Studio Wildcard co-founder and co-creative director Jesse Rapczak has recently had a chat to Games Industry about the Nintendo Switch. Studio Wildcard is the team behind dinosaur game Ark: Survival Evolved. Rapczak acknowledges that the system is great, but it also proves to be a technical challenge. Here’s what he had to say.
“Switch is a little challenging because it is a totally different platform; so we’re throwing some ideas around, just seeing if it makes sense right now,” he said. “We don’t have any concrete plans yet, but we’re very close to Nintendo up here in Seattle and we all love the Switch for portability gaming and stuff like that. Ark is one of those games where if you want to do everything you can in the game, it’s hard to pull away from it to go do real life. So I think Switch is a great platform for a game like Ark, because if the game is designed right, you can kind of pull out and do some stuff.”
“It’s kind of like some players play it almost like you might play a mobile game–you know, you might want to go do something in the game for a few minutes, like tend to your dinos or your crops or something if you play Ark that way,” he explained. “The mobility of the Switch platform might be appealing to those players, because they can just kinda carry it with them.”
“So we do have a lot of hurdles there, especially with memory. But I will say, for sure, we’re not ignoring the Switch,” Rapczak said. “I think it’s definitely proven to be a platform that is a little bit better this time around for third-party developers. People are buying it. People are loving the games. I think it’s just something that now is on our radar [so] let’s take a look at it and let’s see what we can do there.”
The more devs really considering hopping on board, the better.
I highly doubt anything close to a straight up port would be doable without a *lot* of sacrifice…. but I could certainly imagine something like a separate and more streamlined title built from the ground up with the limitation of the Switch in mind might certainly be doable but also perhaps even just as much enjoyable if not even more than the original game(which in my opinion suffer a lot from forms of feature bloat, really. So a scaled down/streamlined version here might even work to the benefit of the franchise in my opinion).
Plus, the fact the Switch *has* “weaker” hardware might also work to the benefit of such a plan since it also means that such a project might even end up being cheaper than if it was being developed for the “stronger” consoles so to speak(let’s admit it, developing for those HDR graphics and 4K texture has got to be costly in the long term, and not just in term of storage spaces).