TSA Talks Rocket League And Following Up SARPBC With Developer Psyonix

Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars has always had a special place in our hearts here at TheSixthAxis. Released way back in 2008 exclusively on PlayStation 3, the game’s simple combination of footie, cars, physics proved an instant recipe for success and one that continues to nourish a fervent fan-base.

Now, in 2015, more than six years after the launch of the original, developer Psyonix is gearing up to release a sequel. Coming to PC and PlayStation 4 later “this spring”, Rocket League is the game many will have no doubt been dreaming of, brining with it a raft of new features and improvements.

Speaking with Project Lead, Thomas Silloway, he gave us the run-down of what to expect in Rocket League and how SARPBC fans made the sequel a possibility.

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TSA: How has SARPBC measured in terms of both critical and commercial success since launching on PSN? Did this influence the decision to make a sequel?

Thomas Silloway: Battle-Cars’ success was a huge factor in making a sequel. When we first started work on the original game, we had no idea that it would create the kind of dedicated fans that it did, nor did we expect it to garner two million-plus downloads.

It has been well over six years since the first game released and people are still playing online today. Our fans are still making YouTube videos and still holding tournaments as well. We can’t ignore that kind of loyalty.

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TSA: What are the biggest new features in Rocket League?

Thomas: We’ve tried to improve on every aspect of the original game, so we’ve added a lot: A New Season Mode, a super-deep customization system, highly-improved graphics, more Battle-Cars, more stats, more leaderboards, a better replay editor, better physics, you name it, we tried our best to make it better.

TSA: Why has Psyonix decided to return to the IP after so long?

Thomas: It’s our fans. We STILL have people buying and playing the game as we write this, and that’s really amazing. We also have a lot of passionate Battle-Cars people here at the studio, so when you combine that with a rabid player base it’s hard not to want to do a sequel.

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TSA: What changes you guys have made to the core gameplay?

Thomas: One of the reasons the original game did so well was because of its gameplay, so we kept the fundamentals. It’s still soccer with vehicles, but we’ve incorporated more realistic physics this time around and our controls feel a lot more responsive. Those two elements, combined with Season Mode for solo players have improved the game a lot.

TSA: What new multiplayer features can fans expect?

Thomas: The most important new feature is dedicated servers. The original game was peer-to-peer, but Rocket League’s new setup means that games will run better and be more secure. We also have a really cool new skill-based matchmaking system that should keep matches competitive, though we still have private matches and 2, 3, and 4-player splitscreen support as well. We know how much everyone likes to play with their friends, so that was an important inclusion.

TSA: Why choose PlayStation 4 as your leading platform for Rocket League?

Thomas: We had a dedicated built-in audience on the PlayStation 3 already, so it was a no-brainer for us to move to the PlayStation 4 for the sequel. Plus, the PS4 architecture and tools make it easy for us to transfer development between it and the PC, which is an important but underrated benefit.

Finally, Sony has been very supportive of the game and has really gotten behind it from the beginning, and we really appreciate that.

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TSA: Can you give a rough indication of how many vehicles and maps the game will feature?

Thomas: We’re still finalizing the map count as we speak, so nothing to report there yet. However, as we have said before (and we still mean it), we will continue to release additional arenas as free DLC post-release. So whatever our final “day one” map count is, it will inevitably expand at no additional charge to our players.

As for vehicles, we’re looking at about 10 or so for launch.

TSA: What kind of single-player content can fans look forward to in Rocket League?

Thomas: You can play an exhibition match of 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, or 4v4 against bots in solo mode, but you can also play Season Mode, which is a big addition. You can even play Season Mode via splitscreen multiplayer if you want to team up with friends or family. We’re pretty excited about it.

TSA: Will Rocket League include an option for local tournament play?

Thomas: We haven’t announced anything about that yet, but we do plan on talking about our tournament plans closer to our release window.


 

For more on Rocket League, be sure to keep an eye out for more news and updates as we approach launch. You can also find out more by visiting the game’s official website.

We’d like to thank Thomas at Psyonix for helping us in conducting this interview.

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5 Comments

  1. Absolutely loved the game on PS3 in 4 player split screen. As long as this has it too I’m sold.

  2. Sounds great, really looking forward to this!

  3. Can’t wait. Just played the original again the other day, it’s still great fun, got absolutely smashed online though

  4. I was a big fan of the original as well, although didn’t go online much, I’m already sold on this

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