Crowd-funded video game documentary YouTube channel NoClip has released a video about the making of Astro’s Playroom, talking with the developers about how it evolved from a PS5 tech demo into a monument to PlayStation’s history.
The documentary is called “Astro's Playroom: From PS5 Tech Demo to PlayStation Nostalgia Trip” and in it NoClip interviewed Nicolas Doucet, the Creative Director of Astro’s Playroom to talk to him about how the game came into being, and how it evolved from the original concept. Doucet talks about how Team Asobi, the developers of Astro’s Playroom, started out as a small research team that was playing around with concepts for the PS4 camera. The team was meant to act as a bridge between hardware and software development teams, but Doucet says that “it turns out every time you do this kind of research, you cannot resist the temptation to make your own game”.
Doucet goes on to talk about how his team was one of the first to get their hands on the prototype for the DualSense controller, and that the team created over 80 demos to showcase potential uses of the controller and its new features, like the haptic feedback. These demos were meant for PS5 game developers, to help show what the new console was capable of and some of these demos led to ideas that we’ve already seen implemented in PS5 games.
Later on, the documentary talks about how Astro’s Playroom ended up becoming a walk down memory lane for PlayStation owners. Many of the collectibles in the game are Sony consoles and accessories, and there are tons of nods to older titles. The original PS1 startup sound is even in there too. Doucet also talks about how they spoke to other PlayStation and third-party studios to bring their characters and props into the game too.
As Doucet said: “There are some series which you could not be talking of PlayStation without - Ridge Racer, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Final Fantasy - these ones, they’re too iconic”. At first, the team was worried that getting approval would be difficult, but they went for it and every studio they contacted was instantly on-board.