Wednesday, March 16, 2011

First Footage of Conduit 3DS Tech Demo

This is not an announced game, just a tech demo that High Voltage made for the 3DS using their Quantum 3 engine.

I've already waxed poetic about how the 3DS and Wii compare graphically in this other article, and from the bit of clear footage we get from the video, it does seem comparable to Conduit 2. However, without playing Conduit 2 (it's not out yet!) I can't say for sure. I also made a piece talking about how the 3DS doesn't have any first person shooters announced (among other topics), but I finished that up pretty much the day that High Voltage announced they were working on a Conduit for 3DS which really killed my mood to spread around that piece that I was particularly proud of, since they hadn't made it clear that it was only a proof of concept tech-demo at the time. In that piece I touched on how PSP got more third-person shooters than first-person shooters, when at the end of the day the gameplay isn't really that different. I theorized that developers and/or publishers simply thought the controls that the PSP offered (one analog, and on the left side) for shooters were more acceptable if the view was third-person. That's why I think it's interesting that High Voltage is playing with an option for a third-person view in a first-person series. Could we see a repeat of the PSP as far as third-person vs. first-person shooters on the 3DS on some level, simply because Nintendo added only one analog "stick" instead of two? Who can say at the moment, but this isn't the first time High Voltage has seen fit to implement a change in perspective when they make a version of a game for a different platform, as they've done with The Grinder; first-person on Wii, top-down on 360/PS3/PC.

Another thing I noticed was that the game is still using a dead-zone type control scheme popularized by (if not invented because of) the Wii, in which you have the control to move the reticule used for aiming the gun around in a central area of the screen without making the camera move. This zone is usually adjustable, though it seem cumbersomely huge in this video. Typically, DS first-person shooters have camera control very similar to the mouse controls for first-person shooters on personal computers, where the reticule is always stuck in the very center of the screen, and you drop and drag the camera in any direction. I haven't tried a DS first-person shooter with these controls, but I'm interested to see how they compare.

Do you guys think High Voltage is about to make a few missteps? Depending on your preference, that would be using a third-person camera/control style or a first person camera/control style, and using or not using dead-zone style controls. More over, do you think anyone would be willing to publish Conduit 2 for 3DS if they finished that up?


  1. I think if the person was using the stylus, the camera would have controlled better.

    I do think it's interesting that HVS has a demo running on the 3DS already, but I'm not sure about that third-person camera, as it seemed strange perhaps because I wasn't expecting it.

    I think if HVS could get the full game up and running, or even perhaps a "lite" version that includes the single-player campaign with some multi-player, they could find a publisher(probably Sega, because of past experience with them and perhaps contractual obligations using the name Conduit)...but I think many publishers would be willing to publish a FPS on the 3DS right now, mainly because of little to no competition in that genre at the moment.
    I do think it will be interesting to see what the first FPS on the 3DS is, and how it uses the systems 3D effects for game-play...though I really wish the system had another circle pad for the FPS genre!

  2. I really want them to experiment with the camera on the 3DS for aiming (I think that this will compensate the lack of a extra analog stick) and also that third person view of the game looks great!

  3. @Falco
    When you say you want them to experiment, do you mean you want them work with the touch-screen, or do you want them to attempt to use the touch-screen in somewhat different ways for first-person shooters than what we saw on DS?

    I mentioned N.O.V.A. for iPhone to you, in the context of the free demo having gyroscopic aiming, but it also has faux-analog aiming. It's similar in rudimentary function to what we see here in Conduit 3DS, but instead of an entire touch-screen to aim with, you have a penny sized circle, and it's almost impossible to find the spot that keeps the camera still. A few times through the demo with that scheme, and I really wasn't any better with it, but I can kinda see how having the entire surface of the touch-screen used for that kind of aiming might make for a great control scheme, especially with an adjustable dead-zone.

  4. "...but I finished that up pretty much the day that High Voltage announced they were working on a Conduit for 3DS which really killed my mood to spread around that piece..."

    I've had this happen numerous night, I spent a few hours, putting together an article on Madden's declining sales. I posted it up, and for some odd reason, I decided to check to see if there were any other stories similar to mine...and a guy on another site had done almost the exact same thing a few days earlier.

    I have a lot of drafts saved, that I've never used because of either bad timing with news breaking, or just because I take a lot of time with my opinion pieces and articles in general.