A-Men dev praises Sony’s improved development support

By Brenna Hillier
21 February 2012 00:50 GMT

New-school Sony is much easier to work with than the old guard under former chairman Ken Kutaragi, according to A-Men developer Bloober.

“It’s great now to cooperate with Sony. When Kutaragi was in charge it was very technologically oriented,” Bloober creative director and vice-president Piotr Bielatowicz told Eurogamer.

“It was, ‘we create the best possible hardware and deal with it. Figure out on your own how to program it.’ For PS3 it might take two weeks for a programmer to just compile a demo. It was so hard in the beginning.

“Now, I believe Sony is more developer oriented. They reach out to us. They organise seminars to train us, to teach programmers and designers features like Near. The support is very swift. The communication is very good. I would say, at the moment, Sony is by far the nicest format holder to work with.”

Kutaragi was a key figure during the launch of the PlayStation 3, which is notoriously developer-unfriendly; development of new platform Vita has been spearheaded by a new team.

As a result, gameplay programmer Jakub Opoń said the Vita is “the best [platform] we’ve worked on until now”.

“The easiest one, the fastest one to start just making the game, not struggling with the hardware, with the software provided,” he said, describing the simplicity of the development kits.

“Vita is very easy to develop for. It’s much easier than Sony’s previous platforms. The hardware is much more popular. It’s the same type of hardware you can find in iPad 2, but twice as powerful. The core mechanism of working on the platform is the same. Sony provides a great SDK. The documentation is really good.”

Opoń said Blooper was able to port its entire engine in three months, and implied the ease of use outperforms rival consoles.

“I can’t say the names, but on some other consoles it takes a whole day, or two days, even, to even set up or build the game,” he said.

The programmer also noted that the Vita doesn’t suffer from the same problems with textures as the PlayStation 3, which can under perform in some aspects when compared to the Xbox 360 thanks to an unusual RAM set up.

“Vita won’t have this problem. This is a really good solution. It tells developers not to think so much about really hardcore optimisation,” he said.

“They can focus on making the game, and not strip the quality of the assets. This is really important. Our artists made some really good effects and we have no problems with game speed.”

Bloober’s A-Men is expcted on the PlayStation Store alongside the Vita, which Vita launches on February 22 in the US and Europe, and February 23 in Australia.

Thanks, That VideoGame Blog.

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