Interview - Constantin Graf on SwapQuest
We’re currently playing SwapQuest for a double review here at PS3blog.net, so we wanted to get in touch with Constantin Graft to talk a bit more about the game making its way to PS Vita.
PS3B: Hi! Good to have you with us at PS3blog.net. Could you please get us started by introducing yourself to our readers?
Hi everyone, my name is Constantin Graf and Iâ€™m the guy behind the alias Rebusmind. Iâ€™ve been working as an indie developer since 2012 and created mostly mobile games nobody has heard of. SwapQuest is by far my biggest game to date – itâ€™s been in development for over two years, which is more than half of my professional career!
PS3b:We’re happy to see that SwapQuest is now available on PS Vita! How did the journey to Sony’s portable begin for you? How long did you work on the game until it was finally available for all PS Vita owners to enjoy?
Making a game for a handheld has always been my dream, as Iâ€™m a huge handheld fan (even more than a console fan). So when YoYo Games (the company that made Game Maker: Studio, which SwapQuest was made with) announced support for Sony devices, I was thrilled!
Getting a devkit wasnâ€™t that easy, though. -But after a few months of waiting and writing emails I was ready to port the game over. The biggest obstacle was to transform a game thatâ€™s originally played in portrait mode to the widescreen of the Vita. This wasnâ€™t as trivial as it sounds, as some of the game elements in the levels were specifically designed to work with the more vertical gameplay. In the end, I was able to bring everything (and more) over. The Vita version took me another six months to complete.
PS3b: Is there any extra content for the game developed during its move to its new home?
Yes, there is! The Vita version of SwapQuest features three new levels located on a mysterious group of islands. How you get there I donâ€™t want to spoil, but it has to do with something every classic RPG had. Thereâ€™s also a new boss fight that Iâ€™m very proud of, as it plays very different from the other bosses (something I tried with every boss, but this one is the most different, I think). Then thereâ€™s also a brand-new character class called the Tinkerer. It focuses on gadgets like bombs or a plasma shield and itâ€™s meant for people that want a challenge or have played with another class before, as it is the only class not getting HP and attack upgrades when it levels up, so you have to be really careful with what you buy and which ability to put your money into.
PS3b: It’s interesting to see that SwapQuest has a full trophy count with a Platinum considering most indie releases can’t manage to secure one. How did THAT happen?
As the game already had a big list of Achievements on iOS and Android, I wanted to bring them over to the Vita version, of course. So I was quite nervous when I read about the regulations for trophies. In the end it wasnâ€™t a problem at all, I asked the Vita support and they said I could do it. Sometimes you get lucky, I guess.
PS3b: Are you considering releasing SwapQuest on PS4? If so, would cross-buy and cross-save be in the cards for such a release so that players can continue their journey on PS4 and go back and forth both versions?
I have to admit that I didnâ€™t think about making a PS4 version until recently. But then it became obvious to me that I should look into that, so thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m doing right now. If Iâ€™m making it, it will definitely support CrossBuy, considering CrossSave I first have to see how it is implemented.
PS3b: Are you currently working on a new game? What can you tell us about your next project?
Haha, let me put it like this: I have plans for many games, but they are all just design documents for now. SwapQuest has been taking up so much time (and will take up more time if a PS4 version is possible) and I also have a newborn baby at home, itâ€™s hard to make solid plans right now. Iâ€™m excited to see how the Vita version performs and how people like it, everything else will be decided in the future.
PS3b: Thank you for your time. Do you want to add anything else before we go?
Thanks a lot for giving me the opportunity to share some details about the gameâ€™s development, it sure was an exciting journey! Now that I successfully brought a game to a handheld system, I can finally retire…
But seriously, I hope everyone playing the game will enjoy their time with it as much as I enjoyed working on SwapQuest!