Super Stardust HD Two-Year Anniversary

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Hello, all PS.blog readers. I’m fortunate to get to work on a lot of PSN titles, such as Wipeout HD, Crash Commando, and Savage Moon. But I’m back on the blog today to talk about one of my titles from way back, Super Stardust HD. It’s one of the most popular games on PSN, and the big news today is that it’s celebrating its 2 year anniversary this week. It was developed by the fine gents and gals at Housemarque, located in Finland. As you may have noticed, my name isn’t too typical for an American name — yes, I’m from England, so it’s great to be working on all of these strong titles coming from great developers across the pond.

To commemorate the 2nd anniversary this week, here’s a message from one of the developers at Housemarque, Petteri Putkonen.

Hello everybody, my name is Petteri Putkonen and I am part of the Housemarque team.

Super Stardust HD was launched in June 2007, and we continue to be surprised by how many people around the world keep coming back for more to fight in an ongoing interstellar battle against massive planet killing meteors and evil alien forces. How did we do it?

The pre-history of Super Stardust HD adds its flavour even if the game mechanics, controls and design might not appear to have that much in common with the earlier shoot-‘em-up titles we’ve done in the past. The game has its origins deeply rooted in the very early history of Housemarque, as the company’s co-founder and original mastermind behind the game, Harri Tikkanen, led a small team of young game developers that created the very first Stardust game for the Amiga 500 computer way back in 1993.

Simply titled Stardust, the game had an evil mutant penguin Professor Schaumund trying to conquer the whole galaxy with his fleet of agents disguised as meteors, alien creatures and spaceships, but his nearly perfect plan was unlikely but ultimately foiled by a lone rebel pilot in a measly little spaceship. A few years later the most evil and twisted mutant penguin genius in the universe returned and wreaked havoc across the galaxy again in Super Stardust for the PC, the first game Housemarque got published in 1996. Throughout the years, several interpretations of Stardust saw the light of day on platforms like Atari ST, Amiga 1200 and Amiga CD32.

Jump to the present, and Professor Schaumund’s forces are back and we can’t help but be amazed when we see the kind of high scores players from all around the world have contributed to the global high score ranking lists on PSN. Just as an example, we originally estimated that the all time top high score in Arcade mode might reach a 500 million point mark, but as time has shown, players keep exceeding your expectations. Today, the top Arcade mode high score is over 1.7 BILLION points! We can only wonder whether it can be pushed any further, is it possible to go beyond 2 BILLION?? We’ll just have to wait and see…

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Looking back, throughout the whole experience of developing Super Stardust HD, even with its success and critical acclaim the most important thing for us has been the personal feedback we’ve received from fans of the game from all corners of this planet. We’d like to thank you for all your kind words, emails and support. Although we’ve recently been busy with our current PlayStation 3 project, we still keep thinking of doing some updates for Super Stardust HD in the future. There is at least one specific idea that would certainly add a new dimension to the game… If you have any thoughts, you can let us know what you’d like to see added to the Super Stardust HD experience; just leave a comment on this blog or email ssd@housemarque.com

Right from the beginning, working on Super Stardust HD felt special for us. It was one of those rare projects where everything just clicked into place, where every design and technical decision felt like it was the right thing to do. We started working on the game in August 2006, and it was subsequently released as the first globally launched PSN game on 28th of June, 2007. We believe strongly that what we came up with is our best game yet, and if you haven’t tried it for yourself yet there’s never been a better time to do so.

As we rapidly approach 300,000 pilots listed in the global Arcade mode high score list, more and more players keep enlisting every week. A third of these have also played their way onto the Solo Game Pack’s high score lists, with an increasing amount of gamers also playing the game with friends in either the included split screen co-op mode or the Team Game Pack’s multiplayer party mode.
We’re currently busy trying to outdo ourselves with our next PSN exclusive game that’s in development at the moment. We’d love to tell you more about it but will have to wait a little bit longer before we can reveal any details. At the moment, all we can say is we’re confident it’ll be worth your wait.
Keep blastin!

-Housemarque Team

If you haven’t played Super Stardust HD, where have you been the last two years? Seriously, though, it’s a blast to play and can be had for only $9.99 on the PSN store. We have two add-on packs for it, adding various single-player and multiplayer/co-op modes, and there’s even a demo so you can try it out before you buy it. And if you have a PSP, definitely check out Super Stardust Portable, which lets you take the experience with you on your PSP. We’ve done plenty of posts on the blog about the game, including a video with tips for racking up major points from one of the top players in the world. If you haven’t tried the game yet, now’s the perfect time. And if you already have, now’s the time to fire it up again try for a new high score.

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