Frozenbyte will be making the jump to next generation consoles with Trine 2 Complete Story for the PlayStation 4. Running at 1080P/60FPS, Trine 2: Complete Story will come packed in with Goblin Menace expansion campaign and a secret unlockable level called the Dwarven Caverns.
We caught up with Frozenbyte’s Marketing Manager Kai Tuovinen to learn more about this awesome platformer and how it will be different on the PlayStation 4.
Ravi Sinha: Trine 2: Complete Story will mark the second time that Frozenbyte self-publishes a game. Compared to the Director’s Cut, what was different about self-publishing on the PlayStation 4?
Kai Tuovinen: Both Nintendo and Sony have been very good at dealing with independent developers as of late, so there were no major differences in self-publishing for the PS4 as compared to the Wii U. Some guidelines for developers may have been a bit out-of-date or hard to interpret, but other than that self-publishing has been pretty smooth on the PS4.
For the PS4 release, we had to work a bit faster to be able to make the launch (which we hopefully will), so we have been a bit busier with both the development as well as PR and marketing side. Unfortunately we didn’t make the biggest gaming conventions earlier this Fall such as Gamescom or PAX because at the time we didn’t have anything playable. So we might have missed some publicity and marketing opportunities there, but we’ll see how the launch goes.
"The content [on PS4] will be the same as on the Wii U (Director's Cut) and on the PC where people have Complete Story. The additional Goblin Menace levels and Dwarven Caverns will be new to those with the PS3 or Xbox 360 versions."
Ravi Sinha: Frozenbyte announced right out of the gate that Trine 2: Complete Story would be 1080p/60 FPs – thus side-stepping the current mess the industry sees itself in concerning the same. How easy or hard was it to implement the same on the PlayStation 4 however?
Kai Tuovinen: The PS4 is a very powerful machine and we noticed this right away when we first got our hands on the device. We were very surprised when pretty much the first version of our game running on PS4 was working with 60fps at 1080p. As a result, we also decided to test how the 3D would work and were very happy to see it on a console for the first time, as glorious as ever!
Ravi Sinha: Was overall development on the PS4 easier due to its PC-like architecture? What advantages do you think the console release holds over the PC version, besides the addition of all past content and full HD visuals?
Kai Tuovinen: Developing for the PS4 was very straightforward for us, and the PC-like architecture certainly helps. We had no major hurdles in development and we have been very pleased with the PS4, both in terms of architecture as well as power.
In terms of advantages over the PC version, I think some people prefer playing their games on a controller as opposed to a keyboard and mouse – and the PS4’s new controller has been a very good fit for Trine 2: Complete Story. The addition of the touch pad has given players the ability to use it in various ways – for example when playing with the Wizard, players can use it to manipulate objects and draw boxes or planks. It works very intuitively and I think adds to the experience.
Ravi Sinha: Speaking about the content of Trine 2: Complete Story, it will feature the Goblin Menace expansion and the Dwarven Caverns, previously available only the Wii U. What other content will you be adding to Complete Story to further differentiate from past releases?
Kai Tuovinen: The content will be the same as on the Wii U (Director’s Cut) and on the PC where people have Complete Story. The additional Goblin Menace levels and Dwarven Caverns will be new to those with the PS3 or Xbox 360 versions.
All in all the differentiating factors are more on the visual side, which we think is a nice upgrade with 1080p and 60fps, and also the 3D support.
"Overall, I think the trend for stereoscopic 3D has been a bit unnoticed in games, probably due to the relatively high price of the required equipment until recently (TV or monitors and the glasses). When the prices drop, I think more games will start supporting 3D and they'll be more than just quick additions."
Ravi Sinha: What are your thoughts on the DualShock especially when it comes to a game like Trine 2? Does it feel more responsive than current control schemes? Also, will Trine 2: Complete Story use any of the DS4’s exclusive features such as the touch-pad?
Kai Tuovinen: The new controller is well suited for Trine 2, and we are using the touch pad in the game. You can use it with all the characters, but perhaps it adds mostly to the Wizard’s gameplay, due to his tendencies to conjure objects and move them around with his powers. For the other characters, the touch pad can be used with the Thief to aim your arrows, and with the Knight you can use it to throw his hammer, swing his sword and block with his shield. The touch pad is a nice addition, but you can still also use the thumbstick if that’s what you prefer.
Ravi Sinha: Trine 2: Complete Story will also support stereoscopic 3D. Considering the shift in focus from 3D gaming to 4K or Ultra HD (even Nintendo has launched a 2DS, ditching the stereoscopic 3D aspect entirely), what are your thoughts on the overall trend of stereoscopic 3D for games in general? What will it add to the experience in Complete Story?
Kai Tuovinen: I feel that 4K is somewhat where 3D was a few years ago, and 3D is now widely available in nearly all the new TV’s that are coming out. 3D was something we were a bit skeptical about at first when we didn’t have a clear idea about the capabilities of the console until we had our game running on it. When we first saw how smoothly the game played even in 3D our first thought was “We definitely want to have 3D, this looks great!”. It’s almost as if we’d forgotten how nice of a feature it is, because we only had a few monitors that support it and it’s been a while since we worked on 3D on the PC side. So when PS4 development started, we decided to get a few new 3D TV’s, and it’s been very pretty to look at.
For Trine 2, we feel the 3D version has always been the definitive one in terms of graphics, although it never gathered that much attention from the press or fans (except a few enthusiasts of course!). Probably because 3D devices were so scarce earlier, but now the situation has improved a lot.
Since the game is played on a “2D path”, the stereoscopic 3D is a very pleasant experience on the eyes. All the backdrops and everything you see on screen are 3D objects in a 3D environment, so the world really comes to life when you see it fully in 3D, and on a big screen.
Overall, I think the trend for stereoscopic 3D has been a bit unnoticed in games, probably due to the relatively high price of the required equipment until recently (TV or monitors and the glasses). When the prices drop, I think more games will start supporting 3D and they’ll be more than just quick additions. When people have the devices, they’ll also look to make use of them and hopefully they’ll notice our game. I hope that 3D becomes a bigger thing now with PS4 – it’s a very nice experience in games that are well-suited for that like Trine 2!
"The Steam Machines, Controller and SteamOS all look very promising. We'll probably know more once we've tried out the real deal – but from the videos we've seen and the announcements, especially the controller looks really exciting."
Ravi Sinha: What can you tell us about the follow-up to Trine 2? What will it change or improve upon and will it be exclusive to next-gen consoles?
Kai Tuovinen: We haven’t announced the sequel to Trine 2 yet, although there are always rumors. Our next major project is still unannounced. However, if there was to be a follow-up for the series, we’d probably like to do something a bit out of the ordinary, so you’ll just have to wait and see! Console exclusivity is something we are not planning on, because we prefer to be on as many platforms as possible.
Ravi Sinha: Given the overall success of the series thanks to Steam on the PC, what are your thoughts on the upcoming Steam Machines, Steam Controller and SteamOS? Is Frozenbyte considering something tailor-made to the Steam living room experience in the coming years?
Kai Tuovinen: The Steam Machines, Controller and SteamOS all look very promising. We’ll probably know more once we’ve tried out the real deal – but from the videos we’ve seen and the announcements, especially the controller looks really exciting. We’ve also supported Linux for some time now so it looks like a really good fit for us. I can’t wait to attend the Steam Dev Days in January next year!
We like to have our games on multiple platforms, so during our design process we consider the implications of our decisions on the available options at the time – controllers vs. mouse and keyboard is an example that comes to mind. When we get to try the new Steam controller, we might consider doing something specifically with it in mind, but because we haven’t tried it out yet, it’s hard to say.
Ravi Sinha: Is there any specific reason why you are not bringing the game to the Xbox One?
Kai Tuovinen: Xbox One hasn’t been ruled out yet, but Microsoft has been a bit slow on things and we’ll have to see what happens.
"It’s a great GPU [on PS4]. From what I’ve picked up from conversations with the programmers, it’s a high-end GPU similar to those found on the PC market."
Ravi Sinha: From a development perspective, what are your thoughts on the PS4’s GPU? How does it compare to some of the other PC GPUS in the market? Furthermore how different it is in terms of customization and tools optimization?
Kai Tuovinen: It’s a great GPU. From what I’ve picked up from conversations with the programmers, it’s a high-end GPU similar to those found on the PC market. That’s really where my expertise ends though, so I can’t really provide any juicy details or proper tech speak.
Tools is an area that always improves drastically over the years following the launch of a new console, and we’re confident that will be true for PS4 as well. What we have now is good and it will only get better!
Ravi Sinha: Is there anything else you want to say to gamers who will be picking up the PS4 version?
Kai Tuovinen: Thanks for the support and I hope you enjoy the game! Try the 3D if you have the opportunity 🙂
Trine 2: Complete Story for PlayStation 4 is available on the US PlayStation Store for $19.99. The game will be released in Europe for € 16.99 on PS4 launch day on November 29.