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- Duration (approx): 17 Minutes
- File Size (approx): 10MB
- Format: mp3
|Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson||Host||Xbox Live|
|Piotr Iwanicki||Game Designer. Creative Director for Super Hot|
|Super Hot Game|
|Super Hot on Twitter|
Speaker 1: "Superhot is out on Xbox One this week and joining me on the line from his home in Poland is ... Gonna see hopefully I can get this right, Piotr Iwanicki. Piotr, how are you? " Speaker 2: "Piotr Iwanicki, hi. How are you? " Speaker 1: "That's close enough. Anyway, thanks so much for joining uh ... Joining me on the show here. Really excited talk to you. Superhot is a ... Is a great game. I know a lot of people really excited about it. Of course it came out earlier this year on uh ... On Windows and Mac and Linux and now it's on Xbox One as of earlier this week. Congratulations on all the previous launches and of course coming to the console. " Speaker 2: "Yeah, thank you. Thank you. It's been like a huge story for us because we develop the game for such a long time and you know ... You see the in your ... In your like basically a basement- " Speaker 1: "Yeah. " Speaker 2: "We sit in the office but we say it's in the basement and you work on this game so like we're happy when the ... Finally, like players can ... Can experience that that awesomeness that we were preparing for all those months. " Speaker 1: "Now I want to talk to you about the game. This ... For those of you that don't know I've talked about this ... I was tweeting about it earlier in the week. I don't know if you saw my tweet about this. This is the one with the great like MSDOS interface and it's a very ... It's an interesting design concept because the game itself is ... Is fairly white and then the enemies are red and then the objects you pick up are black and that's really it and and- " Speaker 2: "Mm-hmm (affirmative). " Speaker 1: "And how would you describe this game? I don't want ... I want you to describe your game to the audience because I think you're going to do it way better than I can. " Speaker 2: "So Superhot is uh ... Is a first person shooter game. So like you know ... Like a recognizable thing you know to have like uh ... Weapon uh ... On the bottom of the screen and in front of you you see a three D view of what you are doing. Eh- " Speaker 1: "Yup. " Speaker 2: "First person shooter but like in Superhot uh ... Time moves only when you move. So that's our uh ... Big, big twist uh, uh ... On the ... On the good old first person shooter and as time moves only when you move you uh ... You play on uh ... You play uh, a bit differently than you would do in a normal first person shooter so instead of like just ... Just like hiding and uh ... And uh, shooting from behind the cover you can boldly walk between bullets and when you move slow enough then uh, the bullets are ... Are moving slowly around you so like with tiny, tiny movements you can walk uh, walk between bullets and kill enemies with style. " Speaker 1: "Yeah. " Speaker 2: "Superhot is about style. " Speaker 1: "Yeah I noticed that when I was playing the first few levels ... Once I figured the game mechanic out and it's ... It's really interesting is I felt a little bit like and I've never done this but it felt ... It felt like a ballet cus' I was ... I was shooting, I was throwing my gun at somebody. I was pulling their gun out of the air. I was turning around very ... I felt much more graceful than I have since I was about eighteen years old. " Speaker 2: "Ha ha. Yes, it's ... It's exactly like that like you ... Uh, you play slowly and ... And but all the movements you do in Superhot ... Like you play them slowly but uh, but actually the game is hyper-fast so uh, so you just don't see the speed uh, as you play. The game is as fast as you want it to be. Uh, uh, so, so basically the game waits for you for all your like uh, awesome bullet ballet to uh, uh, to perform. The game waits for uh, waits for your performance. So yes you can grab a gun in the air, shoot uh, uh, throw it in the face of the enemy then drop his weapon. Shoot the other guy. " "You can throw a gun at the bullet because that's something you can do. Uh, so all those ... You know, every time you play the level in Superhot uh, it's different and you can play all those levels in very, very different ways. That was important for us. So the ballet reference is ... Is uh, is uh, is important. " Speaker 1: "I want to talk about what ... How you ended up on this game? Tell me a little bit about your team and kind of some of the ... Some of the elements that you were working on for many years to bring to ... That finally, you know, resulted in the game. When I talk to game developers, they had an idea, they tweaked it. They threw some things out and it's kind of like as I always say, "It's like a diamond. You keep polishing it until you see the beauty." Tell me about that journey. " Speaker 2: "Ho ho. Oh, it was uh, it's a long story but its uh, I try to ... Try to make it a bit shorter, uh, for you. So ... So we started back in uh, in two thousand thirteen as a game engine project. So ... So basically uh, uh, uh, I got out ... Out a bunch of guys uh, to make, uh, to make a prototype of a game and like uh, uh, we were doing uh, a game for seven day FPS game engine so we can imagine what it is. You do a FPS game in seven days. " "Uh, so we got out this ... This crazy team of uh ... Of uh, enthusiastic developers with not much experience but with ... With uh, a lot of uh, a lot of enthusiasm to do a game and uh, we started with the concept ... This concept of ... Of doing uh, a first person shooter where time moves only when you move so it's like a uh, on one uh, on one hand it's very familiar because it's first person shooter but on the other hand like you have this much, much different game-play than in uh, uh, then, then, then, then, then you use ... Then, then you are used to in first person shooters. " "So uh, we would ... This game basically ... The first version was ... Was made in uh, during one week uh, and then we polished it for ... For another two weeks and uh, uh, we released it on the internet for free and like lots of people like ... Like really loved the game like we ... We're ... We're astonished by the ... The support of the community like lots of ... Of game developers tweeted about it. Lots of ... Lots of Youtubers played the game online uh, uh, on their stream and like people were very enthusiastic about it- " Speaker 1: "Yeah. " Speaker 2: "So ... So that's when we uh, decided to take it one step further and release it as uh, as a full fledged, uh, product. Uh, so we, uh ... We arrived at this uh, this ... The game became popular because of the ... The huge support of the community, right? And uh, uh, the only logical reason for us ... The logical way to go further with it was to ask uh, our community ... Community to help finance the game to ... To help publish it and we ... We did a Kickstarter campaign ... Yeah, and then which was like very successful. People really, eh, eh, loved it and then we eh ... And then we continued to develop the game for ... For PC and then for ... For uh, Xbox One. " "So, I'm not sure if I answered your question. " Speaker 1: "Ha ha, it was a great story but I want to talk about Kickstarter for a minute because I do remember this Kickstarter and you raised a lot of money for but one of the ... One of the levels of Kickstarter is that you are ... If you ... If you bought into a specific level you were able to design a level in the game. Is ... Did I remember that accurately? " Speaker 2: "Uh, yes, yes you did. Go on. Go on. " Speaker 1: "And I think you know where I'm going with this. Somebody ... A good friend of mine and a good friend of yours was a Kickstarter and he designed one of the levels for the game. Why don't you tell us about that experience and who it is. " Speaker 2: "No, no. Actually ... Actually it was ... Was Cliff Bleszinski ... Bleszinski who uh, who uh, uh, who uh, bought into the [inaudible 00:07:08] " Speaker 1: "Yup. " Speaker 2: "And uh, uh there was to design a level although like uh, he's still ... He's still uh, uh, hasn't done it because like lately ever since he went into his own uh- " Speaker 1: "Right. " Speaker 2: "Things like doing Lawbreakers and uh, he didn't have a enough time to do it- " Speaker 1: "So I'm going to call Cliff out publicly here cus' I just saw him last week in Boston. Cliff, you've gotta design your game. The guys want to put it in. Come on. " Speaker 2: "Yeah, we'd love to. We'd love to work with ... With uh, you know, it's game development so it's always about working with ... With uh, with awesomely talented people and like uh, uh ... that's what we love to do at ... At Superhot like we ... We love to work on things and like it's very satisfying to work with the uh, with most talented uh, uh, people you can encounter. " Speaker 1: "Tell me about the art style. It's such a ... It's such a unique art style in that it's ... It's some look at it and go wow, it's really kind of ... It's ... I don't want to say bland but it's ... It's very ... It's very stark so how did you arrive on that and did you always have that idea for the game or did you settle on this and it just added into the ... To the uh, equation that made up to a great game? " Speaker 2: "Basically when we started uh, as a seven day FPS game, you know, at the very, very beginning we needed a style that was very fast and could actually like uh, develop in those uh, those seven days so back then we had those grey walls and we had the red enemies uh, but uh, as we ... As we uh, developed the game further the idea was um, always that uh, this style is very important for the game. That uh, that uh, it's important to ... For the game to be recognizable. " Speaker 1: "Mm-hmm (affirmative). " Speaker 2: "Because uh, because uh, many of the uh, of the, like uh, bug uh, first person shooter games they look very, very similar to each other- " Speaker 1: "Sure. " Speaker 2: "And we ... We didn't want to eh, eh ... We didn't want to do a game that looks like any other thing that you have seen uh, in games before so we wanted to ... To have something unique and we ... So wanted to keep that ... The original style of red and mostly ... Mostly uh, non-textured environments uh, from the very uh, from the very start. From the very first version of the game- " Speaker 1: "Right. " Speaker 2: "But we want to take it to the next level so it was uh, uh, the artist uh, uh, behind the style of the game like [inaudible 00:09:27] who was ... Was doing all those uh, who came up uh, uh, with uh, the next level for this seven day FPS style of the game and the next level forward was to make uh, the environments uh, uh, very white and concrete. " Speaker 1: "Yeah. " Speaker 2: "And uh, the enemies to keep them all interactable objects would be crystals. Enemies would be red crystals, which shine in light and matching is this ... A person that's really loves to eh, tweak the details of the ... Of how the crystal reacts to lighting uh, uh, so he was very obsessive about them that resulted in like uh, in the ... In a very unique uh, looking game. " Speaker 1: "Yeah and it is unique. As I said earlier, the ... The environment is very white and stark and- " Speaker 2: "Mm-hmm (affirmative). " Speaker 1: "Then you've got the enemies are red and then it looks like the interactive elements are black so it's real ... Once you've figure out the mechanic it ... That thread carries through the game. " Speaker 2: "Um, uh, can you repeat? " Speaker 1: "Yeah, I was just saying that the ... With the environment being white and the enemies being red and the objects that you can interact with with black it's ... It's fairly easy to understand what you need to do. " Speaker 2: "Yes, yes, yes. It's uh, it's uh, the visual style of Superhot is ... Is in many ways about clarity of you can do because it's a game where you actually dodge bullets. When you cut bullets in the air with ... With katana and if you want to cut a bullet in the air you need to see it very ... Very precisely where it is, right? So ... So uh, it cannot be ... If you would add more detail to the environment. Add more realistic style to the game then it wouldn't be as ... As readable as it is. As uh, as uh, uh, as easy to orient yourself in the ... In the ... In the environment as it is with this simplified uh, uh, uh, intense, uh, red, black and white style. " Speaker 1: "Now ... Now layered on top of the core gameplay, which we've been talking- " Speaker 2: "Mm-hmm (affirmative). " Speaker 1: "About up until this point. You have a very interesting UI. The user interface. " Speaker 2: "Mm-hmm (affirmative). " Speaker 1: "Tell me about how you guys settled on that cus' it's like a big DOS window. It's like circa nineteen-eighty. " Speaker 2: "Yes, yes. It was ... No, like in the ... From the game development perspective you want to do things that are unique and that uh, that uh, uh, that are rememberable, right? " Speaker 1: "Right. " Speaker 2: "And uh, we wanted to make uh, like every game needs a menu system, right? Like uh, uh, it's uh, it's necessary to ... To do one and we wanted to make uh, something that's uh ... That's uh, uh, that really like uh, falls in your, your, your memory. That's recognizable. So we went with this ... With this uh, uh ... With this Dos style interface uh, uh, a bit stylized so, so it's a bit more understandable than ... Than the uh, original terminals but it's uh ... It's really uh, resonated with people and like lots of ... It was Superhot was probably the first game where people said, "Wow, that's a very cool menu." " "That's something that nobody ... No game developer has uh, heard ever, I guess. " Speaker 1: "Yeah. " Speaker 2: "But nobody notices the menu. That's, that's, that's, that's the ... That's the curse of game development. " Speaker 1: "Well but it's also neat because gamers like to explore and when that menu comes up the first thing I'm doing is I'm clicking around to see what's in all the directories. What can I do here? " Speaker 2: "Yes, yes so uh, at first this ... This started just as a menu but as we discovered we can do uh, uh, do it as a DOS style uh, terminal with ... With file commander- " Speaker 1: "Yup. " Speaker 2: "Then you can actually place files there so maybe we could have a [inaudible 00:13:03] So that's a ... When we figure out that you can develop all those tiny mini games uh, in the menu and they're all ... They also became like uh, like a huge part of the Superhot. Both story and uh, and style. Yes, so you can generate your own carpets in Superhot menu. " Speaker 1: "That sounds ... I mean, You gotta check it out to be sure and there's a lot of people ... You know, they've been streaming it because it's been available on Steam and so forth for quite some time but I highly recommend you check it out. Superhot is on Xbox One. Tell me about the plans for where you guys are gonna go from here. I mean, it's always great to ship a game but I'm sure you guys have ideas for this. Can we expect some game add-ons or downloadable content or where do you want to go with it? " Speaker 2: "Yeah, currently we're ... We're working on a VR version of Superhot, which is ... Which is quite nice. " Speaker 1: "Oh my. " Speaker 2: "We just like had ... Had a uh, good day of uh, game development today, you know? Just sitting and uh, tweaking values then launching the game. Tweaking values, launching again. It was like a tiring day uh, for us but satisfying. " Speaker 1: "But that's ... That's what a digital artist does. You tweak the values, you launch the game until you find something that feels right and looks right and is just right. " Speaker 2: "Yes, yes, yes. Exact ... The, the, the, the ... This works exactly like that it's uh, it's uh, uh, uh, it's what we love, you know? Just shaping a new thing from ... From ... From grounds up uh, so that's what we're doing with uh, with VR version right now and uh, we are planning to do uh, uh, an expansion for Superhot, which will be a free DLC uh ... And uh, the current uh, direction for this uh, expansion is to do a procedurally generated uh, levels. " Speaker 1: "Wow. " Speaker 2: "That ... Different every time ... Every time you play them so instead of repeating one level uh ... One level continue until ... Until you make it uh ... This ... This levels ... This game, uh, uh, would be uh, different every time so you wouldn't ... So it would be uh, uh, more like a rogue-like game. Like a game where you don't want to die and you ... Your death will end your long, long streak so a bit uh, different take on Superhot mechanics but still with same old time moves only when you move uh, with grabbing weapons mid air, throwing them into faces of enemies, dodging bullets and things like that. " Speaker 1: "I also want to point out that, you know, we've talked a lot about the weapons and there's guns and so forth but there's also ... I got to a point where there's a katana. There's other types of weapons that are in the game. It's not just ... there's not just uh, guns correct? " Speaker 2: "Uh, yes, yes. Like uh, whenever we ... We ... We get this question. We always uh, it's not to say it's not about the weapons in the game. It's like you are the weapon in the game. " Speaker 1: "Right. " Speaker 2: "And it's like uh, uh, there are many ordinary items that you can take and use and use as improvised weapons so you can throw a bottle at the head of the enemy. You can take a baseball. You can ... You can take a crowbar. There's of course there's machine gun. Of course there is a shotgun. Every first person shooter needs a shotgun but you can have ... But why do you want the shotgun if you can have a katana and you can slice the bullets uh, out of the air, right? " "So that's uh, uh, uh, that's uh, there's ... There's this whole range of possibilities but you know ... Superhot is a game where just shooting a gun is ... Is uh, often like not the thing you want to do. Maybe you want to just take a gun away from the enemy and throw it him, right? It's uh ... It's uh ... It's uh, uh, uh, It's also useful. " Speaker 1: "Yeah. " Speaker 2: "It's also a strategy. " Speaker 1: "Well, I appreciate time. I know it's late there in Poland and I appreciate you staying up past your work day to chat about Superhot. Available now on Xbox One. Piotr, I really appreciate it and congratulations to you and the entire team there at Superhot and I look forward to seeing what you guys have cooked up in the future. " Speaker 2: "Oh, thank you. Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure."