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Gunslugs on PS Vita: Developer Q&A

Tj’ien Twijnstra's Avatar + Posted by Tj’ien Twijnstra on Feb 17, 2014 // Creative Director, Abstraction Games

Hey everyone! I’m extremely excited that Gunslugs is finally coming to its natural home, PS Vita, on February 18th. To celebrate the launch, we’re offering a 20% discount for all PlayStation Plus members during the first week, so don’t miss out!

For the occasion, I figured I’d give you guys a sneak peek at the porting process of Gunslugs; or as we like to call it, an “adaptation” process. As I have no technical skills whatsoever, I interviewed Rutger Janssen, one of our elite programmers, and Ralph Egas, CEO and Abstraction Games Mastermind. Both developers were involved with the Gunslugs adaptation.

Gunslugs on PS VitaGunslugs on PS Vita

Tj’ièn Twijnstra: Rutger, could you tell us a bit about the adaptation process? How does something like that work?

Rutger Janssen: After we determined the base version, the first step is to strip the game code of all the platform specific functions; only the game code remains. Then we take it through our in-house developed tool chain so the basic language is converted from Objective C to C++. Unfortunately, tools are never perfect, so here and there I needed to manually update the code.

As the original platform handles things differently than PS Vita, we need to add placeholder code, called “stubs,” to make sure the code starts to compile. Once all the things that prevent the code from compiling are fixed, we slowly replace the stubs with actual functioning code to make sure we get something visual on that beautiful OLED. This process continues up until we have the original game running on its new home.

Tj’ièn Twijnstra: Then the fun begins, right?

Rutger Janssen: Yeah, then it’s time to add the PS Vita-specific functions. We spent a lot of time tailoring the game. We’ve added leaderboards, Trophies, and cloud saving, and we made sure the game text was properly localized to different languages. I know you spent ages finding the right font to work with the special characters!

Tj’ièn Twijnstra: Don’t remind me, it took forever…

Rutger Janssen: That basically leaves us with a complete game, but the process doesn’t stop there. We then take it through some serious testing, both in house and using a specialized testing agency to fix bugs in both the PS Vita specific code, as well as some bugs in the original code. After that rigorous testing, Sony QA tracked down some final bugs which we cleared as well.

Gunslugs on PS VitaGunslugs on PS Vita

Tj’ièn Twijnstra: Did you think it was an easy adaptation?

Rutger Janssen: Yeah, we did it pretty fast. We learned a lot thanks to our earlier experience with Hotline Miami on PS Vita, so this was a smooth ride.

Tj’ièn Twijnstra: Ralph, you told me Gunslugs was a special kind of adaptation for us, could you tell us a bit more?

Ralph Egas: Well, this is one of the first adaptations where we created a special tool chain that allowed us to convert one coding language to another, allowing the basics of one language to easily be translated to another. When we did Hotline Miami we gained experience using some of these tools, so we further developed this tool chain for Gunslugs, which worked really well.

In fact, now that we did Gunslugs, other Orange Pixel games will benefit and become easier to adapt to PS Vita.

Some of you might have heard that Heroes of Loot, Orange Pixel’s latest piece of sheer brilliance, is due later this year on PS Vita, so be sure to check this place out in the future.

We hope you’ll enjoy Gunslugs when it arrives, but we’re also curious to hear from you guys what other games from Orange Pixel you might be interested in. Feel free to let your voice be heard in the comments below (or send us a tweet at @AbstractionGame) — we’re listening!

//Add Your Own

20 Comments   2 Replies

1

+ Gorvi on February 17th, 2014 at 7:33 am said:

This looks really cool. Will there be a demo?


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2

+ Tj’ien Twijnstra on February 17th, 2014 at 7:48 am said:

Hey Gorvi, Sorry there will be no demo, but we offer 20% discount for PSPlus members, and looking at your avatar, you are a plus member! In that case the game should be $1.99 only, well worth your money if you ask me :D


3

+ jacky-junior on February 17th, 2014 at 7:57 am said:

$1.99?! Wow, that’s cheap! I was planning on buying this anyway. Been playing a lot on my tablet with bluetooth controller, so I know the Vita will be a natural fit for this game.


4

+ HeLLeVeN11 on February 17th, 2014 at 7:59 am said:

1.99$ only? I’ll grab a dozen :P


5

+ Gorvi on February 17th, 2014 at 8:01 am said:

Holy crap, only $1.99? Well, you have my money. :)


6

+ gus_xl on February 17th, 2014 at 8:07 am said:

I thought it’d be a little more money. I’m impressed.


7

+ Vcheese on February 17th, 2014 at 10:30 am said:

Buaa, another atari 2600 port :( Are we ever going to get AAA games for our almighty vita OLED screen?


8

+ Elvick_ on February 17th, 2014 at 10:41 am said:

Any game from Orange Pixel is a game i want on PS Vita.

Neoteria, Super Drill Panic and Meganoid (both) especially. (Heroes of Loot would be there but its coming already, woot) Day 1 for any of ‘em.


9

+ tusunami on February 17th, 2014 at 12:06 pm said:

Man this wasn’t even on my radadar but thet price is what caught my attention. I’ll definetly be picking this up now!!!!!!!!!!!!


10

+ Gamerzlimited on February 17th, 2014 at 1:28 pm said:

Surprised this game is going to be $1.99, thought you would charge a hefty price like other digital games would.

Also, looks like rotten Vcheese is being stupid again. Not surprised because he is an idiot after all.


11

+ lowkee33 on February 17th, 2014 at 1:54 pm said:

Awesome game well worth the money. Cant wait for Heroes of Loot !


12

+ Slizarus on February 17th, 2014 at 2:22 pm said:

I agree with the people surprised that it’s so cheap, You may have my purchase tomorrow for that alone :)


13

+ INFIDEL_JIHAD on February 17th, 2014 at 3:22 pm said:

Thank you for explaining in part the porting process alot of gamers believe it’s as simple as copy and paste


14

+ Figboy on February 17th, 2014 at 4:04 pm said:

I was going to buy it anyway, but you can’t argue with $1.99.


15

+ ngreatshark on February 17th, 2014 at 5:02 pm said:

Can’t beat that price, I will definitely give it a go on my Vita when we update this week.


16

+ SpaceOddity87 on February 17th, 2014 at 5:50 pm said:

It’s tempting to hold out for a PC version, but $1.99 is a great price, and I think I already have some money in my Sony wallet, so you can count on my purchase. Game looks great.


17

+ Welmosca on February 18th, 2014 at 12:04 am said:

Was really surprised when I saw the price….decided to check a bit more about the game and….you got a buy right here.Thank you for your work to bring Gunslugs to Vita…I really appreciate that…and just ignore the trolls.


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18

+ Tj’ien Twijnstra on February 18th, 2014 at 3:01 am said:

Thanks Welmosca, it’s great to see so many positive reactions and I’m glad people appreciate the price we’re asking. :)


19

+ AizawaYuuichi on February 18th, 2014 at 5:38 am said:

Like many others have said already, I was amazed when I saw the price in the PS+ post from Monday. I was hoping for it to be somewhere around $6-$8. But only $2.49, with a + discount to only $1.99? Even if I had no idea what this was, I’d impulse buy it at that price. But as I do know, I’m super excited. Thanks so much for the amazing price. You’ve definitely got a new fan. Looking forward to the other games you’ll be bringing to us, and I’ll be playing this later today after the PSN store updates.


20

+ italodancemp3 on February 20th, 2014 at 10:22 am said:

I just purchased this game and it’s good I knew it was a smartphones game but with good price yeah worth it :)


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