Interview: Version2Games - Smash 'N' Survive
Posted by Sammy Barker
Car combat is staging a comeback.
It’s not just Twisted Metal that’s set to drop onto PlayStation 3 this month, but also Version2Games’ Smash ‘N’ Survive, an explosive vehicular combat title that’s breaking new ground of its own. Indeed, the launch of Smash ‘N’ Survive will mark the first time an Indian developed game has received a global PlayStation 3 release.
We sat down with Version2Games’ president, Rajat Ojha, to talk car combat, PlayStation Network and the Indian game development scene.
Push Square: To begin with, please could you tell us a little about your game?
Rajat Ohja: Smash ‘N’ Survive is a vehicle combat game and is unique in many ways. The game features 30 different cars, 10 maps, and various innovative weapons best suited for vehicle combat such as melee weapons, flame throwers, electric shocks and more. The game also features various innovative game modes like bomb diffusion, territory control, team derby, escort and more.
PS: Obviously there will be comparisons to Sony’s own Twisted Metal franchise. How much has that series had an influence on Smash ‘N’ Survive?
RO: All of us love that series and have been passively influenced by it, but Carmageddon has inspired us directly. When we thought about making this game, Carmageddon was there in our mind. But we wanted to do a family friendly game so there’s no killing of pedestrians involved here.
PS: What would you say sets Smash ‘N’ Survive apart from other car combat games?
RO: The kind of weapons and the kind of missions we have are absolutely unique and never seen before. Being family friendly also helps. Once you finish [the single player] campaign, you can play all of the featured modes as Challenges and in versus which adds immense longevity to the title.
PS: Car combat has been an extremely under-represented genre so far this console generation, but with the upcoming Twisted Metal reboot and your game, it finally feels like the genre’s getting a long overdue resurgence. Why do you feel there have been so few car combat titles in recent years?
RO: Car combat is not easy to do. Once you have vehicle dynamics, it’s easier to do a racing title but getting combat right is really challenging. It also competes with other sorts of combat titles such as shooters or fighting games and that leads to comparisons between the intensity of the mechanics making it really tough to pull off. Another challenge is balancing the game. It’s because of those difficulties that I think the genre’s been overlooked.
PS: Smash ‘N’ Survive will supposedly allow players to “take control of environmental factors such as tornadoes to destroy opponents' cars”. Can you elaborate on what else we can expect, and how these mechanics will be implemented?
RO: There are various things in the environment which are given to the players to strategically plan an attack. We have tornadoes in which you can push an opponent’s car — but you need to avoid getting sucked in too. You can use crushers and push opponents into those. There are also catapults, cutters and some structures which you can use. Getting pushed into catapults can be frustrating for opponents as it leads to damage and also throws them away — sabotaging any potential attacks they’ve been planning.
PS: Smash ‘N’ Survive is coming exclusively to the PlayStation Network. Can you talk a little about what led you to Sony’s platform, and how the process has been for you?
RO: Sony has always been helpful and they have one of the most supporting and technically strong teams [in the industry]. Microsoft doesn’t give their development kits to India so that choice has never existed. Even though Smash ‘N’ Survive is not a Sony product, they sent a team to have a look at the game and discuss technical aspects of the PlayStation 3. They helped us to improve the quality of product immensely.
PS: Smash ‘N’ Survive is the first Indian developed title to receive a global PlayStation 3 release. That’s a stellar achievement. Can you paint us a picture of the current development climate in India?
RO: Indian game development is largely dominated by mobile game developers. This is not a bad thing because mobile platforms are easily available and don’t require huge funds, but they can be tough to monetize on. There are lot of art outsourcing companies who are doing incredible work and they have supported some of the biggest AAA games.
Personally, I’m not impressed with the overall achievement of Indian game development, but with new platforms, [the] indie movement and increasing awareness in youths, I’m sure that picture will change. Version2Games is eager to surprise the world and put India on the global game development map.
PS: Version 2 Games is a fairly new developer, what kind of content can we expect from you in the future?
*RO: Expect a mind blowing adventure game next which will have visuals on par with the world’s best games and gameplay that is totally unique. We are also working on the design for another game, so there’s no looking back for us. Smash ‘N’ Survive is our first entry into the game industry and future releases will [help to] establish our position.
Smash 'N' Survive is out on PSN in the coming weeks.