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GDC: New Tools and Middleware Coming to PS4

Shane Bettenhausen's Avatar + Posted by Shane Bettenhausen on Mar 19, 2014 // Developer Relations // SCEA

GDC 14

Happy GDC! Today we’re announcing that we will continue to strengthen our support for the global independent developer community by introducing more tools and middleware solutions for PS4.

SCE has entered into strategic partnerships to bring new native solutions from popular middleware vendors GameMaker:Studio and MonoGame to PS4, further expanding an already robust set of development tools. We’re also announcing that fully integrated solutions for Unity are now available for PS3 and PS Vita, with the highly anticipated early access version for PS4 coming in April 2014. Unity, GameMaker:Studio and MonoGame represent the most popular game development tools leveraged by universities and independent developers alike, and are used for both prototyping and full-scale game development.

Jointly developed by SCE and YoYo Games, a GameMaker:Studio-native solution for PS4 is now available free for all SCE-licensed developers, making it even easier for developers to bring their 2D games to the more than 6 million global PS4 owners. Developers of beloved games like Hyper Light Drifter by Heart Machine, Samurai Gunn by Teknopants, Risk of Rain by Hopoo Games, Home by Benjamin Rivers and Nuclear Throne by Vlambeer are now able to more efficiently convert their titles from PC to PS4 as of a result of GameMaker:Studio’s native export capabilities.

MonoGame makes up the C#-based open-sourced engine suite available for licensed developers, and was first used in the development of Matt Makes Games’ acclaimed Towerfall: Ascension for PS4. In the coming months, MonoGame will also help bring Mercenary Kings (Tribute Games) and Transistor (Supergiant Games) to PS4.

We’re also announcing the release of SCE’s powerful game development tool Authoring Tools Framework as a free, open source download from the popular GitHub hosting site. SCE’s ATF is widely used within SCE to develop PS3, PS4, PS Vita and PSP titles such as The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls.

Today’s newly announced middleware solutions will join ATF and SCE’s cross-platform game engine PhyreEngine. SCE-sponsored development tools are available for all licensed developer partners.

SCE continues to set a high benchmark across the industry for working with developers worldwide to bring the world’s greatest and most innovative games to PlayStation platforms, including improved processes, flexible policies and extensive resource support. With more than 100 games in development for PS4 from independent developers and more than 1,000 licensed self-publishers, PS4 will continue to be the most appealing platform for both developers and gamers.

For more information about developing games for PlayStation platforms, the tools and middleware available and our support of the development community, please visit us.playstation.com/develop.

//Add Your Own

24 Comments

1

+ LeeJ55 on March 19th, 2014 at 8:15 am said:

Making it easier for developers is always a good thing. Great news.


2

+ GeoDarky on March 19th, 2014 at 8:16 am said:

Good news the more you guys make PS platforms easier to reach and developed for more games for us to enjoy, keep up the good work.


3

+ bucktoothewok on March 19th, 2014 at 8:21 am said:

Good job Sony, keep it up:)


4

+ Carl-G on March 19th, 2014 at 8:23 am said:

I haven’t got a clue :D about what i am going to say but it would be cool if you could use your basic PS4 to make PS4 games(if possible) Maybe small games(like LBP does) Then ‘bedroom’ people could make games. Just a thought ;)


5

+ thecreekman on March 19th, 2014 at 8:27 am said:

Does this help WarThunder in anyway?


6

+ Renan_Acid on March 19th, 2014 at 8:34 am said:

Excellent news! I’m a Unity developer and have a question: Will I be able to make PS4 games by connecting a regular PS4 to my PC, or will I need a devkit for that? Thanks in advance! :)


7

+ Goldanas on March 19th, 2014 at 8:40 am said:

More and easier ways to make games for the PS4 means more games for my PS4, and I’m all for that.

I’ve always been really tired of seeing all of these indie games come out for PC, and I just do not want to have to load up my ridiculously large, loud, and monstrous gaming computer, launch Windows, and deal with a bunch of extra interface nonsense just to play a couple of (admittedly fun) simple pixel games. If they’re all coming to PS4 now, that would make life so much easier. Good Controller + Simple, elegant, and FAST interface + streamlined computational power + excellent social hooks = a very happy me.

I’d be interested if one day you guys opened up an “Early Access” store on PS4 separate from the regular PS Store, where people could check on games in development. The Steam one needs a good deal more regulation, and I imagine Sony would be able to provide that level of quality control that others so vehemently lack at this point.


8

+ saab01 on March 19th, 2014 at 9:11 am said:

New exclusives to ps4 I hope so.


9

+ stlthriot on March 19th, 2014 at 9:53 am said:

Very great to hear!! Love the indie support! So many amazing, lower budget games out there. keep them coming! :D


10

+ Jacob_Baker7 on March 19th, 2014 at 11:01 am said:

Man I’m so excited for all the things Sony is going to be presenting. Good Luck Sony


11

+ jordankid93 on March 19th, 2014 at 11:09 am said:

As someone who’s currently learning Unity and other “indie friendly” software, this is amazing news! Love it!


12

+ finaler on March 19th, 2014 at 11:16 am said:

Glad to see PS platforms being made easier to get in to and developing for. Easier for developers and more games faster for gamers.

I just wish it was open enough that I could learn about developing for it, even if just as a hobby.


13

+ CommandingTiger on March 19th, 2014 at 11:19 am said:

VR Headtset! Confirmed.


14

+ Kchow23 on March 19th, 2014 at 11:27 am said:

Great news! Can’t wait to play even more indie games :)


15

+ plaztiksyke on March 19th, 2014 at 11:36 am said:

Exciting news, but have a couple of questions:

is the MonoGame version mentioned above in a branch on github somewhere? We’ve been working on a sort-of adventure game built around a song I wrote (“same not same” by “the making of the making of” — it’s on Music Unlimited, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, etc) for a couple of years in Unity. I got fed up with Unity last year and we converted everything over to Xamarin Studio (fka MonoTouch) and PlayStation Mobile, using MonoGame as a portability layer. After 6 months of issue after issue with PSM and MonoGame, we reverted back to Unity. The PSM support in MonoGame turned out to be unusable (major audio sync issues, no video support, PSM’s mono AOT/JIT compiler barely optimizes anything, etc). I see MonoGame has had work done in the area of PSM, but I don’t see any commits that fix the issues we ran into.

if the MonoGame version mentioned above isn’t in a public github, when will it be there? We *really* want to ditch Unity, and took a major detour to try to use PSM/MonoGame, but I’d need to know it would work out better this time.


16

+ plaztiksyke on March 19th, 2014 at 11:46 am said:

Will retail PS4 units be able to be “dev kits” for these new frameworks/middleware, like the Vita is for PS Mobile? It’s soooo awesome to be able to automatically deploy builds on a retail Vita (and a retail Xperia Play) to make sure changes we make don’t break things. It would be *amazing* to be able to do this with retail PS4s, especially with the ability to do remote debugging.

Will MonoGame support compressed textures on PS4/Vita/PSM? what about hardware-accelerated video playback (even via an embeddable HTML5 browser control)? thread access to more than one core? non-deprecated shader format support? will the mono runtime support the concurrent compacting garbage collection to ease GC-related performance issues that come up during development?


17

+ plaztiksyke on March 19th, 2014 at 11:47 am said:

Xamarin Studio now supports developing code using either their editor or Visual Studio (which means having access to ReSharper, an *amazing* dev tool). will the PS4/Vita/PSM mono environment support this as well?

finally, will the optimizer be fixed? the PSM forum is full of folks who have shown the Sony version of the mono runtime is weirdly crippled when it comes to JIT/AOT optimizations. the Vita has a pretty amazing CPU and memory architecture to kind of compensate, but at the cost of worse battery life while playing Vita games. battery life isn’t an issue on PS4, but the optimizer needs to be as performance as mono for other ARM and x86 platforms.

thanks for answering questions in detail! the guys on the floor at GDC last year were really nice, and it’s been cool to see PSM improvements over the last year! :)


18

+ luvtoseek on March 19th, 2014 at 12:06 pm said:

@plaz, copy & paste your query to the http://us.playstation.com/develop/ forums! Good luck!


19

+ brolol07 on March 19th, 2014 at 1:01 pm said:

This is awesome news! Especially for somebody whose in college trying to learn how to make games! I like that Sony is willing to open up the PS platforms to more games.


20

+ fivestarboy1 on March 19th, 2014 at 3:05 pm said:

will make even more games come out for the console since it will be even easier for devs to make it on the system :)


21

+ Tinye310 on March 19th, 2014 at 3:17 pm said:

Kudos – I approve!


22

+ bmrskate on March 19th, 2014 at 4:48 pm said:

Excellent news! I hope this development system will keep bringing in fresh talent to continue to make PlayStation platforms more welcoming and vibrant for smaller developers. Maybe it will become as simple as the average game enthusiast seeing the development tools and thinking, “Hey, I want to make a game too! With these tools, I can make it a reality.”


23

+ ErsatzJobl on March 19th, 2014 at 4:55 pm said:

This sounds fantastic! And it clearly is reaping results. So many indie games coming to PS4!


24

+ Lil_Carter2008 on March 20th, 2014 at 1:49 am said:

Guys, i just got my PS4 and i need some cool ps friends so we can game together and having good times. I’m from Denmark by the way :d


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