Today James Marsden from ‘Velocity‘ developerFuturLabwas kind enough to sit down with us and answer a few questions about their upcoming PS4 release ‘Velocity 2X‘.
Console Monster: Greetings and thanks for setting aside the time to talk to me today. First off, could you let us know who you are and what is your role at FuturLab?
James Marsden: Sure, my name is James Marsden (@recurv) and I’m the founder and Managing Director at FuturLab. As for my role, I think my Twitter bio says it best: Creative Compass and Mission Commander!
CM: FuturLab is based in Brighton, correct? How would you describe the company, and has your location influenced your games in any way?
JM: I’m fond of this. I can identify FuturLab with scrappy-do. We’re small and full-to-bursting with ambition, though we’d be wearing a carbon nanoweave space suit instead of a collar. Our location has only affected us in that it’s a lovely place to live and work, which keeps our spirits high.
CM: Your latest release, ‘Velocity 2X’ is an action sci-fi platformer, can you tell me a little more of what the game is all about?
JM: It’s actually a platformer and a top-down shoot ‘em-up in one adventure. The key ingredient is teleportation at speed, and we give the player a feeling of pretty much unmatched badassery as they learn to master a huge number of satisfying mechanics.
CM: What are some of your favorite features or moments in the game? And is there anything that you had to leave out that you wish had made the final release?
JM: Jumping teledash is my favourite feature of the game. In fact, throwing a telepod, teleporting to the telepod in mid-air, and then performing a mid-air teledash through a fatal hazard is the apex of design ambition in this game.
Regarding stuff that didn’t make the final release, by the time we got through submission, we’d run out of features and changes we wanted to make to the game. We are 100% happy with it from a design perspective. That’s pretty rare.
CM: This is your first project on the PlayStation 4, correct? What were some of the difficulties and/or benefits of working with this new hardware?
JM: We found it quite straightforward actually. Sony has *massively* improved its development and publishing tools and workflow since the PSP era, which is when we started.
CM: The PlayStation 4 has some very unique features such as the DS4’s touch pad, light bar and gyroscopic sensor, did you support any of these hardware features? If so, what purpose do they serve?
JM: We support the use of the DS4 touch pad to throw telepods and to pinch and zoom the map, also to navigate menus. We also supported the DS4’s onboard speaker to alert the player when the need to drop a telepod at an important junction. The rumble also feels awesome.
CM: Velocity 2X seems to be steeped with sci-fi visuals and sounds, are there any major films or novels that have been an influence?
JM: The franchise art style was heavily inspired by the anime version of Thunderbirds, called Thunderbirds: 2086. Check out the intro sequence, it’s awesome. The Quarp Jet design was influenced by the DeLorean from Back to the Future, and Predator’s face. We were also inspired by Turrican 2 and Flashback. Two of my all time favourite games.
CM: What does the future hold for FuturLab?
JM: More interesting ideas executed with passion and precision!
CM: Speaking of other games, what are some of the current favorites of the team?
JM: OlliOlli, The Last of Us, Mario Kart 8, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and… Lego Harry Potter.
CM: Thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions, and best of luck with ‘Velocity 2X’ and any future titles as well!
JM: Any time and thanks for your interest!
Be sure to keep an eye our for our review of Velocity 2X when the game releases on Sept. 2nd! Until then, you can head over and check out the latest trailer here.