One of the most anticipated virtual reality (VR) videogames of the year is easily the upcoming Astro Bot: Rescue Mission from Sony Japan Studio. In this title players will get to experience not only cute robots on a grand adventure but also go up against some massive bosses. It is these characters that the latest behind-the-scenes trailer for the title explores as it gives players a better look at some of the bosses they will face and the design that went into making them and their encounter fun.
In the new trailer Nicolas Doucet, Creative Director at Sony Japan Studio sits down with members of the team to explore what makes these big bad bosses so unique. They are a very important part of Astro Bot: Rescue Mission and, as Doucet explains, “a very important in action games, in fact they are your motivation for playing the game in some extent.” These encounters with the massive bosses need to not only look and sound amazing but also feel fun to play. With a number of different gameplay systems in the title, ensuring each boss felt unique and different was a main focus for the team.
“I realized it was a big responsibility, but in a game there’s a lot of point that you have to get spot on if you want a good game.” Explains Tuyen Ngo, Gameplay Programmer. “Each boss we try to use a different gadget. Some of the bosses have the same gadget inside, but the use is always different.”
As each of the bosses are huge creatures that are full of life and character, making them feel real and believable while maintaining their scary appearance was also an important part of the process. This is where the animation team were able to come in, working alongside the programming and design team, to bring more life to the boss fights then what players might be expecting.
“I think on the animation side the important thing was the bosses need to be scary. We also wanted to create that other side to their personality that’s kind of weak. Right?” Explains Jamie Smith, Lead Animator. “So you’ll see in the gorilla boss, as soon as you pull the teeth, you get that real human feeling of the boss in pain but in a comical way. There’s this kind of intimidating, like, strong, scary side, but also there’s another human side underneath which for the player is, I think, a lot more enjoyable then just something that’s scary.”
Each of the bosses are found within a different environment as well and the team explain in the trailer that these impacted the design of the fights as well. How they could use the environment to create interesting gameplay mechanics that would engage the player and offer a challenge are want led to some of the gadgets and boss attacks being designed.
You can view the full trailer below to see a lot of boss fight gameplay and to hear more from the team on the creation of these impressive moments. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission is launching exclusively for PlayStation VR on 2nd October 2018 and for more on the title in the future, keep reading VRFocus.