Monday, October 12, 2020

Something BIG Is About To Happen

About a year ago I bought a Nintendo Switch at the request of my daughter. While I'm more of a PC gamer, I don't mind playing on consoles even if just for the exclusives. My history with consoles started with the Nintendo Family Computer (NES for you guys in the west), and I owned at least one console from each generation since then.

The Switch is a brilliant console; you can play it on the big screen and you can bring it with you when you go outside. The joy-cons are also an interesting concept. While it has its shortcomings, the fact that you get basically 2 controllers in one purchase is very favorable to consumers. Each Switch is a multiplayer console from the get-go.

The Switch e-shop catalog is very diverse. Triple A's, indies, obvious mobile ports, games for kids and adults alike. The system has been welcoming to both hardcore and casual games and seems to blur the lines between mobile and console gaming.

So why am I talking about the Switch all of a sudden? Well it's because Gnome More War is coming to the Switch console!

I have Keybol Games to thank for this, for graciously accepting my proposal to have the game ported to the Switch so that they can publish it. Making a game for consoles has been one of my lifelong dreams.

Porting a game from mobile to the Switch isn't unheard of. After all, I've seen dozens of games on the e-shop that I could have sworn were games for iPads and Android tablets. I felt encouraged by the fact that those types of games made it through and are accepted as console games. However, I wanted to do more than just adding joy-con support for the game. I went back to the drawing table and laid out the features that I think would make the game less of a mobile port to more like a game that would be at home for the switch. The first feature I thought of was adding multiplayer.

Character Select Menu

Every Switch comes with a pair of joy-cons that you can either use paired or separately. I wanted to take advantage of this and it just so happens that the control mappings for the game fits a sideways joy-con perfectly. The next thing I had to do was come up with a couple of new characters, with more possibly added in the future. After a few weeks of coding, I have implemented a co-op mode that is not possible in the mobile version. Of course, it would take a few weeks more to polish it up. After all, simply adding another player doesn't end with plopping another sprite on the screen.

Co-op Mode

The next feature I wanted to add was basically more content. A game that will be sold at a price should feel significantly different (in a good way) than a game that is free to download. I wanted more maps, more enemy types, and to overhaul existing maps. I've always thought of adding some sort of platforms and obstacles and various means to force the player to keep moving.

I don't want to make a very long post, so if you don't mind I will stretch this out across multiple articles. I will talk about the other notable differences between the mobile version and the Switch version in my upcoming blog posts!

For now, let me just treat you with a few screenshots:

Switch Version

Mobile Version

Nintendo Switch Trailer

Gnome More war will be available for the Nintendo Switch on October 26. Pre-orders will be available on October 19. Until then please enjoy these articles I will be posting as some sort of preview.

Haven't heard of the game? Well, you wouldn't be the first! You can download the mobile version of the game for free. Just head over to the Play Store

-- LJ

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