Ever watched a James Bond movie and considered what changes you’d make if you were the villain? Cooler jumpsuits for your henchmen, extra time spent in those online poker courses, and of course finishing Mr. Bond off rather than assuming your over elaborate death trap will do the job after you’ve left the room.
But the one thing you would keep is that awesome aquarium, the one built into the wall of your volcanic lair. Who wouldn’t want an HQ with a view looking out into a gorgeous seascape filled with giant manta rays and white-tipped reef sharks – even if they don’t come equipped with frickin’ lasers!
Well, guess what, we always wanted that too. But we don’t have a millions needed to build a supervillain aquarium – nor the host of minions to clean it.
What we do have though is a PlayStation 4 attached to a big screen TV. So, we did the next best thing and created Aqua TV.
Aqua TV is more a piece of eye candy than a game. You choose your environments (tropical reef or traditional aquariums of varying sizes) and then populate it with a choice of fish and other sea creatures. And that’s just about it!
During development we had many (sometimes heated) discussions about adding some simple gameplay mechanics, but kept coming back to our initial goal – to create that ‘supervillain aquarium’ vibe – and that meant creating a beautiful – but passive – experience.
Okay, you can do some stuff other than just decide what you want in your scene. Like picking camera angles, zoom positions and background music; but it’s all about having something beautiful on your wall when you’re listening to your tunes, or just generally chilling out. At least that’s the theory. Try to get a bunch of game developers to agree on a playlist though, and even Aqua TV finds keeping the peace a challenge!
And speaking of getting devs to agree, there was a lot of debate on WHAT creatures to include. Sharks, sure. Rays, definitely. But outside of that everyone had their own favourites and with so many fish in the sea we couldn’t include everything!
Oh, and the art team decided that the only way to model everything ‘just right’, given all textures were to be hand painted, was to request ‘research’ scuba-diving trips to Mauritius, Hawaii, the Caribbean and more (understandable I guess given the Scottish weather).
They were more than a little disappointed when a box of super high quality fish photography and Blu-rays arrived! But I hope you’ll agree that even without trips to far flung places they did a great job on the 25 creatures that make up our selectable species list, along with the dressings, backgrounds and floors for the aquariums.
Aqua TV launches on 12th December in Europe, with a limited time 30% discount for PS+ members!