Starlink: Battle for Atlas may be a long way off from launching on Nintendo Switch (expected release is Fall / Autumn 2018) but Nintendo caught up with Matthew Rose, Producer at Ubisoft Toronto to talk more about the intriguing toys-to-life game. Rose talks at great length about building a bespoke team for development, attracting a wide demographic and more. Below are some extracts from the interview but you can read it in its entirety here if you wish.
NUK: How do the star ship models work in comparison to similar technology?
MR: This is a completely proprietary technology, built from the ground up by the team at Ubisoft Toronto. We assembled a team of experts from the toy industry and games industry to work hand in hand to make something that is completely instantaneous, so when you connect that part it immediately appears in-game.
It’s incredibly flexible technology; you can stack parts, you can reverse them if you want to put your weapons on backwards to shoot someone that’s chasing you, and you can combine different pilots, each of whom is going to give you a unique special ability, a skill you can upgrade and their own story.
NUK: With the exploration and combat, Starlink: Battle for Atlas looks to have a lot of depth in its gameplay. Is that an indication that you’re designing this to appeal to gamers as well as families?
MR: Yeah absolutely. Our team is made up from veterans from Ubisoft’s biggest franchises: Far Cry, Watch_Dogs, Assassins Creed, Splinter Cell. So for us it’s very important to create that really deep, open world experience that players can get lost in. We play-tested the game with a wider range of audiences, a wider range of ages, and we’ve been really encouraged by the extremely positive reaction we’ve had from all sorts of different groups.
NUK: We imagine this could be a great way for two friends to get together and mix and match the modular star ships they’ve been collecting and see what’s possible.
MR: Exactly! You can hand them back and forth and one of the really cool things is that it gives you this whole other level of combinations that you can build. The game’s kind of all about building a playstyle and building combos, but when you have two players, you can have one player who decides to be a very heavily armed tank while another player maybe goes for a really light fast agile ship, going around the periphery and choosing a different weapon to complement their friend’s. We also support playing co-op, even if you only have one set of toys. Since each part unlocks a digital version of itself, the second co-op player can actually play accessing all of the digital collection.