We’ll be working on a review for Battle Rockets, so I got in touch with Gumbo Machine to talk a bit about this PS Vita release. Come check it out!
PS4Blog: Welcome to PS4Blog.net! Could you please introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a bit about yourself and your work?
Greetings! This is Benjamin Kapferer…that’s pronounced with one “er,” by the way. I’m the founder, CEO, and head developer of Gumbo Machine, LLC. Based in Amherst, Ohio, Gumbo Machine contracts people from all over the world, thanks to a little something we call “The Information Super-Highway.”
To be honest, this is actually our first foray into game development.
Considering the warm welcome provided by the PS Vita player base, along with my own experience on the platform, developing Battle Rockets for PS Vita was a no-brainer!
PS4B: And you’ve now released Battle Rockets on PlayStation Vita. How would you describe the game to someone who’s never heard about it?
Remember your favorite arcade shooter from the ’80s or ’90s? Flying
across the cosmos, zapping away at mooks and bad guys? Well, what if you could compete directly with that guy on the Galaga machine? Heck, let’s go even further: what if you could compete with anyone, anywhere, 1just so long as they were standing next to you?
PS4B: How long did it take to develop Battle Rockets for its PS Vita debut? Where there any particular hurdles or challenges you had to overcome?
Battle Rockets took about two years to develop. Although we envisioned the concept as early as June 2017, things never really took shape until the following year. We spent the first half of 2018 planning, prototyping, and programming Battle Rockets. By September, everything was done… or so it seemed.
But what really took a long time was publishing! At first, I scouted numerous publishers and “port houses,” hoping to strike a deal. Unfortunately, and I suppose, understandably, nobody was interested. In that case, we needed to handle the whole thing ourselves!
Over the course of 2019, several months were spent just trying to get into the PlayStation Partners program. In the meantime, we came to the conclusion that our current engine was just not suited for PS Vita development. So, I sought out a gentleman by the name of Ridho Herasmara, who ported our entire game over to YoYo Games’ GameMaker Studio.
After we got approved by Sony, things got easier. The people at SIE have been so supportive of us. If I ever have a question, they answer it! Simple as that!
PS4B: With Battle Rockets ready to go on PlayStation Vita, are you currently working on any other projects?
I’d love to spill the beans on a hot new title… but that’s not happening right now. An intense day job has diminished my resources, and the COVID-19 outbreak hasn’t done us any favors, either. We do brainstorm fairly often, though!
We love the PS Vita, and I’d be thrilled if we could return to this platform while still possible. Other than that, I’ve been paying close attention to Intellivision’s upcoming console, Amico. As of now, no deals have been signed, but we’re always open to an offer!
PS4B: And now it’s time for us to go. Would you like to add anything else before we end this interview?
I just have to say thank you… thank you to all the people we’ve brought on this endeavor…thank you to Josh Forde, who saved our skin when YoYo stopped distributing their PS Vita exporter…and thank you to our friends in the PS Vita community. Vita Island has been a cozy home for us, and I’m ever so grateful that we booked a ticket here.