In the quickly evolving world of the gaming industry, the ability to reach different audiences using different platforms through cross-platform game development can be crucial to your game’s success. Though related to game porting, cross-platform game development differs in some key ways.
There are numerous advantages to consider when investigating the possibility of cross-platform development. Depending on the studio and the game itself, it can be more beneficial than porting games at a later stage.
Understanding Cross-Platform Game Development
Cross-platform game development refers to the process of developing a game that can be played on multiple platforms. Unlike ported games, which are developed sometime after a title’s original release, cross-platform games are developed during a single development cycle and released simultaneously on all platforms.
Where game porting involves revisiting a game later and adapting it for different platforms, cross-platform game development allows developers to streamline the development process by building the game from the ground up with platform compatibility in mind. This can help optimize resources, saving substantial time and effort.
Wider Audience Reach with Cross-Platform Game Development
Cross-platform games can help ensure your game reaches a wide audience. By developing your game with several platforms targeted for release, it’s available for gamers who only have a specific platform, or even with multiple platforms if your game supports cross-progression. Unlike ported games, cross-platform games tend to release at the same time across all target platforms.
With any cross-platform game development project, it’s important to determine which platforms to target. Depending on the nature of your game, your target platforms may differ dramatically. A developer looking to launch a game on consoles could easily develop the game with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in mind, but Switch might require more work due to it being relatively underpowered compared to other contemporary consoles and its unique position as a portable device and a home console. Similarly, a release could be considered for PC, but the developer will need to bear in mind the wide range of power PCs have and the various internal components.
Cross-Platform Game Development is Cost-Effective
By engaging in one game development cycle encompassing all of your game’s target platforms, developers stand to save time, resources, and finances. Where ported games require further development periods to adapt games for other platforms, cross-platform development projects account for launching a game on several platforms during a single development cycle.
Developers need to consider which platforms they want to target early during the cross-platform game development process. Various factors come into play, including demographics, platform popularity, market trends, and more. Additionally, developers should endeavor to forecast the difficulty of releasing their games on certain platforms. If, for instance, a developer begins a cross-platform development project to release their game on consoles and mobile devices, there could be some challenges adapting the game for mobile, owing to mobile devices’ relatively low power and touchscreen interface.
Testing in Cross-Platform Game Development
One of the top considerations for any cross-platform development games is testing. Even when developing a game for a single platform, rigorous testing needs to be conducted. Testing is undoubtedly critical to the success of any cross-platform game development project.
One of the goals of cross-platform development is to ensure a seamless and smooth experience across every platform. Comprehensive testing is needed for every platform to ensure a consistent experience regardless of platform. Every platform is different, regardless of their similarities, and each version of your game is liable to encounter bugs. Before launch, it’s important to iron out as many issues as possible before players get the game in their hands.
Starloop Studios is your expert service partner when it comes to all things game development, including cross-platform game development and game porting services. Being part of Magic Media means we’re your one-stop solution for all your gaming, entertainment, and tech projects. Full-cycle game development, real-time VFX, and game trailers are but a few of our dozens of specialties. Reach out today, and let’s create magic!