Nailing the precision of movement, especially in handheld mode, was one of the challenges.
FromSoftware’s Dark Souls Remastered brought the classic forward to a new generation on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. And while some hardcore fans are divided on how much the remaster improves, it still offered a strong experience on the Nintendo Switch. In an interesting interview with VGR, executive producer Lukas Codr and game producer Tang Mengjia at Virtuos (who developed the Switch version) offered some insight into how long it took to complete the project, which suffered a delayed launch as compared to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC version.
Codr revealed that, surprisingly, it took roughly a year to get the port ready. “A bit more than a year. At the beginning, it took us several months until we got a playable version running because we had to make sure that both code and data are fully compatible with 64-bit format. We’ve also spent quite a lot of time on polishing and performance optimization. And since there were both physical and digital versions of the game, there was about a 6-8 week gap between submission and the game hitting the market.”
One of the biggest challenges was getting the game running in handheld mode. This was because of the nature of Dark Souls and the precision required with the movement. According to Mengjia, “Knowing how important precise controls were in the original game (where a less-than-perfect move could easily kill you), we were really eager to try the first playable version in the handheld mode. At that time we did not really know if the game would be playable this way, but pretty much right away our QA and designers started killing monsters with some pretty sophisticated moves, so we knew we would be safe.”
Mengjia did note that Dark Souls coming to Switch would always be a challenge. Hilariously, he noted that getting the team to work on the game more than playing it was one of those challenges. “There are always challenges when porting a game to a new platform, but as we are now familiar with the Switch hardware, we were pretty confident we could tackle them. Apart from the 64-bit support in the beginning, there were almost none. Perhaps making sure our guys spent enough time working on the game and less time playing the game, because when we had our first portable build, a lot of people in the studio got very excited and wanted to try it right away. Nintendo Switch definitely has a ‘cool factor’ for hardcore gamers.”
For more information on Dark Souls Remastered, check out GamingBolt’s review of the game’s PS4 version here.