Nintendo Switch

D-Pad Studio Says That Getting Owlboy To Run On The Nintendo Switch Was “Surprisingly Painless”

Simon Stafsnes Andersen, Owlboy creator and artist, was recently interviewed by Nintendo Everything. Andersen is a part of D-Pad Studio, the team that released Owlboy on multiple platforms in 2016. D-Pad Studio brought the game to the Nintendo Switch a month ago. At one point in the interview, Andersen talked about the process of bringing the game to Nintendo’s console. Here’s what Andersen said:

“Game development is always difficult, and the Switch was no different. In terms of getting the game to run on the system it was surprisingly painless considering how old our code base was. We are very pleased it all worked out in the end though.”

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14 comments

  1. Yet for few other “major” talents, they preach “oh it’s too hard” or “system is too weak – Respawn Entertainment 2017” or the obligatory “it’s too expensive to Port in carts”. XP

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      1. I do realize that there are others fucking around pre-judging shit (Respawn Entertainment/EA) and not actually experiment or do the fucking work to yield some results. Owlboy devs seems to get it because they worked on it. It’s not about how simple a game looks. Designing games is not always simple and yet some devs out there prefer the easy/lazy way to get quick cash for their shotty effort. Look at WWE 2018 Switch port. X( Eww.

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      2. See were a lot of misunderstand of the topic comes from is that you think hardware is this magical thing that can’t be understood at all unless someone has first hand experience with hit. Titanfall 2 is a 45GB game that uses physically based rendering and a lot of alpha effects and textures. You can tell the Switch version would require an insane amount of time and money just by looking at the bandwidth available to the system. They can’t even do the resolution drop that was possible with Doom. Titanfall 2 already runs at 720p and 900 on the XBO and PS4 respectively.

        By comparison, Owlboy is ridiculously simple. It’s just sprites. There’s almost nothing about the game that would tax the system outside of maybe fill-rate but it’s not that complicated of a sprite-based game.

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    1. Look at what they said. They were surprised at how easy it was because their code was so old. If they had made different decisions in the early stages, it may have not been so easy. It has nothing to do with “optimization.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it means better running games instead of raw software relying on sheer power to work. That always goes well with the other hardware does it…

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      2. You’re making the assumption that power isn’t a factor at all and that anything’s possible with enough “optimization”. The reality is, behind all the gameplay visuals, there are numbers being crunched and data being stored, moved, and loaded. Hardware can be limiting and you and others are claiming that it’s actually all just lazy devs

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      3. Right. People assume that compatibility issues with porting are an issue with performance and power, when it’s simply not.

        They also like to throw around “lazy” when it’s often one guy or a small team that simply doesn’t know how to make things better because it’s a first project or they’ve never worked with a bigger group for mentorship. Or they know how to fix it, but the estimated sales wouldn’t offset the amount of hours required and they have to feed their kids. Or they have a complex system running in the background that’s needed for their idea and consuming a lot of resources, but the layperson playing can’t understand why the game needs so much power.

        But yeah, optimization isn’t some magic word that can make anything work, and it’s certainly not free.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Because it’s not about power, it’s about compatibility. Maybe in the name of optimization, you used a system within your engine that worked beautifully and consumed less resources, but the Switch simply doesn’t support that method. Now you have to literally gut your code and rewrite it. You estimate that it could take you months working full time to get it running on the Switch. In the meantime, you’re not working on whatever project you had started before the demand for the port happened, and your sales are slowing on the other systems, and you need an income coming in. Now you have to decide if you go back to some part time job and stop sleeping so you can get this port finished and hope sales make it all worthwhile.

      Now if you want to talk power, I could easily make a game using 8-bit sprites that consumes a boatload of CPU. Maybe I want to create a game with a huge number of entities with complex AI on screen at any given time. With particle effects galore. And complex water physics are needed to solve the puzzles in my game. Even on a modern system, CPU is a very limited resource.

      If you sat down and worked on your first project, you’d be amazed at how quickly you can blow up your FPS with just a small amount of code and some sprites. Sometimes, you start depending on an idea early on that didn’t seem to use a lot of resources at first, but now a lot of things are depending on it and you realize that you can’t go on until you figure out a new way to do it. And rewriting all that code is undoing months of work.

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      1. I just wish the sprites were bigger and had more detail.

        Same goes for Cave Story, Adventures of Pip, Celeste, and Flinthook.

        Hollow Knight, Wonder Boy for Switch, Monster Boy for Switch, Shantae, and DuckTales Remastered have the right idea.

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