Inferno Pool Master Class

You know you’re onto something good when the people who have been developing and testing a game for months on end are still hanging around at lunch and after work for yet another 4 player battle royal. So when Inferno Pool launched on PSN at the end of May we were all very excited, if a little nervous that people might mistake it as merely a great Pool simulator.

We had two main objectives when developing Inferno Pool; firstly we wanted to make a frantic multiplayer title which would keep players on the edge of their seats right until the end, and secondly we wanted the game to be dead easy to pick up and play, but with massive depth for experienced players to keep discovering new skills and techniques and become masters in their own right.

inferno (8)

Of course as developers we were well aware of the array of hidden skills and techniques, and had cut our teeth in highly competitive matches against each other, so we were confident of kicking some serious ass when the game came out in public.

For the first couple of weeks, all went as planned. Dark Energy PSN IDs stalked their way to the top of the leaderboards, victory after glorious victory… we felt rewarded for all those hard months of work.

Then… something changed. It wasn’t just that players were learning about all the hidden skills and techniques, it wasn’t just that they were surprising us with tactics we’d never even thought of… they were ganging up on us! Here we were pursuing the deadly tactics we’d concocted over the last few months… and all of a sudden we’d get attacked from all sides at once. The other 3 players didn’t care which of them was to win… as long as they took the developer down!

You see… in all those months of going head to head against each other in the studio, each of us is of a fairly similar skill level, we’d only ever had one thing on our minds… out and out victory. It was quite delightful to see real players adapting to our experience and collaborating to put a halt to our cheeky assault on the leaderboards, and quite right they were too. We certainly deserved it!

inferno (4)

Anyway, in the spirit of giving a little back, we’ve decided to come out and share some of the advanced techniques we so ruthlessly exploited for our own personal glory in those first days after release on the Inferno Pool homepage… click here to read them. This is just a sample of some of the skills of an Inferno Pool master, and there’s plenty more to discover when you dive into the game.

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23 Comments 22 Author replies
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Looks like a nice game. But I aint buying it. Sorry.

Mickey219 31 July, 2009 @ 3:25 pm   2

Played this round my mates house, it was awesome 😀

    Rob Hewson 31 July, 2009 @ 3:30 pm    

    Great to hear… hopefully those master class tips will allow you to provide your mate with a severe ass-kicking next time you’re over there 😀

YobRenoops 31 July, 2009 @ 3:35 pm   3

This is fantastic party game, which me and all my friends have enjoyed on many occasions. Can we expect any kind of DLC or further modes in the future? I think an Online Leaderboard for Endurance Mode would be great.

    Rob Hewson 31 July, 2009 @ 3:44 pm    

    Look at the cute little ginger monkey… think what would happen to him if I started talking about DLC… he’d be skinned and turned into slippers. Soft, furry slippers. What endurance time have you got? My personal best is 9:36… but one of the programmers here got 17 minutes plus. He’s a special boy.

YobRenoops 31 July, 2009 @ 3:49 pm   4

Ahhh the Euro. I mean I understand, Inferno is great fun for just a quick 10 min game. My best is 8 mins something but I was totally using the force for that one. Once I hit 2nd Inferno mode that was it!

    Rob Hewson 31 July, 2009 @ 3:57 pm    

    Ahh yes. The force is a valuable ally when in pursuit of a great Endurance time. Those master class tips are also helpful, particularly the one about the multiplier 😉

How much would this title set me back?
It actually looks pretty good…..

    Rob Hewson 31 July, 2009 @ 4:04 pm    

    Six English pounds and twenty nine of your shiny pence. If you want to come in with a respectable leaderboard position I’d recommend reading those master class tips before hitting online multiplayer!

Diablo_Rosso 31 July, 2009 @ 3:59 pm   6

Is there any chance of a demo?

lordbeagle 31 July, 2009 @ 4:07 pm   7

Love this game even thou im cwap @ it. Talked my bros-in-law to snag it last night so gonna have to humiliate him yet again :o).

    Rob Hewson 31 July, 2009 @ 4:12 pm    

    Thanks! It loves you too, even if it is a little fiendish sometimes, it doesn’t mean it… it just wants you to play and discover it’s secrets. Or you could click on the link and discover them the easy way.

Ziggy-Moff 31 July, 2009 @ 4:09 pm   8

I have the game BUT i really hate inferno pool online, the reason is simple, the game needs a full screen option for the online play in the inferno mode, i see no reason at all when playing online for it still to be in the 4 player split screen mode.

Can we please get the option to have it either way via an option in the menus or something that way the people who like it like that can have it and the people who don’t can have it the other way.

    Rob Hewson 31 July, 2009 @ 4:15 pm    

    Hmmm… that’s a pretty good idea actually! Perhaps we’d have icons at the bottom of the screen representing the other players or something. I’ll stick that in the in-tray of despair.

lordbeagle 31 July, 2009 @ 4:14 pm   9

Cheers Rob already clicked and learning the true ways of the force

    Rob Hewson 31 July, 2009 @ 4:18 pm    

    Remember, an Inferno Pool master can feel his balls flowing freely between his pockets, ready to be unleashed on unsuspecting victims.

Ziggy-Moff 31 July, 2009 @ 4:21 pm   10

That’s exactly what i was thinking when i first played it online.

The game is great fun (i’m a sucker for a pool type game) BUT the trick is half the time things get so hectic on your own table that you never really look at the other tables, as such it’s always seemed a shame to not have the main table (yours) in glorious full screen mode, all we really need is the required cannon/ball info for the other players in little icons like you say.

Thanks for the reply, i wish i had a tray of despair :D.

    Rob Hewson 31 July, 2009 @ 4:30 pm    

    Ahh the tray of despair… it taunts me so with it’s glimmering pearls of gaming wisdom. It’s looking at me right now, scowling for each moment I spend tending this blog instead of extracting its innards. Sometimes, it follows me home.

lordbeagle 31 July, 2009 @ 4:22 pm   11

My wife would kill me if my balls where still flowing freely on unsuspecting victims ;O)

    Rob Hewson 31 July, 2009 @ 4:32 pm    

    Pure filth. I simply cannot condone such interpretations of my innocent Star Wars / Inferno crossover metaphore of destiny.

Paranoimia 31 July, 2009 @ 4:46 pm   12

Sorry, but this seems a bit too gimmicky for me… I won’t even think about buying it until I’ve tried a demo. Until then, I’m waiting for Hustle Kings.

Thraxen 31 July, 2009 @ 4:51 pm   13

Is this game coming to the US?

    Rob Hewson 31 July, 2009 @ 5:02 pm    

    Yes, it is indeed. We’ll be making a release date announcement shortly.

Apnomis 31 July, 2009 @ 7:46 pm   14

13 Comments and 12 Replies – you’ll be giving Mike Kebby a run for his money with that kind of response rate!!!

This is definitely one I would need to try before I buy though!

P.S. lol @ Nes. I mean Yo. 🙂

    Rob Hewson 1 August, 2009 @ 8:46 pm    

    I am lagging behind a bit on my replies now though, largely because I have just moved and don’t have the internet yet. However I am now at a friends 30th 80s themed house party getting my custome done while catching up on blog replies. Life is good.

    Rob Hewson 1 August, 2009 @ 8:57 pm    

    I think its a really good idea. PSN already allows developers to take risks with smaller, quirky titles, anything that can reduce the risk further will mean more originality.

ghamdikh1 31 July, 2009 @ 8:03 pm   17

Sorry again,it seems that this link is not working so i will Paste the Offer for you:

(Sony encourages PSN exclusivity with Pub Fund)

Developers will have one big reason to make games exclusively on the PlayStation Network: money. Sony’s Chris Eden spoke at GDC about a new program available for developers called “Pub Fund.” In an effort to make the online service more lucrative, the Pub Fund deal has Sony matching development budgets of PSN-exclusive titles. “We’re looking for a number of great games, and in return for exclusivity we’ll match your development budget with guaranteed royalties,” Eden said.

The Pub Fund will entitle developers to financial assistance, without having to sacrifice their IPs. “This is not Sony buying your product,” Eden noted. “You’ll be the publisher, you’ll own the IP and you’ll control your product. This is assisting you to make your next step from developer to publisher.”

We’re not sure what the fine print entails, but Pub Fund sounds like an overall “win” for developers. Developers — if you want to work with Sony, you may want to contact them at

so how about it wanna give it try.

sweetasman01 1 August, 2009 @ 9:50 am   18

When is this game going to be released in New Zealand?

    Rob Hewson 1 August, 2009 @ 9:00 pm    

    I’ll have to get back to you on that one, I’m not sure off the top of my head 😀

wallhugger 1 August, 2009 @ 12:32 pm   19

I have missed a bit of news bout this but are the PSN cards ever going to hit the shelves in europe or am I going to be forced to go to mircosoft for this >.> I really don’t want it cause I simply hate the 360… but I miss DLC for Fallout 3, burnout paradise and several other games.

Is Sony even considering offering an alternative payment method for us europeans? Like paypal or anything else besides that damned Visa?

anyway cheers.

    Rob Hewson 1 August, 2009 @ 9:01 pm    

    I have no idea… but the person who posted the next post seems to 🙂

DaftMav 1 August, 2009 @ 1:01 pm   20

To answer on post above: Either PSN cards or alternative payment options are underway. For the next part I’m guessing here but I think they’ll officially announce it at Gamescom this month. And it’ll quite possibly will be available when that horrible PSPGo is launched.

On-topic: with the 4-player splitscreen in multiplayer it seriously helps if you have a huge TV. But I’d still like it if you would put one big area on the left and move the three other players to the right side of the screen. Should be quite a bit smaller, leaving a bigger view on your own table.

    Rob Hewson 1 August, 2009 @ 9:02 pm    

    Somebody above had a similar request. I think it’s a nice idea, it’s already in the previously mentioned tray of despair.

MikoKeZ 1 August, 2009 @ 5:46 pm   21

Pretty tempted to get this. I love pool IRL so hopefully if it is captured well on the PS3 I’ll definitely get it.

If it plays well and fluidly and has good replayability I’ll be getting this, no doubt.

Im gutted I cant believe youve given away most of the secrets which helped me get to the top of the leaderboard. currently ranked 2nd for inferno pool.

Anyway, I love this game, I know it should just be a pick up and play game but if theres enough people willing to play me I can stay on forever.

I have quite a few suggestions as to how to improve Inferno Pool and to be honest I thought they would have been in the game from the start, not enough space in here to list them but i love the idea of full screen when playing inferno, i never need to look at the oponents table just a quick glance to see how many balls they have left to pot, which is usually 14+ when im on my last LOL.

The biggest downside of playing this game is that occasionally you can lose your ranking. This has happened to me on 3 occasions, I phoned dark energy and informed them of the problem, I was promised a phone call back or email to let me know if this could be sorted. Needless to say Im still waiting. I know of a couple of others who have had the same problem

    Rob Hewson 3 August, 2009 @ 2:52 pm    

    Glad you love the game… I know what you mean about wanting to stay on forever I’ve been playing it longer than most and even I still get addicted.

    Apologies that nobody got back to you when you got in touch, if you give me your email address I’ll make sure I get in touch, would be great to hear your suggestions for the game too.

wallhugger 3 August, 2009 @ 8:13 pm   23

thank you for the answer daftmav

and thank you for replying rob 🙂

it’s the first time I had a real answer to the question ever since the psn cards came out in the states

oh and rob you rock you reply very often 🙂

ps. this game looks pretty cool XD

(gotta stay ontopic atleast a wee bit)