Interview: The rise of Astro Bot, the next great PS5 exclusive

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The plain robot design arose from the need to do something quickly and with a petite team. “So when we had to make them characters, one of the ways was: we have to cut corners. No lips, no stretched faces,” he says, adding that having no dialogue and having eyes is “the most expressive thing.” it also facilitated this need. “Actually, the good thing about this limitation is that you get a really straight silhouette. Even a child can draw Astro.” However, Doucet admits that “We had no idea at the time that this guy was going to end up in a platformer.”

And speaking of children, Team Asobi is aware that Astro Bot should appeal to a wide audience, including much younger players. “We try to be really accessible to a very, very young audience. This might be the first game some people play, right?” However, the other side of the coin is that the game provides enough fun and challenge for older generations as well. In addition to all the fun level elements like knocking over paint cans and other fun activities, Astro Bot includes challenge stages that will please those looking for a more challenging platformer.

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These challenges also apply to character performances. “You’ll find deep cuts here because the people taking on the challenges will be the ones with the most skill and likely a longer history of PlayStation knowledge,” Doucet says. “So they’re the ones who will appreciate characters like Vib Ribbon and things like that.”

At the end of our interview, Doucet explains how satisfying it is to create a game for an audience other than himself. “I am an avid gamer. I’m playing Elden Ring and I’m looking forward to the DLC and such. But at work we can be a little more generous and not think about ourselves but about another audience. I think that’s a really motivating part of the job.”

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