The nice people at Eastasiasoft and SideQuest Studios were gracious enough to answer a few of questions we had for them regarding development for the PS Vita……...
Over the past couple of months we reviewed Rainbow Moon for the Vita and got a lot of giveaway codes. They were so generous over there that we thought we'd ask them some questions for our readers. The following are my questions that were answered by Marcus Pukropski of SideQuest Studios, who is responsible for both Rainbow Moon and the upcoming Rainbow Skies.
Can you describe what it is like developing games for the Vita? What are some of the challenges and the victories you had?
Basically it's not that different from developing a PS3 game. Because we already had an engine that supports the PS3, it was just a straight port. The specifications have been comparable to PS3, so we expected a similar interface. Well, it turned out that there have been much more technical differences and problems to be solved than we originally expected. So, in fact it took us much longer, because we didn't want to make compromises like frame drops or things like that. But now we're more than happy with the final version and already received a lot of great feedback from many players who really love the game. And that's more than a compensation for all the efforts we put into this.
What made you want to develop games for the PS Vita and not other handhelds out there?
One of the main reasons was our established partnership with Sony. Moving from the PlayStation 3 to the PlayStation Vita is an easier and more natural fit, compared to other handhelds, such as the 3DS. Additionally, the PS Vita is a popular platform for RPGs and we received a lot of fan feedback from players that wanted to see Rainbow Moon on the PS Vita.
What do you think of the future of the PS Vita? A lot of readers complain about "not enough AAA games, and too many indie titles." Is there a strong future for the Vita in the handheld/mobile market?
A lot of indie games are of increasingly high quality, so it's not necessarily a bad thing. However I agree that more AAA and original titles would help the PS Vita a lot. Nevertheless, there are constantly great new games coming out and everyone who has played on the Vita, loves the system. The Vita fan community is big, there are several dedicated Vita news sites, such as PS Vita Hub. I really hope that Sony keeps supporting the Vita and that it will eventually gain popularity. In my opinion it's an awesome system.
How "easy" is it to develop a game for the Vita compared to other systems?
Every platform has it quirks and strong points and the Vita is no different. If a platform is very new, you often have to deal with bugs and issues in the development environment, so when we started development on the Vita, that was sometimes quite a mess to get everything together and working. Meanwhile, most of the problems are solved and all tools are really stable and convenient to use. I think console development in general is still a little bit more burdensome compared to PC development, where testing is much faster and easier. But there are always ways to improve the workflow for every system, so it's not too bad.
How is the progress on Rainbow Skies going? Your web page says the game is set for PS3 and PS Vita... any move towards the PS4?
We are making good progress, however it will be a while until Rainbow Skies will be released. In terms of overall content, Rainbow Skies will be the biggest game we've worked on so far. For the time being Rainbow Skies is only planned for PS3 and PS Vita, but we are considering other platforms, including the PS4 in the future. Since we are using our own engine and tools for Rainbow Skies and we are just a small team, porting to any new system will be a time consuming task, so don't expect Rainbow Skies on any systems other than PS3/Vita for a while.
Was there a push from Sony to develop Rainbow Moon for the Vita? How about Rainbow Skies?
No. The incentive came mostly from fan feedback. Also we were looking into new platforms for a while and the Vita was one of our preferred choices.
What is the future for SideQuest Studios and Eastasiasoft beyond Rainbow Skies? Are you planning on pursuing other consoles besides the mobile market and PC and Playstation?
Currently we are focusing on Rainbow Skies as well as releasing some of our titles on the Japanese PS Store. Additionally we are still thinking about bringing some of our other games to the PS Vita, but nothing has been decided yet. Make sure to watch out for further news from us in 2014.
Thanks a lot for giving me the opportunity for the interview!
And thank you, Mr. Pukropski! We appreciate you taking your time to answer our questions, and also your devotion to the Sony brand. We look forward to hearing more from you!
We'd like to hear comments from you, our readers, about this interview and also any comments about Rainbow Moon or Rainbow Skies!