Ports Shouldn't Sacrifice Quality, Bastion Developer Says

The game sold over 1.7 million units thanks to its quality

By on February 8th, 2013 21:01 GMT

Supergiant Games co-founder Amir Rao has talked about his studio's efforts of porting Bastion from the original Xbox 360 console to other platforms like the PC or the iOS, saying that game ports shouldn't sacrifice quality just to make a quick profit.

Porting a game onto different platforms doesn't always have the greatest results as plenty of players have some sad memories about playing a game on another platform than the original.

Supergiant Games co-founder Amir Rao talked about this issue during the DICE Summit yesterday, according to GamesIndustry, and explained that he and his team, after releasing Bastion on the Xbox 360, didn't want to make a quick profit by bringing it to the PC or iOS.

Instead, they realized that a port can be a tiring thing for a developer, resulting in a lackluster experience that disappoints fans.

"We shouldn't be surprised when we do things in a cynical and disappointing way, that they produce disappointing results," Rao said. "What fans really want is for you to put the same creative energy that went into making the original game into reimagining it."

However, the Supergiant staff decided to follow the lead of PopCap Games' Plants vs. Zombies, which appeared first on PC and then onto other platforms, each time receiving different upgrades.

While the PC version of Bastion only had a few alterations, the iOS edition was definitely the hardest to do, mainly because the team didn't just want to put an on-screen gamepad and call it a day.

Instead, they came up with a self-imposed requirement that the game needs to be playable using a single hand. This resulted in a high-quality experience, but quite a few times it almost ended the project, because serious issues appeared at certain points in time.

Eventually, Supergiant did add a virtual gamepad to the game but, according to Rao, only 40% of players tried it out and more than half of those immediately reverted to the regular play style.

The different ports and adaptations resulted in Bastion selling more than 1.7 million copies worldwide, according to Rao.

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