Wipeout 2048 interview. New controls, new tracks and new ships: everything you need to know

OPM How hard is Vita compared to PS3 and PSP? What unique challenges does it bring up?

KL Stu Lovegrove, our Technical Director, says “Vita is one of the easiest platforms I’ve ever worked on. Developing on it doesn’t constrain you as much as other portable platforms, you really can think of it as a home console in your hand. It’s so similar to a home console that our development processes don’t have to change between PS3 and Vita development. This is the sixth PlayStation platform and our internal SDK shows evidence of the evolution that has taken place over the lifespan of these consoles.”

Most unique challenges were for design to deal with, but those challenges were a good problem to have. There were so many possibilities with Vita in terms of power, interfaces, connecting to the rest of the world…etc, that it was less a case of “What can we do?” and more a case of “What shall we do?”

OPM Are there any major features you wanted to implement in the final game but couldn’t because of technology/time?

KL We managed to get most of what we wanted to do into the launch version of the game, which is great, but there are a few things still left to go in (DLC aside). We don’t see the release of Wipeout 2048 as a one shot approach and we are still working on additional content, improvements and cool features. Announcements will be coming soon.

OPM Did you feel pressure to try and integrate Vita’s unique touchscreen interfaces into your racing experience?

KL Studio Liverpool is always around at the launch of a new console, and we like to show everyone what can be done with it. The Vita is no exception, but we only ever do things that make sense for our game. Thankfully, Vita is crammed with awesome features that fit really well with Wipeout, the touch screen in particular.

We designed a brand new menu system called “canvas” a connected, pulsating tactile representation of your single and multiplayer campaigns. We wanted to create something that felt tangible, allowed the player to access any part of the menu with minimal effort and did an awesome job of showing the player their progression. We worked really hard and went through a lot of iteration as we hadn’t done anything like this before. It was worth the effort, it really paid off.

OPM Is Vita powerful enough to make a game that looks and runs as smoothly as PS3’s WipEout HD?

KL You’ve only got to look at how good the Vita’s version of Wipeout HD looks in our cross platform games. When we first got our hands on a final spec Vita kit, our boffins managed to get Wipeout HD running on it, and we were blown away with how well it handled it. This is the main reason for us deciding to take the cross platform feature forward.