Interview with Eva Gaspar, CEO Abylight Studios which is working on "Hyper Light Drifter" port for Nintendo Switch.
How did it happened that you are working on HLD port? Have you contacted directly Alex Preston, creator of original game, that you want to create such port or he came up to you?
After the cancellation of Hyper Light Drifter versions on PS Vita and Wii U, because of technical issues, we reached out to Heart Machine and Alex Preston to offer Abylight’s help and experience.
When we started our conversation, Wii U was in the last stages of its lifetime and the Nintendo Switch had been already announced, but not yet launched. So, it made sense to work on the future console.
What's the status of your work?
We arranged a global agreement: in addition to the worldwide publishing, we would also work on the adaptation of the game to the new platform providing a complete service to Heart Machine and relieving them of the hassle but with their approval, of course.
At this moment, we have started our publishing duties as you can see and are just in the middle of the adaptation work. We are working full throttle to make good on the promises made to fans and Switch players.
How many people are working on this project?
There is quite an amount of people working on making sure that Hyper Light Drifter comes to the Nintendo Switch as a definitive version of the game. At Abylight we have 4 developers giving their best on the adaptation work and 2 more working on publishing duties.
Nintendo of Europe is supervising all the progress very closely and then we have a dedicated team at Yoyo Games working on improvements directly on the engine.
Are there going to be any changes compared to the original game (graphics, game mechanics, etc.)?
When it was released in 2016, Hyper Light Drifter gathered unanimous recognition from both gamers and critics. The intense action combined with its otherworldly environments and its speechless storyline offered an outstanding experience for the player, making this game one of the most relevant indie games of the year.
Therefore, the gameplay and graphics will keep the same fidelity to the original game, however we are definitely working on good surprises for this installment.
Are you going to use Switch features such as HD Rumble or gyroscope?
The game does a wise use of the controller vibration, creating a very immersive experience in some stages. Without a doubt, we’ll improve this experience using the HD Rumble of the Joy-Cons, the goal to be able to feel the journey and the insatiable illness that haunts The Drifter in your hands.
Original HLD was made in GameMaker Studio. Do you have any difficulties or tough problems in porting the game?
Porting a game is never easy and often a bit ungrateful; it is a technical challenge because the developer has to deal with someone else’s code.
Of course, the GameMaker announcement was great news for all the Indiedev community. The agreement between Nintendo and Yoyo Games makes the option to port games to the Nintendo Switch a bit easier, but there is still much work to do if you want to surprise the players.
Can you tell me why Switch version of HLD wasn't shown on latest Nindies Showcase?
Sorry, you would have to ask Nintendo that :)
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