Find out how Digital Dreams is revamping its PS Vita puzzle platformer
Not too long ago, during Gamescom, we announced that we’re currently working on a total remake of our puzzle platformer Metrico (PS Vita) for PlayStation 4 (Metrico+). We’ve had tons of questions of what Metrico+ exactly is, and we’re happy to talk into depth about this on the PlayStation Blog.
Metrico+ features a lot of new content, as well as much better and refined graphics. We also worked on the storyline and added tons of other new features. It’s basically a new game! And, we’re planning to release it in the first quarter of 2016.
In this post I’d like to elaborate on some of the changes and fixes we made. We loved that Metrico was exclusive to the PS Vita. That’s why for the bigger part we want players to feel like the PS Vita version is still a unique experience, and the PS4 version will be a new experience, taking the best parts of the Vita version and build on that with lots of new and improved features.
For those that don’t know Metrico: Metrico is a new world. A unique world for you to explore that consists of all sorts of infographics, like bar diagrams, pie charts and line graphs. These infographics constantly change based on your actions, movements and input. The goal of the game is to experiment and find out how each infographic within certain puzzles react, solving these puzzles in that manner.
When we started development of Metrico+, we knew it was impossible to re-use a lot of the content from Metrico because some game mechanics utilize specific PS Vita hardware features. There are six worlds in Metrico, and particularly the last few worlds use the PS Vita’s hardware features to full extent. The Dual shock 4 has a built-in gyroscope that one of the Metrico worlds heavily relies on, so maybe that world would have been possible on PlayStation 4. However, since we’re also releasing on other platforms, this was quickly discarded and new solutions were needed.
Also simply mapping mechanics built around specific PS Vita hardware to different input, would result in an incoherent and honestly, a disjointed experience on the big screen and with a different controller.
That’s why we had to design two entirely new worlds with their own unique mechanics for Metrico+, while also replacing puzzles in other worlds which relied on the discarded mechanics. These worlds needed to be filled with fun and challenging puzzles utilizing these new mechanics and the parameters/variables that accompany them.
Thus we went back to the drawing board and came up with a whole bunch of different mechanics, each one more crazy than the other. Prototyping these took quite some time but we had a lot of fun doing so. Ultimately it’s the type of creative work in game development that has a lot impact on the final product. We had to stay objective and pick the most fun and fitting game mechanics for Metrico+ and in the end, I feel we did a good job: Everybody that played and tested Metrico+ so far, loves the new mechanics.
Staying in the spirit of Metrico+ and its exploring and experimental nature we don’t want to spoil too much about the new mechanics. We’d like you to find out how they exactly work for yourselves, but we do want to tease you a bit by showing these two GIFs that show the new game mechanics that made it into Metrico+. Can you tell how they work and what they do? And if you’ve played Metrico, can you come up with all of the consequences they may have?
Of course we also took the time to really look at the criticism we received and made a lot of changes based on that. We added more eventful moments and platform puzzles for better pacing throughout the game; made changes to our adaptive music system to be less annoying to players getting stuck longer than usual and we went all out and improved the visuals a whole lot in order to make them look good on a big screen. Metrico+ is even more fun to visit right now. We’re also completely redoing the character animations.
A question that might be on your mind now is: ‘will I get Metrico+ for free if I already downloaded Metrico?’ All I can say now is that we’re looking into this. Metrico+ is essentially a new game with a similar title, but with 2 entirely new worlds with lots of new challenging puzzles, completely revamped graphics, a new storyline, different trophies, and lots of other new features.
That being said, a bunch of the original puzzles are still in place in some shape or form so we wouldn’t feel entirely comfortable charging full price again either. We’ll know more in the not so distant future.