The only thing more powerful than Marvel’s Avengers is Nvidia’s Tegra technology. The super heroes and superchip collide in Zen Studios’ latest pinball table, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Mobile gamers with Tegra portables like the Nvidia Shield Tablet will be able to experience the full arsenal of super powers that Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye bring to the pinball table. Mel Kirk, vice president of publishing at Zen Studios, explains what’s in store for mobile gamers in this exclusive interview.
What were your goals heading into this new Avengers: Age of Ultron pinball game?
Our ultimate goal was to create a really fun game based on Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron without giving away any movie spoilers. For every theme we work with, we want to immortalize the property by taking the best aspects of it and applying our unique pinball formula, providing the player with a game that feels fresh, exciting and stands the test of time.
Can you talk about the gaming experience and how it utilizes Nvidia Shield Tablet and smartphone functionality?
Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron pinball looks amazing on Nvidia Shield Tablets and other Tegra-powered handheld devices. The game takes full advantage of Tegra’s graphical horsepower, providing an amazing on-screen experience. Additionally, we support vertical orientation so you can play in portrait mode, which is really key for mobile devices.
How does this table tie into the movie?
This table is based on the events of the blockbuster film, following Earth’s mightiest heroes in their epic battle against Ultron and his seemingly endless army. Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye are all represented in their own game modes. There is also a really cool first-person shooting mini-game starring Hawkeye, and a spectacular aerial melee combat sequence between Iron Man and Ultron – definitely something you wouldn’t expect in a pinball game.
What excites you about what you can accomplish in mobile gaming today?
The mobile platform presents such a huge and diverse landscape of players across the globe. With the push of a button, you can deliver a piece of content to millions and millions of players, which is pretty amazing. On the tech side, mobile devices are becoming more powerful at an exponential rate, allowing creators to add to their designs instead of cutting from them in order to maintain performance. That said, we can continue to push the limits of game design and implementation for our mobile fan base so they’ll have better games to play.
How do you feel you're pushing things forward with this game?
One of the coolest things we have done for this particular pinball table is to allow players to change the level of difficulty. For many players, pinball can be difficult when starting out, so we’re working to help people learn the game and succeed, gaining the necessary skills to play at the Normal difficulty level. You need to be at a certain skill level to really experience all that the table has to offer, so hopefully this feature will help people see some of the best moments in the game.
How have you worked with Nvidia on your game?
Nvidia and Zen have enjoyed a long history together. We always have the earliest versions of new devices so we can test and be ready for launches. Zen always tries to give a little something extra for our players who have Nvidia chipsets.
What have they provided in terms of tech that has helped with development?
Nvidia are some of the best at supplying developers with early access to new hardware. This makes it possible for studios like Zen to support that hardware with content at launch. Otherwise, we’d be flying blind, and we never like to release unless we have fully tested and experienced the game on the screen ourselves.
How does your game make use of the latest Tegra technology and how does this impact the gameplay experience across the platforms you’re targeting?
Tegra technology allows us to present the game at its fullest potential with the best level of detail and smoothest gameplay on mobile. The game looks amazing. And for the best mobile experience, you need to play with Tegra powered mobile devices.
What are your thoughts on Nvidia Tegra X1 technology?
In my opinion, Nvidia is leading the charge for super-charged mobile gaming. Tegra X1 technology brings us to another level of power and opportunity.
What do you see that opening up for game developers moving forward?
4K video is really amazing, especially when powered by a mobile device. Streaming opportunities and higher graphical fidelity, balanced with amazing power efficiency is really a big move forward. Developers will no doubt embrace these advancements with better games for everyone.
What are your thoughts on the Nvidia Shield Console device?
The Nvidia Shield Console is shaping up to be a really great device. As Nvidia’s first official take on a TV console, they really nailed it with the design. It looks great under your TV, the controller feels comfortable in your hands, and it features some fantastic graphics and, of course, excellent content. What more could you ask for?
What are your thoughts on Shield Portable and Shield Tablet?
Both Shield Portable and Tablet are both shaping up to be great devices in their own right, but the whole Shield family is really impressive, providing extremely high value and the most advanced technology for players who want to get the most graphically out of their Android games and streaming PC content.