Vivid Games wants to make that distinction clear. But with quite a few pounds added onto Real Boxing's originally slim mobile frame, it's definitely not a port either.
Already released last year on mobile, Real Boxing's attempting a transfer to PS Vita this August, as the studio expand on the concept of the original. Extra buttons and sticks alongside touch screen control means deeper strategy, as you can move your boxer and decide what type of hits to land. Essentially building a new game, as we find out from the studio's brand manager Jan Chichlowski, after playing a few rounds with him.
Was there a spec sheet of what you wanted to improve?
For us, it was a natural evolution, going from iOS to PS Vita, because its got really good analogue sticks. And we really felt that it was going to present a more tactical boxing simulation...[that was] our base to start thinking about itl to go into this direction of more strategy, more like a chess game. So if we're going into the strategy, then what comes next?... Then we were reshaping the game.
Of course the very important idea was that we wanted to make it different. We didn't want to make a port. For us, it was a case of redesigning the game. It took us four months and fifteen people, so it wasn't a little translation.
Was it the same number of people working on this project as with the original?
We had to expand. After November last year when we released Real Boxing, we hired twenty people. We're working on some new titles; one's another sports title, based on the Unreal Engine as well, and we hired special guys for this. We have big plans, and for sure we have had to split the team and get a special team to do this stuff - the PS Vita Real Boxing. The best way to describe is that [we] are extending and we're covering new ground.
What's the new title?
I can say it'll start with mobiles. I can tell you it'll be a non-sport title. I can tell you it'll be based on Greek mythology.
Given this expansion towards console, do you still consider yourself a mobile developer?
We still think mobile is something that we're really good at, and I think we'll always consider this an important part of our business. But since the market is changing, and there are nice devices like PS Vita, this gives us possibility... it gives us a lot of devices to make a game. We feel confident about our game, that it looks good enough to be played on other devices. What we're doing is adding more and more to that. and we're not moving from mobile to other consoles; we're just spreading, expanding.
Sony's involvement... was it a case of just giving you the money and leaving you to get on with it?
They're even better than this [laughs]. They're very challenging. But these guys are very helpful and supportive. I must say the first thing is they're really challenging - when they first saw the first version of Real Boxing, they sent us a document with thirty pages, with their comments and everything. Most of them were really good input - really thoughtful things.
Talking promotion for the game, even before Sony can calling - how do you find it with the App Store structure? Is word of mouth much more important?
As far as I remember, the last statistic is that each day there's almost one thousand new Appilications on the App Store. So it's an incredible number, and you have to highlight it yourself. There's a lot to do in terms of promotion, but I think for a company like us, the best thing to do - and the way we did it - was to do a really good game. And if you have a game that defends itself, doesn't need a lot of words to describe it, too push some communication "look at my game, look at my game because it's good", you can count on that word of mouth working correctly.
The other thing is that a distributor like iOS or Google Play are going to spot you out and say "you know what, this is something outstanding and we're going to feature you." And that's what they did. So from the beginning of our distribution, we've been permanently been featured until now. In some countries, not that it's permanently featured in US... but we have been featured in different countries all the time.
Given all the changes. Why not call it Real Boxing 2?
Because we have to reserve the name for something else! [laughs] I think the best way, in our mind, that Real Boxing 2 is going to be, [is] not only a complete change in design and mechanics, but it'll be a complete different way of showing it. performance or display.
This one is Real Boxing for PS Vita, and I always care about how I think about it, that I'm always using that phrase - "Real Boxing for PS Vita". That's the name reserved for this game.