Pocket Console Interview – Third Party Productions Team & The Banner Saga Vita

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The Banner Saga’s release on the PS Vita in the future is just one of the many projects Sony’s Third Party Productions studio has been working on and Pocket Console spent some time interviewing John Sanders (Third Party Productions) to discuss how progress on the Vita version of The Banner Saga has been and other factors regarding the studio.
This is a great interview and will be sharing a few parts below but you can read the full interview here. 

MAC: Last December was when it was revealed that Sony was stepping in to help save the Vita version of The Banner Saga. Does this mean that Sony is working on it directly or is there a third party involved in the porting process? Just curious about how this is happening.
JS: For Banner Saga we brought in Code Mystics, who have helped port several titles to PS Vita (Metal Slug 3, The Last Blade 2, Risk of Rain, etc.). We’re big fans of their work and they have taken on numerous challenging projects for the platform. We are involved in overseeing the project together with Versus Evil, the publisher, and Stoic, the creators of Banner Saga.

MAC: Back around PAX West, you made it clear that things were well underway for The Banner Saga. What challenges have you had in scaling this down to the Vita? Maybe some specific challenges? Anything go smoother than expected?
JS: To this point there have not been a lot of specific technical challenges related to the game scope/content itself. It’s going to be super beautiful on PS Vita! What we’ve faced is some resource challenges in switching developers to Code Mystics, digging into the codebase, and ramping resources to complete it. It’s hard to review a port in part/piecemeal, as you need to get most of the game up and running first. So it takes a lot of time, but when it clicks the whole game is pretty much there and the focus becomes performance tuning, polish, bug fixing, etc.

MAC: What are your thoughts about adding additional content for this version? Something to make it unique? Too much work?
JS: The content all comes from Stoic. Not to answer too much on their behalf, but when we undertook this project they were super-focused on Banner Saga 2 and continuing to progress the story/content in that way. As they are a small team, it would have been a direct impact to the progress of that new game to come back and do anything for BS1, which neither party wanted to happen and so we focused instead on a direct port of an already amazing game.

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