Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Eye Of Judgment Update.

One of Sony's biggest PS3 titles at E3 was The Eye Of Judgement, an EyeToy game that uses real life cards to create a virtual battle field outside the screen. Following up on the show, Japan's IT Media has posted an update on the intriguing new title, complete with an interview with producer Yusuke Watanabe.

The Eye of Judgment is a simple game, according to Watanabe. Battles take place on a 3x3 play field. Players take turns moving cards between spaces, and the first to capture 5 of the 9 spaces wins. Watanabe believes the game resembles chess in some ways.

SCE is preparing over 100 card types for the game. The cards are divided into two main classes: creature cards, which give you control over one of the spaces, and spell cards, which cause some effect on a space.

On each turn, in addition to deciding your card's next position, you have to also decide which direction it will face. The creature represented by a Creature Card is weak to attacks coming from behind or to the side.

In addition to single player versus CPU play, the game will include a number of multiplayer options. Players will be able to challenge one another or work together against the CPU, both Offline and Online. On top of these modes, the game will include a profile mode that lets players scan cards and view their contents, and a simple paper-rock-scissors style mode for younger players.

Watanabe explained some of the technology behind the game to IT Media. The title makes use of a technology the development staff refers to as "Cyber Codes," basically 2D bar codes that are read by the Eye Toy peripheral. Watanabe believes the next generation camera being planned for the PS3 is important for the title. The new EyeToy can read VGA-resolution images at 60 frames per second, a big improvement over the PS2 version of the camera.

The game isn't all technology, of course. While development started off with technological tests, and getting the game to properly recognize cards placed on the battle field is one of the main areas of development right now, the staff spent 2 years designing the gameplay systems on paper. This was followed by another year on graphics development.

The Eye of Judgment will ship with a pack of 30 cards, which Watanabe states is the minimum number of cards required for versus mode play. The release of other cards may take the form of of booster packs containing 5 cards per pack.

Despite all the technology and planning going into The Eye of Judgment, Watanabe expects to have the title ready for release simultaneously with the PS3 launch in Japan. Let's hope this means SCE is getting set to give out specific details on the PS3 version of EyeToy.

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