Retro/Grade Coming to PS3!

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!NSP no desaeler eb lliw ,esrever ni yleritne deyalp emag tsrif eht ,edarG/orteR… errr… Sorry! I’m used to time being reversed. What I was trying to say is that Retro/Grade, the first game played entirely in reverse, will be released on PSN! Actually, let me start from the beginning. I’m Matt Gilgenbach, co-founder of 24 Caret Games. We are proud to announce that we will be releasing our first game, Retro/Grade, on the Playstation Network for Playstation 3. Retro/Grade stars ace fighter pilot Rick Rocket who has just saved the universe. Unfortunately, the massive destruction he left in his wake has caused a temporal anomaly that reversed the flow of time. You must assume control of Rick’s spacecraft and fight through the epic space battle… in reverse!

Retro/ Grade Sreenshot 1

At this point, you may be thinking, “How on earth do you play a game in reverse?” That is a very good question, and after many years of temporal physics research, we’ve finally come up with the solution. As you can see from our screenshots, Retro/Grade looks like a really exciting shoot ‘em up. However, it actually plays more like a rhythm game. In order to protect the health of the space/time continuum, Rick must undo his actions exactly the reverse of the way he performed them in the first place. That means he has to get in the appropriate space lane from which his shot was fired and press the shoot button at the appropriate time. As well, he must avoid blocking the path of the enemy shots as they return to the enemy’s guns. If he blocks their path, it creates a paradox since he is stopping the shot before it was ever fired. All of the gameplay is timed to original retro themed tunes by Skyler McGlothlin, aka acclaimed electronica artist Nautilis. Retro/Grade earned a nomination for Excellence in Audio at the IGF because of our great tunes.

One feature in Retro/Grade that we are really excited about is the ability to pilot Rick’s ship using a guitar controller. You can use the fret buttons to move Rick’s ship to the desired space lane, and the strum bar acts as the shoot button. It’s a lot of fun to use the guitar, but it is equally fun with the DualShock 3 controller if you don’t have any guitar controllers handy. Players that play a lot more rhythm games will probably feel more comfortable wielding a plastic guitar whereas shoot ‘em up junkies looking for an innovative twist on the beloved genre will feel more comfortable with their trusty DualShock 3.

Retro/ Grade Sreenshot 3

Retro/Grade features many innovative power ups including the ability to reverse time (again). You may be thinking, “But wait Matt… Time is already reversed!” This power up allows you to reverse the reversed flow of time, so time moves forward! Although that sounds confusing, the gameplay effect is really exciting! It allows you to undo any mistakes you’ve mde made and repeat a section again. This is extremely helpful for when you hit a hard section that requires a little more practice or you lose the rhythm and start making mistakes. Once you play Retro/Grade, you are sure to bemoan that other rhythm games don’t have that feature.

All of these compelling features earned us a nomination for Excellence in Game Design at the Independent Games Festival. There’s plenty more to get excited about that we aren’t ready to announce just yet. Stay tuned, and we will update you Playstation Blog readers with more information as development progresses! If you want to stay up to date, be sure to follow 24 Caret Games on Facebook!

Retro/ Grade Sreenshot 2

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37 Author Replies

  • I think I remember hearing about the PC version a few months ago… maybe at GDC????

    Looks cool.

    Cant wait for the inevitable attempt by someone to recreate this in LittleBigPlanet

  • Now I remember I heard about this at the Independent Games Festival.. not GCD

  • YAY!!!! Amazing concept, the music seems a little weird though… o.o it’s too 8-bit… well i like that, but not always

    Thanks for the announcement! I’ll be looking forward this new experience ^^

  • @48

    Just updated to the latest version of FF and I’m still having the same problem, guess I’ll have to watch it on youtube, thx for the quick response.

  • When you beat the game you should unlock a mode to play the the game over in the correct mode instead of reverse.

  • Very cool concept. Hope it plays as good as it looks.

  • Awesome concept. Looking forwards to the PSN demo.

  • This looks like a great game! Three questions:

    1. Will the music be 24-bit, or at least 16-bit lossless? The PS3 has built-in DTS-MA decoding, and it would be awesome for such a music-focused game to take advantage! I feel that many titles don’t take advantage of HD sound enough, which dramatically decreases the value proposition for me.

    2. Will there be support for local co-op? If so, splitscreen or no? (My husband and I prefer local co-op that is *not* splitscreen.)

    3. Will the game play in 1080p natively? If not, will it upscale to 1080p and apply FSAA?

    • 1) The music will definitely be 16 bit. As far as the encoding scheme, we haven\’t decided yet. For a downloadable title, keeping file size down is important, so I\’m not sure we\’ll use lossless audio. Obviously we will preserve the audio quality as much as we possibly can.

      2. We aren\’t ready to announce our plans for multiplayer yet.

      3. We aren\’t ready to announce what resolution it\’ll run at, but we promise it\’ll look really slick!

  • Wow that demo was pretty awesome!

  • This is a much more interesting concept than I initially would have given it credit for, and it looks pretty interesting. The fact that you can play it with your guitar controller is absolutely awesome! (When I do that, deep down inside I’ll keep thinking about Silverhawks…)

    Quick question though, will all Guitar controllers be compatible, or just certain ones? I prefer the old GH3 Les Paul, but not all games play nice with it.

    And finally, @20, I like the idea of a reverse RPG. Don’t play it in reverse, but instead of leveling, you delevel. You could start at 99, but end up fighting the end boss at level 1!

  • Looks + sounds cool!

  • im usually interested by these kind of games but that looked awesome.

  • Love the terms of service agreement for the demo!

  • OMG. I never thought mixing two of my favorite genres would result in such awesomeness! It must have been kind of difficult, seeing how different the shooter and rythm/music genres are.

    I’m buying this on day one. I’m so psyched in fact I had to spread the word about the demo. Congratulations on such an amazing concept. :D

  • Matt, you joke about movie rights, but with a four studio bidding war over the rights to Asteroids just recently resolving, this might be a good time to shop around your rights to the studios that lost out ;)

    • Wow… That\’s crazy! Asteroids isn\’t even that great of a story… I\’m more partial to the epic saga of Pong! :-P

  • Will Sony’s new motion control + camera be supported in the future?

    • I don\’t think it really lends itself to this style of game, but it is something we will consider as we get more information.

  • This is the biggest revolution is side scrolling shooter game design I’ve ever seen.

    I officially cannot wait for goty 2010. This looks INCREDIBLE. I can’t wait for more trailers, cosnider me a day 1 purchaser!

  • excuse my language but..

    awesome :O

    seriously awesome.. I’ll be really disappointed if it don’t come to the EU store :O
    just seriously amazing idea !

  • This came out of nowhere! Looks very interesting. I’m actually glad it’s a 2010 title – I’ll have something to look forward to :-)

  • This game looks… Amazing!! The way it was explained made it seem weird, but i tried out the demo, and i am %100 percent sold. Great job!

  • As an absolute whore for shoot-em-ups and rhythm games, I love this idea. Can’t wait to play it, please keep us updated on the blog!

  • !tsriF

  • this looks great, ill check for your game in 2010

  • looks really intresting!

    cant w8 to try the demo

  • I can always appreciate it when developers step outside of the box – to use an old cliche – when making games. This is a guaranteed buy from me.

  • Absolutely sick! What a unique idea. I can’t wait to get my retro hands on this title.

  • Wow… and I just finished the Back to the Future trilogy last weekend…

    Anyway, I am TOTALLY getting this!

  • I’ll be checking this out, but I actually thought for à minute there that this would be a remake of my favorite Cimmodore-64 game:


  • This looks awesome. I’m sold on the music alone.

  • absolutely brilliant! very imaginative! I’m very much looking forward to this game. Sounds like a very unique experience.

  • It’s a neat concept but I’ll pass on this first until reviews come out. Until then I’ll keep this game in mind.

  • This game looks REALLY innovative. I’ll definitely check it out.

  • AMazing, this looks like it’s gonna be fun.

  • @ sNsKid

    About time there is a game haha

  • I played the demo several times today and tried out all the difficulty levels available and I have to say I love this game! Personally I can’t wait for the PSN release, I think it’ll work a little better with a DualShock than a keyboard.
    Guitar controller is a very interesting idea and I can’t wait to try that out!
    The music was amazing, the concept is outta this world, based off what I played a little more polish and I’ll gladly give you my money :p
    I hope to see this soon, I just love unique games and ideas like this.

    • I\’m really glad to hear you like it! There\’s going to be a ton more polish when we ship next year. :)


    • It\’s my pleasure! I think it\’s important for game developers to talk to their audience.

  • All I have to say is: bought, bought, BOUGHT!!! That is all.

    P.S. BOUGHT!!!!!!!!!11!!1!1!1!

  • @Matt Gilgenbach // Co-founder, 24 Caret Games.

    1Q:is the console version of this game going to

    ps3 exclusive.

  • Gonna check out the demo, but based on what I read in the post I’m gonna like it! Great job replying to all these comments by the way! The PSN has such creative titles!

    Can’t wait to play it.
    Music sound rocking too!

  • I agree with 86. More devs need to talk to their community, that’s why I like John D from Capcom. Too bad he’s gone now. :(

    Anyway Thanks Matt!

  • This looks fantastic. Most side-scrolling shooters look generic/derivative but this just looks great. Kudos for making something ballsy.

  • What kind of evil sorcery is this???

  • The ship definitely needs a redesign. Other than that, looks like it could be pretty cool.

  • Insane concept. I love it!!!

    Who said that games are lacking of ideas? Yuo guys are amazing doing something never done before. Yes there been games like Prince of Persia that you turn a couple of seconds in time for messing up, but this is not that type of concept. Interesting idea.

  • WOW! This looks really awesome~
    I love the fact that many indie developers are going to consoles like PS3, just some of the interesting unique and fun games they come up with is astounding! I hope to hear a lot more from you and hopefully some new others!

  • @Matt Gilgenbach // Co-founder, 24 Caret Games.




    • Hi ghamdikh1,

      Thank you for your interest in our game. The only platform we\’ve decided on so far is Playstation 3. We are considering other platforms, but we haven\’t made a decision yet.

  • “1) The music will definitely be 16 bit. As far as the encoding scheme, we haven’t decided yet. For a downloadable title, keeping file size down is important, so I’m not sure we’ll use lossless audio. Obviously we will preserve the audio quality as much as we possibly can.”

    If you could at least use high bit-rate DTS (755kbit/s) or AAC (320kbit/sec) instead of Dolby Digital/MP3, that would be an improvement over some of the shovelware that has appeared on PSN lately. I really feel like simple (and cheap) things like this can lend a good deal of the depth we’ve come to expect in this HD generation of consoles.

    This lack of effort is why I never bought Bejeweled, Zuma, Bomberman Ultra, or many of the other over-priced $10 games. I can get pretty much the same experience for half the cost on my iPhone. I loved Astro Tripper even though it didn’t have the audiovisual depth because it was priced appropriately ($5) and generally fun.

    Can you explain why keeping file size down is important? Is the bandwidth you use taken from your royalties? (That might explain why Siren: Blood Curse and Wipeout HD are so huge and have such great sound — they’re first-party titles! ;)).

    Looking forward to your game!

    • We are committed to having the game look and sound absolutely great. Our graphics are going to be miles ahead of the games you mentioned. We will definitely have high quality sound as well.

      Having a small file size (in my opinion) makes a game more appealing because you can play it sooner. (Perhaps I\’m just really impatient) It also takes up less hard disk space for the early adopters (like myself) stuck with 20 gig hard drives. Thanks for your interest!

  • this sounds like a really cool idea and one I will play on day one.
    I was reading up to playing with a guitar and then was wondering how it could be played, and then I looked at those colored lines and they look like GH lines but turned sideways. That got me a Lot more interested seeing as i can get two kinds of experiences with two very different controllers.
    I wanna thank you guys very much.

    • I\’m not quite sure what you are thanking us for, but I\’ll take it! :-D Thank you for supporting our game and the kind words of encouragement. They mean a lot to us indie developers.

  • This looks really interesting and will definitely pick this up when it’s ready. One thing though…that HUD in the top left corner just doesn’t seem to fit the actual game stylistically. Ever worse, it looks difficult to quickly glance over and get the information you may need. Hopefully that piece is still a work in progress! ;) Anyway, game looks great and thanks for taking the time to talk with us.

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