2009-10-26 10:58 by Chaitra Shetty
Game development is sure going multi platform in India and Hyderabad seems to be the hotspot. Earlier this year, we saw the launch of Hanuman Boy Warrior meant for PS2 developed by Aurona Technologies, which was the 1st ever console game completely developed in India. And now we are hearing of PS3 game development from this southern techno city.
Hyderabad based Zen Technologies, a specialist in Defence simulation has forayed into gaming with its debut title for PS3 currently under development. Titled as ‘SnS’, the game belongs to the car action genre and is targeted at hardcore gamers of age group 16 years and above. With a team of 25 people working on it, the game is slated for a July 2010 release and is primarily targeted at USA and European regions.
The title will have 6.5 hours of game play in the story mode and will also have the multiplayer mode with added functionalities of VoIP, Friend’s lists, leadership board and downloadable contents. It boasts of 12 central characters and 30 main vehicles and the vehicles can be customized to make many more. The project kicked off at Zen in May 09 and currently the company has completed two cut scenes and first level with the submission of first playable level to Sony slated for later this month.
Speaking to GamingXpress.com Rajat Ojha of Zen Technologies shared, “For this game, we are using Infernal engine from Terminal Reality Inc which is behind the mega successful Ghostbusters: The Video Game, because it allows us to have massive destruction; it has got uncompromising physics, outstanding particle system, audio engine, support for speedtree, seamless interior/exterior scenarios and the best in class support. One more outstanding feature is that it is truly a cross platform engine which allows us to develop for any console or PC available in the market today. We are using this engine for the first time, not something we used for simulations earlier.”
The game has strong violence and carnage and tells the revengeful tale of a father who loses his son to mafia and then loses him forever. The whole gameplay starts building from here and it takes the gamer through a journey of pain and anger of the protagonist. Most settings of the game are Texan in appeal and full of urban streets, black market, downtown, backyards, freeways and interstates. There are huge tornadoes, lightning, heavy rains, day and night scenarios and almost completely destructible environment with huge explosions.
Rajat further explains, “This game has a strong story and all missions are tightly integrated to keep the momentum going. This genre in particular appeals to huge audience for e.g. GTA IV sold over 13 million copies, Flatout sold over 500,000 copies, Twisted Metal sold over 5 million copies in USA alone. If we see the statistics then most of the PS3 owners choose to play action/adventure or car games and since our game has both, we are sure to tap maximum PS3 owners. Also since PS3’s SPU give the console more processing power than any other console, we are leveraging this for larger than life explosions, particles and accurate collisions.”
The association between Sony and Zen Technologies happened when Zen developed a prototype in one of their existing game engines and presented it to Sony but formally the project started in May with altogether new technology and tools. Sony Europe liked the concept and Zen was asked to send Game Design Document which got cleared in the first go itself.
Zen plans to have extensive media coverage around the game and will be exhibiting its progress at all possible exhibitions and forums to generate excitement. Rajat adds, “We are coming up with some marketing plans which will be technology breakthrough and I’m sure that it’ll generate huge amount of curiosity amongst the hardcore gamers. Our simulation background helps us to look for various technology tools which are not yet used in gaming world. We will leave no stone unturned to make it as big as any other world class AAA release.”
So should we be expecting a simulation based game we ask? To which Rajat replies, “Definitely not! We have been doing simulations for over a decade and will continue to do but right now we wanted the next logical step since we are probably the oldest company in India who had been developing 3D interactive applications for so long and next logical step is definitely to get into gaming. I personally never differentiated between the two except that simulation products have much bigger and high fidelity input devices, accuracy in dynamics and training value whereas in games, we can fake many things and it has to be 100% entertainment. Technology wise, there had been no difference for us.”
On a concluding note Rajat shared, “We have entered gaming for good but at this moment, we want to remain focused on this project and make it as big as possible. We want to establish our own IP and it’s never easy so without thinking much about multiple projects or future projects, we want to finish it with perfection.”