In January we got a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Sony’s Astro Bot that suggested it once supported multiplayer.
An image on the PlayStation Blog showed not one but two heroic robots on-screen. Over the weekend, another post confirmed that Astro Bot did indeed have multiplayer at one point. One player would take control of Astro in VR. Up to three others joined using PSVR’s social screen function. You could explore levels together and there were even a few mechanics built around the feature.
However, as Creative Director Nicolas Doucet explains in the blog, this wasn’t a great experience for the VR player. Environments were too large and traditional. So, somewhat amazingly, the team made the tough call to cut multiplayer nine months in Astro Bot’s 18-month development.
The blog also reveals other cut content, like an unused Mecha Spider boss. It spit fire and had to have its legs cut off, but getting it to move was too tricky. The team also planned to have Astro dance to each level’s individual music at one point. But the game’s excellent soundtrack ended up being so varied Sony Japan realized it would be making too much work for itself. Finally, the team also revealed how it chopped and extracted parts of some levels to repurpose them for others.
It’s pretty fascinating to see how many cuts were made to what ultimately ended up being one of VR’s very best games. Perhaps some of these ideas could be saved for a sequel – we’d love to see what could become of a multiplayer mode with further optimization.