Hey, My name is Robert Karp and I am the Associate Producer lucky enough to be working on Hustle Kings. On the back of this year’s E3, we wanted to let you all know how Hustle Kings went down. Placed between some of the most eagerly anticipated games on PlayStation 3 (the likes of God of War 3 and Fat Princess), Hustle Kings helped to keep Room 502 packed, showing off the power of the system and impressing gamers, industry veterans and media alike.
Still very early in its development, we only showed one of Hustle Kings’ environments and let people play two of the game modes: US 8 ball and 9 ball. Most people chose to play the classic 8 ball game, and almost everyone commented on how beautiful the game was (particularly the lighting and the detail of the reflections in the balls). The part that impressed people the most, however, was how realistically the game plays. We were showing off some of the more advanced shots and techniques – screwing, bending, spinning and chipping the ball – and people were literally staring in amazement, astounded by the realism and eager to have a go and see if they could pull off those shots themselves!
We were really pleased and excited by how positive people’s reaction to the game was, especially as we only showed a very small portion of the game at E3. Much more content, including more game types (Killer, Cutthroat and 14.1 continuous, to name just 3), game modes (Hustle mode and a rather large career mode), other environments, customisation features, a rewards system and plenty more besides will be included in Hustle Kings when it’s released later in the year. Yet, even without all of this content, many people were really getting into it.
When the doors closed after the first day at E3, I challenged Simon Livesey, producer on Gravity Crash, to a game of US 8 ball. I expected to win easily, so I was going for the difficult shots and showing off. Before I knew it, I was a long way behind and I stepped up my game and began to take it seriously. Immersed in the game, falling further behind and trying to mount a pride-saving comeback, I hadn’t realised that a large group of producers and developers had gathered behind us… watching me get trounced! On the second day, I was shocked to see that an underground movement of after hours Hustling was developing. Everybody wanted to be in on the action, and I was being approached left, right and centre by people asking for hints and tips, and to practise playing, ahead of a ‘big game’ they had planned for that night!
It really kicked off on the last day, when Heavy Rain producer Scott Johnson and Invizimals producer John McLaughlin went head to head in a high-stakes, big-money match… unfortunately I can’t reveal who won – I’ve been sworn to secrecy; “what happens at E3 stays at E3!” – but I will tell you that, after an intense and closely fought match, it rained pretty heavily for one of them, that night. The Hustle Kings offering at E3 was only a taster of what is still to come. There’s plenty more in store for Hustle Kings, and in the next blog post (and the next trailer) you will get to see the Hustle King Credit reward system and the Hustle online mode. Make sure to stay up to date with the PlayStation.Blog so that you don’t miss anything. Until the next time, I’ll be playing Hustle mode with the guys at VooFoo, fluttering away my hard earned credits.