We go toe to toe with the team behind PC’s free-to-play action game. Sci-fi, ninja style.
Digital Extremes’s PC hit, Warframe has garnered over one million players online since opening its beta to the public earlier this year. This success has lead to a birth on Sony’s PS4 as a launch title. We managed to catch up with Associate Producer for the PS4 version of Warframe, Pat Kudrika to talk about the console build and what to expect.
Game On: What has been the biggest challenge in creating Warframe for the PS4?
Pat Kudirka When a new generation of consoles is introduced it's always a learning experience for developers and publishers alike. The transition to the PS4 has actually been quite smooth for Warframe but our biggest challenge has been adapting the user interface (UI) for console gamers. With Warframe being a PC title, the UI was designed to be navigated through with a mouse and keyboard. To be console and controller friendly we have had to design the UI from the ground up and make sure both PC and PS4 users are happy with the transition. This is a lengthy process and has been our biggest challenge thus far.
GO: What sorts of differences will players find between Warframe on PC versus Warframe on PS4? How has the response from the PC community been since the announcement was made to port the game to the PS4?
PK: Aside from unique PS4 features such as the DualShock 4 controller, the PC and PS4 skus will maintain the same identity. The game play will remain the same, the release rhythm of updates and content will be in line, and both platforms will be treated as equal. There was some initial hesitation from the community as they were worried that a large portion of the development team would transition over to PS4 development. That hasn't been the case as Warframe still continues to release just as much content with our updates (or more for that matter) as we have in the past.
GO: Will players on the PS4 be able to chat and play against people on PC?
PK: This is something that is technically possible but we're still working out the details with Sony at this time.
GO: What new opportunities does the PS4 present from a development standpoint? Is this a platform that you as developers can say we will be able to improve with our games year after year?
PK: The PS4 is a very powerful machine and will stand the test of time for years to come. Both players and developers will benefit as we continue to push the hardware to its limits. At launch we will all see the potential the PS4 possesses but I'm also excited to see where we can take Warframe 1, 2, or even 3 years down the road.
GO: Why was the Xbox One not considered for Warframe? What went into the decision of putting the game out for the PS4?
PK: When the Xbox One was first announced there were a number of constraints that came with it. With Warframe being a self-published title by Digital Extremes, it seemed as if these constraints wouldn't allow us to develop and publish Warframe on the Xbox One. Microsoft has since changed their stance over the past few months making the Xbox One more indie friendly. It's not that DE never considered bringing Warframe to the Xbox, it just didn't seem possible until recently. The door is always open to expand Warframe into other markets.
As for the decision to work with Sony, they actually approached us to put Warframe on the PS4 after seeing its success on PC. Their stance on supporting free-to-play titles, independent publishing, and the ability to update the title on a weekly basis seemed like a perfect fit for Warframe. We're extremely excited to be a launch title on the PS4 and we think the fans will appreciate having an amazing free-to-play title on day 1. Ninjas play free.
Presently, Warframe is free-to-play on PC in an open beta. The PS4 version will launch alongside the console on Nov. 15 of this year.