Saverio Caporusso, founder of Troglobytes Games, speaks with GamingBolt about the twin stick shooter.
There’s nothing quite like a good twin-stick shooter and Troglobytes Games’ recently released HyperParasite is a healthy dose of just that. Mixing its flashy and frenetic action with roguelike elements, it’s a game that promises a lot of replay value and high-octane action, and the fact that the game was in early access for a year prior to its full launch has definitely helped it make some improvements. Recently, we conducted an interview with the game’s developers in hopes of learning more about it- you can read our conversation with Troglobytes Games founder Saverio Caporusso below.
NOTE: This interview was conducted prior to the game’s full launch.
"Being one full year in Early Access helped us better shape the gameplay with precious players’ feedback."
How much has having been in early access for nearly a year helped with development?
It helped a lot! Being one full year in Early Access helped us better shape the gameplay with precious players’ feedback. HyperParasite allows for tons of different combinations and offers a different gameplay experience on each run, so testing would have been tragic without players’ help.
Have there been any major feature additions or improvements that have come about as a direct result of feedback received from players during early access?
Yes. One of the main issues players had with HyperParasite is that once you progress to a new level, you have no unlocked host bodies, so the game could get really hard.
Some players gave us different ideas/suggestions, and we ended up taking one of them and implementing it in the gameplay.
That’s how the ‘freezers’ came to be: in the shop (which is present in each level) the player can now find some cryogenic containters where host bodies can be stored; you can then retrieve such bodies in later levels, whenever you want. We think it’s a clever idea and we’re really happy it came directly from players.
The concept of constantly possessing new hosts and gaining new abilities as a result is a very interesting one, but how much variety can players expect in terms of these different abilities?
We wanted the game to feel ‘different’ on each subsequent run, so we invested in a large amount of host bodies (there are 60!), items, skills, secrets and whatnot, and of course we rely on procedural level generation to make things a little bit different each time.
HyperParasite’s progression, character classes, and the aforementioned abilities all sound like they can come together to create an intricate web of options, especially when procedurally generated maps are added on top- how much of a focus was it during development to ensure that that variety was in place, and that it was as abundant as this?
The concept of re-playability has been of high importance since day one of development; we really wanted to keep players engaged and find/unlock new things on each run.
There are also some subtle mechanics that will make levels bigger and harder as you progress in the game and unlock new stuff, to keep the challenge alive.
"Each boss fight represents a different challenge; they are all inspired by old arcade games (just like everything else in HyperParasite!)."
Can you talk about the boss fights, and what players can expect to see from them in terms of diversity and challenge?
Each boss fight represents a different challenge; they are all inspired by old arcade games (just like everything else in HyperParasite!).
In order to succeed, the players need to understand their patterns and their soft spots, which (especially during the first runs) can prove to be a really tough task!
HyperParasite sports a very unique and interesting 3D pixel art aesthetic- how did you land on this look for the game?
We did a lot of pre-production and testing before deciding for the final look of the game. We wanted it to look ‘retro’, but at the same time we didn’t want to rely on pixel art alone, because we like to experiment and try new things.
In the end, we went for a retro pixelated 3D style, which works really good for such a game, if you ask us! A lot of people like the overall look of the game, while other (especially younger people) find it quite weird, but still interesting.
Do you have any plans to add online co-op to HyperParasite down the road?
We have a lot of crazy ideas for the game (and an online co-op mode could be one of them), but it will really depend on how the game performs; being a small indie team we need to focus our resources on what really works.
We really hope to be able to give HyperParasite the updates and improvements it deserves.
Will the game will feature Xbox One X and PS4 Pro-specific enhancements? Is 4K/60 FPS on the cards?
There are no specific enhancements for last generation, being the game retro-inspired we don’t really need all the power to improve it graphically, we still want it to look like an old game from 80s/90s.
How is the game running on the original Xbox One and PS4, in terms of frame rate and resolution?
The game runs at a steady 60 FPS on both Xbox One and PS4.
"Switch has been our primary target platform for HyperParasite since the beginning, because we thought it was the right game for such a console."
What are the docked and undocked resolution and frame rate of the Switch version?
HyperParasite runs at 60 FPS on both docked and undocked Switch modes.
As an indie developer yourself, what’s your opinion on the Switch, which seems to have become a haven for indie games?
It’s been our primary target platform for HyperParasite since the beginning, because we thought it was the right game for such a console.
It is indeed the best performing platform for indie games at the moment, we’ll see what happens with the new generations of PS/XBOX around the corner.
Given that next-gen consoles are right around the corner, have you given any thought to next-gen ports for the game?
We’ll try and port HyperParasite for all the new consoles as soon as we manage to get our hands on the devkits. We want the game to be published and played everywhere we can!