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[Interview] Moon Studios describes the process of deploying Ori and Will of the Wisps on Switch. iam8bit Talk Collector’s Edition, Reception, etc.

A few years ago, no one could have predicted that both Ori games would end up on Switch, but that’s exactly what happened. Moon Studios managed to bring in Ori and the Blind Forest in September 2019. A year later, the sequel Ori and the Blind continued.

Moon Studios co-founder Gennadiy Korol and lead artist Daniel van Leeuwen recently talked to Nintendo Everything about the daunting task of switching between Ori and Will of the Wisps. We also talked to game publishers Jon M. Gibson and Amanda White of iam8bit. They talked about special physical releases, selling and receiving Switch, and more.

Can you tell us a bit about how Ori and Will of the Wisps came to Switch? Did you always plan to take over the game after Ori and the Blind Forest?

Gennadiy: Like Ori and the Blind Forest, we always felt that 2D Metroidvania was the perfect switch! Ori and Will of the Wisps secretly wanted it to happen, but I honestly didn’t know if it was technically feasible. At 60fps, the quality did not drop significantly until some time after the actual development of the port.

How long did it take for the switch port to complete? Were there any unexpected delays, such as the effects of the coronavirus or other development issues?

Gennadiy: Overall, I think it took about 3.5 months for the switch port itself to complete. This was a very intense effort on the part of the team. The powerful optimization work we did earlier for the Xbox platform patch definitely helped us get a good start on the Switch port. That said, when we started, even the terribly compromised visuals, far from our goals, hit only 24fps!

As always, game development is difficult, and making a game like Will of the Wisps really shine on Switch takes a lot of risk and is significant to achieve the visual quality that Ori feels right for. I had to make some changes. platform. Fortunately, these risks really paid off and things really came together towards the end!

Ori and the Will of the Wisps runs on Switch at 60 frames per second. This is an impressive feat. What has been done to make that possible? Also, I heard that the game wasn’t running at 60 FPS at first, how long did it take to reach that goal?

Gennadiy: Thank you! We are very proud of what our team can do with Nintendo Switch. Many of us didn’t even believe that the 60 fps goal was achievable, but we knew that the 30 fps Ori would never feel right. I knew I needed an instant response, smooth, smooth animation, and horizontal scrolling.

To be honest, reaching 60 fps is most of what we’ve done during the entire duration of this port, and to be able to reach 60 consistently is a lot of iterations, content changes, and rendering pipelines. It required rewriting, streaming fixes, memory optimization, and hardcore engine optimization.

If you’re targeting 60fps on your switch, you’re in a bit of an “all or nothing” situation when it comes to optimization. You absolutely need to make sure that all aspects of the engine between simulation, streaming, rendering and graphics reach the 16ms frame target. If not, the game will never reach 60.

This is the most difficult thing we’ve done on Moon and we’re very happy to see the reaction from the players. It’s very rewarding to see how everything was put together and how Will of the Wisps runs on this platform.

Can I share information about the actual porting process? How did the team finally decide to bring the title to Switch?

Daniel: First of all, I set a goal. From the beginning, it was very clear that we didn’t want to sacrifice something that would hurt our experience. 60fps was absolutely necessary.

So the question arose whether it was possible. The first time I ran Ori on the switch, the FPS was very low, so I had to get my hands dirty and see if there was a way to do this in the end. The forward projection is pretty tricky, but the technical team was convinced that it could be achieved in a few weeks.

We have developed a tool that allows you to track related states multiple times a day, anywhere in the game. This was essential to confirm the orbit that was going on over time. The changes made were reflected in these tracking tools and we checked to see if they helped. Many variables were constantly tracked, so I was able to read the details to see what was causing the performance degradation and focus on them.

At some point, the art team also intervened to help clean up and simplify many scenes in the game. I made sure that there were no major visual differences and with the help of a tool that scans the scene. Delete assets that are invisible or make little contribution.

The rendering pipeline has been completely rewritten with Switch hardware in mind, and we have also developed character rendering techniques to make it look sharper than before.

Given how the Switch differs from the Xbox One from a hardware perspective, what changes have been made to enable the Switch version?

Gennadiy: The goal of this port was to create a seamless transformation. I didn’t want to compromise on the player’s perception of quality after playing on Xbox, so all visual effects, art, and animations are displayed on the switch, except for motion blur effects.

Even the base Xbox One was significantly more powerful than the Switch, so we had to rethink how we created the game, disassemble it and revert it with new fixes to achieve both visual quality and performance. .. platform.

How does Moon Studios feel about Switch hardware as there are two games under the team’s belt?

Daniel: Nintendo Switch is a great and fun platform, and I think most people on Moon prefer to play Ori on Switch. Many people at Moon are proud that both Ori games have ended on Switch.

Developing for limited hardware is great, but it’s also a rewarding challenge. To fully understand the hardware and make everything work, you need to shed light on the details. After shipping two titles on the platform, we have gained a lot of useful experience in the future.

You have a very neat collector’s version for Ori games with iam8bit. How did that collaboration happen?

Gennadiy: When we started porting Will of the Wisps, we worked with iam8bit to help release this version of Ori.

We love those guys. They’re really on the same page as us when it comes to making quality stuff, going out there, and doing a little cool stuff that gamers really appreciate. Working with them at our CE was hard, but we really wanted to make something we wanted to put on our shelves!

iam8bit has been really successful and has confirmed that our vision is converted to a physical version without compromise. I can’t wait for you to get this. Some little surprises may come later 🙂

Do you think there is still room for Ori to grow, including another entry in the series?

Daniel: There are still many possibilities in the world of Ori. After developing these games for almost 10 years, the studio needs a short break. I’ve put some ideas about Ori into the Will of the Wisps, so it’s a good idea to rest for a while. At some point, creative juice may begin to flow again, you never know.

[Interview] Moon Studios on the process of bringing Ori and the Will of the Wisps on Switch; iam8bit talks collector’s edition, reception, more

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