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PlayStation Mobile: Surge Electrifies PS-Certified Devices Tomorrow

Jack Lang's Avatar + Posted by Jack Lang on Dec 11, 2012 // Junior Programmer, FuturLab

Hello! My name is Jack Lang, Junior Programmer at FuturLab. I’m responsible for the programming on our new game, Surge, and I’m here today to talk briefly about how the PlayStation Mobile SDK has made the process of developing our game for PS Vita really easy!

I started out as a Flash developer because I wanted to make games. This experience, along with some prior knowledge of C#, meant that I was able to use the PSM cross-platform SDK to focus on the game rather than the specifics of each platform it supports.

As you can see from the trailer above, Surge uses nice visual effects, and thanks to PSM I was able to pick and choose between high and low level programming libraries, making it possible to get visual features like the ‘awesomizer’ line style, particles and the attractive color blurring glow effects running efficiently and in a short space of time.

PlayStation Mobile: Surge

PlayStation Mobile: SurgePlayStation Mobile: Surge

I’d recommend learning the PlayStation Mobile SDK if any readers want to get started making games, so if you have any questions I’ll be happy to answer them; don’t be shy! Surge is out tomorrow for all PlayStation Certified devices, including PS Vita. For more info, check out FuturLab’s website.

Need more information on PlayStation Mobile? Want to know more about supported tablets and phones? Head here.

//Add Your Own

27 Comments   4 Replies

1

+ Gorvi on December 11th, 2012 at 8:09 am said:

That looks really cool, how much is it going to cost?

On a side note, I’m really, really, really, really looking forward to the game you’re teasing on your website right now. If it’s not Velocity 2 there will be rioting in the streets. The streets I say! ;)


2

+ Ryumoau on December 11th, 2012 at 8:09 am said:

i have a soft spot for match 3 puzzlers. How much will this cost and will it have any trophies at all?


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3

+ James Marsden on December 11th, 2012 at 8:14 am said:

For some reason Jack isn’t able to log in to answer your questions. In the meantime, I can help.

@Gorvi – You’ll have to wait and see how much it costs, but we think people will be happy. Also, good to hear it! :)

@Rhymoau – Great to hear you have a soft spot – I’m glad the game is finished now because I was spending way too much time playing it. It’s our most addictive action-puzzler yet. That’s a promise :p It does have trophies, but only in-game trophies that we have created ourselves, not PSN trophies as they’re not supported yet… Soon I hope!


4

+ TwinDad on December 11th, 2012 at 8:24 am said:

Tomorrow? Isn’t today Tuesday December 11th, the day of the store update. So “Today” is correct?


5

+ franelleceusa on December 11th, 2012 at 8:45 am said:

cool, i may get this


6

+ FriedConsole on December 11th, 2012 at 8:55 am said:

Will buy. Taking a lot of chances on PS Mobile games as nobody reviews them and they are cheap. Some are really great. This looks unique enough to at least be interesting if I don’t like it.

I think PSMobile games should move to the Games section in the PSN store on Vita as I think most people miss the top “PSMobile” button.

Loved Velocity, Fuel Tiracas and Coconut Dodge.


7

+ zombie9 on December 11th, 2012 at 9:00 am said:

Game looks cool I don’t mean any disrespect to the game dev or Sony but why isn’t PSP a mobile PlayStation Certified device. I’m still rocking my PSP.. and PS3 :)


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    + James Marsden on December 11th, 2012 at 9:13 am said:

    PSP is pretty old now, with technology that has been replaced by newer, faster hardware – fast enough to run Virtual Machines on top of their own operating system.

    That’s essentially what PlayStation Mobile is, a Virtual Platform that can be run on fairly high spec devices. The idea being that you can build a game once, and it will work on lots of devices, but those devices need to be powerful enough to run the Virtual Machine, and the PSP, bless it, can’t keep up :)


8

+ kmtburton on December 11th, 2012 at 9:09 am said:

Looks pretty good, might get.

@4 PSM doesnt seem to be tied to the normal update seeing as Lemmings came out on a friday and this is coming tommorow.


9

+ ThreeLeggedFreak on December 11th, 2012 at 9:36 am said:

When is PSN integration coming to PSM? Especially trophies, but also leaderboards, multiplayer, friend list, etc. You’re losing sales here.


10

+ insano_jaco on December 11th, 2012 at 9:44 am said:

Ill get this game like I did with Velocity and Fuel Tiracas.
Congratulations for your great work and for the deal with Sony for a full year of Vita exclusives :)

This next games coming from the deal will be in PS Mobile format, or Vita format?

I liked Fuel Tiracas and Surge, but I would like to see “bigger” games like Velocity coming in the next months.

I’m very happy with FuturLabs and other great indie devs putting attention in Vita platform, we need it!
Thank you!


11

+ Zookey on December 11th, 2012 at 9:52 am said:

Looks cool! Any chance of PS Mobile coming to Ouya?


12

+ insano_jaco on December 11th, 2012 at 9:59 am said:

Velocity 2 on the way, just saw the teasers! Thank you FuturLab!


13

+ islankleinknecht on December 11th, 2012 at 10:08 am said:

Please! Online Leaderboards for PSM games and adding them to games that have already been released — that’s the ONLY thing PSM is missing! I really-really-really want to be able to compare my scores with my friends’ and challenge them to a score-off in Super Crate Box!


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    + James Marsden on December 11th, 2012 at 10:10 am said:

    Surge and Fuel Tiracas has online leaderboards :)


14

+ Squiggle55 on December 11th, 2012 at 10:21 am said:

Looks awesome! Must be some really last minute decision going on with the price if you still can’t say what it is. Do those online leaderboards you mention in the previous comment access your friends list? That’d be awesome. Then the only thing PSM games would need is trophies. Thanks for the info!


15

+ ThreeLeggedFreak on December 11th, 2012 at 10:55 am said:

+ James Marsden on December 11th, 2012 at 10:10 am said:
Surge and Fuel Tiracas has online leaderboards :)

____________________________________________________________________________________

Those are workarounds due to SCE’s incompetence and inability to incorporate PSN integration with PSM.


16

+ Squiggle55 on December 11th, 2012 at 11:02 am said:

Whenever a good looking game is announced as a mini or a psmobile game, of course I wish it was just a PSN game so it will have all of the connectivity and trophies we’re accustomed to. It won’t stop me from picking up the real gems, but I still wish it would just be PSN. Hopefully SCE at least fixes the issues with PSmobile so it’s just as if it was PSN.


17

+ Freshh23 on December 11th, 2012 at 11:04 am said:

Sony needs to do something about this whole PlayStation Minis and PlayStation Mobile crap and have all PlayStation (and Sony) as one, everything is compatible on all PlayStation (and certified) devices and it’s buy once play on all and you get a digital version of your physical purchase. That’s perfection, that’s domination. And of course full PSN integration in everything and PSN being “one” as well, not a seperate PSN for different products which is very stupid and bad.

Also, it’s time to release PlayStation Mobile on iOS and soon Firefox OS and BlackBerry especially BB10.


18

+ Ziggy3069 on December 11th, 2012 at 11:20 am said:

Any word about getting PS Home on Vita, there are millions of Home users that would love to have it mobile!


19

+ insano_jaco on December 11th, 2012 at 11:53 am said:

@17 Freshh23
We dont need a Playstation Mobile, or Xperia Play, it would only run android and PS Mobile games.
We need a Vita with mobile function.

The first revision of Vita will make it thinner, Sony could put a mobile chip on it.

It would be a blast!
People dont care for another android Xperia Phone…


20

+ polo155 on December 11th, 2012 at 11:56 am said:

yea, i notice PSM updates on Wednesdays!

@fresh23 im glad you not running sony, itll have filed for chapter 11 with you at the helm!


21

+ MakoSOLIDER on December 11th, 2012 at 12:21 pm said:

Congrats on ur deal with SONY!


22

+ plaztiksyke on December 11th, 2012 at 1:24 pm said:

Since you led off talking about the development platform, I have some questions about your experience.

1. We’ve been using Unity on our very small indie project, and *hate* how much they charge for a gimped product. Originally we were using Ogg encoding, but then that was taken away with a Unity update! What codecs does PSM support by default, and do the libraries allow for alignment of loops with variable bit rates?

2. What is the asset packaging/pipeline like? We looked at converting our project to MonoGame, but the total lack of any kind of asset pipeline made it impossible to work with.

3. Unity (and Android, for that matter) has a 1990s-style forced-inheritance model where our objects had to derive from sealed, concrete classes. This made leveraging object-oriented design principles and unit testing/mocking very difficult, mainly due to the lack of pure interfaces in their class libraries. (We ended up reimplementing those concrete base classes in a MockUnity library, but it was/is quite tedious.) Is PSM any better/different on this front?

onto your game…

who did the music? what codec/bitrate are the assets?

did you write any of your own shaders/maps, or just use the sample ones?


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    + Jack Lang on December 12th, 2012 at 3:55 am said:

    Hi plaztiksyke, 2 part reply here as it’s a bit long!

    1. We’ve been working with PSM in its beta stage so some things may have changed. At the time there was WAV and mp3 support. WAV looping is seamless and we were using files at a number of bitrates. There was no call for stream looping with mp3 so I couldn’t give you a definite answer on that, but looping is available there too, usually encoder lag is the problem though… One of our other games, Beats Slider is a really great example of what you can do with sound on PSM. All the music for that and Surge has been created in-house

    2. The only assets we used were PNGs, the texture facilities allow you to load normal web friendly files and convert to different formats ( ARGB4, 8, 5551, luminance and others ) at runtime rather than needing to encode or mess about with them beforehand. We set up a couple of custom commands within the IDE to get our workflow nice and designer friendly


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    + Jack Lang on December 12th, 2012 at 3:55 am said:

    3. Yes that has irked me about many platforms too, PSM doesn’t have that problem though! You can use the higher level libraries but even they’re not too restrictive. You are free to define data formats for your shaders and your own structs that are send through to the gpu, all totally free of any library classes. The only time you need to use library code is to define your sounds, shaders, textures, and to make to draw calls. The source can be gotten for all the high level libraries as well, so you can mess around all you like

    There are shaders in the samples and some inbuilt ones in the high level libraries, but I wrote/modified all the shaders used in Surge to some degree, it’s all done in cg which is compiled depending on the device your game is running on. The colourful background makes use of numerous shaders and render textures. But you can also leave them alone if you don’t need them. You also get access to the depth buffer and other aspects of the rendering pipeline that you don’t get with something like Unity ;)


23

+ Budapesti on December 11th, 2012 at 2:14 pm said:

This looks awesome.
Now, if only HTC would get their act together and push Android 4.1 to my One s, I could play this on my phone, via Playstation Mobile!


24

+ Elvick_ on December 11th, 2012 at 6:56 pm said:

@8: Lemmings came out last Tuesday, not Friday.

Pretty much all of them come out Tuesday, they just post the blogs on the wrong days or eith the wrong wording. This should have been posted yesterday.


25

+ Godchild1020 on December 11th, 2012 at 10:14 pm said:

I went looking in the Vita store for Velocity, because I have been hearing amazing things about it and wanted to try it out myself, but couldn’t find it. Is it on the Vita, PlayStation Mobile store?

Since I couldn’t find it, I downloaded Surge instead and FuturLab Ltd has found place in my heart. 5 Stars


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26

+ James Marsden on December 12th, 2012 at 2:07 am said:

Velocity is available in the minis section on PlayStation Store.

If you like Surge, you’ll love Velocity. Promise :)


27

+ Godchild1020 on December 12th, 2012 at 10:14 pm said:

Thank You James Marsden. I found it and I’m having a blast.


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