We spoke to Rocket League's Project Lead about the game & its upcoming PS4 beta.
Rocket League is an upcoming physics-based sports game that will premiere on the PlayStation 4 later this year. We recently had a Q&A with Psyonix's Project Lead, Thomas Silloway, about the game, its features and the upcoming PS4 beta.
For those who didn’t play Rocket League’s predecessor, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars, could you explain what kind of gameplay this title will offer?
"Sure! Rocket League is actually a pretty simple concept: Football (soccer) meets motorsports. All the same rules of traditional soccer apply in Rocket League, of course, except we're using vehicles instead of people -- and each one of those Battle-Cars has a high-powered, supersonic rocket engine strapped to their rear-end.
"Our game is also heavily reliant on realistic physics, which makes position and speed an important factor in how you play. We've also given our vehicles the ability to jump, which allows players to do bicycle kicks with two tons of aluminum and steel. All in all, we think it's pretty cool."
Is there anything specific you learned from Battle Cars on the PS3 that you were able to apply when developing Rocket League on the PS4?
"The most important thing we learned is just how ravenous players can be for a game like this. That took us by surprise. We also learned how important it is to include the things we were missing in the original Battle-Cars to keep solo players happy and multiplayer more varied -- things like customization, season mode, and more."
What improvements and features makes Rocket League stand out from Battle Cars?
"We've tried to make Rocket League better in every way, and that means that we had to include the features that we didn't have in the original that I mentioned above. Player customization and season mode are now in the game for sure, but we've also added dedicated multiplayer servers instead of our old peer-to-peer setup. Our physics are more realistic. We have more Battle-Cars. Our visuals are a HUGE improvement over SARPBC and players have more options. We have a better interface and we've included a number of surprises we haven't revealed yet. The list goes on and on, and we're really proud of that."
How much gameplay and replayability do you think the single-player Season mode will offer?
"We're hoping that it offers a lot. We haven't revealed too much about it yet (we're saving that for closer to release), but it will have team customization elements, splitscreen support, and more. We'll go into further details in the near future."
What are some examples of vehicles we can use in Rocket League?
"One of the key similarities with all vehicles is that there are no stat boosts or differences between cars. We want the game to offer an even playing field, so the vehicles in Rocket League are more about personal expression and preference more than anything else. The main difference between the Battle-Cars is that they offer slightly different hit boxes, but the rest is all aesthetic. That said, we'll have race cars, buggies, trucks, concept cars, cars that defy description, and at least one vehicle that we think people are going to freak out over."
How many Arenas will be available at launch, and how do they vary from each other?
"We are still finalizing that number, but whatever it ends up being, there will be more stadiums in the future because we're releasing additional maps as free DLC post-release.
"As for the playing fields themselves, they are pretty similar, since we're trying to offer a fair, sports-like environment for competitive players. Where the differences come in, though, are with the visuals and settings. Some stadiums have different weather than others, or take place in another part of the world, or are indoors instead of outdoors. We've brought back locations from the previous game as well, and given them an updated look or presentation."
How long do you anticipate the PlayStation 4 beta to run? Can players signup for testing yet?
"The beta length is something we're looking to finalize this week, actually. There are a number of outside factors that influence that (like where it will be available, whether or not we create time windows instead of open play, etc). We're looking to have it all finalized and submitted for approval soon and then make our announcement, along with how to sign up, as soon as we have the go-ahead."
Will the game be portable to the PS Vita?
"It's definitely going to be remote play, we have that tested and working now. A Vita-specific version isn't something we have begun work on, though. We have a small team, so we have to be smart about how to use our resources, so for now, our focus has been on the PlayStation 4 and PC version.
"We would consider a Vita version, though. It will all depend on where we're at in the next few months."
What kind of soundtrack can we expect in Rocket League?
"It's an electronic soundtrack, for sure. We've provided glimpses at it in our trailers up to this point and that's the vibe we're going for. Our Sound Designer (and resident composer), Mike Ault has done a great job of putting this together and it's so good, we're even considering releasing it as its own entity along with the game."
Thanks to Thomas Silloway for taking the time to speak with us! Keep an eye on the official site for more information about the PlayStation 4 beta of Rocket League.
Ann "Cyliena" Hosler, Managing Editor