What is Game Porting?

Game porting refers to adapting an existing video game for other platforms. This is a heavily involved process that requires examining the game from top to bottom and making a significant number of changes so that it runs smoothly on its new destination platforms and operating systems.

Game porting is challenging, but at Magic Media, we pride ourselves on our experience and knowledge of delivering ported games to any platform. Through our extensive game porting experience, we’ve learned about its challenges and benefits first-hand, ensuring consistently high-quality ported games with every project we’re a part of.

Considerations for Game Porting

As previously mentioned, game porting necessitates thoroughly inspecting a game before the porting process can begin. One of the paramount considerations for ported games is their platforms of origin and target platforms. Though a game might run impeccably well on PC, for example, diligent work is required to adapt a game for consoles so that it runs comparably well. A game’s input methods, overall fidelity, and user experience need to be weighed against the destination platforms – what their technical specifications are, possible input methods, and ability to provide a consistent user experience.

There are many aspects to consider about specific platforms with game porting. For instance, porting to PCs forces developers to consider the countless hardware configurations possible and how to efficiently test across a range of PC setups. Porting games to consoles requires developers to think about the various guidelines and regulations that each console manufacturer has in place for releases on their platforms.

Testing and Optimizing Ported Games

The process of game porting necessitates extensive testing for each platform the game is being adapted for. Performance must be tested to ensure that frame rates reach the developer’s target, loading times are acceptable, and overall responsiveness. Graphics need to be tested to ensure that the ported game has high-quality visuals in line with the platform’s hardware capabilities. User interface testing is critical to ensure that the game’s UI is adapted for different screen sizes, resolutions, and input methods.

Without fail, every game porting project requires meticulous optimization. Performance will always need to be optimized for target platforms to achieve smooth performance. This is especially true for mobile platforms, which are invariably underpowered compared to consoles and PCs and often require visual overhauls, implementing efficient rendering techniques, and optimizing memory usage. Balance must be struck with graphical optimization too, where developers should endeavor to maximize visual fidelity as much as possible without sacrificing performance. This commonly involves reducing polygon counts, adjusting lighting effects, and reducing texture quality, especially on less powerful platforms.

Benefits of Game Porting

Though game porting requires extensive work, its benefits far outweigh the challenge of producing high-quality ported games. Ported games expand a game audience significantly, which can be particularly powerful for formerly single-platform releases such as PlayStation’s God of War or Xbox’s upcoming Sea of Thieves PlayStation 5 release. Furthermore, this forms additional revenue streams for developers and publishers. Ported games like Grand Theft Audio: Vice City, which is available on over half a dozen platforms, provide numerous revenue streams for its developer, Rockstar.

Importantly, game porting can also extend a game’s natural shelf life and future-proof it to remain accessible for years to come. Stardew Valley, for instance, which many players cite as one of the greatest games of all time, enjoys enduring success despite being released eight years ago partly thanks to its wide availability on consoles, PCs, and a wide range of mobile devices. Furthermore, ports of classic games can find new life on new platforms, such as the first Red Dead Redemption game’s recent release on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.

For high-quality game porting services, look no further than Magic Media. We offer an extensive range of services for the gaming, entertainment, and tech industries including full-cycle game development, co-development, and game trailer production, in addition to game porting and dozens of other services. Contact Magic Media, and let’s create magic!

let’s Create MAgic

At Magic Media, our strength lies in our size and diversity, allowing us to offer gaming services including full-cycle game development, co-development, video production, trailers, and comprehensive artistic services. Whether you’re in need of innovative technology or a team driven by creativity, we are prepared to put our skills and knowledge into your project.