Juicy Beast Reveal Reasons Why Indie Developers Focus on Single Console Development
As players of games it’s not often that we get some insight into the complexities of porting games from one console to another. One Indie company have written about their experience in porting one of their games, and while it may not have brought them the profit they wanted, it makes for very interesting reading.
The article by Juicy Beast looks at their attempts to port Ouya game Tota Temple Deluxe to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. With the harsh reality being that not all Indie titles can have the success of a game like Rocket League.
One of this issues they highlight as a reason the game failed was the attempt to port to 3 consoles at once:
“Releasing the game on the 3 consoles at the same time felt like a good idea at the time. We were only thinking about it from a revenues and media coverage standpoint, which was obviously a big mistake (for a local-multiplayer game released 2 years too late with no online mode, at least).”
The chart they show that reveals the time spent on each port reveals how unequal distribution of development time ended up being:
One thing that this highlights is that while they may have made equal revenues when it came to sales on each console, the cost for the ports is more expensive on some, while cheaper on others. They also highlight the fact that Xbox One time was saved by support they were given by development friends.
“Another factor that greatly extended the port process was having to jump back and forth between the different versions of the game. Yes, Unity makes it easier to port to multiple platforms, but the requirements for each console were so different that we ended up having 3 different Unity projects / branches to support them.”
Another interesting part of the article is when they look at what they’ll concentrate on next time. With a focus on striking an exclusivity deal and concentrating on one console it does reveal while some developers look to PlayStation 4. Especially if the console is easier to develop for.
What are your thoughts on Indie Development for consoles? Do Juicy Beast offer wise words? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.