Nintendo Switch Port

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AvitarDiggs
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Nintendo Switch Port

Post by AvitarDiggs » September 1st, 2019, 10:32 am

Wesnoth is a quality, popular strategy game that would be great to play on the go, hence the mobile ports. However, I think a Nintendo Switch port would present a great way to play the game in a portable format and add another solid tactical game to the Switch's library.

Porting a game to a console requires a lot of specialized knowledge and access to the console's SDK which is expensive and hard to gain access to. However, there are several companies with such knowledge and resources who are excusively in the business of porting games already.

I wanted to propose creating an RFP (request for proposal) for the project of porting base Wesnoth to the Nintendo Switch to be sent to some known porting studios (Virtuos come to mind but there are several others) to get a price quote, and then crowdfund the costs to have the game ported and added to the eShop.

I am unsure how this would shake out with the GNU license and oversight from Wesnoth, Inc. but that's partially why I'm asking here. Does this sound like a feisable way to get Wesnoth on Nintendo Switch?

Tad_Carlucci
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Re: Nintendo Switch Port

Post by Tad_Carlucci » September 1st, 2019, 1:40 pm

This will require someone with the ability to do the port, and the software (and hardware?) necessary.

Paying a third party is almost certainly a non-starter. While the Wesnoth project does, at time, commission art work, this is far less of an expense than the what most companies charge for porting software from one platform to another.

Having the port is just part of the problem. Don't forget, the software will require ongoing programming support. It's not just a one-time porting fee we're talking about but an ongoing contract.

The way it works is this: the Nintendo Switch port will only happen when someone with the necessary skills and tools decides to take it on as a personal project.

While your crowdfunding idea might work, it would require a constant funding stream, not a one-time pile of money.

So, if you want to do the work to set up the funding, take bids and manage the on-going funding, contracts, etc., then it might get done. Otherwise, your idea will have to wait for someone willing and able to do the work.
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.

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octalot
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Re: Nintendo Switch Port

Post by octalot » September 1st, 2019, 4:00 pm

There's a project in progress to convert Wesnoth to the Godot Engine: https://github.com/wesnoth/haldric
There seem to be some projects in progress to port Godot to the Switch.

I've no idea how the licensing works out for that.

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josteph
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Re: Nintendo Switch Port

Post by josteph » September 1st, 2019, 5:41 pm

The GPL license won't be a problem. What might be a problem is that you'll need to arrange to have some of the existing, volunteer developers available to support the paid porting team. For example, if the porting team sees a test failure and thinks that's a bug in wesnoth itself, who's going to look at the bug report they'll send?

AvitarDiggs
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Re: Nintendo Switch Port

Post by AvitarDiggs » September 1st, 2019, 6:38 pm

I hear what you are all saying, and it sounds like though there are some challenging roadblocks to overcome, it is at least in the realm of possibility.

It sounds like the most difficult challenges to overcome would be a constant source of income to maintain the port and access to developers to assist with the process.

To the point of constant, I admit I do not have knowledge of what a contract to port a game looks like. I do not know if one can get a quote for a lump sum, or if it is based on billable hours, or some other schema. However, contracts can be negotiated, and that may be able to be addressed. Once the Gam is released, it could be sold for a modest price ($5-$10) and the income used to maintain upkeep of the port. While difficult, it may still be possible but requires more information.

To the second point about dev support, there is more of a challenge. I would assume the simplest solution to be to create a stable fork of the game separate from the main PC branch and to find a group of developers for the Westnoth project who would be willing and passionate enough to work on the port project. It might even be appropriate to partially compensate those developers for having to adapt to working alongside developers on a professional environment, but I indeed about the moral implications of such compensation and if it violates the spirit of the Wesnoth project.

Thank you very much for your unrestrained feedback as developers for the game. I figured that of there was something I wanted, the only way to figure out if it was possible was to ask and see what the problems would be.

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josteph
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Re: Nintendo Switch Port

Post by josteph » September 1st, 2019, 6:50 pm

AvitarDiggs wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 6:38 pm
To the second point about dev support, there is more of a challenge. I would assume the simplest solution to be to create a stable fork of the game separate from the main PC branch and to find a group of developers for the Westnoth project who would be willing and passionate enough to work on the port project. It might even be appropriate to partially compensate those developers for having to adapt to working alongside developers on a professional environment, but I indeed about the moral implications of such compensation and if it violates the spirit of the Wesnoth project.
You don't actually have to fork; if you're going to engage and possibly hire Wesnoth developers, you can just ask them to work in the Wesnoth git repository. The costs of a fork usually outweigh the benefits. (Bugs have to be fixed twice, features have to be ported, etc)

edit: And what do you mean, "adapt"? Many of the people working on wesnoth are professional developers. (And others are professional writers, or professional artists, etc)

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Re: Nintendo Switch Port

Post by gnombat » September 1st, 2019, 10:50 pm

josteph wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 6:50 pm
edit: And what do you mean, "adapt"? Many of the people working on wesnoth are professional developers. (And others are professional writers, or professional artists, etc)
I think "adapt" here means to adapt to working on Wesnoth professionally (i.e., working to meet the requirements of an external porting studio instead of just working on Wesnoth on a purely voluntary basis).

AvitarDiggs
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Re: Nintendo Switch Port

Post by AvitarDiggs » September 2nd, 2019, 6:00 am

gnombat wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 10:50 pm
josteph wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 6:50 pm
edit: And what do you mean, "adapt"? Many of the people working on wesnoth are professional developers. (And others are professional writers, or professional artists, etc)
I think "adapt" here means to adapt to working on Wesnoth professionally (i.e., working to meet the requirements of an external porting studio instead of just working on Wesnoth on a purely voluntary basis).
Yes, this is what I meant, in the respect that there is more of a rigid time demand working with a company where people are working for a livelihood rather than working on a project voluntarily in one's spare time.

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