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Rime dev on Switch performance and more

Posted on November 13, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch

Tequila Works and Grey Box held a new Reddit AMA for Rime today. The game is scheduled for release on Switch tomorrow digitally, with the physical version following later in the month.

During the Reddit AMA, Tequila Works commented on Rime’s performance on Switch, including resolution and frame rate. Also discussed was the situation regarding how it costs more on Nintendo’s console, HD Rumble, and more.

We’ve highlighted notable excerpts from the AMA below.

On Switch performance…

RiME runs at 30 FPS in 720p throughout most of the game while docked. This is a considerable improvement from where the game was at earlier this year when we announced the first delay.

While we have done an excellent job at bringing the standard frame rate up, the one problem we were unable to address completely were loading hitches. RiME uses a technique called streaming which allows us to have portions of the level loaded and unloaded in order to save on memory utilization.

With RiME being very open in many locations, it’s incredibly difficult to get these level segments small enough to not cause a hiccup in performance. We were faced with the choice of adding loading screens throughout the stages, rebuilding the game completely to be more closed in (undermining the product vision in the process), or living with these small hiccups to preserve what the game was intended to be. We chose the latter.

It’s worth noting that these hiccups do occur on the other platforms as well, though slightly less pronounced.

On how Rime costs more on Switch and how the team dealt with the situation…

Honestly, we hope we are used as an example of appropriate ways to deal with these sorts of price differences. At the end of the day, our goal is to provide a great experience at a fair price to everyone. To that end, because manufacturing and so-called “go-to-market” costs forced us to have a higher price for the physical Switch version, we had to think of ways to make those prices fair. In the end, thanks to a lot of friendly negotiation with the various stakeholders, we were able to make sure that the digital version was the same price as on all other consoles (thus avoiding the “tax”), and we added the download code for the soundtrack in the physical version (thus making up for the price difference). The response to that aspect has been very positive, and we think most people are understanding. If anything, we only wish that we had been able to get that all figured out before the prices were announced!

On cut content and how difficult the Switch port was…

We must leave stuff out in every project. Originally there was another world at the end of the game but the experience felt too much at such a late moment (you’ll understand when you play it). RiME was not designed for Switch but it was a great challenge to port it without compromising content, we made sure the assets we reworked were on the same artistic quality/direction so the experince is very similar.

On HD Rumble…

HD Rumble allows for extra precision for puzzles and feedback. It’s the best in any platform, period.’

On any DLC plans…

No plans for DLC, RIME was designed as a complete experience

On handheld mode resolution…

When looking at the handheld mode, we had to make a choice between lowering the resolution, removing/replacing major parts of the level geometry, or having a bigger hit in performance. We decided to go for the former, because it allows us to maintain the integrity of the gameplay experience. All the important details are still very visible, and we’ve had no issues playing the game in handheld mode ourselves.

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