Sony developers making “so many exciting games. Many haven’t been announced”

MotorStorm PS Vita screens

I had a chance to chat to Paul Rustchynsky, the game director on MotorStorm RC at last night’s PS Vita Rooms. We talked about RC, the PS Vita, the possibility of playing one Sony game across several platforms and how Sony Worldwide Studios share tech to make better games. It’s a really interesting interview with loads of stuff to think about. 

Official PlayStation Magazine How did you first get to grips with the Vita?

Paul Rustchynsky Because we’re part of Sony originally we were actually presented the Vita very early on. We got input into what we thought would be a really good idea for the console. MotorStorm RC wasn’t even really thought about.

We were thinking we’d make MotorStorm RC for PS3 but it was the perfect fit [for Vita]  – short sharp racing, arcade sensibilities – so we thought, we’ll make the game for both, PS3 and Vita. We’ll make them in parity with each other; we’ll make sure if you buy the game on the PS3 you get it free on the Vita and vice versa. Everything you do on the PS3 or Vita is transferred to on another. It’s a true cross platform experience.

OPM How does the code work if you can play the same game on two different platforms?

PR The way it works is that you download it from the PlayStation Store, you own the game. If you download it for the Vita or PS3, it’s two different games you’re downloading separately. But they do use all the same code effectively. There are some changes to make it work on the Vita, some tweaks here and there. Essentially it’s the same game. There’s complete parity through visuals, controls, options. The PS3 offers a few extra differences like four player split screen and SimulView.

There’s minor differences. We’re not trying to pitch MotorStorm RC as two separate games – one for the PS3 and one for the Vita – it’s one game as a service for both. You buy it you get everything. If you own it on the PS3 now that’s fine, play it on the PS3. If you decide to pick up a Vita in six month’s time then you get the game for free, you get to continue your progress where you left off.

OPM With the unification of PSN to SEN accounts and PlayStation Certified products, is there a future for that one game/several platforms concept?

PR I couldn’t agree more. Sony Entertainment Network as a platform shouldn’t be just be PS3, or just Vita. It needs to involve all these different devices so you can play all these exclusive, exciting games that are only available via SEN on any platform you want. So MotorStorm is a Sony property and you can play it though SEN but you don’t have to play it on one device. I think you’ll see a lot more of that in the future.

OPM How close is the code if the DLC is interchangeable?

PR Everything we do, whether it’s the main game of the DLC we do in the future, it’s all going to be identical. We were amazing how easily we were able to get the game up and running on Vita. We only started production ten months ago. That from inception all the way to the game being final and that’s on both platforms. The Vita’s just been a joy to work with really.

All the tools, all the hardware – everything we need was there right from the start. The way RC came about was we developed it on a previous code base built on the PS3 and in a month or two we had it up and running on both platforms. It’s the same on both. There are little differences, like native resolutions, but other than that it’s virtually the same.

OPM Do you think this is a sign of how tech has advanced? The Vita’s now capable of doing what the PS3 could only in a much smaller package.

PR I think it is just how technology has advanced. If you look at the difference between PS3 and Vita there is quite a few years between them. If you’d thought about having a PS3 portable experience a few years ago you’d have thought ‘no, it’s never going to happen’.

But if you look at things like the PS Vita or the iPad you can see the range of visually rich experiences they provide. Each, in it’s own separate environment, offers something different and I think the Vita’s exciting because of the range of exclusive games it offers. Also the range of exclusive interactions you can have with the Vita. For me it’s the dual analogue sticks. Imagine playing a Call Of Duty experience on your Vita. You can’t do that anywhere else. And I’m a massive fan of LittleBigPlanet. What is it five million? Six million levels. Being able to play all those levels on your Vita at your convenience? It’s really exciting.