Crash Commando's big blasting mayhem is one of the latest titles on PlayStation Network to bring spectacular arcade action to your screens. PlayStation.com sat down with developer EPOS Game Studios to get closer to the platform shooter.
Can you explain what Crash Commando is about to those who may be unfamiliar with the game?
Jan Almqvist, Lead Art/Design: Crash Commando is all about straightforward, pick-up-and-play action. No plot, just pure mayhem!
Where did the original idea come from?
Olof Gustafsson, Music/SFX/CEO: The initial idea for Crash Commando was inspired by a lot of different titles from the last two decades. One game that springs to mind is Jetpac on the old Commodore VIC-20. The challenge was to create a fun online game that clearly flirts with the retro genre, giving players the opportunity to play in teams or against each other in real time.
What were the main aims in creating Crash Commando?
OG: We really wanted to create a game that wouldn't cost players a fortune and at the same time give them a game that was as addictive as any high budget title out there. We also wanted to make something original and special without losing the most important aspect of any game - highly addictive and fun gameplay.
Can you give us an idea of the process you went through in getting Crash Commando on PlayStation Network?
OG: At first we produced a solid prototype of the game for PC and then we contracted an agent to handle the initial contact with Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCEI), who liked the game.
What advantages has PSN afforded you in developing Crash Commando?
JA: Digital distribution in general has opened up a lot of opportunities and allows developers of various sizes to create software at different price points and to utilise non-traditional revenue models. We believe that we're still very early on in the development of this market and that PSN has a great advantage with its flexibility. Since it's also a free service it maximises the platform's potential, which is always a good thing.
So basically, the advantage PSN has afforded us is a great, flexible channel to the consumer, which otherwise would have been difficult to attain.
Can you go into detail about the game's online and multiplayer modes?
JA: The game is primarily an online game and there are not a lot of games out there that can match the intensity that players of Crash Commando will experience. In terms of modes there are the self-explanatory Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch modes and also the exclusive multiplayer game mode, Map Objectives.
Map Objectives is a team based mode consists of Sabotage and Espionage objectives. In a Sabotage game the attacking team needs to find and destroy control panels scattered across the map. A control panel is destroyed by planting a bomb on it and the trick is to keep the defenders from defusing them. The round ends when all control panels are destroyed or the time runs out.
In an espionage game, the attackers will have to find Data Terminals in the map and download data blocks. When a data block has been downloaded, it is time to run back to the base and upload it to headquarters. If a defender manages to kill an attacker carrying blocks, the data is automatically transferred back to the terminal. The round ends when all data from all terminals have been uploaded to headquarters.
Both varieties are played progressively across the entire map meaning that at the beginning of the game, only some control panels/data terminals are online.
What sort of downloadable content can we expect for Crash Commando in the future?
JA: All I can say is to expect the usual suspects and maybe a few surprises.
How important to you was it to include Artificial Intelligence controlled bots in the game?
JA: A lot of gamers appreciate the opportunity to get to know the game before heading out online so in that respect it was considered very important.
What would you say are the highlights of Crash Commando?
JA: At first glance, the game can seem simplistic and some might frown and assume there's no room for skill development since the movement and action is constrained to two dimensions. One definite highlight is when one realises how wrong that assumption is. Every game is filled with hilarious moments, many of which are down to how well the player times a shot or the ability to bank grenades off walls and platforms.
But aside from realising the depth of the core gameplay I would say the nerve wrecking intensity of a tight Map Objectives game. There is simply no time to breathe until the end!
What's the strangest or funniest thing to have happened while you've played Crash Commando?
JA: I don't know about the strangest thing and funny things happen all the time but one of the things that felt really good was a Map Objectives game on The Cave map. Our team had destroyed the first two sets of control panels quite quickly and had a lot of extra time but met a well organised defence on the last set of panels. We tried and tried and died and died.
Eventually, when the time had gone from almost ten minutes down to one and a half I changed strategy and decided to take the long road and bring a tank up with me for a final push. I also equipped the CAB weapon, which I could use to detonate the enemies' mines. I managed to get the tank up to the control panels and with a mixture of crazy luck and crazy skill wiped out the defence, allowing my team to destroy the last two panels.