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Why porting Bastion was an emotional 'big deal' for Supergiant Games

December 14, 2016 | By Bryant Francis

December 14, 2016 | By Bryant Francis
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More: Console/PC, Design, Video

“I have two kids, there’s some weird and relevant analogies to having kids, where yes, you brought them into the world, but at a certain point, they assert their own identities, and you can no longer take credit for them.” 

- Supergiant Games creative director Greg Kasavin, on what happens to games after you ship them

Your game can be like a baby sometimes, right? It’s fussy, amusing, and occasionally poops itself while you try to get it out the door. But once you finally ship it, and you find yourself grappling with the fact that it’s out in the world now, how do you approach porting it to other platforms to increase your player base?

In the past, we’ve heard how the folks at Supergiant Games teamed up with BlitWorks to solve the technical challenges of porting their games to new platforms, but speaking with creative director Greg Kasavin today as we checked out the latest port of Bastion on Xbox One, we were surprised to hear that handing your game off to a porting studio can also have an emotional toll, not just a logistical one.

“Thankfully or us, we lucked out and worked with folks whose work we were really happy with,” Kasavin explained. “We’ve heard stories—ports don’t always go over well, sometimes even when they do go well, the relationships between the developers and the people doing the ports can be complicated by the nature of the how those deals are structured.”

Part of it is (as you can see above) as Kasvin says, is that there’s a lot of emotional work tied up in the game you’ve worked on, and you now have to put that trust in someone else to deliver a product. In their case, Kasavin says Supergiant was willing to pull the plug if the porting process wasn’t going to deliver a game they were proud of, but luckily, BlitWorks proved more than up to the task, producing the version of the game you can see today. 

Be sure to watch the full conversation with Kasavin for more thoughts about making one of the standout indie action RPGs of the last few years, and subscribe to our Twitch channel for more developer interviews and gameplay commentary. 

And if you want more thoughts on good RPG design, check out last week’s conversation with developers Adriel Wallick, Teddy Diefenbach, and Alexander Brazie on Final Fantasy XV. 

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