Recently we have seen an increasing number of questions regarding the Dungeon Defenders Awakened PlayStation port. We felt that these questions deserved a more in-depth response so we sat down with one of our engineers, Lawson, and asked him directly!
Q. What's been the most challenging thing when developing for PS?
A. One of the difficulties we face with PlayStation development is that we are using a modified version of Unreal Engine. To be able to submit to PlayStation we had to manually upgrade our engine to be able to use Sony's new SDK (software development toolkit, basically all the tools to make our game work with their system). We’ve also recently moved to a new office, which added it’s own layer of complications. With Sony, we need to have a specific IT setup or the developer kits won’t work and it took us a month and a half to get this setup working, locking in IP addresses, getting proper network configurations setup, and more. Most of this process was out of our hands, so it took longer than we expected.
Q. What was surprisingly easy, if anything?
A. Doing the previous ports has allowed us to reuse a ton of work. Optimizations are one of those areas that really comes through with what we’re doing, and troubleshooting is a bit faster as a lot of issues that pop up are very similar to previous development.
Q. What are some things you think people don't realize are a thing when porting a game?
A. That it's not just as easy as getting a game on the console and releasing it. Releasing on a console requires a lot of work back and forth with the platform, in this case Sony. We have to integrate a ton of platform specific logic and each platform has its own set of tests we have to pass to be able to get it working. This means that the games on consoles should be a better product for gamers, but this comes at the cost of time. On PC we have none of these restrictions and can just release when we want.
Q. What's the weirdest issue you've run into?
A. The first time we started the game on PlayStation it was in black and white. For some reason the fire was still colored. It was actually pretty spooky. We also had a mesh that would appear randomly around the tavern then quickly disappear. So the tavern basically became a haunted house.
Q. What goes into the porting process?
A. In general for a port we need to make sure the game can run well and meet all of the platform requirements to release. These requirements can vary from platform to platform and change over time. It is like trying to hit a constantly moving target to get it on the platform.
Q. How does this compare with porting to other platforms in the past?
A. With other platforms we didn’t have to manually upgrade our entire engine. The Switch required a lot of profiling and optimization work, which will carry over to the PlayStation.
Q. What part of bringing DDA to PlayStation do you most enjoy?
A. All my friends mostly play games on PlayStation, so I am really excited to be able to play DDA with them once this is finished.
Q. Will this port work for both PS4 and PS5?
A. To get DDA to work cross-gen on PlayStation will take extra time. This requires more upgrades to the engine along with additional requirements from Sony. To get DDA out as fast as possible we will be releasing it on PS4. However, it will run on PS5 in backward compatibility mode.
Q. Is there any ETA on this going live?
A. Right now we are finishing up the multiplayer portion of the port. This includes preparing all of the documentation (icons, trophies, etc.) to submit to PlayStation. This part of the process is back-and-forth with PlayStation. We are waiting on the green light from then, so we don’t want to promise anything prematurely. Work is continuing as we wait on word from them to make sure we’re using our time as wisely as possible.
Q. Anything else that you would like DDA fans to know?
A. That the PlayStation port is definitely not abandoned and it's actively being worked on. This is a labor of love, and we are just as excited as the community to bring DDA to PlayStation.
We’re continuing work on Episode 2 with new maps, heroes, enemies, and more. We just teased out our first new map yesterday, with more being shown over the coming weeks. Make sure to stop by our stream this week to see more of this new map!
There’s so much going on at Chromatic, not only do we have this PlayStation port going, we’ve got a lot we’re doing with Episode 2, new updates for Dungeon Defenders II, and so much more. Keep an eye on our social channels below as we continue to spill Episode 2 beans!
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