Chinese game studio Virtuos has been behind the porting process for some of the more prolific third-party titles, such as Dark Souls Remastered, LA Noire, and even Starlink: Battle for Atlas. They recently sat down for an interview to talk about Dark Souls Remastered, how it’s like to port games to the Switch, and what’s next for the studio. [Thanks, Nintendo Life!]
Here are the highlights:
How long did it take to port the game, from start to finish?
Lukas Codr, Dark Souls Remastered executive producer: “A bit more than a year. As expected, it took us several months to get a stable playable version running, as we had to make sure that both code and data were fully compatible with the 64-bit format. We’ve also spent quite a lot of time on polish, enhancements and performance optimisation.”
What’s the Switch like to work on?
Tang Mengjia, Dark Souls Remastered producer: “To be honest, we thought it would be more difficult than it actually was. Regarding hardware-specific challenges, we had great support from Nintendo when we were solving technical issues and things like performance improvement. Personally, I found developing for Switch really comfortable and straightforward.”
Was it difficult to factor in the Switch’s hybrid nature – such as portable play in a game that relies so much on online?
Mengjia: “We had done our homework, for sure, and had many discussions with all parties involved to smooth the process. Making sure the game ran on all types of Wi-Fi networks was a tough one to fix. Initially, we had issues with lag in multiplayer, but although we can’t share how, we did find solutions to these bandwidth issues. Gameplay-wise, the hybrid nature of Switch was not a problem – we barely noticed the differences between switching modes.”
Amiibo support was an unexpected surprise; was this your idea, or did Nintendo suggest it?
Mengjia: “At the beginning of every Switch project, our design team considers how to include all potential features of the console, such as amiibo support, from a technical perspective. Then, we share our solutions with our partners. I am not sure if this had any impact on their decision, but FromSoftware and Bandai Namco later decided to include an amiibo feature in the Switch version.”
Codr: “Even some of my friends who don’t own a Switch yet told me they want to buy this amiibo!”
You’re becoming experts when it comes to porting games to Switch, with LA Noire being your other notable work. Could we see more high-profile ports from you in the future? Dark Souls 2, perhaps?
Codr: “For obvious reasons, we cannot say what exactly we’re working on, but we will definitely have some exciting high-profile Switch games coming out very soon. By porting Dark Souls we have proven that we can take on any Switch project, so we are confident we will get more projects in the future. As you might have seen in the last few weeks, we’ve also worked on Ubisoft’s Starlink: Battle for Atlas, which has received critical acclaim.”
Check out the full interview here.
Dark Souls Remastered is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.