We’re currently working on a review for Emerald Shores, so I got in touch with Fordesoft to talk about the game’s development for its PS4 release. Check it out!
PS4Blog: Welcome to PS4Blog.net! Could you please introduce yourself and tell our readers a bit about your work?
Hi everyone! Thanks for the interview opportunity. I’m Josh Forde, a solo developer from Wisconsin. I work full-time as a programmer during the day and release games here and there, working on them in my free time, my last game being 2015’s PS Vita puzzle game Super Blackout.
PS4B: Emerald Shores is now out on PlayStation 4. How would you describe the game to someone who’s never heard about it?
It’s something like “Super Mario World with a level-up system.” There are light RPG elements, like increasing your jump damage as you fight monsters and gain experience points, but the emphasis is still mostly on the platforming. There’s also a lot of variety in the game, with a handful of mini-games, side-quests, unlockable levels, and 20-something different music tracks.
PS4B: How long did it take to develop the game for its PS4 release? Where there any particular hurdles or challenges you had to overcome?
It was a lengthy process, not because of the PS4 development environment itself or anything, but because the game went through many major changes throughout its development cycle. It started as a PlayStation Mobile project, but when PS Mobile ended, the game jumped between engines a couple of times (PS Mobile to C++ to GameMaker), and then finally ended up in its current state. Developing on PS4 was a smooth experience; the PS Vita version is the one that ended up requiring a lot of optimization to be playable, both in terms of loading times and framerate.
PS4B: With the game out on PS4, are you currently working on a new project or are you taking some time off?
My next project is going to be a 2D monster-catching RPG, something along the lines of the Shin Megami Tensei series. It’s still in early development, but I have most of the story written and a little of the game programmed so far. My hope is to have that one out in about a year, but it’s hard to say how long it’ll really take.
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Is there something else you’d like to add before we go?
One thing I want to point out to people is that I also released a free strategy guide to go along with the game, which can be especially useful when you’re trying to unlock minigames and sidequests. You can find that by clicking right here. Thanks again for the opportunity to speak with you!