Astros Playroom PS5

Astro's Playroom developer Team Asobi is expanding, and its next title will be its "biggest to date", creative and studio director Nicolas Doucet has said in a new interview. The team's follow-up project to the wonderful free PS5 pack-in title will be a "full-blown commercial title" that explores Sony's hardware in new and creative ways. In other words, it's probably going to be a PSVR2 game.

Doucet expands: "Any new technology, we like to take it for a spin. There's the obvious way to use it, which is the first thing we are going to try, and then we are going to try to use it in ways you're not supposed to. That leads us to interesting places."

He then explains Team Asobi has hired a number of hobbyists in recent years who have created impressive demos out of new technology. With the pull of being able to pursue your passions, the Japanese developer has almost doubled in size since the launch of Astro's Playroom to 60 employees. Doucet expects to reach 100 people in the future. "There is always stuff to do. There is always new projects to begin. We are not limited by any money or time. If we could double the studio just like that, we would find work for everybody."

The interview then moves on to how Team Asobi tries to make its games feel like they were made in Japan. "We want to make sure that when people play our games that there is a feeling, and you can't quite put your finger on it, that it's made in Japan." Much of this comes down to game feel, he thinks.

"I remember talking to the team about character controls, I think it was for Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, and we were talking about how things didn't feel right. And some of the engineers understood perfectly why it didn't, because they visualise the code, and when the input happens, they can see why it might not feel good. It might be because there's a delay there due to an animation being played."

Doucet remarks on how he reckons PlatinumGames has gotten this down to a tee, praising Bayonetta for its "perfection of controls". The interview also touches on Team Asobi's approach to development now it's able to gather together in a new office following the pandemic. Click through to read the full piece.