Game porting is an important service to the growing games industry, allowing players to experience games on any platform of their choice. According to Statista, video game consoles constituted a staggering $50.4 billion, or 28% of the total gaming market revenue. PC gaming generated $36.7 billion, or 20%. It’s clear to see that every sector of the gaming industry is a lucrative one.
Magic Media is no stranger to the game porting service, having worked with a range of clients to take their title from one platform to another. And, if you’d like to learn even more about game porting, we have a helpful article about the top 4 reasons why game porting is important. There, you can learn why game porting is important and what it offers the industry as a whole.
For now, when it comes to game porting, we’d like to touch on some key considerations for your game porting projects. Ultimately, we’ve found that outsourcing porting to a company like Magic Media is absolutely the way forward. It can be a huge drain on time and resources, setting up and organizing a team to take your title from one platform to another.
Instead, hand the project off to an expert team who have the experience to streamline it. And this is done through knowing the ins-and-outs of game porting and what elements are key to consider such as controls, the graphical tweaks to accommodate performance, and the preparation of source code.
When jumping from one typical console to another, the controls were once a small consideration. But now, given the level of technology available in the modern PlayStation and Xbox consoles, it is not so simple. And that is not even beginning to process how to implement your control scheme onto the Switch, PC, or a mobile device.
There are questions of allowing a fully customizable scheme, how best to cross-over to the touch interface, and what accommodations must be made for the limited mobile controls. Consider what is the best and most ergonomic option for your players. Don’t be afraid to break convention and allow certain inputs to be automatic to save in situations where multiple inputs are impossible.
2. Graphics vs Performance
This is one of the biggest stages of game porting, and it’s always a tightrope walk. Even in standard game development and not game porting, there is always the balance of graphics versus performance. Typically, with most porting jobs, you are delivering to an older platform or a mobile
device. In which case, a lot of this work is dedicated to achieving a stable framerate and play experience. All done while attempting to preserve the game’s original style and appearance.
A lot of excellent work can be done with shaders and post-processing, allowing the game to look good but not stutter and drag.
The main consideration here is very much on the device’s capacity and hardware. It’s easy to design a game for PC – allowing any number of graphical choices and options. Where you can play with anything from an industrial graphics card and 64 GB of DDR4 RAM to an old reliable GPU that hasn’t let you down yet. Whereas consoles, however incredible their recent technological leaps, are all bound to a single set of hardware specifications. And mobile phones are severely limited on their memory.
A good porting team will tackle these challenges, allowing for smooth performance without compromising the game’s vision. Our tips are to look out for dynamic lighting and dense foliage, and to consider compressing high quality assets that players might not focus on or look at.
3. Source Code
For source code, it is both a consideration for porting your game yourself and for an outsourcing company. Regardless of who is doing the porting, it is very helpful to ensure your source code is updated to its latest version in the engine you’re using. There can be plenty of issues working with older source code and many conflicts that can be avoided!
Our experts also suggest that you isolate all platform dependent code during development. Things like Steam and Xbox achievements, and PlayStation trophies. This will help during the porting process, as the team can replace it when delivered to its new platform.
Outsourcing porting is a great way to move forward with current projects and not leave old ones behind. Don’t split your team’s time between your sequel or new IP and porting an older release. Let an expert porting team take care of it for you. Extend your game’s success by porting it to a new platform with a dedicated game porting company, and let us take the pressure off while you carry on with your next dream project.
Curious about what game porting can do for you? Get in touch with Magic Media!