How a Game Developers’ Toolkit Built a Community of Developers
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New York Mag publisher Evan Osnos wrote about the power of a community of game developers in the wake of the Sony hack last week.
The article outlines how, in the course of development for the upcoming “Darksiders” game, a small group of coders came together to work on a shared engine, dubbed Viktor, that would allow them to create and publish games for other developers.
This toolkit also allowed them to build a shared game engine for “Star Wars: Battlefront” that is the backbone of EA’s “StarWars Battlefront 2” game.
After this initial collaboration, the Viktors developers realized they could share their code and tools and create a single shared project that could be shared with other game developers.
The toolkit was built in such a way that it could be easily adapted to other developers, allowing them to quickly build new games for Sony’s PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
The power of the toolkit has allowed Sony to build an entire community of developers, and it has also been a boon for the company.
“As we build more and more games for PlayStation and Xbox, the more people who are building games for them, the better,” said Alex Morales, senior vice president of developer relations at Sony Computer Entertainment America.
“We’re working on a whole new ecosystem of games for PS3 and Xbox and we’re seeing the value of this.”
The Viktar toolkit is also helping to foster a new community of “building games for mobile devices.”
For example, Sony recently opened a new branch of its developer portal on the PlayStation Blog for “building and running mobile games for iOS devices.”
The branch now has more than 1,400 apps and more than 10,000 titles.
“This is really the beginning of the mobile game ecosystem,” said Morales.
“People have already started building mobile games, and now they’re sharing the code and making the tools available.”
In this example, a developer is sharing their code with other developers and the tools are freely available to everyone.
Morales also noted that the tool has allowed developers to build games on any device.
In addition to this, Morales said that the Vikktor toolkit gives developers the ability to collaborate on games they have developed, and to share their work and ideas in an open, collaborative fashion.
“It’s kind of like a virtual community,” he said.
“You can get your game into the hands of other developers by creating a toolkit for them.”
“I think what we’re doing with this is very exciting,” said Robert Linnell, senior director of developer tools at Sony.
“When you build your first game, it’s a lot easier to share your code, your tools, your ideas, and get it out to other people.”
Linnell said that this collaboration is a great example of how Sony is building an open and collaborative development environment for developers.
“The way we build games is open and we have this shared development environment where anyone can contribute,” he explained.
“If you want to build your own game, you can, and that’s a really exciting thing.”
“This was a very important milestone for us, and we are excited to see this community continue to grow,” Morales added.
“Hopefully it will help build even more communities and create even more opportunities for new developers to get involved in building games.”
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