Here at Vita Player, we love supporting developers. That’s why this week we got in touch with Russian developers Sigma Team, creators of the Alien Shooter franchise, to talk about Alien Shooter coming to Vita, the history of the game, and the technical limitations of working with Vita.
Enjoy the full interview below!
Marcos Codas: Hello guys! Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! We’re talking about Alien Shooter, so I think it’s a great opportunity for you to tell a bit about the history of the game.
Sigma Team: Hi Marcos, it’s a pleasure to talk to you, and of course we’re always eager to talk about our first child. We made Alien Shooter in 2003. It was a time when Internet distribution was mainly for more simple games – arkanoid/breakout type of games, arcades (variations of Lode Runner, Mario etc.), hidden object games and so on. So the main idea was to bring our favorite genre into the world of Shareware – a very successful way to publish software via the Internet. So we made the game, and we submitted it to all the Shareware portals (not so many at the time). Players liked it, and we were encouraged to make add-ons and new games similar to it.
MC: The game has been made available on many platforms before. What made you decide that Vita was a good home for Alien Shooter?
ST: Vita is a powerful and convenient gaming platform with a great screen, so we decided that AS might be a good fit for it.
MC: What are some of the obstacles you’ve had to overcome in order to port the game to Vita? Were there any limitations with the hardware?
ST: We outsourced porting AS to Vita to a team with good experience of porting games to Sony platforms and gave them the Android version source codes. The guys didn’t ask much questions, so we assume that they didn’t run into serious problems.
MC: I really enjoyed the game! I finished it and it left me wanting more. However, there were frame rate issues when a lot of enemies were on screen, which sometimes hindered the experience a bit. Are you planning on addressing these issues with an update patch in the future?
ST: We’ve done a lot to optimize the game for Android and iOS, and the Android version runs smoothly on ARM processors with lower characteristics than PS Vita has. This week we sent all the optimization changes to the company who ported AS to Vita, but unfortunately this did not produce a good result. The frame rate was only increased by 2 FPS. It’s hard to tell the reason why, because we have little experience, but most likely there will be no performance patch for PS Vita. The good news is that the PS3 version is being finished up, and its frame rate is 25 FPS or higher, even with vast monster crowds on the screen.
MC: Alien Shooter has been a hit (pun intended) with gamers since it was first released. You have since developed more games, which have also been received very well. Do you intend to port any more of your catalog to Vita?
ST: It’s hard to say right now, times change and the Vita audience differs from that of the PC. Let’s see how Vita players receive the first original Alien Shooter. If they like it we’ll do our best to bring them more.
MC: What made you decide to port the original Alien Shooter to Vita, instead of Alien Shooter 2?
ST: The original Alien Shooter is simpler, and it is less resource consuming, that’s why we started with it. You have seen that it already has performance issues, so porting Alien Shooter 2 to Vita would be much harder.
MC: Do you have any advice for other developers who are interested in porting to, or developing for, Vita?
ST: Well, we’re only beginning, so we can only say that it’s definitely worth trying!
MC: Thank you very much for your time! Do you have anything else you’d like to say to the readers of Vita Player?
ST: Enjoy your consoles, stay tuned to Vita Player, have fun 🙂
You can visit Sigma Team’s site here: http://www.sigma-team.net/
You can buy Alien Shooter for Vita here: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/alien-shooter-psvita/
And of course, you can read our review of Alien Shooter for Vita HERE.