SDCC 2012: The Secret Origins of ‘PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale’

Chan Park, president of SuperBot was joined by his team to talk about the mash-up fighter during SDCC.

Facts: SuperBot loves that one track from Justice. It’s all up in everyone of their trailers.

Park led off by explaining the genesis of the game, saying that originally it was going to be developed by Naughty Dog who was in the middle of The Last of Us–so publisher Sony simply decided to start up SuperBot from scratch to build All-Stars. Development started about three years ago with a hand-picked development team with a lot of experience in the fighting game experience.

Game designer Omar Kendall says that the appeal of joining the team came from his passion for fighting games along with his love of the characters populating All-Stars.

He continued that the game is a celebration of PlayStation history, with each level being a mashup of two different worlds–for instance, Hades has elements of both the underworld from God of War and visual pieces from Patapon. Kendall says the whole idea is about exploiting worlds colliding, and playing up the absurdity of Kratos getting into a brawl with PaRappa.

Park then presented a pitch video from the original concept for the game, which was originally called Title Fight, but still had many of the same elements that ultimately made their way into the game. The SuperBot president was thankful for Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica for trusting his team to play around with characters from their stable. When working with the other Sony teams, SuperBot was given a lot of leeway in terms of what they could do with the environments, but they collaborated closely when it came to the moves and design of the fighters.

Kendall says that when nailing the characters’ moves, some of it was as simple as translating what they’ve done in previous games, such as Kratos’ square, square, triangle combo. Alternately, when working with PaRappa, it was about figuring out how to articulate the moves for a character whose mainly associated with rapping. In that specific case, they decided that PaRappa would spend a lot of time training with Onion Sensei, and therefore would know kung-fu.

Going into depth about the fighting mechanics, Kendall talked about the three-level “Super” system. The SuperBot team made the decision early on to not make the fights dependent on health meter since may players would be trying a fighting game for the first time. So to defeat an opponent in the game, a player would have to max out their Super and execute one of the game’s cinematic finishers.

Kendall and Park then revealed two of the new fighters to the game’s lineup: Cole McGrath, the electricity-powered hero/anti-hero from Sucker Punch’s Infamous. Cole will have a few projectile attacks as well as his vortex ability from the game. Up close, he’ll wield a pair of energy swords and his super will pop up in the foreground, targeting the other players with the vortex.

Jak and Daxter will also be joining the game as a combo character–Jak will have a bunch of ranged abilities as well as the “Dark Jak” abilities. Many of his attacks are weapon-based, though, which looks pretty cool.

Kendall also revealed some of the new alternate costumes, including Pimp Suit Heihachi, Chains of Olympus Kratos, a space suited PaRappa, pirate Fat Princess, a heavy armor Helghan, Robin Hood Sly Cooper (which was a request from the Sly Cooper team), and tuxedoed Toro.

All-Stars will be available October 23.

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