Monday, June 15, 2009
By: Matthew Doucette
In our second Xona Games interview (here's our first), Jason Doucette, lead programmer of our upcoming Xbox 360 shoot'em up Duality ZF, answers questions from Keith Murray and Jamie Davies of Console Arcade. Here's a few highlights:
On gameplay philosophy:
There are no bonus points for collecting icons, medals, or level completion, etc. Such bonus points arise from enemy kills themselves. The better you kick ass, the higher your score – as it should be. An expert, high scoring “power play” of Duality ZF won’t be dilly-dallying, delaying shooting enemies, chasing fairies – it will show wrecking havoc; causing pure destruction in the most efficient way possible. Finally the gamer achieving the highest spot in the online scoreboards will be the one who is best at surviving enemy attack while decimating them – what shmups are all about.
On Dual Play:
Dual Play was discovered naturally due to desire for challenge from expert gamers; it was not implemented as a marketing trick to get sales. The gamers invented it. It fits naturally with shmups, as Duality ZF shows. It just doesn’t work with other genres, and their attempts to achieve brownie points with it fail. The features of Duality ZF are not gimmicks. They work, and are demanded for, by the true fans.
On gamer reception:
Duality ZF has been referred to as “Raiden on Red Bull” due to the intense firepower.
Duality ZF has also been dubbed the “Geometry Wars Killer”, based on the excitement of Survival mode (before we even beta-tested our Multidirectional mode!) [...] In Duality ZF you’re launching the attack – being the aggressor. You’re not running, whimpering, and hiding, as you do with every other dual stick shooter on the market. The feeling of accomplish via domination is just one of many game mechanics we understand thoroughly, where all others fall flat. [...] There’s absolutely no comparison of Duality ZF to any other multidirectional shooter – and that’s just the Multidirectional mode; one of many bonus modes.
On recognition of gamer accomplishment:
Unlike [...] all other shmups, where only a subsection of their game is credited in the leaderboards, Duality ZF ranks every mode, even multiplayer. [...] It’s going to be fun to see just how far four (or eight) fighters can get! Due to the credit and recognition received for all 96 game styles, there’s a ton of replayability.
On Duality ZF engine:
...the result is the Duality ZF engine: a silky smooth 60 frames per second, capable of handling 8 fighters shooting over 2,000 bullets, colliding with 100’s of enemies, with 1,000’s of explosions. The action literally fills the screen, and you just won’t find this anywhere else. This places Duality ZF in a league well above our XNA competitors, since this type of action is simply impossible with a standard implementation with no optimization, and it challenges the best of the best shmups ever made.
Read the entire interview here: http://www.console-arcade.com/features/xona-games-interview/
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Preview Duality ZF with our promotional materials. Contact us if you want anything more. We do pre- and post-release interviews on Duality ZF / XNA / XBLCG (XBLIG) / indie game / shoot'em up (shmup) development, shmup genre choice, XBLA efforts, and much more...
About the Author: I am Matthew Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning indie game studio that I founded with my twin brother. We make intensified arcade-style retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $190,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won game contests, and have held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions -- relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.