The next game from the creators of Astro’s Playroom will be their biggest work yet

The game Astro's Playroom was one of the biggest surprises of the PlayStation at the time of the launch of the PlayStation 5, which is included for free in all 9th generation Sony consoles by default.

BingMag.com The next game from the creators of Astro’s Playroom will be their biggest work yet

The game Astro's Playroom was one of the biggest surprises of the PlayStation at the time of the launch of the PlayStation 5, which is included for free in all 9th generation Sony consoles by default.

Prior to the game's release, it was easy to dismiss it as a short 3D platformer designed as a playable tech demo to show off the PlayStation 5's DualSense controller. We've seen this kind of thing before: a playable demo that shows off the slight tweaks to the features and capabilities of the newly acquired hardware.

However, Astro's Playroom is a really fun little game. was full of nostalgic references to the PlayStation's past, while also promising a bright future for the series and a great 3D platformer for the PlayStation. The Verge website named this game as the Wii Sports of PlayStation 5 and Eurogamer website called it one of the best games of all time when the game consoles were released. I also agree with them.

BingMag.com The next game from the creators of Astro’s Playroom will be their biggest work yet

Maybe we shouldn't have been so surprised. Astro's Playroom is the latest development from Team Asobi, who previously developed the critically acclaimed Astro Bot: Rescue Mission for PlayStation VR. During the development of Astro's Playroom, they were eager to prove that you can create great work outside of the realm of virtual reality games. ) has said in his new interview:

Of course, the game Astro's Playroom was created with the aim of showing the features of DualSense and a love letter to PlayStation and its history, but one of the goals was: Can we develop normal games and Traditional and non-virtual reality? What will it be like to control the main character and all these things? Are our skills enough for this?

Making a virtual reality game for PlayStation 4 is like making a game for PlayStation 3 console in terms of quality level of assets because you are technically in a limit. But when we go to PlayStation 5, this restriction will be removed. So that gave us a bit of reassurance.

It's great to know that whenever a PlayStation 5 is purchased, Astro is also being played by players. It was a big responsibility because if you make something that lacks charm and flavor, you may run the risk of the console itself giving off the same impression at first glance.

At the time of Astro's Playroom, the team Asubi was still part of Sony's Japan studio. However, in 2021, Sony announced that it plans to close the Japan studio, and instead Asubi's team will continue to operate as an independent studio. At the time, Asubi's team had about 35 employees, but now they have more than 60 employees, and Nicolas Duse expects that number to reach around 100.

BingMag.com The next game from the creators of Astro’s Playroom will be their biggest work yet

He said:

We currently have a game development team that is doing well but we want another team for We have research and development (R&D) and we want to expand it enough to explore interesting areas and potentially start other projects. We do not set any limits for ourselves. If good people want to join Asubi team, we are ready to talk with them. There is always something to do. There are always new projects to start. We are not limited by money and time. If we could double the studio like this, we'd have something for everyone.

An R&D team is essential to Team Asubi's studio. The studio is known for being creative and introducing new and fun gameplay ideas, and this requires a lot of trial and error. For example, maybe something like 90% of the studio members work directly on the development and production of the game, but there is this other small team that is in the background touching the technologies of the future or working with the same technologies that we are dealing with today. We have, but it leads them to a new path. To maintain this freshness, this research and development team must be in a state of rotation. It means that the members of the studio work on the development of a game and then after some time they go to this research and development team and this cycle continues. It will follow them but will be a full-fledged commercial title and their biggest project to date. This could be for people who really liked the studio's previous projects It's great news.

BingMag.com The next game from the creators of Astro’s Playroom will be their biggest work yet

Nicolas Doss also mentions that they are still going to continue their amazing work. Continue with PlayStation hardware and DualSense. He says that the DualSense, with its haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, has become a special weapon for their team, and they plan to continue doing amazing things with these features.

Dose says the Asubi team has made the most of its proximity to the PlayStation hardware team in Japan: "We're one of the first studios to get prototypes of the PlayStation 5 and We got DualSense. Even Dual Sense didn't look anything like it does now when we got it. It was a big bundle with boards and cables sticking out, but it had the standout features like adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, and more; So we tested it and worked on it.

All of this ties into the company's "five key values" of magic, innovation, playfulness, universality and quality. Dose tells us that all of these principles can be applied to everything his team does, from creating sound effects to presenting a PowerPoint.

BingMag.com The next game from the creators of Astro’s Playroom will be their biggest work yet

Magic can be related to the aspect of technology, the concept of which is the discovery of a mechanism that can make hardware - be it a handle or a virtual reality headset - magical. Innovation, playfulness, and quality are self-explanatory, and universality is about the studio's desire to create games that appeal globally:

We're in Japan, but we make games for a global audience. So we have to be smart about what's great about Japan... There's a lot about the local culture and game-making culture that's really unique and can be adapted for an international audience. For example, we work in Japanese and English. So our Japanese people learn English and other people learn Japanese. We make sure that this approach of being bilingual is supported by the company. It's important to have this international mindset.

Nicolas Doucet, who is French himself, points out that about 75 percent of the studio's members are Japanese, but the number of members added to the studio from all over the world is growing. To him, what makes a game "Japanese" isn't its genre or its visual and art style, but rather what it feels like. "We want to make sure that when people play our games, there's a feeling that comes from the Japaneseness of the game."

I remember talking to the team about character controls, I think it was for Astro Bot: Rescue Mission and we were talking about how things weren't right, and some of the engineers really understood why it wasn't working because they were visualizing the code in their heads and when the system inputs happened, They can understand why that thing might not feel good. It might be because there is a delay due to an animation playing there.

BingMag.com The next game from the creators of Astro’s Playroom will be their biggest work yet

This perfectionism In the way the game controls and the characters, it really flows in the veins of the Japanese developers. It has always been this way. Moving a character in a Japanese game is something unique. The feeling you have and the pleasure you get is wonderful. When you look at developers like Platinum Games Studios and experience Bayonetta, the character movement there is flawless. They are the best at this perfectionism. It's their native culture.

The Asobi team has just moved into a new office, although many team members are currently working remotely from home to continue developing the game. However, all members get together every two weeks to show off what they've been working on and then get to play and experience the game itself. That's why the new office space is filled with spaces for play instead of just spaces for work.

We've found that with a hybrid approach to work, an office space at least for us is the way to go. through which we can get together and play. By doing this, we play together and understand and discuss the direct experience of the game and get new ideas. We've created a studio that fits this approach.

Time for face-to-face time, handing the controller off to someone next to you, asking other members if the feel of the game is getting across, and all that stuff. Possible It's possible remotely, but it's not the same when you're all sitting on the couch in the same room talking to each other up close.

This process where developers work on something for two weeks to Then show it to the other members, something Nicolas Doucet has learned and practiced since his days at PlayStation's London studio.

BingMag.com The next game from the creators of Astro’s Playroom will be their biggest work yet

"When you're trying to innovate, you need to know very quickly whether you're on the right track or not," he continues. If you spend six months and then find out that the method was wrong, it could end up costing you a lot. So this fast iteration approach works really well for anything that requires heavy prototyping and modeling. Because of the field we're in, we tend to make games that have a lot of little innovations. That's why we have to test them quickly.

However, another key influence comes from outside of PlayStation and connects to Lego. Studio director Tim Asubi says:

I worked for Lego before PlayStation, and Lego had 5 key values and criteria. However, this criterion was slightly different; Things like creativity, imagination and other things. In fact, every experience you build from Lego really aligns with those key values. So when I arrived in Japan, I had a meeting with the founding members of the studio and we discussed building the team around the same golden rules. while the name of the Asobu team is derived from "Asobu" which is a Japanese verb equivalent to "to play" and this name connects to the heart of what this studio is about; Playing. This isn't one of those PlayStation studios looking to deliver a powerful story experience, or even one of their new teams working on making service-oriented games. From its very name to the games it wants to make, Team Asobi's purpose is about something much more fundamental.

BingMag.com The next game from the creators of Astro’s Playroom will be their biggest work yet

Astrobot game director and team manager Asubi concludes: With this name, we decided to set a reminder to ourselves that everything we do is based on the joy of playing. It's not just a game, it's more than that and it's about playing as a game and entertainment. It's the kind of thing where everything you do gives you a special pleasure and makes you feel good."

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