Ghostlight Blog

Posted by Ross

The Ghostlight Q&A 2017

Hi everyone. Welcome to the first Ghostlight blog of 2017. I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year.

I thought I’d kick off this year by running a little Q&A on the blog, since we haven’t done one in ages (seriously I checked and it seems the last one was in 2011). For historical purposes you can find the previous Q&As here & here, a lot has changed since then but reading back through them certainly brought back a few memories.

Before I start answering questions, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to ask us the questions. This would be a rather short blog if none of you had.  I am afraid that due to the number of questions I won’t be able to include all of them, so I’d like to apologise in advance if yours isn’t included. I’m hoping to come back to them in part 2 in the next few weeks, so if there’s anything you’d like to know about Ghostlight or our work than please ask in the comments.

And now for the Questions:

GhostTrick asks:

“How do you get the whole porting process done ? Is it you or the developper/publisher who makes the first step to make it happen ?”

A little while ago we wrote a blog on how the porting process works, which you can find here, the process hasn’t really changed since then, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you want to know how we work.

As for who approaches who, the answer is that it depends. When we first started out porting games to PC we had to approach the Japanese companies, as it wasn’t really something that had been done before.  Over the many years of working in our beloved games industry, we’ve built up relationships with a lot of different partners so naturally we actively try to work directly with existing partners on new opportunities.

However, the success of our games as well as other publishers’ games on Steam seems to have caught the attention of more Japanese companies. This means that we are now getting the opportunity to work with clients that we have not worked with in the past, which is really exciting for us.

Securing new games can be a lengthy and difficult business for all the parties involved.  When we’re not dealing directly with a particular partner, it’s all thanks to the hard work of our agents in Japan who help ‘grease the wheels’ and make everything happen.  They also keep us abreast of what games might be available and of course use their knowledge and vast experience to give us the best possible chance of licensing any particular games that we may be interested in.  Another factor that helps hugely when speaking to companies we haven’t previously dealt with, is our solid track record that we’ve built up over the last 10+ years as a reliable & trustworthy partner :)

A somewhat more recent development is that we’ve also found ourselves being approached by some Western publishers of Japanese games to handle the PC ports of their products. While I can’t go into too much detail at the moment, it’s certainly very flattering for us and it’s great to be recognised as quality conversion team :)

Vertic 90 asks:

“Will you be considering multi platform releases like Mac/Linux going forward or sticking with DirectX?”

I think that for the time being we are likely to stick to PC only releases rather than port games to Mac/Linux.

John Wiley also had two questions for us:

“what is the technically most challenging PC port you've done so far?”

I’d have to say that the most technically challenging PC port was Way of the Samurai 4. Some of you may remember the numerous delays to this game, most of which were caused by what turned out to be a problem in the sound engine which was behind many of the problems the game had in the months leading up to release. Fortunately, although it seemed to take a while to track down, once we did manage to find what was causing the problem it was fixed rather quickly, so we could release the game.

which game are you most surprised /thrilled by that Ghostlight was able to license it?”

This is a tricky one for me as I’ve really enjoyed playing all the games we’ve released.  But if I was forced to pick out a few highlights, then I’d have to say that from our PC lineup Way of the Samurai 4 stands out for me.  Up until this point not only had all the games we’d ported been from our longstanding Japanese clients, but all of them (except Elminage Gothic) had been games that we’d also released on console in Europe, or were Laughing Jackal titles where I’d worked on the original console release. And not only was it our first time working with Acquire, but it was the most recent release in the Way of the Samurai series, and while I may have only had a limited amount of experience with the series I knew so many people both online and offline who were into it.

If I had to choose some favourites from our catalogue of console titles, then I’d like to pick out three in particular from our little run of games on the PSP namely “SMT: Persona 3 Portable”, “Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky” and “Fate/EXTRA.”

The Persona series was already pretty big when we picked up Persona 3 Portable, due to the PS2 release of Persona 3, which I’d bought, played and loved until I managed to lose a save right before the final boss which meant I felt the need to take a break. So to have the chance to play it again, and this time finally complete it (during office hours :)) was something I was quite excited about.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter, are probably already aware of my love for the Trails series, so it may surprise some of you to know that while I was the one who suggested we look into Trails in the Sky, I wasn’t particularly familiar with the series at that time. However, while performing the evaluation of Trails in the Sky, I completely fell in love with the game to the extent that I ended up taking the work PSP home with me so that I could complete it.

Last but by no means least is Fate/EXTRA, which is a very cool JRPG, with an interesting rock/paper/scissors style battle system. The game itself was an awful lot of fun, and is definitely worth checking out on PSP, but the thing that really got me excited was getting the opportunity to work on something in the Fate universe. While this was before the recent anime series Fate/Zero and the remake of Fate/stay night, I had really enjoyed the original Fate/stay night, and I remember being fascinated by the setting surrounding it, so having the chance to work on part of the Fate franchise was a really exciting moment.

Finally and unsurprisingly quite a few of you have asked about our plans for this year.

I’m pleased to say that it’s going to be an exciting year for Ghostlight. Not only are we close to signing a couple of new JRPGs, but we’re also looking at the possibility of bringing a cult console action game to PC. And we will of course continue to port games to PC for other publishers as well.

In other news I’d like to remind you all that the Humble Winter Sale is still ongoing, and many of our Steam games are part of it. So why not check out last week’s blog for details of all the great savings on offer, and then go take advantage of these great deals.

Once again thank you for all your questions, I’ll be back next week with another blog, and remember if you’d like your question answered in the upcoming part 2 of this Q&A then please feel free to ask your question in the comments.  Or in any of our Social media spaces, such as Twitter and Facebook pages and our  Google + account, where we’ll be posting all the latest news from Ghostlight. Or on my Twitter account.

Update: You can find part 2 of this Q&A here

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