Developed at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (Cambridge studios), TV Superstars was a title for the PlayStation 3 written with the Move controller in mind. A party game supporting up to four players at the same time (co-operatively or competitively), working on this game provided the opportunity to explore prototype hardware and a long list of challenges regarding how to make a game that was Move-centred from start to finish, while making this control method feel natural rather than imposed.
One of the great attractions of this game is the ability to create avatars using a photo of the player’s face, thanks to the Eyetoy camera, facial recognition technology and a fair amount of post-processing to make it fit neatly on the character.
This was the first game I’ve worked on at Sony Cambridge, being brought in during the earliest prototype phase. The move controller was then a cylinder wrapped in duct tape, with a glowing cone and a switch for trigger, with a couple of meters of cable leading to a PC.
This project was all madness from start to finish, including how the scoring would completely fail to work properly every time this game was presented in London to the various regional heads – therefore causing them to always fail the level, no matter how well they did. Panic, furious debugging, and eventually the root cause was found: an uninitialised variable, which would only be initialised if a keyboard had been plugged in. Well, that was the solution, about one hour before yet another presentation: plug in a keyboard to the demo kit!