Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved Hits PS Vita July 7th

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Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved Hits PS Vita July 7th

Hi all! I’m really excited to give you a little insight into our experience bringing Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved to PS Vita. We’re big fans of the Vita here at Lucid, and we were always very keen to bring the Geometry Wars series to it. The pin-sharp screen coupled with the twin sticks are a perfect fit for the game, so we were really happy to go ahead with the conversion.

We wanted Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved to be the same fully featured experience it is on PS4 and PS3 — capturing all of the varied gameplay and enemies that can be encountered across its multiplayer modes and 100+ single-player levels.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved

Among the technical challenges we faced, we had to ensure that we could hold a steady 60 FPS (frames per second) even when there were hordes of enemies chasing you down. The Vita’s graphical architecture is quite advanced for a handheld platform, but it is not at the same level as PS4, so our graphics team looked at how we could achieve comparable visual fidelity between the two versions while still keeping the game silky smooth.

One advantage is that the Vita’s display is lower than a 1080p TV, so we did not need to flood the game with as many pixels every frame. This instantly helped to free up GPU (graphics processor unit) time, along with a little CPU (central processing unit) time.

However the complex shaders and lighting wizardry that was used to define the vibrant Geometry Wars world on PS4 was a bit too much for its sibling to cope with, so we had to deploy some developer tricks to achieve similar results, and after a few months, we had something that not only looked spot-on, but also maintained that all-important framerate.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions EvolvedGeometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved

Whilst this graphical work was happening, the gameplay guys worked on the actual playability of the game on Vita. Geometry Wars is all about the way in which the ship moves and responds to the player’s input, so we checked out the way in which the dead zones can affect the movement of the craft and the way it responds. The process is a little different for every platform, but it’s crucial for ensuring that the game always feels just right on each and every device available.

After working through the single-player component, we then concentrated on multiplayer. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved on Vita still has 8-player competitive mode of the console versions. We used Activision’s Demonware service for this; it’s cross-platform, which essentially allowed us to carry a lot of the same code between various versions of the game.

Things were going well until we got to local cooperative multiplayer… On PS4, you need additional controllers to play Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved with a partner. Obviously, there’s no way to achieve that on PS Vita, so we were initially a little stumped. The easy option would have been to take the feature out altogether, but we sat around and thought about other possibilities.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved

In the end, we came with a unique two-player co-op format in which players sit opposite one another and play the game simultaneously on the same screen. Player 1 uses the D-Pad to move and the nearest analog stick for shooting, while Player 2 uses the other analog stick for moving with the face buttons to shoot. This combination might seem strange at first, but it’s actually easy to pick up, so you can sit together with your buddy / partner / enemy on the sofa and share a little light Vita relief.

I hope this post has shed some interesting light on how we’re bringing Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved to PS Vita. We are really pleased with the results and cannot wait for you to experience the game for yourselves. It’s also really exciting to announce that the PS Vita version will be free to all PlayStation Plus subscribers as part of July’s Instant Game Collection starting next week, so we hope to see you all posting some astronomically high scores on the leaderboards soon!

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33 Comments

8 Author Replies

  • Very nice! I’ve been hearing good things about GW3, but have never played one of these titles.

    Will the Vita version get its own trophy list or share the existing one?

    • Cool, we are really excited to hear what you think about the game when you play it. The Vita has it’s own Trophy list. The objectives and goals are the same as other Playstation versions.

  • Thank you for bringing this to the Vita and PS+.

    Can’t wait to play another great Shooter like Resogun.

  • Excited to experience Geometry Wars for the first time, especially as part of the PS Plus lineup. Enjoyed this behind the scenes article. I’m a little curious of how the local co-op is going to work. Should be fun.

    • Hope you enjoy it, we had a great time making the local co-op :)

    • The local co-op, although creative, was implemented poorly. Depending on which side of the Vita your or your friend are using you are either sacrificing shooting accuracy or smooth movements as one side uses the D-Pad to move, and the other uses the face buttons to shoot.

      What’s worse is they transferred the exact same trophies from the console version (which were tough, but do-able) into this version and the poor control methods they decided to put in hinder the whole experience and make it frustrating to meet those three star requirements for each local co-op level.

      You have such a high tech piece of hardware and you decided to not allow two vitas to communicate with each other via Ad-Hoc. A complete missed opportunity, and you have now made the platinum trophy for this game (on a handheld device) completely unattainable because you guys wanted to be inventive while cutting corners.

  • 60fps and PlayStation TV compatible?

  • madmanwithabox12

    Great stuff! Thanks for the awesome insight into the development of the game, very informative and fascinating to read. I wish more devs would speak as openly about the process of developing games, especially with the hardware constraints of a platform like Vita. Very interesting and sounds like you pulled off a very solid port.

    Hopefully we see more Lucid titles on Vita in the future. =D

  • PlayStation TV could do 2 player local…Is there planned support for that as well?

    • Not got any plans on specific Playstation TV support at the moment.

    • Don’t hold your breath for any constructive modification.

      The PS4 version was Remote Play-friendly for one whole day before they patched it, moving critical shoulder button controls to the rear touch pad and rendering it pretty much unplayable.

      There was a licensing issue that made this neccasary, but it would have been a simple job to include an in-game button remap to fix remote play in one of the subsequent patches. It never happened.

      If this sounds bitter, it’s because I bought several copies for my work collegues to remote play together. They were abandoned after one day thanks to this oversight.

  • Can’t wait to try it out. Was interested in it before but didn’t feel like putting the time in trying it out, but I will officially give the game some love when it hits Vita :)

  • Thank you for supporting the Vita. I can’t wait to play this.

  • That’s a really creative way to handle the local multiplayer. Kudos!

    Will this be cross-buy with PS3/PS4?

  • Thank you guys so much for bringing this to Vita. Also, thank you for the in depth look of the process you guys went through to make it happen.

  • Really glad to see it’s coming to Vita (and free for PS+!) and really happy to see another PSVita game with a one-system shared multiplayer mode!
    Speaking of multiplayer: Is there multiplayer support on PlayStation TV? Or any confirmation for PSTV support for the game?
    Looking forward to playing it on-the-go next week!

  • >Things were going well until we got to local cooperative multiplayer… On PS4, you need additional controllers to play Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved with a partner. Obviously, there’s no way to achieve that on PS Vita

    >local cooperative multiplayer

    How about on PS TV?

  • Will it cross save with the PS4 version?

  • Is it PSTV compatible? If so, please make it support local-multiplayer as well. Thanks.

  • No physical on vita, no interest in buying

  • Woops meant to be on shovel knight post

  • thanks for supporting the Vita because Sony sure aren’t.

  • rabidninjamonky

    I just bought this for my phone 3 days ago, and it’s pretty awesome. I was considering buying buying a bluetooth controller for my phone just for this game, but I’m going to hold off on that and just buy the vita version instead! Thanks for bringing this to vita.

  • terminatorx0606

    I will for sure play this game, but it would be nice if they make it cross-buy so we get it on all platforms like Ps3 and Ps4 as well since now all 3 versions are here? Will that happen Craig? Maybe one day or so.

  • I read the description and it looks like it’s not cross buy. Please don’t flame me for this but some people are trophy whores such as myself. Not only is this great on the PS4, but it’s also a gem on the IPad!

  • Really glad to see this coming to Vita, and pleasantly surprised to hear about the way you implemented local multiplayer. For an implementation that took some out-of-the-box thinking, it can really make a difference between a game being great, and it ascending to be the ultimate partner experience. Thanks!

  • About this being cross-buy with the other versions…
    I seem to remember that when the Vita version was first announced a few months ago, they (the devs) did say that it was going to be cross-buy. I could be wrong, but I really seem to remember being even more excited for this game once I heard that it was indeed a cross-buy title and that I couldn’t wait to play it on both my systems (the PS4 & Vita)! Again though, I could be totally wrong mistaking the info I remember from another game being ported to the Vita? Hopefully we find out soon!? I really want to play this game on both systems, but at the same time I don’t think I’d spend money buying the game twice because of all the other great games coming out on all systems within these next few months.

  • PSTV?

  • THis is pretty sweet! I wanted to try out the game and now it´s coming out for the vita and for free!!

  • I played through the campaign on PS4 and loved it. I will gladly do it again on the Vita!

  • So it’s July 7th. Where is it? Does it get released at a certain time or something? Been looking forward to having this on my vita.

    • I played different classic games (Retro Evolved being my favorite) on the Vita and they all lag once the hordes of enemies start coming out. I love this game but the lag/FPS drop on the Vita port is not tolerable. I will have to give it 2 stars for effort but it’s simply not playable for people who can survive until the large amount of enemies start coming out. The game may be appealing for beginners or casual gamers but I wouldn’t recommend it to the experts.

  • So, there’s no cross-save, apparently. Have this on PS3 and was going to double-dip, but without cross-save, I have zero interest in playing it on Vita. That was one of the best features of Resogun. :( My money is staying right in my pocket now.

  • Any chance of adding support for a second controller on the PSTV?

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