[PS4Blog.net Interview] Gumbo Machine On Ultra Mission

by EdEN, Owner

We’ll be working for a review for Ultra Mission, so I got in touch with Gumbo Machine to talk a bit about this PS Vita game. Come check it out!

PS4Blog: Hi! Thank you for joining us today. How are you doing?}

I’m doing a lot better now that our work on Ultra Mission is pretty much complete. The incoming deadline made me quite nervous, as we finished up the game and prepared it for submission. I do hope players enjoy our work!

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PS4B: On that note, Ultra Mission is on its way to PlayStation Vita. What can you tell us about this game?

The idea of Ultra Mission came to my mind about a year ago, when I
was reminiscing on Stern Electronic’s arcade game, Berzerk. You may know this better as a 1982 release on the Atari 2600.

After realizing that this game – as well as its sequel, Frenzy – never got a sequel or re-release, I decided to try my hand at something similar. Unfortunately, it isn’t very clear who owns the rights to either game… Is it owned by Stern Pinball, the sort-of successor company to Stern Electronics? Or could it be owned by Coleco Brands, who re-released Frenzy a while back on the ColecoVision Flashback?

Neither company responded to our inquiries, so instead, we decided to work on a spiritual successor. Unlike Berzerk or Frenzy, which have procedurally generated levels, Ultra Mission features 20 repeating stages. These stages are wider and denser than either of the arcade originals! We also took inspiration from visual cues in Robotron 2084, whose creators cite Berzerk as their own inspiration.

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PS4B: How long have you been working on Ultra Mission? How much longer until we can play it on Sony’s portable console?

We have been working on Ultra Mission for a few months now. As a matter of fact, the news about an impending shutdown of the PS Vita game submission process inspired us to create one more Vita title. Knowing that we had so little time, I decided to develop something on a smaller scale than Battle Rockets. It was around this time that I thought back to my concept of a “Berzerk” spiritual successor. And that’s how Ultra Mission came to be!

As for a release date, Ultra Mission should be hitting the North American PlayStation Store around late July. We set a release date of July 20th, 2021. but considering what happened with Battle Rockets 1.0 and 2.0, the game may end up going up live a bit later than that. Sadly, SIEE was not able to accept our game submission in time, so we will not be able to release Ultra Mission on European PS Vita consoles. I greatly apologize for this.

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PS4B: Speaking of which, you released Battle Rockets 2.0 on PS Vita as well. What has changed between the original release and the revised one?

When reviews for the original Battle Rockets came in, we noticed
that a lot of reviewers cited a lack of content as a downside. So, when we came up with the idea of “Battle Rockets 2.0”, we sought to fix that. More multiplayer modes, a brand-new difficulty setting for the single-player mode, and here’s the biggest addition: FOUR brand-new fighters! That’s a 50% bigger roster than version 1.0!

In addition to all of this, we also cleaned up the visual presentation a
bit. Menu elements were given smoother outlines, for example. We also commissioned Mauro Fonseca (https://ppdppl.com) to redraw our in-game character art. He has contributed to multiple indie games and fanzines, including own our Ultra Mission, along with IDW’s 30th anniversary Sonic the Hedgehog comic.

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PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Is there something else you’d like to say before we go?

I just wanted to say thank you to the small-but-mighty PS Vita
fanbase, of which I am so grateful to be a part. It was a long-time
dream of mine to release an official Vita title and to get the chance to release not one but two PS Vita games? That is unbelievable!

We hope that everyone takes care in the coming months as we go through all of those struggles in life.

But most importantly: PLAY IT LOUD!

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