Awesomenauts Dev Talks About New Features, Characters Detail, 1080p/60 FPS, PS4 Architecture/GGPU & More
- By Roocha Pradhan
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After an awesome release on PSN and Xbox Live Arcade, Awesomenauts is all set for a thunderous release on PS4. Inspired by classics like DotA, the Warcraft 3, Awesomenauts will run at an astounding 1080p/60 FPS. From highs and lows to personal favorites and the story behind their prominent logo, we tried to ask Jasper Koning, Ronimo Games, each and every question we had in mind about Ronimo Games and Awesomenauts.
With high levels of excitements just a few hours before the launch on one of the most advanced consoles of today, PlayStation 4, Ronimo Games talked with us about this highly exciting team-based multiplayer game, Awesomenauts. Read on to find out more.
Gamepur: For our readers who are unaware, can you tell us a bit about Awesomenauts?
Jasper Koning: Awesomenauts is a team-based multiplayer game, that plays like a classic platformer. Two teams of three players face off on one of four battlegrounds, while wielding one of 15 available classes. Each team has their own base which is defended by turrets and droids. The goal is to defeat the enemy turrets and finally destroy their base.
Gamepur: How high is the excitement level of your team now that there are just few days to go for Awesomenauts to launch on PS4?
Jasper Koning: Very high! We've been looking forward to this for quite a while, we were originally hoping to make launch. And we're also really looking forward to playing the updated version of the game on our home consoles.
Gamepur: What inspired the idea of creating Awesomenauts?
Jasper Koning: The inspiration came from MOBA games like DotA and League of Legends. Back then we were playing a lot of the original DotA, the Warcraft 3 mod that started it all. We felt it was a lot of fun, and we wanted to play something like that on our consoles. At the same time we wanted to make it fit the console playstyle instead of shoehorning a hardcore PC game onto a TV. So we made everything to be easier to get into, more direct and more satisfying, while at the same time maintaining those crucial elements that make the genre so addictive.
For the visuals we were mostly inspired by 80s and 90s games and cartoons. Games like Contra and Earthworm Jim, and cartoons like Bucky O'Hare and Galaxy Rangers.
Gamepur: How many characters will be present in PS4 version of Awesomenauts? PS3/Xbox 360 version had 8, whereas PC version had 15. Also which one is your personal favorite and why?
Jasper Koning: The PS4 version will have all 15 characters playable. And the 5 characters we're building now for the Starstorm expansion will also make it to the PS4. My current favorite is Skølldir because the high risk/reward style. He has to expose himself to a lot of damage to be effective, but he can be very effective. His throw ability also makes him a great in a team while solo he still packs quite a punch, literally.
Gamepur: Can you provide us details about Awesomenauts multiplayer, what all new features/additions we can expect to see?
Jasper Koning: The multiplayer is mostly the same as it's always been, really fast. Just start the game and you're in it. Bots come and go to make sure it's always 3 vs 3. We've done some changes to the system since the PS3 days though. We've added a waiting time at the start to make sure 6 players are all ready to go at the same time.
Gamepur: Why did Ronimo Games decide to bring Awesomenauts, which is already available on other platforms, to PS4? Don’t you think something new or a sequel " Awesomenauts 2" would have been better?
Jasper Koning: We've done so many changes over the years since launch that compared to the original console release you could regard it as a sequel. It has more than twice the amount of characters, a new map and lots of fixes to balance and networking.
Gamepur: Was moving Awesomenauts to PlayStation 4 easy?
Jasper Koning: Some parts were, some parts weren't. Networking is always hard to get right, especially in such a complex drop-in/drop-out situation as Awesomenauts.
Gamepur: On PS4, does Awesomenauts run at a glorious1080p/60 FPS? If YES, how helpful was PS4’s raw power in achieving this or did you face any difficulty?
Jasper Koning: Yes it does, and no it wasn't hard. The hardware definitely helps though because on PS3 it ran in 720p.
Gamepur: Now that Awesomenauts is coming to PlayStation 4, till what extent are the features of DualShock 4 controller like Touchpad and Lightbar used in Awesomenauts?
Jasper Koning: They're both unused since they both don't really fit the gameplay in any meaningful way.
Gamepur: Which are the significant features of Awesomenauts that gamers should not miss to notice?
Jasper Koning: I think the most signinficant features will be hard to miss, because Awesomenauts is very direct in it's Awesomeness. The art style is very bright and colorful, and the music very peppy and uplifting.
One of the best features that may not be directly obvious is the upgrade system. We merged the items and levelling of traditional MOBAs into a single system. Players buy their skills as well as their upgrades with a single currency. And because the upgrades are all custom to the characters, there's no such thing as buying a useless upgrade. At the same time these upgrades allow us to change skills in all kinds of interesting ways.
Gamepur: With respective to gameplay, what all new additions Ronimo Games has made to the PS4 version of Awesomenauts that makes it different as compared to other versions already available on retail shelves.
Jasper Koning: Basically it's the same game as the PC version, which is a greatly improved version of the original game. It finally brings all the stuff we've been doing since the launch almost two years ago, and brings it back to the TV.
Gamepur: After launching on the gaming beast PS4, do you have any plan of transporting Awesomenauts to Xbox One or Nintendo?
Jasper Koning: No plans yet, though never say never.
Gamepur: Sony and PS4 has been a talk of town from a very long time, infact these are the important topics of discussion on the internet, how was your experience working with such a huge company and its leading product?
Jasper Koning: Very nice, they've been very supportive and nice to work with. You can tell they've had a lot of experience courting indies over these last few years.
Gamepur: Critics have termed "PS4" as a modern day high-end gaming PC, however there are few who are of the opinion that it will become AGED compared to PC in few years time. On this we would like to ask three things: A) Do you guys agree with this? B) What Ronimo Games have to say about PS4 life-cycle, C) How soon developers will be able to MAX out PS4’spower and capability?
Jasper Koning: I think this console generation will mostly play out like the last in that sense. The shift away from disc based AAA games towards 10-20 USD downloadable games will continue. And most of these games are not real hardware pushers, like Awesomenauts. So chances of games maxing out the hardware are slim, some even say that the PS3 wasn't even maxed out at the end. Maxing out nowadays is more a question of budgets and resources than anything else. I don't think this matters though, games will still get more and more amazing.
Gamepur: What you guys have to say about PS4's Unified Architecture, 8GB GDDR5 RAM and GGPU?
Jasper Koning: To be honest, it doesn't affect us very much as developers, since we're attempting to max the hardware. As a gamer though, I think the possibilies are very exciting!
Gamepur: Starting from 7 members, now going strong with 14, how would you describe your journey as an important part of Ronimo Games?
Jasper Koning: It's been a wild and bumpy ride, especially financially. Building Awesomenauts almost ended Ronimo at two occasions. Luckily nowadays we're doing a lot better.
Gamepur: How has Awesomenauts helped you and your team to grow as developers? Any good, bad or funny incidents you would like to share with us?
Jasper Koning: Well, one of the aforementioned moments of doom for Ronimo due to Awesomenauts was when our publisher filed for insolvency, right the week before the release date. They were behind in payments and it was starting to look like our game was not even coming out. A lot of intense conference calls with our publisher later we managed to resolve the worst of it and get the game out of the door. We scraped by until we got the Steam version out the door, and since then we haven't seen any financial trouble.
Gamepur: Your logo is quite eye catching, any interesting story about it you want to share with us?
Jasper Koning: Well, the fact that the ape vaguely represents an 'R' is purely coincidental. It's a nice coincidence however. Also, originally the sound guys at Sonic Picnic put a chimpansee under the logo video, but we felt it didn't fit the big ape. So they pitched the sound down, and that's what you hear today.
Gamepur: Any message you would like to give to our readers about Awesomenauts?
Jasper Koning: We look forward to facing you on the galactic battlefields! We'll be streaming our launch gameplay as soon as we can download the game ourselves. Also check out our new upcoming game Swords & Soldiers II!