Got a quick interview today with Adam Pedersen about the sequel to Jetpack from 1993 which completely predates me and looks exciting, information below!
What was the inspiration to coming back to Jetpack after so many years, 1993 was when the original came out correct? :
I actually promised a sequel back in 1995, and I've always wanted to get back to it. It's only 20 years late. The original ran on a 4mhz 8086, so I knew I could do a lot more with a new one. There aren't many micro-scale platformers out there, and I like the genre. Lode Runner was a big inspiration, I mainly liked the little man underground concept. Also Jumpman was a lot of fun back on the C64.
What was the main goal of development when creating a sequel in regards to making it connect the original?:
This was really tricky, it would have been much easier just to start from scratch, but there are over 5,000 Jetpack 1 levels out there and I wanted people to be able to import them and play without any modifications. So I needed to keep a lot of it very similar to the original, while adding a lot of new features like real physics. It took a lot of tweaking to the physics engine to make things happen like in the original.
Can you give us a quick summary of what to expect in the story for younger folks or those that haven't played the original:
Well the original didn't have a story (or a soundtrack), and Jetpack 2 does! A nice feature of Jetpack 2 is that levels are grouped into missions, so each mission can have its own story. But the general premise is stumbling on a jetpack, and using it to explore and adventure.
If not gone over in previous statement, could you tell us about our jetpacked hero?:
Our protagonist is kept deliberately vague and gender neutral, so it feels more like it's the player wearing the jetpack.
What sort of level design, such as graphics or puzzles are we to expect? :
There's a great variety of level design in each mission, ranging from arcade to puzzle to adventure. Jetpack 2 adds a lot of features for making adventure-style missions, with more elements of exploration and surprises. Having an element of exploration in a single screen game was tricky, I found a way to do this by adding "concealers", enabling rooms that you can only see when you enter them.
Furthermore on these puzzles what ranges of difficulties are we to expect? :
I think I've struck a good balance with difficulty by using time scaling and putting the harder gameplay into achievements. Like the original, you can change the speed of gameplay at any time, to match your preference between puzzle and action. The default speed is almost half of the original Jetpack, but you can bump it if you full speed or faster, if you can handle it. I think the per-level custom achievements, par times, and level rankings add a lot of fun gameplay for serious players. You can't get the best rank unless you get all the treasure in a level, while beating the par time. Getting achievements requires playing levels a completely different way, for example some levels have the "Earth Day" achievement, which requires you to beat the level without ever firing your jetpack.
What sort of enemies are we going to face, or will the puzzles be the driving force against us?:
All the original enemies are there, with some new surprises. The trackbot AI is still very tricky to beat, but my favorite new enemy is the BatBot, which only sees you when you're moving. My favorite new gameplay element is the moving tiles. That means a maze or puzzle could change before your eyes.
I saw that there was something on level creation, how in-depth will that be for the individual?:
The level editor in the original Jetpack was actually the most popular part of the game. The new level editor is very powerful while also being quite fun and easy to use. It is the same level editor that was used to create all the levels in the game, so anything you see in the game you can create yourself. It's so advanced, I'm sure there are gameplay possibilities you could create with it that we haven't even thought of yet.
What are the development plans for future content or just finishing the title, when can we expect the full release? :
We are shooting for Q2 of 2014, with at least 2 expansion packs after that.
Are there any future plans for additional platforms for people to enjoy Jetpack 2 on?:
I think Jetpack 2 would be great on a console or handheld. We're looking into other platform possibilities, but we haven't made any decisions yet.
On a final note I wish the best of luck with finishing the title and the following release!, you can check out the project on their Webpage Here or on the Jetpack 2 Steam Page