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QUESTION.. how many programers does it take to port an already made game to PS3?

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I'm sure that there will might be a different numbers depending on the type of game, but I'm curious as to the approximate costs and/or man power resources it would take to port a typical game...lets say Borderlands...or really any game. And how much time would it take? And likewise, if you could, approx. how much of those resources would it take to port to the XBOX 360? Thank you

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Maybe I should clarify further,

I'm just asking in terms of the "port" itself, from the same company.

So lets say hypothetically, Bungie bought the Halo IP back from Microsoft and wanted to port HALO 3 to PS3...what costs, manpower and time would be involved in porting this?

Same example for Ratchet & Clank to XBOX 360.

Any game could be used here, but Just the retail games for now. Thanks you.

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Quote:
Original post by Persistantthug1
So lets say hypothetically, Bungie bought the Halo IP back from Microsoft and wanted to port HALO 3 to PS3...what costs, manpower and time would be involved in porting this?

Same example for Ratchet & Clank to XBOX 360.
In either of these cases, purchasing the IP would dwarf (likely by several magnitudes) the actual development costs involved in the port.

If you are talking about the company that owns the IP performing (or sub-contracting) a port, then the cost is not the deciding factor. What matters is potential sales: will a port to platform X lead to enough sales to recoup the cost of the port, and turn a large enough profit to be worthwhile.

Also in the case of platform exclusives (which category both these games fall into), they are exclusive for a reason - namely to drive hardware sales. Not only would a port have to pay for itself and a tidy profit, it would also have to earn enough to offset the loss in sales of console hardware and other platform exclusives.

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Porting to PS3 is way harder than the other direction b/c of PS3's retarded cell architecture that no one can understand or use.

Generally you can use exactly the same content so no problem there.

Really it depends totally on how the game is architected. If you're optimized for a 360 so you assumed 5 threads on general purpose CPUs you're basically fucked trying to move that to PS3 with 1 general purpose CPU and 6 cells. That would require a pretty massive rearchitecting.

Similarly if you're optimized to monopolize and re-purpose the 6 cells as a pipeline process, translating that back to general purpose CPUs may not be possible without fundimentally re-architecting the entire game.

Basically, the more specifically you bind your game to a piece of hardware the more difficult you make it to leave that hardware.

If, like many games you're basically sloppily using one core well with some junk thrown to other CPUs (like VFX, animation decompression, background loading) that's probably pretty easy to port between platforms.

So say you're in the "ideal" porting case where you totally failed at implementing a quality multi-threaded system: 5-15 people 1 year is a good guess.

If you're in the "i've totally optimized my shit for this hardware" camp (like Metal Gear Solid), honestly you're more or less in the start from scratch camp in which case let's say full production staff: 20-50 engineers for 2years maybe since you're re-purposing not re-writing. But realistically it's not worth it financially.

But as swift mentioned this is a business decision, not a technical decision. If you made an exclusive deal with Sony or MSoft then you are contractually obligated to never port to the other console. Those exclusive deals mean that Sony/MSoft actually gave the developers several millions dollars in marketing assistance money. Them later re-porting to a different console would void that deal, probably lead to a massive lawsuit and generally never be worth it.

-me

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It depends on the game.

The more complex the game and the less memory and performance slack you have in the game to begin with, the harder it will be to port.

I know this doesnt really answer your question but it definitely applies... why do you ask? what kind of game are you picturing being ported?

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Quote:
Original post by swiftcoder
Quote:
Original post by Persistantthug1
So lets say hypothetically, Bungie bought the Halo IP back from Microsoft and wanted to port HALO 3 to PS3...what costs, manpower and time would be involved in porting this?

Same example for Ratchet & Clank to XBOX 360.
In either of these cases, purchasing the IP would dwarf (likely by several magnitudes) the actual development costs involved in the port.

If you are talking about the company that owns the IP performing (or sub-contracting) a port, then the cost is not the deciding factor. What matters is potential sales: will a port to platform X lead to enough sales to recoup the cost of the port, and turn a large enough profit to be worthwhile.

Also in the case of platform exclusives (which category both these games fall into), they are exclusive for a reason - namely to drive hardware sales. Not only would a port have to pay for itself and a tidy profit, it would also have to earn enough to offset the loss in sales of console hardware and other platform exclusives.


So in other words,
what you're saying is...

You don't know.

No problem. Thanks anyways, swiftcoder.

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A little outdated, but there's a post mortem on Gamasutra from the company that ported Resident Evil 2 from PSX to N64.

It took 9 developers full time 12 months and $1,000,000.


http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3148/postmortem_angel_studios_.php

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Quote:
Original post by Palidine
Porting to PS3 is way harder than the other direction b/c of PS3's retarded cell architecture that no one can understand or use.

Generally you can use exactly the same content so no problem there.

Really it depends totally on how the game is architected. If you're optimized for a 360 so you assumed 5 threads on general purpose CPUs you're basically fucked trying to move that to PS3 with 1 general purpose CPU and 6 cells. That would require a pretty massive rearchitecting.

Similarly if you're optimized to monopolize and re-purpose the 6 cells as a pipeline process, translating that back to general purpose CPUs may not be possible without fundimentally re-architecting the entire game.

Basically, the more specifically you bind your game to a piece of hardware the more difficult you make it to leave that hardware.

If, like many games you're basically sloppily using one core well with some junk thrown to other CPUs (like VFX, animation decompression, background loading) that's probably pretty easy to port between platforms.

So say you're in the "ideal" porting case where you totally failed at implementing a quality multi-threaded system: 5-15 people 1 year is a good guess.

If you're in the "i've totally optimized my shit for this hardware" camp (like Metal Gear Solid), honestly you're more or less in the start from scratch camp in which case let's say full production staff: 20-50 engineers for 2years maybe since you're re-purposing not re-writing. But realistically it's not worth it financially.

But as swift mentioned this is a business decision, not a technical decision. If you made an exclusive deal with Sony or MSoft then you are contractually obligated to never port to the other console. Those exclusive deals mean that Sony/MSoft actually gave the developers several millions dollars in marketing assistance money. Them later re-porting to a different console would void that deal, probably lead to a massive lawsuit and generally never be worth it.

-me


5-15 people 1 year

20-50 engineers for 2years

Thanks you Palidine, that was a very good start of what I was looking for.

Thank you. :)

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Quote:
Original post by Persistantthug1
So in other words,
what you're saying is...

You don't know.

No problem. Thanks anyways, swiftcoder.

I think what he was saying is: It depends on many factors, and you didn't state them.


Is it using an engine that exists on the platform?
What is the source platform?
What is the size of the code base?
How big is the total game?
How was it written?
Was portability a concern when it was written?
What assumptions were made about the hardware?
Are the people doing the porting experienced with the code base?
Are the people doing the porting experienced with PS3?
Are the people doing the porting experienced with the old platform?
etc., etc.


Tiny games could be ported to PSN very quickly (4 people @ 2 months)
Moderate sized games can ported with medium size teams rather quickly (15 people @ 4 months) or slowly (15 people @ 12 months), or with small teams slower, or with large teams faster, depending on many factors.
There are large games that require large teams over multiple years.


The range can vary from a few hundred thousand dollars up to several million dollars.

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Quote:
Original post by Persistantthug1
So in other words,
what you're saying is...

You don't know.

No problem. Thanks anyways, swiftcoder.


What he is saying is its impossible to give you some figure like $500,000 and six months to port a game because there are to many variables to consisder. They only people that could realistically give you any kind of accurate number would be the people who made the game and not some random people on the internet who hever touched any part of the game.

Why even ask this? This is kind of one of those things that if you have to ask the price you probably can't afford it anyway.

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I don't know how much it costs but I'll do it. I don't have any experience on the ps3 but how hard can it be. I'm sure it is just time consuming.

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q) How many flys does it take to screw in a light bulb?
a) Two. Just don't ask me how they got in there...

However, yours is too vague a question. My firm ported a PC game to XBLA a couple of years ago with just two guys and 5 months. The next company in the phone book might have 50 guys working for a year on some epic that just won't fit.

In fact, even a rough answer isn't useful. Depending on the details, it might be harder to port an existing game than to rewrite a similar one. Something I wish I'd done when porting Defcon to the DS!

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