Since the Playstation Vita is entering its twilight years and migrating into a legacy device status, we thought it’d be neat to start highlighting the work of those still making stuff for the device. In this week’s entry, we’ve got VitaHEX, a Greek developer who’s currently working on Consolepedia 3D, a 3D encyclopedia of games console history. We talk about working on homebrew applications, how they make their own full-fat games outside of homebrew, and much more. Enjoy!
Vita Player: Thank you so much for your time! Can you please introduce yourself, and what you do?
VitaHEX: My name is Sakis and I am from Greece. I have many years of experience in game development. Started back in 2005 with GameMaker making pc games for fun. Ten years later moved to Unity3D because I loved working on 3d games and also it was a much more advanced tool for that. Since 2005 I have worked on more than 15 games, including games for iOS, Android, PC and VR platforms. But I prefer to separate my real profile from the Vita scene.
VP: Do you have experience developing homebrew for other devices aside from Vita?
VH: I’ve also worked for the PSP scene but not for homebrew games. I worked on a tool called PBP Designer that lets you customize the images of psx2psp games. I also did a Greek translation for the localizer plugin for the PSP. More recently I worked on porting my games on more systems like the PS4 and the Switch. No plans for public releases yet.
VP: What drew you to working on developing homebrew for the PS Vita?
VH: I think it’s a very special portable console that was so underrated. There was a lot of potential on this system but unfortunately it lost the game due to its sales and lack of good software from the AAA parties first. Indies have always supported it. I really enjoy working for this system because I learned a lot from it. PS Vita is really powerful but limited at the same time and this helped me to learn about optimization and other techniques that I previously ignored.
VP: What has the reception been like from the community, with regards to the projects you’ve been working on so far?
VH: The PS Vita homebrew scene is a wonderful community with amazing people. I think they like what I do and are always waiting for the next big thing. When I released the Hallway on PSVita people really liked it and I’ve seen a lot of videos with people playing the game trying to figure out how to escape and I really like that they enjoy playing my games as much as I enjoy making them. Making games for the vita myself is just my personal thank you to this great community.
VP: Can you talk a bit about your new project, the 3D encyclopedia of gaming consoles?
VH: Got the idea of working on Consolepedia 3D out of my love for video games since the Atari days. I like the history of each system and wanted to create a homebrew app to get more people to learn and appreciate what those consoles did back in their times. With the presentation of Consolepedia I believe I achieved it. As a geek myself I’ve also got a small collection of game consoles that I like to display on my room shelves.
VP: Why do you think it’s important to foster a homebrew community? What benefits have you gotten from it?
VH: Working on homebrew games for the Vita was something I started because I wanted to know more about the console and how well it performs. I never thought people would like what I do. And I really like that people today recognize me as someone who creates quality content for the homebrew scene.
VP: Specifically in terms of Vita development, what are some of the Vita quirks, challenges and limitations with which you must contend when developing a new homebrew app?
VH: PS Vita performs similarly to mobile games. Unity for Vita also has its limitations, for example you cannot have full access to the full power of the system. But I learned to play with these limitations and I do a lot of optimizations to make a game work and run well at playable state without the need for overclocking or things like that.
VP: Can you please name some Vita homebrew projects you really like? We’d love to show our audience what’s out there in terms of development. The Vita has a very active homebrew community!
VH: I really like what Rinnegatamante did all these years in the scene. Lots of great homebrews and game ports including his recently released Daedalus X64 emulator for the Vita which performs impressively great. I also like ‘Vita Fighters’ by AngryDevs, ‘Kill Em All’ by RetroGamer74 and ‘Speedrun Vita’ by FantaHourglass just to name a few. Of course there are tons of quality homebrews out there by other skilled developers, those are just some of my personal favorites.
Huge thanks to VitaHEX for joining us in this week’s entry! Which homebrew developer would you like us to feature next? Let us know in the comments or on our social media accounts!