Super Stardust Portable releases on the PSP on December 4th, which is awesome news. I loved Super Star Dust HD and it would make an awesome portable game.
The main question I have though is how do you port a dual stick shooter onto a portable with only one rather tiny and rather flat analogue stick? Also how on earth is the PSP going to pull off so much going on on screen at once? Well Kimmo Lahtinen – programming lead for Housemarque on Super Stardust Portable has posted on the Playstation blog and gone into quite a bit of detail.
Talking about the challenges of porting a game from next-gen hardware like the ps3 to a portable Kimmo had this to say “What we learned from developing the PS3 version is that sphere level is actually quite a large playing space and requires thousands and thousands of objects rotating around before the game level doesn’t feel empty. It took a lot of trial and error to get that working on the PS3 version. The PSP version is played on a wrapping 2D field that is optimized for the PSP screen. There was a lot of tuning to make it not feel either crowded or too large so we could have the gameplay and levels stay as fast as before. After we found the optimum size, we felt that we had lost nothing of the old intensity in the conversion. In addition we actually do a few tricks to make it look like you’re still playing around a planet too.”
As for the controls “What we decided to go with is to map the shooting to the face buttons and let the game interpolate the shooting direction when needed.”
I’ve played some FPS’s on the PSP that used the same idea for the camera and it wasn’t ideal at all but it seems they have put the effort in and Kimmo also states “This took a lot of effort to get right, but the end result feels perfect. We were glad to find out that even for those that are completely new to PSP system, it didn’t take long to figure out the controls.”
I really want to believe him but the proof will be in the playing with this one, at least we don’t have to wait long. There’s a gameplay video bellow as well.
Source: Playstation blog
Last Updated: November 27, 2008