Quantcast
Virtuos on porting Dark Souls Remastered for Nintendo Switch

Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Virtuos on porting Dark Souls Remastered for Nintendo Switch

How long did porting Dark Souls Remastered to the Nintendo Switch take?

LC; “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 optimisation. 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.”

Do you think that Dark Souls Remastered is well-suited to a very different sort of platform like the Nintendo Switch? Or, did changes have to be made to help the game function better?

TMJ; “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.”

How have the game’s graphics been “tailored” to the Switch, as Nintendo have said?

TMJ; “We had several options on the table; increasing texture resolution, reworking lighting, etc., but our client partners were pretty confident with their strategy that smooth framerate in all situations needs to take priority over visual improvements. Our technical artists and engineers have spent a lot of time re-arranging assets to make sure places like Blighttown or boss fights run well. And there was still some performance reserve allowing us to add ambient occlusions to the game.”

Were there any particular challenges to porting a game like Dark Souls Remastered to the Nintendo Switch?

TMJ; “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.”

The Switch version is the only version of Dark Souls Remastered which doesn’t feature a framerate of 60 FPS. Is that due to the limitations of the platform?

LC; “We discussed with From Software and fixed goals for what would be the best experience on a hybrid hardware which can change instantly from home console to handheld. We decided to secure a reliable 30fps experience across all experiences, with 720p in handheld mode and 1080p in docked mode.”

Did you find that you had to make significant changes to Dark Souls Remastered to help it run on a console which is very different from those it was originally designed for?

TMJ; “We discussed with From Software and fixed goals for what would be the best experience on a hybrid hardware which can change instantly from home console to handheld. We decided to secure a reliable 30fps experience across all experiences, with 720p in handheld mode and 1080p in docked mode.”

How easy or difficult was it to implement Dark Souls’ online functionality and multiplayer on the Nintendo Switch?

TMJ; “The difficulty was in two points; first we had to change the multiplayer technology to a more modern server-based solution (and also enable 6 player multiplayer). And besides that, we also had to make sure that the multiplayer mode works well even on wi-fi networks which can sometimes have lags. We could leverage some code from the other platforms for the first point, but we also had to do a lot of optimisation on both front-end and back-end to make sure the experience is smooth.”

On the same topic, did you face any additional requirements from Nintendo to facilitate multiplayer? Of course, the company has historically not permitted certain aspects of online multiplayer which are common on other consoles.

TMJ; “Not really. It took some time to make sure all the server configs are compliant, but luckily we went through an early certification phase which identified most of the issues. There were no requirements/limitations which would be impacting gameplay.”

What was your experience like of working with FromSoftware and, presumably, QLOC; compared to your experience working with other AAA development studios?

LC; “From Software are very experienced developers, we just had to work on our communications in multiple languages. But this is something we already had experience with, so we expanded the number of native Japanese production staff involved in the project to make communication smooth. The Japanese development process also heavily relies on consensus, so there was a period of development where we asked for some of their production and engineering people to come over and work alongside us for a while, so things that would otherwise take several days to resolve over e-mails and video calls were handled immediately on the spot. This was extremely beneficial for the final quality of the game.

Do you foresee working with FromSoftware again in the future, perhaps porting other games of theirs to the Switch?

LC; “We hope to work with both From Software and Bandai Namco again, of course!”

 

https://www.vgr.com/virtuos-dark-souls-remastered-switch/

 

 

I finished like half of game and having blast with this game on Switch (around half of game in handheld mode and around half of game in docked mode), despite sound differently is not best, its very good port.

I hope Dark Souls 2 SotFS will be ported to Switch also.



Around the Network

Would rather have a remastered version of the original DS2 than SotFS.



KLXVER said:
Would rather have a remastered version of the original DS2 than SotFS.

But SotFS is remastered Dark Souls 2.



Miyamotoo said:
KLXVER said:
Would rather have a remastered version of the original DS2 than SotFS.

But SotFS is remastered Dark Souls 2.

Yeah, but they changed the enemy placements. I prefer the original.



Miyamotoo said:
KLXVER said:
Would rather have a remastered version of the original DS2 than SotFS.

But SotFS is remastered Dark Souls 2.

Yes and not exactly. It is a remastered version in terms of visuals and performance, but at the same time it fundamentally alters several gameplay elements (enemy position, key items locations, NG+ values and the likes). They don't exactly play the same, outside core fundamentals of swordfighting/magic/archery and the likes.



Around the Network
KLXVER said:
Miyamotoo said:

But SotFS is remastered Dark Souls 2.

Yeah, but they changed the enemy placements. I prefer the original.

Yeah, they improved gameplay also, SotFS is much better expariance than original game (general consensus). So I dont see why would they ported old worse version when they have available better version.



Miyamotoo said:
KLXVER said:

Yeah, but they changed the enemy placements. I prefer the original.

Yeah, they improved gameplay also, SotFS is much better expariance than original game (general consensus). So I dont see why would they ported old worse version when they have available better version.

What did they change about the gameplay that makes it better? 



KLXVER said:
Miyamotoo said:

Yeah, they improved gameplay also, SotFS is much better expariance than original game (general consensus). So I dont see why would they ported old worse version when they have available better version.

What did they change about the gameplay that makes it better? 

6 players (up from four in the original Dark Souls 2) and general improved online, better enemy AI, enemies from the DLC making their way into the core game's zones, The Forlorn enemy,  more dense packs of enemies have been placed in some areas, and they'll now track players for much longer, effectively ending the strategy of just running past less bad guys, new weapons and armor from DLC, DLC included in game, different enemy placement.

There is zero sense to port older game when they have already improved version of game that already runing on 64 bit CPU (problem they mentioned when they were porting Dark Souls 1 from 32 bit CPU).



Miyamotoo said:
KLXVER said:

What did they change about the gameplay that makes it better? 

6 players (up from four in the original Dark Souls 2) and general improved online, better enemy AI, enemies from the DLC making their way into the core game's zones, The Forlorn enemy,  more dense packs of enemies have been placed in some areas, and they'll now track players for much longer, effectively ending the strategy of just running past less bad guys, new weapons and armor from DLC, DLC included in game, different enemy placement.

There is zero sense to port older game when they have already improved version of game that already runing on 64 bit CPU (problem they mentioned when they were porting Dark Souls 1 from 32 bit CPU).

Well if that is what most gamers want then fair enough. I just found the original more balanced.



KLXVER said:
Miyamotoo said:

6 players (up from four in the original Dark Souls 2) and general improved online, better enemy AI, enemies from the DLC making their way into the core game's zones, The Forlorn enemy,  more dense packs of enemies have been placed in some areas, and they'll now track players for much longer, effectively ending the strategy of just running past less bad guys, new weapons and armor from DLC, DLC included in game, different enemy placement.

There is zero sense to port older game when they have already improved version of game that already runing on 64 bit CPU (problem they mentioned when they were porting Dark Souls 1 from 32 bit CPU).

Well if that is what most gamers want then fair enough. I just found the original more balanced.

Personal preferences on side, SotFS is generally viewed like much better package and version than original DS2 game, espacily looked through eyes of developers that actually done all those improvements.