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Mercury Meltdown: Developer interview

How are the four different stages of flux for the blob going to work in the game?
The underlying familiar gameplay of the original is still present, but we wanted to expand on it so there would be something new for the players of the original game. In altering the structure of the blobs, it means that there is something new to learn and also allows us an extra amount of freedom in the creative process of designing the levels.

The first state is normal - same as before. The second is fast, which makes the mercury 'runny' and susceptible to breaking up and harder to control. Next is slow, with this form it is possible to cling to thin ledges with the bulk of the mercury dangling underneath. Lastly, we have solid - the ball bearing - which can run along rails to reach normally inaccessible parts of the levels.

What new obstacles and enemies can we expect to see in Meltdown?
We've extended some of the original ideas. For instance the mercury-eating beasties, the Mercoids, have bred into new mutations. We have ones that now only eat mercury of a given colour, or explode when they catch you, or have a form of long-range attack.

We've added some completely new tray hazards as well such as bouncy surfaces. Of course I'd rather not give too many away before players get their hands on the game, though!



Above: Ignition says that Meltdown won't be as frustratingly difficult as the original

Is Meltdown going to be a tad easier than the original?
Yes, that was one of the most commented on aspects of the first game and we have now not only worked on the balancing of the levels but changed the way you progress through the levels. It's much less linear now and if you find a level too challenging you can simply ignore it and move on to a different one!

Once again the inconsistent difficulty curve could also be put down to the short development time. Also, we now have a quality control dept of seven very experienced personnel, whereas on the original game there were two part-timers!

The graphics have received a cel-shaded style overhaul and the HUD looks much more 'funky' in Meltdown. Did you intentionally want to move away from the very traditional look of the first game?
To a degree yes, the graphic style in the first title was good, but it was felt (internally and from feedback) that it was a little clinical and dark. This in turn pigeonholed the title to a certain demographic.

With Mercury Meltdown, we wanted to create a new style that was bright, colourful and better suited to PSP. The look is a big change, but the new direction is something that we feel will appeal to a wider audience and add to the whole package.

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