Jaakko Maaniemi tells us how much of Crimsonland has changed for the PlayStation 4.
Originally released in 2003, Crimsonland has now been remastered for the PlayStation 4. The game is packed with RPG elements and is played from a top down perspective. The player needs to take down different monsters and earn new weapons, perks along the way. GamingBolt recently got in touch with Jaakko Maaniemi, who is the PR Coordinator and Producer at 10tons, to know all about the game.
Rashid Sayed: Before we begin, can you please introduce yourself and the company you work for?
Jaakko Maaniemi: My name is Jaakko Maaniemi and I work as a PR Coordinator and Producer at 10tons. I joined the company about three years ago, but 10tons has been around since 2003. We’re based in Tampere, Finland, and there’s nine full time employees in our studio. What’s special about 10tons is that we use internally developed tech to develop for an unusually wide range of platforms.
Rashid Sayed: Can you please explain the gameplay in Crimsonland for those who are unaware?
Jaakko Maaniemi: Crimsonland is a super gratifying, addictive and intense top-down dual stick arena shooter. The gameplay is all about mowing down massive hordes of monsters, splattering ridiculous amounts of blood in the process. The real meat of the game is the Survival mode, where you get to “build” each run from the weapons and perks you’ve unlocked in the Quests mode.
"We use the DS4 touchpad when it's feasible. We support it in Sparkle 2 for aiming, and it works pretty well. Touchpad works in Crimsonland as well, but there aren't many situations where you need that finesse in aiming, to be honest."
Rashid Sayed: Can you talk about the different perks and special abilities?
Jaakko Maaniemi: Perks are basically the core of Crimsonland. Or, rather the way you’re able to figure out different strategies based on how the perks interact with each other, the weapon you have and the playstyle you enjoy. You need to experiment a lot to discover all the nuances and combinations.
Something like a sawed-off shotgun and poison bullets perk is a pretty obvious combination; the shotgun blasts out a lot of weak pellets, but lace in the poison and all the monsters you hit die pretty quick. This will take you only so far though, as sooner or later the rate of monster spawning will just overwhelm you. So what could you add to this to get further? Hint: Faster reloading and larger ammo capacity, for example!
Rashid Sayed: How is the unified architecture and 8GB of GDDR 5 RAM of the PS4 helped development matters?
Jaakko Maaniemi: Crimsonland is a remake of the first game 10tons ever made back in 2003. And even then the game was targeted for quite low end rigs. About 99% of the game code is still exactly the same as it was back then. No surprise then that the Playstation 4 is able to run the game without breaking a sweat, even if we did replace all the graphics and set the game to run 1080p 60fps.
The Vita version runs exactly the same code and graphics, but obviously on lower resolution.
Rashid Sayed: From a developer perspective, do you see developers using the extra GDDR5 RAM and more GPU compute to churn better exclusive and multiplatform games on the PS4?
Jaakko Maaniemi: Definitely, simply due to competition. Especially AAA titles will just need to start reaching for the boundaries and then pushing them, simply because some of them will do that and the rest can’t afford to stay far behind.
Our perspective is quite different, as we indeed target a very wide range of platforms, all the way down to mobile. High end mobile is very capable these days though, and the hardware is refreshed a couple of times a year.
I’m not sure if many people realize it, but resolutions far exceeding the 1080p PS4 is practically capable of are quite plentiful in mobile. High end tablets have 2560×1600 screens, for example. That’s a lot of pixels.
Rashid Sayed: Are you guys using the touch pad controls of the PS4? If yes, can you please explain how?
Jaakko Maaniemi: We use the DS4 touchpad when it’s feasible. We support it in Sparkle 2 for aiming, and it works pretty well. Touchpad works in Crimsonland as well, but there aren’t many situations where you need that finesse in aiming, to be honest. Mostly you’re better off just spraying and praying.
Rashid Sayed: Is it safe to assume that Crimsonland will run at 1080p and 60fps on the PS4?
Jaakko Maaniemi: Very safe. It looks pretty cool with a couple of hundred monsters on the screen at the same time.
Rashid Sayed: Is there a specific reason why you guys are not working on any Xbox One games at the moment? It seems that Crimsonland is not planned for the Xbox One.
Jaakko Maaniemi: Like said, we’re multiplatform developers and our strategy is to support as many relevant platforms as we can. Consoles are a special category of platforms because you need an agreement with the manufacturer to start developing, and I can’t get into detail about those discussions we may or may not be having. Let’s just say Sony has been really good to us, and that’s why we have three games on PS4 and four on PS Vita, with more on the way. Being a Vita developer probably helped us get on PS4 early.
"The game has 60 missions, but that's basically like a warmup for Survival. Or, if you will, the Quests mode is the “levelling” phase where you gather all the loot (weapons) and abilities (perks) that you will need in the “endgame”, which is the Survival."
Rashid Sayed: Most indie developers working with Sony release their games on the PS4 as well as on the Vita. Are there any plans to bring it on the Vita and make it cross buy?
Jaakko Maaniemi: Crimsonland will launch on PS Vita August 19th in SCEA region and August 20th in SCEE region. It’ll be crossbuy, like all our titles.
Rashid Sayed: How many missions will the game have and how are you planning to improve the replay value?
Jaakko Maaniemi: The game has 60 missions, but that’s basically like a warmup for Survival. Or, if you will, the Quests mode is the “levelling” phase where you gather all the loot (weapons) and abilities (perks) that you will need in the “endgame”, which is the Survival. There’s countless hours of entertainment to be had with Survival, both in solo and co-op, as you try to beat your highscore one more time with clever combinations of perks and weapons (and of course the perfect run with a couple of lucky escapes).
Rashid Sayed: Is there anything else you want to tell us about Crimsonland?
Jaakko Maaniemi: There’s a free trial, check it out! You haven’t really discovered what the game is about until you’ve got about 200-250k score in Survival. My highscore is something like 860k, and I’m really impressed by anything past 1 million.