Why Square Enix Used Unity For Dragon Quest VIII On Smartphones

By Sato . April 16, 2014 . 5:31pm

Square Enix previously talked about their mobile port of Dragon Quest VIII and how it uses the popular Unity engine, which the Japanese have recently been utilizing for various projects. Square Enix talked more about the game at the recent Unite Japan 2014 event.

 

Data conversion and user interface were among some of the hurdles Square Enix faced when they decided to port Dragon Quest VIII to smartphones, but one of the biggest issues involved programming language. According to technical director Keisuke Hata, most console games used programming languages of C and C++, while Unity on the other hand, uses C# and JavaScript, so it was crucial to know whether they could convert the coding with little difficulty.

 

While they did run into a few problems, in the end, they were able to work things out and decided to go with Unity. One of the main reasons for this was because of Unity being a cross-platform game engine.

 

“If we were to side with either one of iOS or Android, then we’d only have about half the players,” said Hata, as he explained that smartphone games should always be compatible to both operating systems.

 

Hata also mentions that when games require a certain amount of storage and performance, especially when they’re ports of a console game, things can get trickier. According to Hata, they had to reduce the amount of data to make it possible, which they did by lowering it down to 1.3gb for Dragon Quest VIII. Things did work out for the game, but the installation of it is another story, as it requires twice the amount of space on a smartphone device.

 

This was one of the biggest challenges for them to work out for the mobile port of the game.

 

While many may think that with today’s smartphone technology, it shouldn’t be a problem to convert PlayStation 2 era games to mobile devices, Square Enix emphasized with Dragon Quest VIII’s port that it’s not always as simple as it may seem.

 

So, is Unity an ideal game engine for developers to port older games to smartphone devices? Hata says that it depends on the type of game you’re looking at.


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  • Rocco

    Well, instead of spending so much time trying to port old console games to mobile devices, maybe they should just focus on developing new console games. No?

    • urbanscholar

      $$$ for that has to come from somewhere hence the mobile market push of DQ games

  • JonathanisPrimus

    “One of the main reasons for this was because of Unity being a cross-platform game engine.”

    Wii U, PS3, and Vita?! yes, Yes, YES!!

    ““If we were to side with either one of iOS or Android, then we’d only have
    about half the players,” said Hata, as he explained that smartphone
    games should always be compatible to both operating systems.”

    Oh … : (

  • Kamakuma

    Not gonna lie I loved this Dragon Quest for PS2. x’D I never was able to finish it though since the disc got scratched by my cousin and my rage was too powerful. t–t But I did since replace it but was completely lost to finish it… T__T

    • Judgephoenix

      Well lets hope PS NOW brings it ><

  • Slickyslacker

    This brought up something lingering in the back of my mind…

    How will they develop DQ XI?

    Developing it for current-gen consoles would only be proper. Moreover, Horii apparently likes the Wii U. A multi-plat release would be judicious, though…

    • JonathanisPrimus

      XI will obviously be a 3DS game. I don’t see why it would be released on Wii U, outside of a late port situation.

  • megaten666

    Every time I read “Dragon Quest VIII” and “smartphone” in one sentence, I’m dying inside a little :(

  • Afternoon Intergalactic

    It’s a good thing my fat PS2 still works, it plays the original DQVIII just fine without all this nonsense.

  • CirnoLakes

    I really like what Unity is doing in the video game industry and development. It’s making multiplatform development a lot more common and easy to do.

    After Final Fantasy III being announced for the PC, this really gives me hope that this might lead to Dragon Quest games like Dragon Quest VIII being ported to Steam.

    Some people are negative about mobile gaming. But I really appreciate some of the directions it is moving the industry, such as the adoption of Unity. I get the feeling that it is going to lead to a lot of my favourite games being on open platforms like Windows and Linux.

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