Blade Kitten for PS3: Artificial Intelligence, Physics in a 2D World

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Working on the PlayStation 3 has been wonderful. As this was my first project on the PS3, I was apprehensive at first about the new technology and how to use it as best we could. But now, I can honestly say I am a fan of the PS3.

Blade Kitten for PS3 (PSN)

Early in development, Blade Kitten was both a 3D and a 2D game and you could switch between them instantly — you’d run through a section then it would transition to 2D. It didn’t take us long to fall in love with the 2D version, so we focused all our efforts on making the 2D the fun game it is today.

From the start of our project, our goal as programmers was to give the designers all the power they needed to create the game that they wanted. Ideally, a level designer controls the player’s progression and experience in each area of the game (enemy placement, special events, collectables, and so on). So rather than implement a boss character’s attack moves myself, I would give the designers scripting tools to implement the boss themselves.

Blade Kitten for PS3 (PSN)

This proved to be one of the best decisions we made. For example, the level where Kit is running away from a huge monster called Acland, who destroys everything in his path, was completely scripted by the designers — as were all our bosses and many of the encounters you see. This has allowed for a much more flexible design with changes being quick and easy. But most importantly, much happier designers!

Being able to move any object anywhere and have our characters move along with them was fundamental to our game, so we made it so Kit can attach to pretty much everything. If the object moves or rotates, so does she. The level designers have done a great job using this and, even from the first level, you will see some fun movement and puzzles you can play with using these moving objects.

Blade Kitten was a re-think of how we normally do artificial intelligence. As there is a single plane that everyone fights on, we needed to make all the enemies work together without getting in each other’s way. Therefore, you’ll see things like the front guy duck down so the guy behind him can take a shot, or even have one guy jump over another to try to aggressively get to you. They all work together which helps create an interesting experience without overwhelming the player. It’s important that the enemies in the game feel like they are alive and are planning their strategy together to form a real challenge to players.

It was fun to get physics working properly in a 2D environment. We have some items which are fully 3D enabled and allowed to fly off into the yonder. Enemies have “ragdoll” effects that have them falling down in different ways when hit, and “fraggable” objects that break apart realistically. Additionally we have items that are fully physics-driven but stay on the player’s plane so you can use them without worrying about them flying away from you. This goes towards making the game world deeper, more detailed and unpredictable.

I hope you all enjoy this game as much as we have enjoyed making it.

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61 Comments

  • definitely picking this up now, wasn’t sure about it before but looked into it more and it looks good. release date and price?

  • Been watching this one for a while now, maybe we’ll be surprised and find something nice on the psn when it updates :)

  • I noticed one of the screenshots is 720 and the other is 1080. So, what resolution does the game run in — 720p or 1080p?

  • I guess the concept of next gen 2D games is kinda cool. I’m probably wrong. But, being next gen console based, probably allows considerable enhancements to be achieved, especially compared to predecessor consoles.

  • First screen looks awkward, but the second one looks great and the game sounds fun.

  • In regards to the exclusivity. It totally does matter. If the game is exclusive to the PS3, the game should be fine, it has to be because it is their only source of income. If it is multi-plat, given how much larger the other user base is, they will understandably focus on that version. Which in turn leads to the PS3 version running in low resolution, with poor frame rates, excessive blurriness, etc.

  • Please release very soon,I don’t think i can take another week without this game.Day one buy.

  • That is not 2D. Don’t tell lies. That is still OpenGL and it’s 3D development.
    You developers are simulating the 2D look by limiting the number of colors and so it seems like it’s all 2D.. well it seems so to common people eyes maybe but any programmer should immediately be able to tell that is 3D and not 2D at all.

  • @zerowing_us it’s nothing to do with the number of colours, as there are plenty of true-colour 2D games.

    I think he’s talking about the way the game is played. The player only has to worry about playing forwards, backwards, up and down, without worrying about depth. Sonic Unleashed had similar “2D” and “3D” sections, where part of the game was a side scroller, and part of it allowed you to roam about in three dimensions.

    From what it says above, I think this is a side-scroller-only game

  • @pitythefool852: it’s a well known programming technique that of reducing the number of colors to give the 2D comics/drawing style look to 3D rendered objects. It’s what they are using there but it’s still OpenGL ES programming in 3D.

  • I get that, but I still think that he’s talking about playing on a single plane rather in an environment with depth, and not talking about the rendering of the models themselves.

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