Interview: Born Ready Games on Strike Suit Zero's Explosive PS4 Debut
Posted by Robert Ramsey
The impact of feedback, working with PS4, and more
Set to launch on the PlayStation 4 later this month, Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut is an enhanced version of the PC title that released last year. It's a mech sporting, space shooting simulator with a great art direction that's really managed to catch our eye, and so we thought that it'd be a good idea to radio developer Born Ready Games' Jamin Smith with a few choice questions. Despite the studio's busyness in bringing the zero-g blast-'em-up to Sony's console, the community manager was on hand to fire back some answers that detail the console edition's content, the importance of both fan and critic feedback, and the PS4 development process.
Strike Suit Zero originally released in 2013 on PC. Why have you decided to bring it to the PlayStation 4 a year later?
We had always planned on bringing Strike Suit Zero to consoles, but our schedule was shifted forward slightly for development reasons. In this time, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One had been announced, and to us, it made much more sense to bring the game to the next-gen machines, and spruce the title up significantly in the process. While it may be releasing a year down the road, the Director's Cut version of the game should make it worth the wait for console owners.
The upcoming release's full title is Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut. Can you outline the main differences between this newest edition and the original?
"The campaign has been restructured, allowing the player to get into the action much more quickly"
The Director's Cut has been treated to a graphical overhaul, with all ships in the game up-res'd with a load of additional polygons chucked at the models, along with new textures and lighting. The campaign has been restructured, allowing the player to get into the action – and indeed the Strike Suit – much more quickly. We've also included the Heroes of the Fleet mission pack, as well as the Marauder and Raptor Strike Suits.
When the original PC game was released, it was met with incredibly varied reviews. Has the disparity in review scores influenced the Director's Cut in any way? Does feedback play a large role in the development process?
Feedback has played a huge role in the development of the Director's Cut. As well as dictating how we restructured the campaign, we swapped out voice actors based on criticisms, re-balanced the game based on community feedback – adding a slew of new checkpoints, for example – and added a host of other improvements throughout the game, nearly all of which was in response to external voices.
The title has a very eye-catching art direction, and the action is reminiscent of older space combat games as well as sci-fi shows and Japanese mecha anime. What were your main influences when designing Strike Suit Zero?
In an aesthetic sense, Homeworld was a huge influence, to the extent that we enlisted the services of Paul Ruskay, Homeworld's composer, to bring that fantastic sense of atmosphere to Strike Suit Zero. We were always attracted to the colour and vibrancy of the game world, and the fact that space had character, and could vary from level to level. We didn't want our game to feel the same across its 13 missions, which is always a concern when your game is set in space.
Do you have any downloadable content planned for game? If so, when can we expect it to launch, and what kind of content will you be adding to the title?
We've already included the Heroes of the Fleet mission pack with the Director's Cut, which recreates pivotal historic battles within the Strike Suit Zero timeline. We've also included the Marauder and Raptor Strike Suits, which really change up how you'll experience the game. There's no other DLC planned for the game at this stage, but there are always ideas bubbling away for additional content.
What has bringing the game to the PlayStation 4 allowed you to do that you weren't previously able to do on PC? Are you using the DualShock 4's unique features in any way?
"We've taken advantage of the DualShock 4's touchpad for optional targeting"
It's given us a great reason to harness the power and unique features of the console, overhaul our graphics and improve the game across the board. We've taken advantage of the DualShock 4's touchpad for optional targeting, which offers an interesting new method of engaging with the enemy, and also used the pad's speaker for radio chatter. You can also use your Vita as a second screen, which is cool.
Since its initial reveal, Sony has touted the PlayStation 4 as a console that's easy to develop for. What has your experience with the machine been like while working on Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut?
The development process has been fairly smooth. As with any new console, there are always teething issues developing a game early on in the life-cycle, but Sony have been incredibly supportive and development on the whole has been reasonably trouble-free.
Do you think that you'll be working on Sony's console again in the future? Can you say anything about any possible upcoming projects?
All we can say is that our next project is well under way, but we can't share any more at this stage. It is, however, much more ambitious than anything we've attempted previously, and we're incredibly excited to be able to share more soon.
Will you be suiting up on the PS4 later this month? Perhaps you've already dabbled in the PC version of the release – if so, would you dive into the pilot's seat all over again? Take us out of orbit in the comments section below.