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Sony introduces new indie-oriented PS4 development tools

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Sony is continuing to facilitate indie development on PlayStation 4 with an expanded set of middleware and other tools, the company announced today during the 2014 Game Developers Conference.

As of today, YoYo Games' GameMaker: Studio offers native support for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita free to all licensed PlayStation developers. MonoGame, a C#-based open-source implementation of Microsoft's XNA development framework, is also available for PS4 development; it was used to bring TowerFall Ascension to the platform. And Unity Technologies' Unity engine now supports PS3 and PS Vita, with native PS4 support scheduled to arrive next month.

Unity, GameMaker: Studio and MonoGame are three of the most commonly used development tools for indies and students. In addition, Sony Computer Entertainment's Authoring Tools Framework — which has been used in the development of titles such as Naughty Dog's The Last of Us and Quantic Dream's Beyond: Two Souls — was recently made available on GitHub as a free, open-source download.

"[Sony Computer Entertainment] is an immense supporter of the indie movement within the game industry and is constantly collecting feedback on how to make things easier for developers. It became abundantly clear within the development community that these broad sets of tools and specific middleware solutions are in high demand," said Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, in a press release today.

"Today's announcement is a major milestone in our strategy to make powerful, cross-platform game development more widely accessible," said Sandy Duncan, CEO of YoYo Games, in a post on the company's website. "It's particularly good news for the indie development community in that it will remove the complexity barrier that exists in delivering Indie gaming experiences to PlayStation users."

For more on how Sony is making the PS4 attractive to indie developers, check out our report on the cost of developing for the console. Microsoft, for its part, announced this week a new set of indie titles coming to Xbox One through the company's ID@Xbox program.