The HD Adventures of Rotating Octopus Character comes to PS Vita this week

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Hello there! My name is Dan Croucher, and I’m the producer here at Dakko Dakko. Today I’m going to talk about The HD Adventures of Rotating Octopus Character – a brand new PS Vita remake of Dakko Dakko’s very first game, The 2D Adventures of Rotating Octopus Character – originally released on PSP minis. Phew.

First up, you’re the first to hear that the game has cleared certification and will be released in Europe on 29th May. It’ll cost €2.99 (or local equivalent), is available across Europe and Australia/New Zealand, and as well as English, is translated into Spanish, French, German and Italian. A US version is in progress now, and will be coming soon.

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As we know you’re all definitely going to buy it (right?), in this post I’m going to relax and take some time to explain some of the major changes we’ve made from the original, and share a bit of insight into how we went about it.

Our planned changes to the game to put it on PS Vita were a mix of new features and new assets. The full list was:

  • Full art and audio upgrade and replacement
  • Add online leaderboards to Challenge Mode
  • Add PSN Trophies
  • Update Challenge Mode progression
  • Tweak and smooth out the difficulty level

The first thing we quickly realised is that the original version of Rotating Octopus was finished in back in 2010 – over two years ago. You’d be surprised how easily everyone forgets where everything is after a couple of years, especially when there has been another game in-between! So, the first job was to track down the source code and assets and prepare the game to run.

Once we were up and running, the next major piece of work was to get all the art and audio converted. For our (mainly) pixel art, the fact that the Vita screen resolution is exactly double the PSP was a big bonus, as it meant we could double the pixels. We also replaced quite a lot of the original sprites along the way. Below is an image showing a few of the enemies we re-drew.

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The end result is that the game keeps the charm of the original graphics, but is sharper and cleaner, and a big chunk of the game got a new, improved look. You can see a couple of in-game examples of this below.

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Next up, leaderboards – probably the biggest code change in the new game. The Challenge Mode of the original game (where you try and beat time limits on every stage to get a star rating) was crying out for some online competition, and the only way to do that was to add a leaderboard to every one of the over 70 stages!

Trophies were a mixture of fun to design and pain to put in, but we got there, and there’s some beauties in there that’ll really test the skills of both Rotating Octopus veterans and new players.

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Finally, we spent some time tuning the difficulty of the original game. We didn’t want it to be easy – or even normal! – but we did reduce the number of water drops needed to get an extra life, and we now allow progression to the next Challenge stage with just a bronze score.

I’ll be around on the Blog to answer questions of course, and then will be back later in the Summer, when we’ll be releasing Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims in HD! – the PS Vita remake of our second PSP minis title. Bye!

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