[PS3Blog.net Interview] Out Of Bounds Games For Laser Disco Defenders
We’re currently doing a review for Laser Disco Defenders on PlayStation Vita, so we got in touch with the game’s developer to talk a bit about the game and it’s release on Sony’s portable console.
PS3Blog: Hi! Welcome. Good to have you with us for this interview. Care to get us going by introducing yourself to our audience?
My name is Alexander Birke and I run the small game company Out Of Bounds Games based in Bristol, UK. I have worked in the games industry for about 5 years as a programmer and game designer, but always wanted to have my own studio and create my own games driven by novel game mechanics. A dream that became a reality last year and has now culminated in Out Of Bounds’ first release.
PS3b: You’ve recently released Laser Disco Defenders on PS Vita. How would you describe the game to our readers?
It’s a self inflicted bullet hell inspired by Disco and 70s cheesy space opera flicks. It plays as a rogue like where you have to clear a level of enemies in order to progress to the next one. What sets it apart is that each laser beam you fire stays in the level, so if you are too trigger happy you quickly make it really difficult for yourself! The disco and sci-fi theme was chosen because of this core mechanic, and also inspired the main progression system. By completing missions you unlock more outfits that changes how the playable characters look and plays.
PS3B: Why did you decide to focus on randomly generated levels for the game? How much variety is there to make Laser Disco Defenders shine?
I played a lot of the roguelikes that have been coming out in recent times, after FTL sparked my interest for the genre. Since I had to do all the game design and programming myself, it was a good way to provide a bigger game with more replayability than if I had gone for premade levels. Turns out making procedural generation is really hard though! It took a lot of iterations to come up with the current algorithm, so the game wouldn’t be too random and unfair.
It went from a very mathematically driven approach to the current one that populates layouts I have made beforehand. Inside each layout the enemies are placed randomly which helps in making sure the levels are consistent in difficulty while still unpredictable.
PS3B: Even though the levels are randomly generated, there’s definitely an end to the story. How many hours does it take to get there?
It really depends on how fast you learn the mechanics of the game. I have seen some beat it in 2 hours while others have spent a lot longer without beating it. After you complete story mode you can take on endless mode, and as you might guess from the name, you can keep playing that one for as long as you want!
PS3B: Are you considering developing additional content for the game?
Yes! Based on the feedback I have received from reviews and players, I’m working on a new zone for the game as well as some more enemies. The game will also get another round of balancing.
PS3B: What’s next for you now that the game is out on PS Vita?
Besides the extra content for the game I am also busy porting it to PlayStation 4 and PC. After Laser Disco Defenders is done I have some different ideas I want to pursue. One is called Hover Cabby and is what you get when you cross Crazy Taxi with The Fifth Element.
PS3B: Once again, thank you for your time. Would you like to add anything else before we end this?
Thanks for having me on! If your readers want to know more about Laser Disco Defenders I recommend checking out the dev log. If you’d like to follow what I’m up to in general I’m on Twitter.