Over recent years, it is clear to see that Nintendo is willing to work with developers and publishers of all sizes. The company only cares about the game you represent – how high-quality it is, how unique it is, how exciting it is, and so on. Even though Nintendo develops its games, it is ready to release projects from other studios on its console. The company also allows shareware games to be available in its store.
For example, about half of all Switches have Fortnite, which is distributed under the F2P model. More than two thousand games are now available on the console, and Nintendo itself cooperates with more than a thousand publishers. Below we provide a list of 10 Game Development tips to make your work easier, but you can also use the programming homework help service https://assignmentshark.com/.
1. Preliminary plan for the Nintendo Switch. If you plan to publish or port your game to Nintendo Switch in the early stages of development, always design and test its performance against the platform’s minimum target specification. This avoids the situation where you are only testing your game on a high-performance PC while developing, to suddenly realize that the game does not perform well on target devices.
2. It is necessary to profile the game from the early stages. Be aware of performance bottlenecks in your game. Studio MDHR used Unity’s built-in profiler and Nintendo’s CPU profiler to analyze code, eliminating any spikes and doing everything possible to keep baseline CPU usage as low as possible. Feel free to use these tools more often in the early stages of development to avoid global architecture refactoring in the future.
3. Reduce memory consumption with atlases. The game originally had over 45,000+ hand-drawn animation frames that were not packaged, but this approach is not very effective. Use SpriteAtlas. The game used too much memory on some levels. The team decided to use atlases for the sprites. After removing transparent parts and using ASTC compression, atlases significantly reduced the use of RAM.
4. Benefits of AssetBundles. AssetBundles helped Studio MDHR not only reduce the overall size of the game but also tweak the process for future updates. Try to use AssetBundles for as much of your game as possible. For Cuphead, the team prepackaged and compressed SpriteAtlases into various bundles. This greatly reduced the size of the game and helped immensely in meeting Nintendo’s patch size requirements. Bundles also help set up parts of the game so that they change less between builds.
5.Tinker with the shader loading mechanism. It is much better to load all shaders ahead of time to avoid performance issues when new or rarely used sprites are loaded in the level for the first time.
6. The Nintendo Switch has a common architecture that uses standard tools and C ++. It is also great for easy porting of multi-platform projects – Nintendo does not prohibit release on other consoles in any way
7. But for development, you need special hardware – a dev kit. Nintendo Switch has two types of devkits: a regular devkit is close in characteristics to the standard version of the console, and a professional devkit has additional RAM, which is great for creating large games. The devkit can be ordered online through the Nintendo Developer Portal. There is an office in Germany that sends devkits to developers in Europe.
8. You can use different engines for development – UE4 and Unity are supported by default, and GameMaker Studio 2 and other popular engines also work without any problems. Also, studios can use tools to create sound in the game – FMOD, Wwise; physics – Havok, Nvidia PhysX; network component – Photon, Playfab, and more.
9. If you want to release a game on Nintendo Switch, there are several stages to go through. The first step is registering as a publisher. This can be done on the Nintendo Developer Portal, which acts as the main hub for interacting with the company. There you can also determine whether the game will be distributed electronically only or physical copies will be available. It is also possible to release the game only on physical media.
10. Next, you need to register for your game – it is important to provide all the basic information about it. Then it comes to determining the age rating. Different countries and territories may have their systems: in Europe – PEGI, in Germany – USK, in the USA – ESRB, in Japan – CERO, and so on. If only a digital release of the game is planned, then you can set a rating based on the IARC system for free. And when releasing on physical media, you need to contact each agency separately.
As mentioned earlier, the game can be released digitally; on physical media; or use both. This separation is important to consider if your game has, for example, two publishers, one of which has the rights to the electronic version, and the other to the physical one. But in this case, you will have to register your game twice for each publisher.