Brand new screens and your first look at the in-game comic book
Greetings blog oglers, Gary from Atomicom here with an update about Switch Galaxy Ultra our insanely-fast-reaction-based-arcade game that’s been developed as an update to our critically acclaimed hit PlayStation Mobile title Switch Galaxy.
We’ve been off the radar a bit as we had our heads down squeezing every last drop of art, code and blood into the title and it’s shaped up to be something we’re very proud of. Both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita versions are running in super smooth 60FPS with the PS4 version at 1080p.
Both feature online multiplayer with two modes of play for up to four players and we have incorporated Cross Play so you can compete against your buddies across PS4 and PS Vita. We also have Cross Buy and Cloud Save so everyone with a PS4 and Vita combo is getting a real treat.
Finally, there are also seven player ships (all fully upgradable) and a ton of fiendishly fast levels, plus an endless survival mode. If that wasn’t enough we also have an awesome 22-page comic that unlocks as you play through the game – more on that shortly.
We’ve also been working with WipeOut co-creator and Psygnosis art legend Jim Bowers who has taken time out from working on movies such as Skyfall, Prince of Persia and The Golden Compass to get involved with designing our new start/end cities.
We are planning to have DLC ready at launch which we’re really proud of, as all the proceeds from the sale of the pack go direct to our supported charity Caudwell Children. The DLC pack features news levels, an exclusive player ship and licensed music tracks.
The game is just entering beta so there’s not long left before it ships to PlayStation Store so we wanted to share a few screenshots with you from the latest build to wet your appetite.
Finally we would like to share a bit more about the comic we’ve been working on. I will hand over to the designer, Darren Douglas. Indecently he’s another WipeOut veteran and published Judge Dredd artist so you’re in safe hands, I think!
Over to you Darren…
Switch Galaxy Ultra: The Comic
Well, before Gary started pestering me to fill his blog with incoherent ramblings he was pestering me to do a little work for Switch Galaxy Ultra. Not that I had anything against the idea (or anything else on) but at a glance, in all honesty my first thought was “Aw no, more futuristic ships thundering down futuristic race tracks!”
Don’t get me wrong, the game I saw looked really great, it’s just that I’m no stranger to futuristic ships thundering down futuristic race tracks. The first WipeOut was the second game I ever worked on back in ’94, and since then I’ve touched on every one of ’em in some large or microscopically small fashion (on one, the third I think, I just made a single lamppost.)
My first love (after Daphne from Scooby Doo) is drawing comics and, having made the first tentative steps into that professional arena I was keen to continue. Luckily Gary’s not as dumb as I look and he said the magic words: ‘comic book’.
Personally, I’m more a fan of pulp sci-fi with the emphasis on the ‘fi’ over the ‘sci’ and what I like to call ‘blue collar sci-fi’ which is relatively normal people thrown into situations with a sci-fi twist. So I started with Glynnie Vance, a human driver for hire with a back-story vague enough that we could throw anything at him as we went along.
So the first version of Glynnie I came up with was, on a whim, a sort of Lemmy in a trucker hat.
He was stocky and beefy and, well, I was asked to make him a bit sexier and come up with a sexier name than ‘Glynnie’! Fair do’s, the name ‘Vince’, what’s sexier than that, right girls?! And in slimming him down and trimming his chin fuzz we wound up with… arrrrrgh no, yet-another-muscly-bald-guy-main-character-for-a-video-game!
Now he would need a boss, an ear to bend while out in space. Since this would mainly be in the form of a voice on a hotline I thought I could get away with anything at the other end. My idea of a brain in a jar was (thankfully, in hindsight) kyboshed in favour of someone a little sexier and Amur was born.
But something about the isolation of the brain-jar-girl really appealed and the idea that his boss would be trapped by circumstance in one place, while Vince galaxy hops really began to feel like something interesting. Making her insatiably curious about the universes she’ll never get to travel and playing that against Vince’s Universe weary cynicism became the focus of their interplay.
The pencils are done the old fashioned way with, uh, pencils, but are then scanned in and coloured with Painter and Photoshop and it’s here that the final decisions get made.
Around the time this process was finishing up we benefited from a deadline extension that, while adding a little time to polish up the artwork, also allowed for more ambitious plans for the comic. So we added a series of interludes, a new extro and introduced a new character in Herve, the devious second in command to Amur that leads up to an ending that I won’t spoil but which leaves us open to explore almost anything from here on in. Assuming folk are interested enough to see what will happen next that is!