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Tantalus on the challenges of porting Rime and Cities: Skylines to Switch

Posted on January 30, 2019 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch

A few different studios have ported games to Switch over the past couple of years. One such company is Tantalus, the team behind Zelda: Twilight Princess. Tantalus helped bring over Sonic Mania, Rime, and Cities: Skylines.

In an interview with Gaming Respawn, CEO Tom Crago spoke about its Switch porting efforts, including the challenges involved with Rime and Cities: Skylines. He had this to say:

“They really are three very different titles. Unsurprisingly, Sonic Mania is the one I’m the happiest with because it is by far the game best suited to the platform. It was a dream to develop, and it has done fantastically well. I’m proud of the other two games, but we made mistakes with both. RIME and Cities: Skylines were, of course, originally developed for current generation consoles (RIME) and PC (Cities: Skylines). Not many people appreciate this, but it takes a supreme effort to port these kinds of games to the massively lower spec’d Switch. RIME used the Unreal Engine, which we love, but which had not been fully optimized for Switch at that time. We also didn’t factor in the massive re-work that would be required for the art assets to make the game run smoothly. That said, if we had done that, it’s possible the game would not have come to the Switch at all as the development budget would have been prohibitive.

On Cities: Skylines we really felt we could recreate the full PC experience on Switch without making too many adjustments. And to be honest, I thought we did an excellent job. The problem was some critics complained that in certain sections the game slowed down. Well… yes, it did. That’s because it was being made to run on a machine that fits in your hand rather than a machine that sits under your desk. The alternative, which maybe we should have taken, was to radically change the design of the game. I guess I didn’t think that Cities: Skylines fans would want that, or that newcomers to the game would prefer a different version to the original. I may have been wrong about that.”

Crago added that there are no plans to address the performance issues with Cities: Skylines on Switch or additional DLC.

Thanks to T.J. for the tip.

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