Interview: Hardcore3D Wireless talks Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved Mobile
You loved it on Xbox 360, and you'll love it on mobile too
We've seen plenty of console games converted to mobile phones, some more successfully than others. But there hasn't been a flood of casual games from Xbox's Live Arcade.
At least, not yet. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved Mobile is helping to change that. The game is due out soon in the US, published by Sony BMG Music and developed by Hardcore3D Wireless.
It's already one of the most hotly-anticipated mobile games, so we grabbed developer Hardcore3D's executive producer Shawn Sanders to find out more about how the game is shaping up, and when we can expect to get it over to Europe (the original Xbox title was created in Liverpool!)What's been the toughest challenge about bringing Geometry Wars to mobile?
Developing the control scheme – there are a lot of fans of Bizarre Creations' original who would kill us if we didn't get it right! Going from an Xbox 360 controller to a mobile device keypad is a pretty big jump, especially with a game that's so dependent on the dual analog sticks.
It took us a bit of time to come up with controls that would be both intuitive and functional. We ended up deciding that we could provide a default control setup with the ship constantly firing, so you don't have to work at controlling direction and aiming as well as firing.
The movement is all controlled via arrow keys on the keypad and we've added in a double-tap feature that allows you to strafe – a key element in the gameplay. It takes like a minute to master.
Several other control setups are available from the option menu for player's who want to explore alternative schemes in their quest to post the world's highest scores.What's new in the game compared to the Live Arcade version? What's been left out?
Sony BMG wanted the mobile version to be absolutely faithful to the original, so nothing has been left out from the Xbox 360 version. Also we've added new Challenge Modes to spice up the gameplay, such as Untouchable, Survivor and Points Monster.
In Untouchable, you'll be rewarded for not getting hit by any enemy in the course of play, Survivor rewards you for staying alive the longest and finally Points Monster rewards you for the more points you score during play.
The idea behind these new modes is to exploit the advantages of the mobile format, where quick accessible gameplay experiences enhance the overall package – if you have just a few minutes to play, you can have fun.How does the the network/connectivity feature work? And could the game tie in with Microsoft's plans for Live Anywhere, bringing its Xbox Live community to mobile?
As far as network connectivity is concerned, we wanted something to give players a sense of satisfaction. That's why we're going to have the ability for players to keep up with rankings around the world with a massive leaderboard where scores can be recorded automatically.
As far as Microsoft's Live Anywhere, I don't know anything about the plans to be honest.
Obviously I would love to be part of bringing the Xbox Live community to mobile – I want see mobile gaming really come into its own – but I don't have anything to share yet.Lastly, when is the game coming out, in the US but also in Europe?
I don't have an exact date from Sony BMG yet. But I would estimate that in North America we'll see it before the end of 2006. Europe is harder to tell. Hopefully early 2007.
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