation Blog! Italian indie studio MixedBag’s here again. Last Tuesday we announced our crazy shoot ‘em up Futuridium EP Deluxe coming exclusively to a PS Vita near you, and today we are here to bring you more PlayStation love.

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As anticipated last week, our big project – the one we opened MixedBag for and the game we always wanted to make – is coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. We are immensely proud – drum roll – to announce forma.8 for PlayStation with a brand new teaser trailer.

forma.8 is an action adventure game and our own personal take on the classic Metroidvania formula. We started working on forma.8 over two years ago, beginning with a little gameplay concept centred on an experimental control system for touch devices and evolving it in an adventure of epic scale. It’s the kind of game that, as a two-person indie developer, anyone tells you “hey, don’t start with something big like this!” Err…

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In a distant future, the small exploration probe forma.8 is stranded alone on the surface of an alien planet. He got separated from his companions by an accidental event and has a life or death mission to accomplish: he needs to find and recover a powerful energy source deep under the surface before it’s too late. Ancient civilisations, great perils and dystopian visions awaits him, and not everything is as it seems…

Floating gracefully in mid-air, with a control system that aims to give the player a true sense of flying, forma.8 starts with no powers, no weapons and no hints of what to do and where to go: it’s up to the player to explore the planet, deal with its often hostile inhabitants, and slowly uncover the story. There’s no verbal communication in the game, everything is conveyed to the player only with images, sounds and by the gameplay itself.

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Physics is a big part of forma.8 too: everything in the world is physics-based, with plants, ropes, waters, enemies, rocks and all the moving elements interacting and reacting in a realistic way, offering unexpected twists to the game.

As you can see, for forma.8 we opted to use a peculiar graphic style, using hand drawn vector graphics mixed with 3D elements, rendering everything at the highest resolution possible with a massive amount of antialiasing to get a very clean and crisp look. The results? You don’t see pixels, only smooth lines, and the game looks gorgeous on the PS Vita screen as well on a big TV rendered in 1080p. And it runs at 60frames per second, obviously.

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The soundtrack and all the sound effects are in the skillful hands of Qubit, aka Omar Ferrero, who is also working on some music tracks for Futuridium EP Deluxe. If you like the audio vibes from the trailer, he’s the one to thank.

So a little recap:

  • An expansive world
  • Everything is physics-based
  • Exploration!
  • Puzzles!
  • Secrets to uncover
  • An intriguing and mysterious story
  • 60 frames per second super fluid action
  • Lots of enemies
  • Lots of BIG enemies
  • Some more BIGGER enemies
  • …and all the power-ups you need to take care of them and to avoid all the nasty stuff you’ll face on the remote, alien planet

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A big thank you for your attention from me, Mauro Fanelli, and Andrea Gellato, the two Co-founders and members of MixedBag. We’ll share more information about forma.8 and Futuridium EP Deluxe soon. As always, I’m here to reply to your questions, so don’t be shy to ask!

And to be always up to date, please follow MixedBag on Twitter , Like our page on Facebook and read our blog on Tumblr !

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Comments

14 Comments 8 Author replies
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Looks great, but seems to borrow alot from PixelJunk Shooter. That’s no bad thing tho.

    Mauro Fanelli 28 February, 2014 @ 3:37 pm    

    Hi tojanfoe,

    PixelJunk Shoother was one of our inspiration for the visual look of the game, with Another World.
    The game is a lot different to play tough. ;)

Speedfreak_R 28 February, 2014 @ 3:13 pm   2

Exactly what I was going to post. Thanks.

 

looks like Badlands on ios

    Mauro Fanelli 28 February, 2014 @ 3:38 pm    

    Funny thing: we announced forma.8 for iOS months before Badlands, but then Badlands came out (and it’s a great game!).
    forma.8 is a totally different kind of game. :)

 

Whoa, this is pretty sweet! The art style reminds me of Flashback and the gameplays looks like FUN (yeah, with capital letters :). Hope it will be released soon.

    Mauro Fanelli 28 February, 2014 @ 3:39 pm    

    Thanks!
    It’ll be out by the end of the year, can’t wait to share more information in the upcoming months!

HomessaHomem 28 February, 2014 @ 3:41 pm   5

Looks and sounds great! Cross-buy and cross-save pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease.

    Mauro Fanelli 28 February, 2014 @ 3:51 pm    

    Can’t confirm anything for now, but it’ll probably be cross-buy and cross-save. :)

 

This looks pretty interesting, assuming it’s priced right I’ll most likely get it. One question though: is movement going to be as slow as its shown in the trailer? If so, I hope it’s not too easy ;) Apart from that I’m glad to see more excellent titles coming to the Vita and PS4 :)

    Mauro Fanelli 28 February, 2014 @ 4:45 pm    

    Hi Asmerith,

    In the trailer we don’t show some of the more advanced upgrade. You can definitely move very fast in the game. ;)
    Also, I can assure you it’s pretty difficult. ;)

 
StevenJamesHyde 28 February, 2014 @ 3:59 pm   7

Reminds me of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. This is definitely a good thing

 

Thanks for the reply. I meant to write Another World instead of Flashback – somehow I always mix these two up. :) Really glad, that the will come out this year.

 

Hi.
Crazy idea: instead of using a bar to display forma.8 HP you could simply make so the color of the light that it emits, and also the “contrail”, changes from bright white to red when forma.8 it’s damaged.
I would be IMO neat visual cue and it could work just as well as the HP bar.
It’s just a thought anyway.

Sorry for bothering you.

    Mauro Fanelli 1 March, 2014 @ 10:47 am    

    Hi LAILIEL,

    you’re not bothering, thanks for the comment and the idea! We’re always looking for feedback and this is pretty neat! ;)

 

Looks great :). Noticed you mentioning in a previous reply that it was pretty difficult – if it’s feasible, don’t forget to include difficulty options where appropriate, at least if you’re looking for as broad as possible an audience (note – be true to your vision first, broaden audience second, and only if it doesn’t hurt vision). I’ll get it anyways, looks like great fun even if I’m not necessarily able to finish it :).

    Mauro Fanelli 1 March, 2014 @ 10:54 am    

    Thanks Axe99,

    Our approach is ‘a single difficulty level, but try to have a nice difficulty curve’. It definitely will not be a game that finishes itself like a lot of modern games, where’s the fun in that? :D

    The game features an auto save system, and if you die you’re never too far from where you restart. Also, it’s difficult in a not punishing way: it’s fair, you never die because you have to.

    Anyway, really hope to get the difficulty right: is one of the most difficult thing in game design, but we’re trying to do our best about it!

 
Anndrej 1 March, 2014 @ 11:32 am   11

The colors are what immediately stood out for me, the whole “dark/vibrant” vibe works beatifully. Gives it an old-school sci-fi kind of feel. Can’t wait!

 
bennyrafal 1 March, 2014 @ 11:58 am   12

Someone shoould really do a Turrican 2 remake…

 
Dirtybandana88 1 March, 2014 @ 12:19 pm   13

Am i the only one who is tired of these Quirky “indie” games recycling each others ideas n making us shell out more money without making any serious attempts to get past our growing levels of verisimilitude. Why not bring back games like Mark of Kri? 3rd person adventure games are soooo needed on the Vita at the moment. Why not look at what worked before on the PS2/PS1 and use the vitas supposedly “powerful” hardware to bring something “new” to the table…im just so tired…indie and innovation are supposed to be good friends.

 
LAILIEL 1 March, 2014 @ 12:37 pm   14

@Mauro Fanelli

Thanks for the reply.
I will definitely keep and eye on forma.8