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September 20, 2019

At GDC Everyone Wants to Be on Nintendo Switch

first_img ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Was Final Mission From Late Nintendo President Stay on target If I’ve seen one narrative emerge over during my first time at the Game Developers Conference it’s this: the Nintendo Switch is a big success and everyone wants their games to be on it.It’s not just Nintendo fans like me who want the company to put a bullet in the 3DS and shift all projects to the console/handheld hybrid. It’s not just thirsty gamers begging for big potential third party ports like Monster Hunter World or Dragon Ball FighterZ. It’s not just folks stoked for Travis Strikes Again and the hand-picked indies Nintendo itself chose to show-off and its GDC event. It’s the developers on the other side, too. In its first year the Switch proved itself as a fertile home for games of all kinds, and now everyone wants a piece.The very first panel I attended was about porting your indie game to consoles and sure enough the talk featured lots of discussion about bringing your game to Switch. Host Thomas O’Connor of PlayEverWare has helped bring several games from TinyBuild (a publisher that does its own Nintendo Direct-style videos to announce Switch ports) to the platform like Mr. Shifty and Phantom Trigger.O’Connor shared lots of knowledge of what Nintendo is looking for in enthusiastic potential new Nindies. Pro tip, use Switch-specific features like HD Rumble. Also be willing to wait like six months for everything to go through. Like many GDC panels this one was full of technical talk intended for developers and not journalists or consumers. But the message was clear enough that indie developers are racing to get on Switch.Also driving the message home clear was the number of Switch games just out and about on the show floor and at various offsite events. Some I was familiar with like upcoming rhythm action game and member of the beloved Bit.Trip series Runner 3. But others I had no clue what they were. Even games showcased on other platforms like the Xbox One I had first heard of because of their association with Switch. This includes games like Flipping Death and Wargroove and Super Meat Boy Forever. And off the record some folks at Microsoft’s event were still openly more excited to play the Switch versions.I took a meeting with Headup Games, fresh off of Bridge Constructor Portal, positively overflowing with promising indie Switch ports. That team is handling the Switch version of miraculous Wii U indie darling Runbow but that’s just the start. There’s Limbo-esque Toby: The Secret Mine, illustrated adventure games The Inner World 1 and 2, Smash Bros. meets Bomberman in Super Treasure Arena, stylized Skyrim for casual players Windscape, another visually striking claymation game Truberbrook or “German Twin Peaks,” and my personal favorite Super Blackjack Battle 2 Turbo Edition which, yes, is a blackjack game presented exactly like Street Fighter 2 on SNES. Headup Games is even helping release physical versions of indie Switch hits like Brawlout and the European version of The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+.Another surprise game I got to play on Switch was the upcoming Switch version of Atari’s Roller Coaster Tycoon. It was fascinating for a few reasons. The game is raising money through investor-style crowdfunding, although it plans on releasing this fall no matter what. It’s an original game but built off of ideas from Roller Coaster Tycoon and mobile. And Roller Coaster Tycoon is such a PC-centric series that being on any console is kind of wild. But it’s coming to Switch. You can still turn theme parks endless death traps for hapless customers but now on the go. And the creation tools seem at least as intuitive as fellow beloved Switch management sim Stardew Valley.But the biggest good news for the hopes of more indie darlings on Switch came when YoYo Games announced that it was bringing GameMaker Studio 2 to the system. While not on the level of Unity or Unreal, GameMaker is still a very popular and accessible cross-platform creation engine that gamers and developers both have been clamoring for since before the Switch’s release. I got the chance to talk with YoYo Games General Manager James Cox to learn more about the initiative.GameMaker on Switch is currently in a closed alpha. That’s why only a handful of games have been revealed for the platform including Undertale, Nidhogg 2, Hyper Light Drifter, and Crashlands. Three more unannounced titles are also in development but that’s all I learned (Hotline Miami???) Nintendo worked out those deals directly with those respective developers, while considering recommendations from YoYo Games.However, in the coming months GameMaker on Switch will move from beta to a full release. Then hundreds of registered developers will potentially be able to easily bring their games to Switch and make more port dreams come true for more players. And while in an ideal world GameMaker would’ve been on Switch on day one, it is great to see this complete support from Nintendo and YoYo Games. It’s proof of how beneficial Nintendo’s friendlier approach to third-parties and indies has been for everyone involved.So the Nintendo Switch isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Nintendo itself even said developer interest has quadrupled since last GDC, albeit that was before the system had even released. Frankly, I was surprised when playing any cool GDC indie game not confirmed for Switch. If anything,we’re afraid that if Nintendo doesn’t improve the eShop as promised the library will balloon to Steam-levels of unnavigable bloat. But more good games on a good system is a great thing. And GDC is the latest proof you need that games want to be on this system.Buy it now!Buy Nintendo Labo Variety Kit.Buy Nintendo Labo Robot Kit.Nintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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