What game porting is?
Game porting is the process of taking a game that was created for one platform and making it playable on another platform. This can be done by either developing a new version of the game specifically for the new platform or using emulation software to allow the game to run on the new platform.
How much does it cost to port a game?
The cost of porting a game depends on many factors, such as the game’s complexity, the development team’s size, and the project’s timeframe. Generally speaking, simple games can be ported for a few thousand dollars, while more complex games can cost millions.
There are two main types of game porting:
- Cross-platform porting – This is where a game is ported from one platform to another that uses completely different hardware and software. An example of this would be porting a game from Windows to Linux.
- Platform-specific porting – This is where a game is ported from one platform to another that uses similar or identical hardware and software. An example would be porting a game from PlayStation 4 to Xbox One.
How does game porting work?
Game porting can be complicated, depending on the game and the platforms involved. In some cases, it may simply be a matter of recompiling the game’s code so that it will run on the new platform. In other cases, more significant changes may need to be made, such as rewriting sections of code or changing graphics assets to work with the new platform’s hardware.
Game porting process
There are several steps involved in porting a game from one platform to another:
- Analysis – The first step is to analyze the game and its code to see what will need to be changed for it to run on the new platform.
- Planning – Once the changes that need to be made have been identified, a plan must be created for how those changes will be implemented.
- Implementation – This is where the actual work of porting the game is done. Changes are made to the game’s code and assets, which are recompiled or otherwise built for the new platform.
- Testing – After the game has been ported, it must be thoroughly tested on the new platform to ensure everything works as intended.
- Release – Once the game has been successfully ported and tested, it is ready to be released on the new platform.
Benefits of game porting
There are several benefits to game porting:
- Cost effectiveness
Game porting can be a cost-effective way to bring a game to a new audience. Developing a new game from scratch for a new platform can be costly and time-consuming, whereas porting an existing game can be done relatively quickly and cheaply. Also, new games often require a significant marketing budget to reach a broad audience. In contrast, ported games can often piggyback on the original game’s success and don’t need to be marketed as heavily.
- Increased reach
Releasing a game on multiple platforms enables it to reach a wider audience. This is because people who own different devices (e.g., PC, console, mobile) are more likely to buy a game available on their platform of choice. Developers can tap into new markets by porting a game to multiple platforms and potentially increase sales.
- Improved gameplay
Porting a game to a new platform can also lead to improvements in the gameplay. This is because porting teams often take the opportunity to make changes and improvements to the game based on feedback from players of the original game. For example, they may add new features or make balancing adjustments based on player feedback. These gameplay improvements can make the game more enjoyable for everyone, not just newcomers.
- Increases revenue
Since game porting can lead to an increase in sales, it also has the potential to generate more revenue for developers. This additional revenue can be reinvested into developing new games or used to improve the quality of existing games.
- New opportunities
Game porting can open up new opportunities for developers. For example, a developer who ports a successful game to multiple platforms may be able to negotiate a better deal with publishers or attract investment from venture capitalists. Porting can also help developers build relationships with new partners and learn about new technologies.
- Easy to maintain
Once a game has been ported to a new platform, it is often easier to maintain than a game developed from scratch for that platform. This is because the codebase of the ported game is often more stable and better-tested than the codebase of a brand-new game. As a result, there are often fewer bugs and problems with ported games than with brand-new games.
- Learn from mistakes
When porting a game to a new platform, developers have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and make improvements. For example, if they encounter technical difficulties when porting the game, they can use this as an opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge. Also, if the game doesn’t perform as well as they hoped on the new platform, they can use this as an opportunity to analyze what went wrong and make changes accordingly.
Challenges of game porting
- Compliance with terms of service
When porting a game to a new platform, developers need to ensure that they comply with the terms of service of that platform. For example, if they are porting a game to iOS, they need to make sure that the game meets all of Apple’s requirements. Failure to do so could result in the game being rejected by the platform owner or removed from their store.
- Different controls
The controls of different platforms can be very different, making it difficult to port a game without making significant changes to the gameplay. For example, a first-person shooter that uses a keyboard and mouse might need to be redesigned for a platform that uses a gamepad.
Porting a game can be a great way to increase its reach and improve its gameplay. However, it is not without challenges. Developers need to be aware of different platforms’ different hardware, software, and controls to port a game successfully. When done correctly, game porting can significantly improve a game and reach new players.
Last modified: November 3, 2022