PixelJunk Shooter 2 Interview – PSN 2011 Preview

PixelJunk Shooter 2 is a follow up to the highly successful PlayStation Network title from Q-Games, PixelJunk Shooter. As one of 2011’s most anticipated PSN games, we’ve caught up with Q-Games founder, Dylan Cuthbert, to talk about the game and what else Q-Games may have in store for PS3 owners.

Hi, could you start by introducing yourself and telling us about your role at Q-Games?

Hi there, I’m Dylan Cuthbert, I’m the founder of Q-Games and this is my fourth decade of making video games!

With each PixelJunk game, gamer’s expectations for a quality game increases – how are you not only able to live up to them, but surpass them?

This is always a tough conundrum for us here at Q. However, making the genre different for each game helps a little as the gamers out there learn to expect something “different” from us instead of the same thing simply getting better and better. This quest for quality has increased the length of our schedules a little though!

The game will include the function to upload game footage to YouTube – how popular was the feature in previous PixelJunk games?

This feature has been very popular since we first included it in PixelJunk Eden, so we then went back and patched it into Monsters and Racers 2nd Lap too. If you search on YouTube you can see lots of examples of people playing, so if you get stuck you know where to look for tips!

Equally, has remote play proven popular, and what difficulties does the feature bring?

We have decided to drop remote play in Shooter 2 because of difficulties combining that with the online versus play. I’m not sure really that people use this feature much anymore but in the past it has been relatively popular.

This is the first fully fledged PixelJunk sequel, rather than an encore style title, is that a direction that you are planning to follow in future games?

It depends on the title – I would prefer not to make sequels unless they are in series 2 of PixelJunk, however for Shooter we still had so much momentum we decided to utilize it. It was a good experiment into online versus gaming too.

Thus far, we’ve seen light, dark, sand and acid as a new fluids – will there be others? And can you tell us what other fluids might we see?

You’ll have to wait and see, but the slippery bubble liquid is one of my new favourites from Shooter 2. You have to use your hook to spin around and navigate the stage so it even feels a little like PixelJunk Eden.

Is there any chance of rewarding players who own or completed the first game?

Yes, there will be a little freebie available to people who purchased both games!

Was there ever any consideration for using PlayStation Move?

Not for Shooter 2 no, because it would have distanced the game-play too far away from the original game. However, PixelJunk Lifelike, a game we are developing, will be utilizing the Move!

The “Play, Create, Share” mantra is becoming more and more popular with PlayStation games, and PixelJunk Shooter has the right elements for some great user generated puzzles and levels. Have you ever considered releasing a level editor to allow for this?

Yes, we have considered this but it would simply take too many of our resources to provide this and we’re a very small company that makes a lot of different games. I think it’s more fun for us to keep making different experiences and focus our resources on that instead.

PixelJunk Shooter had a bit more of a story line than previous PixelJunk games, and it was mentioned that a “Star Wars-y thing” is being done with the bosses. Is this an indication we’ll have more plot elements in the sequel?

Yes, there is a continuation of that theme in Shooter 2 and another great ending is in store for everyone! You begin the game in the belly of an enormous beast that has acid for blood!

Some criticized the length of the single player campaign in the first game, how long will the single player campaign in the sequel take to be completed? Was the addition of multiplayer a way to extend the longevity of the game?

Not really, multiplayer was something we experimented with after doing it for PixelJunk Monsters Deluxe on the PSP (which has a great co-op online multiplayer system in it), and it worked surprisingly well so we decided to go ahead and put it in Shooter 2! Shooter 1 may have felt short to some people but I think that’s primarily because it was such a rich experience that left you wanting more at the end.

How did the open testing call you held a few weeks back in LA go? Any major improvements or additions come from the session?

This open testing went incredibly well! I was really surprised at how much everyone enjoyed the games and especially considering there were a no. of testers who hadn’t played any PixelJunk game before. Those people said they would buy it and other PixelJunk games from now on! That obviously pleased the team here at Q to no end!

When are you planning to release PixelJunk Shooter 2?

The exact date is to be announced but in about a month from now!

Can you tell us anything about PixelJunk Lifelike?

Not yet, although there is a trailer video on YouTube that could give you some hints… or it could just give you the urge to take a walk in a forest searching for weird objects in the ground.

Are there any other PixelJunk games currently in development? Or any plans to make sequels to previous games?