Live Chat With minis Developers

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Live is such a scary word in this business but I’m throwing caution to the wind and inviting four of the brains behind the finest minis available from PlayStation Store in for a live chat.
From 4pm UK time we have:

  • Antonio José, CTO & Chairman at StormBASIC Games, publisher of the minis Tehra Dark Warrior and Dynogems.
  • Paul Croft, Cofounder & Director of Games at Mediatonic, publisher of the minis Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess and the upcoming Who’s That Flying?!
  • Joe Dixon, Lead Coder at Tag Games, publisher of the minis title Car Jack Streets.
  • Martin Brouard, Executive Producer at Frima Studio, publisher of minis Zombie Tycoon and Widgets Odyssey.

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  • Cool, I’m looking forward to this. I’d like to know what it’s like to develop minis and how it’s different to developing bigger games.
    If I happen to miss something, will I be able to catch up later?

  • Nice one, although that’s not much notice to get the word out and get people thinking of intelligent questions to ask!

  • There was a blog post yesterday letting people know about whats happing today

  • My questions for the gentleman;
    1. What inspired you to make a Mini(s)?
    2. If you could would you include trophy support?
    3. What’s your favourite Mini title and why?
    4. How long did it take to create a Mini from scratch?
    5. Have you got plans for another title?

  • My three questions are
    1) Will there be Trophy Support in the future?
    2) Price: Most of the minis are in the range of £2.99 to £3.99. One has to think a reasonable amount before spending £4 considering you can get a full PSN game (Joe Danger) for a £10.
    3) Demo’s for minis? Maybe for Playstation Plus subscribers.

  • 3 Questions to answer if possible.
    1, Why don’t developers of minis games integrate them into #PSHome by creating an arcade machine item that links to the game, like the Namco classics ?
    2, Many minis don’t have vids so do they expect customers to but them blind ?
    3, Why don’t SCEE create a minis youtube channel so potential purchases can view the game ?

    • I like your thinking around Home. I can answer the second questions now – our weekly minis round-up should help keep you in the loop better and I’ll press the developers to always submit a video if they want to be included in that.

  • Questions for the Devs…
    1. What is the best way to approach Sony to become a Mini’s developer?
    2. Do all Mini’s use Sony’s PhyreEngine or can you roll your own cross-platform game engine for PS3 and PSP?
    3. What is the typical life cycle of your games. Do you prototype iteratively from day one or do you spend tonnes of time on the game design document and then code madly for 12 months?
    4. How much money does Sony take on each PSN sale made? Apple make it clear that iPhone developers get 70% while they keep 30%. How does this compare to PSN?
    5. How usefull is the Sony developer network? If you have a queries while writing your game do you find most of your questions get answered by fellow developers, Sony dev support or both?
    6. What game/films/music influence the games you make?
    7. What are your favourte games of all time.
    I think that will do for now :)

  • Just a little note to explain how this is going to work: you can either comment here or in the chat window, once it goes live. Your comments in the chat window will come through to me and I can click a button that will make it visible to all. Don’t scream at me if yours doesn’t appear – I’ll just be picking out a few that add to the conversation.

  • I have a question, Can minis be updated like other PS3 games?

  • @James Gallagher : So should I post these same question during the chat or only new ones?

  • Jem Alexander? I thought he left? Is that your James using Jem’s old logon details or something?!

  • Hi James,
    I want to know what you need to start to make a Mini: SDK, hardware, a partner programs, etc…

  • Anymore Amiga classics coming to minis? :P

  • really interested in that real time mini

  • really great to hear the devs are wanting trophies in their minis games , this would only be a good thing and would bolster sales a lot so i hope it happens .

  • Sorry for asking the cheese question. It had to be done

  • That was very insightful. More of these live talks please James :)

  • Great show thanks

  • Great read. I wonder how much it costs to get your game age-rated? Can’t be THAT much, it’s just a check of does it have violence, swearing, etc.

  • Interesting read, even though you didn’t ask my question :(

    • I’m sorry – there were so many coming through that I was just grabbing random ones that caught my eye. What was it?

  • Enjoyed the live chat, thanks James, nice of you to put this on for us. Very insightful, learned some cool stuff about them :-)
    Hope we see more of this in the future.

  • Great James! Very very instructive. We want more!!!
    Perhaps some Guerrilla members? Will be awesome to know how is making a game like Killzone 3!

  • they should definetly make some cool avatars for psn based on their games as they could really make some cool ones based on zombie tycoon ,monster stole my princess etc and im sure loads would buy them .

  • Very good, hope we see these again!

  • Don’t worry about it James, it was a bit waffley – I need to practice making short snappy questions!
    I was basically curious as to what attracted them to the Minis format and whether they viewed it as a standalone platform or a gateway to bigger PlayStation projects…

    • No problem, I’ll probably be doing more minis interviews soon enough so I’ll keep that in mind for then. Thanks for getting involved!

  • I really hope Minis get trophy support, it would help them sell twice as fast.
    James, could you pass on this suggestion please, if Sony dont allow Trophy support insted why not have in-game achievements that unlock wallpapers, themes, avatars for both PS3 and PSP.
    Thanks again

  • Sony keep 30% of the revenue from sales on PSN, so that’s the same cut as Apple take on iPhone.
    Getting a Mini rated for EU release (so that’s PEGI and USK) costs about €1000 if you’re game will get a 3+ rating, and I think up to twice that if it will get a higher rating.
    The Sony Developer Network is generally really good. Easily the best of the two platform holders I’m familiar with.
    I’m also keen to see wallpapers, themes and avatars for minis

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