Throw yourself into some sharp Top Darts info with game director Steve Oldacre.
Think you know everything about PlayStation Network title, Top Darts? Steve Oldacre of Devil's Details, is here to turn your opinion 180 degrees...
How did the idea of Top Darts and its use of PlayStation Move come together?
Senior producer at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Mark McGinley, came to us with a concept that he had put together and he was on the lookout for a team to work on it. Mark presented it to us and we immediately loved it. It was our kind of product, high quality, fun and fitted the PS Move motion controller really well.
We then spent the next few weeks working together fleshing out the concept with specific focus on bringing a darts game to life using the PS Move motion controller. We all soon realised that this had huge potential and the early prototypes proved this to be the case. The original prototype consisted of a classic dartboard, a set of darts and the game 501 which was playable with two players.
The prototype was an immediate hit and shortly afterwards we moved into full production. As we progressed we realised we could exploit our simulation software to explore what could be done using the mechanics of traditional darts and that's how we arrived at Top Darts - darts with a twist. The classical games were complemented with a new set of darts party games and with these we added multiplayer support and functionality. The rest is history!
How did you get commentator Sid Waddell on-board for the game?
This was down to Mark. He had Sid lined up from day one to add charm to the product and it worked an absolute treat. Sid is the voice of darts and he supplies enthusiasm and charisma in huge volumes. We were really pleased he agreed to be part of the production and it was an absolute pleasure to have him with us.
With the accuracy of PS Move, will a player's ability in real life darts transfer to Top Darts?
Top Darts rewards learning how to play and practise in exactly the same way that playing darts does. The big difference is we have difficulty levels to help even out people's contrasting abilities. The throw mechanic in Top Darts is a learnable skill and in World Class mode you have to be very precise with your throw action to hit what you aim at - just like in real life. Practising Top Darts will help your consistency and it'll help your knowledge of the board - but like everything you're going to have to practise to get really good.
How much testing did Top Darts undergo?
A lot! We had to make something that was fun to play for a novice, but also successfully worked for darts fanatics and gamers who wanted a challenge. This part of the game went through three major revisions and lots of minor ones until we settled on something that felt great and made everyone happy.
What's been the most challenging part of the sport to recreate?
The throw mechanic. Getting the throw to be consistent, scalable and fun was by far the most difficult aspect to recreate. We wanted it to feel real and it was crucial it provided a true representation of actually picking up, holding and throwing a real dart. This was by far the biggest challenge but one we are confident we got right and hope gamers will thoroughly enjoy and appreciate when playing the game.
What sort of PlayStation Network trophies can players achieve in Top Darts?
There's a varied assortment of challenging scenarios to test yourself against. We have nine in all, some far more challenging than others. We have a bronze trophy for making your avatar by taking your photo, trophies for completing the various league and cup competitions and finally the Top Darts! trophy, which really does test the best of the best.
What sort of downloadable content do you have planned?
A selection of material will be available after the launch of the game and we already have several ideas we're currently looking into so watch this space!
Did you consider using stereoscopic 3D?
Oh yes! The game looks awesome in 3D. We're currently working on this, so once again watch this space...
Do you have anything else you want to add about Top Darts?
I think the key thing to make clear is that this isn't just your run-of-the-mill darts game. It really is a darts game with a twist. There's a great assortment of Classic and Party themed darts games, offering two player simultaneous games as well as supporting up to eight players in various turn-based games too. With over 14 different games, plus an extensive League and Cup competition, Top Darts is packed with content. Build your own dart, create your own avatar, use the background music feature to select your own soundtrack and even make your own Photo Dartboard. There really is a huge variety of content to have fun with.
If you're looking to treat yourself and your family to a new PS Move game for Christmas then look no further... have a great Christmas and I hope you enjoy the game!
Visit PlayStation Store to download Top Darts on 22 December 2010 and experience some sports action that hits the bullseye!
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