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Laughing Jackal On PlayStation Mobile, Sony And Trophies

XX.

PlayStation Mobile is out next week, and one of the major players are the talented people at Laughing Jackal, who are putting considerable weight behind the new multi-platform service.

I recently caught up with the studio’s Ross Brierley, who sounds like they’ve only got good things to say about PSM, as it’s colloquially known. And it seems like it was SCEE themselves who were kickstarting things.

“The suggestion to start PSM development originally came from the guys over at SCEE who were very enthusiastic and supportive about the prospect of us bringing some of our games over to the programme,” says Ross. “When we looked further into the platform ourselves, we were very excited about the potential the platform holds and we signed up as a developer as soon as we could.”

Although PSM works across a multitude of Android devices, it also works on PlayStation Vita. “That certainly helped our decision,” said Ross. “Obviously anything that increases the number of devices that can play PSM games is going to be a good thing for us.”

“Plus due to our previously released games we’ve already got an established fan-base on the PSP, a proportion of which have switched to PS Vita.”

Things have moved quickly, from the initial sign up through to the imminent launch. “Development has gone very smoothly actually,” said Ross, laying any fears to rest. “While there were some frame-rate issues with early builds of Hungry Giraffe (our first port to PSM) the support from Sony has been fantastic and we’ve managed to get our first three PSM games approved in relatively short order.”

Were they concerned about the number of devices the games need to run on? “From a testing point of view, at first,” says Ross, “due to the increased amount of testing required plus the increased chance of bugs occurring.” But that wasn’t ultimately an issue, with the studio citing “quality development tools” as a massive help and thus “compatibility and bug testing was a very straightforward process.”

Unlike Futurlab, who are kicking out brand new games for the launch of PSM, Laughing Jackal are sticking to tried and tested IPs like Cubixx and Hungry Giraffe, both great hits on PSP. Was it wise to focus on existing minis/PS3 titles for the first entries onto the platform, I ask.

“We’re quietly confident that it will be,” replied Ross, “but of course we won’t know for certain until the games are released. The first few games we’ve chosen were very popular when originally released as minis, with several of them achieving well in excess of 100k downloads.”


A new section on the Store will open up next week, with lots of new games.
“Not only does the PSM programme allow us to bring some of our most popular games to a new audience on Android but a few of these games such as Hungry Giraffe have never been available through the Vita Store.”

And have the team taken the opportunity to tweak the visuals at all? “Our titles have a new lick of paint and they will run at a higher resolution on PSM than they do as minis,” replied Ross. “Of course, I’m slightly biased, but the difference between the original versions and the new improved PSM versions of our titles really blew me away.”

It’s an exciting time for the indie developer. “Anything that allows more people to play our games on so many devices is a very exciting prospect so we’re of course delighted to feature on PSMso early on in the format’s life. Bringing our games to mobile is something that we’ve been keen on for a long time and in fact several of our minis were designed to be as much fun to play on mobile as they are on PSP so this is the perfect opportunity for us.”

And trophies, which aren’t currently part of the PSM specification sadly, will no doubt be massively important down the line. Have Laughing Jackal given them any thought? “Well, several of our PSM games already feature in-game achievements so it wouldn’t require a huge conceptual leap to create some Trophies if it becomes possible,” came the reply. “We certainly enjoyed coming up with ideas for Trophies in Cubixx HD.”

“Personally, I’m very excited about PSM development and I’m sure that if other developers look into it, then they’ll quickly see the huge potential benefits on offer. Not only is it a great route onto mobile for console developers like us, but hopefully it will also provide a route for other mobile developers onto the handheld & console platforms. After all anything that encourages the cross pollination of ideas is a good thing from my point of view.”

“And if it means that there will be more great games to play on my Vita then that’s also a bonus.”

20 Comments
  1. XisTG
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    I hope my Hungry Giraffe will be compatible with the Vita without buying it again.

    Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 14:48.
    • Alex C
      One for all.
      Since: Forever

      Nope, brand new purchase.

      Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 14:54.
      • XisTG
        Member
        Since: May 2010

        Bad news always run fast :P

        Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 15:39.
      • LJ_Ross
        Member
        Since: Jun 2012

        We’re hoping that Hungry Giraffe will be available on the Vita soon but you could always try copying it accross from your PC/PS3. Although I’m aware that’s not really ideal.

        Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 16:06.
  2. igotmy9milli
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    Hungry Giraffe is awesome, just wish I kept the concept for myself…. :P

    Hi Ross!

    Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 14:50.
    • LJ_Ross
      Member
      Since: Jun 2012

      Hi Steven :)

      But then you’d have missed out with Marc’s vocal work :)

      Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 16:09.
  3. Bodachi
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    Looking forward to playing some more Cubixx personally.

    Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 14:53.
  4. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    I’ll probably wait and look forward to their next new IP but Cubixx and Hungry Giraffe are up there with the best of the minis and i think it’s great that Laughing Jackal have the opportunity to spread those IPs to a wider audience.

    Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 15:32.
    • LJ_Ross
      Member
      Since: Jun 2012

      Thanks :) We’re still working on a new title but it’s a little way away at the moment so there might be a few more ports coming in the mean time while we work on it.

      Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 16:11.
  5. Jakster123x
    Member
    Since: Aug 2011

    I’ve been playing Hungry Giraffe on my Vita recently. If i was to upgrade to the PSM version, would my minis save be compatible with it?

    I’m sort of assuming no.

    Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 16:16.
    • LJ_Ross
      Member
      Since: Jun 2012

      I’m afraid not. You’d have to start a new save.

      Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 16:31.
      • Jakster123x
        Member
        Since: Aug 2011

        That’s fair enough. I don’t mind too much if the visuals have been improved for Vita

        Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 17:04.
  6. Kennykazey
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    Do the games run at the Vitas native resolution? Because I’m very interested in playing Cubixx on it and I haven’t got the minis version.

    Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 18:56.
    • LJ_Ross
      Member
      Since: Jun 2012

      I’ve just checked with our programmer and I’ve been told it does.

      Comment posted on 27/09/2012 at 10:24.
      • Kennykazey
        Member
        Since: Mar 2010

        Great! Make sure to hold off a copy for me as I’m sold.

        Comment posted on 27/09/2012 at 14:40.
  7. Joshua Hood
    Small briefcase w*nker
    Since: Forever

    Is that trailer for the new PSM version? As far as I knew, PSM games aren’t compatible with the PS3, but it’s on there as supporting higher resolution art and stuff on it – weird wording if it’s a separate PS3 version.

    Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 20:14.
    • Alex C
      One for all.
      Since: Forever

      The game uses high res assets on PS3 when playing the minis version.

      Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 21:17.
  8. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Best of luck to you and the guys, Ross. I’m not a mobile gamer but you all come across very well and deserve great sales (especially considering the games people already know and love).

    Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 20:48.
    • LJ_Ross
      Member
      Since: Jun 2012

      Thanks :) and if you want to try one of our games on a console we did release Cubixx HD for PS3.

      Comment posted on 27/09/2012 at 10:26.
  9. Sympozium
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    If Kairosoft are going to be on PSM…. then HERE TAKE MY MONEY!! Love there games would be lovely on Vita.

    Comment posted on 26/09/2012 at 23:51.

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