Virtuos, along with Panic Button Games, is one of the leading lights in the field of port handling to Nintendo Switch.
The company is involved in the following titles Dark Souls: Remastered, LA Noire And Bioshock: Collection, And have a clear understanding of what it takes to get the demanding multi-format titles to work well on Nintendo’s system.
In an interview with the Japanese site Automaton Media (translated by Nintendo Everything), Virtuos staff Andy Fong and Lukas Codr talked a bit about how the company handles work on Switch. According to Fong, Shanghai’s Virtuos team consists of 40 programmers, and the Chengdu branch has 20 programmers, all focused on switch-based work.
Fong also describes how the company handles the switch docking and handheld mode optimization work.
GPU clock speed is twice that of TV mode. To compensate for this, the resolution in handheld mode is usually lower. For example, if the TV mode resolution is 1080p and the handheld mode is 66% of the TV mode, then the handheld mode should be 720p.
Experience has made it easy to pinpoint where performance is smooth or inadequate in TV mode. However, to cover all locations, the QA team is always playing the game in both modes. Both performance data are collected and compared. In general, if you have a lot of transparent particle effects or heavy post-processing effects, your game will perform poorly in TV mode. However, this is not always the case, so you should test the entire game. Our goal is to provide equivalent visuals in both modes, outside the resolution range. Therefore, we will do our best to optimize both modes as much as possible.
Finally, Codr says that the studio developers are constantly “upgrading” while working on new projects, giving them reasons to be excited about the future.
The vast majority of companies in the business of porting games to Nintendo Switch are gradually improving their technology. Initially, projects usually include simple and secure optimizations. The reason is that developers are still researching new platforms and learning their strengths and weaknesses. Our engineers and artists continue to improve from all their experience working on multiple projects. We have learned a lot of skills and a lot of knowledge now, so I think we are a few levels higher than inexperienced teams.