Space Pirate Trainer – The Interview

October 9, 2019 ·

Pirates are awesome, but when you can become a Space Pirate, that takes it to the next level. So, when I found out that you can train to become a Space Pirate where you can step inside a game that will make you move all while having blasters, I had this smile on my face. So I had to get more information, I had to know more. That’s when Chris Haney from i-Illusions was happy to help out and answer some questions about Space Pirate Trainer for the PlayStation VR.

In this issue of Mr. PSVR’s Interview Corner, we talk with Chris Haney of I-lllusions about their newest game, Space Pirate Trainer, that lets our inner Space Pirates come out and train all while shooting, moving, ducking, and dodging to the best of our physical moving abilities will allow us to all while trying to climb the top of that leaderboard fame and what weapons you may use to get there. We also get to learn what it means to be “inside the game”.

An Interview with Chris Haney from I-Illusions…

Welcome to The PlayStation Brahs. Please tell us a little about yourself and i Illusions. For those who may not be aware, what are some of the other titles that you have worked on in the past that we might be familiar with? Anything VR related?

“Dirk Van Welden, the founder of I-Illusions and chief Space Pirate released his first game LaserBug in the early days of the App Store to some success and followed up with the platformer Element4l to Steam and PlayStation Vita. While working on his second iOS title, Dirk received a prototype of the HTC Vive and immediately dropped everything to explore what could be done with room scale VR. Two months later the first prototype of Space Pirate Trainer was ready, and Dirk built a small team including artist Wim Houben and me (Chris Hanney) to grow the prototype into the game we see today.”

Space Pirate Trainer has been announced for a while.Can you please tell us more about it and what the player can expect? Do we have a release date?

“My favorite Space Pirate Trainer description comes from Polygon: “Space Pirate Trainer on the Vive makes you feel like Han Solo inside of Galaga”. We were trying to make a first-person shooter for room scale VR, exploring gameplay elements from classic arcade gaming (such as Galaga) and some of our favorite FPS’s like Max Payne.”

“Space Pirate Trainer is coming to PlayStation VR this November 27th”

So, we really get to be inside of a game?

 “To borrow a quote from Being John Malkovich: “So, can I be anyone I wanna be? No. You can be John Malkovich. You can be inside Space Pirate Trainer :D”

With PlayStation VR, did you find any roadblocks that you were not aware of?

Space Pirate Trainer encourages physical movement, which needs to be tracked by the VR system. Keeping the player within the view of the PlayStation camera was paramount. We spent quite a bit of time working on a boundary system to help the player stay within view of the camera, but not feel like they were restricted. We are pretty happy with the result – it feels like room-scale!”

Will leaderboards be available as well for the PlayStation VR version?

“Most certainly! There are leaderboards for each weapon type, and a separate one just for the shields (“Brawler”)”

Can you let us know if there will be any surprises, we can expect that no one has ever seen before?

“The PSVR release of Space Pirate Trainer will be the first to include the new “Video Screen” to help new players learn some tricks of how to play Space Pirate Trainer.”

Tell us about the shooting mechanics and how this will make the player move. Is it more duck and cover or a different type of movement?

 “Our droids are trained to get your feet moving – they’ll fire directly at your upper body. Either shoot them before they shoot you or get out of the way! The Hex droid fires a line of lasers, and often while rotating – causing a spray of lasers that will make you drop to the floor. The motherdroid battle between waves 25 to 35 will have you dancing all over the living room avoiding sprays of lasers!”

Can you tell us about the different weapons that might be available? Any chance of upgrades?

There are six-gun modes, changeable with the trackpad on each controller. From the top clockwise, we have:

1. The QuarkCannon – fires off tiny little rounds and also includes a sight to see exactly where the round is headed
2. Rapid Fire – sends off three rounds in quick succession
3. Automatic – Sends off an endless stream of lazer fire, slightly slower than the rapid fire
4. Rail Gun – Hold down your trigger to charge up – because this gun will destroy any droid with one single shot! 
5. Ray Gun – fires off a Ghostbuster-esque stream at droids. If you cross the streams it sends out a huge lightning bolt!
6. Ion Grenade – Fire out a grenade, and then pull the trigger again to ignite

There are two shield options 
1. Pulse Shield – reflects lasers, can withstand a single rocket every 5 seconds, and the trigger button will send out a pulse that will repel nearby droids
2. Volton – Also known as the “bat” – the Volton is the Space Pirate melee weapon, allowing you to drag droids around like a lasso and smash them to the ground, or into other droids! You can also use the Volton to charge up the three turrets around the arena, which can be used to do massive damage!

There are a whole bunch of upgrades that spawn after some kills which temporarily turn your weapons into all sorts of amazing things!”

Are there any plans for future DLC that you can talk about?

Nothing to announce at this stage, but we’re not ready to move on from Space Pirate Trainer just yet – training time isn’t over yet :D.”

With the growing number of games and experiences for PlayStation VR, if someone was looking for that next favorite title of theirs, why should they pick up Space Pirate Trainer?

Space Pirate Trainer is *the* game to get you off the couch and rolling around the living room. Pick up your blasters, put on your sneakers, and dance your way into the Space Pirate Trainer hall of fame!

I really want to thank Chris Haney from i-Illusions for taking the time out of his day to give us more insight into Space Pirate Trainer.

Space Pirate Trainer is out now on PlayStation VR and is also available on the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift/S on the Oculus Store, Steam, and the Microsoft Store.

To learn more about the game and to check on the leaderboards, check out the site. To learn more about I-lllusions, please check out their site and follow them on Twitter.

Also, check out the review.

In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.

Mr. PSVR, November 24, 2018,
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