Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved hits PS Vita next week

Everything you need to know about the portable version of Lucid’s shoot ‘em up

Hi all! I’m really excited to give you a little insight into our experience bringing Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved to PS Vita. We’re big fans of the PS Vita here at Lucid, and we were always very keen to bring the Geometry Wars series to the platform. The pin-sharp screen coupled with the twin sticks are a perfect fit for the game, so we were really happy to go ahead with the conversion.

We wanted Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved to be the same fully featured experience it is on PS4 and PS3 — capturing all of the varied gameplay and enemies that can be encountered across its 100+ single-player levels and multiplayer modes.

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Among the technical challenges we faced, we had to ensure that we could hold a steady 60 FPS (frames per second) even when there were hordes of enemies chasing you down. The Vita’s graphical architecture is quite advanced for a handheld platform, but it is not at the same level as PS4, so our graphics team looked at how we could achieve comparable visual fidelity between the two versions while still keeping the game silky smooth.

One advantage is that the PS Vita’s display is lower than a 1080p TV, so we did not need to flood the game with as many pixels every frame. This instantly helped to free up GPU (graphics processor unit) time, along with a little CPU (central processing unit) time.

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However, the complex shaders and lighting wizardry that was used to define the vibrant Geometry Wars world on PS4 was a bit too much for its sibling to cope with, so we had to deploy some developer tricks to achieve similar results, and after a few months, we had something that not only looked spot-on, but also maintained that all-important framerate.

Whilst this graphical work was happening, the gameplay guys worked on the actual playability of the game on Vita. Geometry Wars is all about the way in which the ship moves and responds to the player’s input, so we checked out the way in which the dead zones can affect the movement of the craft and the way it responds. The process is a little different for every platform, but it’s crucial for ensuring that the game always feels just right on each and every device available.

After working through the single-player component, we then concentrated on multiplayer. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved on PS Vita still has eight-player competitive mode of the console versions. We used Activision’s Demonware service for this; it’s cross-platform, which essentially allowed us to carry a lot of the same code between various versions of the game.

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Things were going well until we got to local cooperative multiplayer… On PS4, you need additional controllers to play Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved with a partner. Obviously, there’s no way to achieve that on PS Vita, so we were initially a little stumped. The easy option would have been to take the feature out altogether, but we sat around and thought about other possibilities.

In the end, we came with a unique two-player co-op format in which players sit opposite one another and play the game simultaneously on the same screen. Player one uses the D-pad to move and the nearest analogue stick for shooting, while player two uses the other analogue stick for moving with the face buttons to shoot. This combination might seem strange at first, but it’s actually easy to pick up, so you can sit together with your buddy/partner/enemy on the sofa and share a little light PS Vita relief.

I hope this post has shed some interesting light on how we’re bringing Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved to PS Vita. We are really pleased with the results and cannot wait for you to experience the game for yourselves. It’s also really exciting to announce that it will be free to all PlayStation Plus subscribers as part of July’s Instant Game Collection starting next week, so we hope to see you all posting some astronomically high scores on the leaderboards soon!

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21 Comments
0 Author replies
Christos-34 01 July, 2015 @ 18:07
1

Will check it out!

2

Very good. But uh an episodic game, that you have ignored to finish, i still would like an answer for. Jacob Jones and the bigfoot?!?! What is the point of releasing 1 episode and not the rest of them? Could you please finish the game for the PS Vita.

2.1

I’m still waiting on that too. It’s already out for mobile but I have no interest in playing it on that rubbish platform.

2.2

@MaxDiehard

It’s out on PC as well. Very annoyed actually!

@Lucid Games

You’ve ignored me on Twitter and via Email. That’s fine but remember this i hate paying for unfinished games. You ever come back on the blog with another game to announce i’ll be bringing up Jacob Jones again that is a promise!

What a pleasant surprise it is to see this game coming to Vita! Great that it’s going to be on PS+ too. It’s always interesting to read about the development process of bringing a game to the Vita, so cheers for that too. :)

tenshi_alpha 01 July, 2015 @ 18:19
4

This is great news! I’ve already got this game on both PC and PS3…. I know I’m going to love a portable version!

Are the trophies going to be shared between platforms?

madmanwithabox12 01 July, 2015 @ 18:26
5

Great stuff! Thanks for the awesome insight into the development of the game, very informative and fascinating to read. I wish more devs would speak as openly about the process of developing games, especially with the hardware constraints of a platform like Vita. Very interesting and sounds like you pulled off a very solid port.

Hopefully we see more Lucid titles on Vita in the future. =D

6

It’s nice to hear when developers take the Vita seriously and I hope this version is as good as it sounds!
I love how you managed to keep local coop in the game, I’m really looking forward to trying it out.
One question, does this include the expanded content that was added to the PS4 version?

“Big fans of the Vita”
What happened to the Vita version of Jacob Jones episode 2 that was supposed to be released but arrived on other platforms?
If sales performance was the reason for not seeing the next episode you could always put it on PS Plus for some publicity

8

Really looking forward to getting this. Can’t wait!

I enjoyed reading this post quite a bit. Much nicer than the usual PR speak.

I’ve been waiting for the Vita version to get into this game, it’s a nice surprise to also be getting it as a PS+ game too.

infernalmonkey1 02 July, 2015 @ 02:34
10

This is one of the nicest developer blog posts I’ve read in a while. Thanks to everyone at Lucid Games for porting this over! I skipped Geo Wars 3 on PS4 because I just prefer these sort of high score arcade games in portable form. Sounds like you put a lot of care into making sure it runs well on the Vita, which is fantastic.

Love this game on the PS4 so I’m really pleased you have done a Vita version.
Not only that but you have taken the time to make it as good as possible.
Can’t wait to play it on the Vita!
Great work!

Love this game on the PS4 so I’m really pleased you have done a Vita version.
Not only that but you have taken the time to make it as good as possible.
Can’t wait to play it on the Vita!
Great work!

HomessaHomem 02 July, 2015 @ 10:05
13

Nice! Don’t forget to bring Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery : Episode 2. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!

CitizenEldar 02 July, 2015 @ 12:12
14

Nice detailed post. I’ve been waiting for Vita version for some time now. Game looks really cool

15

I NEED THIS IN MY VITA!
In all seriousness, I’m looking forward to this one, should be a great fir for the Vita.

16

For those interested, nice little convo on twitter between me and Lucid Games about Jacob Jones support: https://twitter.com/lucidgamesltd/status/616576675149684737

16.1

Thank you for the link :) i feel better and i’m letting the whole thing go now.

zlovkvetinaci 02 July, 2015 @ 14:53
17

I’am in love with that coop idea.

LieutenantFatman 02 July, 2015 @ 22:16
18

Looks fun! Does it have a platinum trophy?

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