Expect “guns, gore and dubstep” from Chris Suffern’s passion project
Guns, gore and dubstep. That’s a beautiful recipe to me. That’s the recipe I worked from when making Super Mutant Alien Assault. And I’m proud to announce it’s coming to PS4 this summer.
SMAA is a fast, brutal arcade platformer. You have to fight off an alien assault across 12 rapid-fire single-screen levels. Each with a random combination of platform layout, objective, vending machines and enemies.
Core to the challenge is randomness and permadeath. You never know what weapons and abilities you will have, or what enemies and bosses you will face. The only way to beat the game is with skill and knowledge. Knowledge that can only be gained from experience using the vast array of weapons, explosives, and abilities at your disposal.
SMAA is also an evolving game. As you play, weapons, abilities, modes, enemies and bosses will unlock. So every time you jump back into the fray, there will be something new for you to play with and mix up the gameplay.
Ever since playing Unreal Tournament I realised how much fun it is to have a diverse range of weapons that feel good to use. Each one with its own strengths and weaknesses. Every gun needs to be thoughtfully used. Sometimes you wouldn’t have the right gun for the right situation. But that just forced play harder, think smarter, adapt quicker. And when you won the battle in those situations, well, that’s when you felt like a true hero. These lessons stuck with me and were a core part of what shaped my design for the weapons in SMAA.
In a game, everything needs to feel good. Killing especially. Gore is paramount to this. But gore has hidden costs that you just wouldn’t know about unless you’re a developer. It costs you a low classification rating, reducing your potential market size. It costs in CPU cycles, reducing what else you can add to the action on screen. It’s not easy spawning hundreds of particles of blood, body pieces and dead bodies that have real physics and interact with the level. Gore that doesn’t just disappear, but stays where it fell so you can look around the bloody battlefield when the fights over and see the story of your struggle. None of that comes easily. And I just want you to know, I fought for that. Because it’s important.
That perfect drop, at the perfect time. Nothing beats dancing with death, blasting aliens in the face, to some finely crafted dubstep. And this isn’t just any dubstep. For a full year of development I was scouring the web for the finest dubstep I could find. What I found changed my music library forever. If you like dubstep, you’re in for a real treat. If you don’t like dubstep, that’s okay too, I think you will agree it’s the perfect sound for the intense brutal action of SMAA. You may even get converted.
Who made this?
The official dev team is me. I’m the sole programmer and game designer. Keep that in mind regarding any expectations you might have for game size. Having said that, I’m not so crazy I’d try to do everything myself. I contract out the art, and license the music. I also had help from many other people in the form of testing and feedback. And of course the whole team at Surprise Attack Games, my publisher, have given me huge amounts of help in many ways.
This has been a fantastic journey for me. A bit over two years ago I decided to take on the risk and challenge of chasing my biggest dream; to make games full time. I’m incredibly proud of SMAA and super excited to share it all with you in few months’ time.