The process of game porting: How to bring your game to a new platform

According to Statista, the global number of users in the video games segment of the digital media market was forecast to continuously increase between 2023 and 2027 by a total of 401.8 million individuals (+14.87 percent). The user number is estimated to amount to 3.1 billion individuals in 2027. In 2022, the number of video gamers worldwide stood at 3.03 billion, a slight decrease from 3.2 billion global gamers in the previous year. 

As the number of players grows, so does the need to provide more convenient gaming devices. But how do you develop a game that will be equally playable on different devices? This process is called porting.

What game porting is?

Game porting is the process of adapting a video game from one platform to another. It is a crucial step for developers who want to expand their game’s reach and increase its visibility among a wider audience. Game porting involves translating the game’s code, optimizing graphics, audio, and input controls, and testing the game’s performance on the new platform. With the growth of the gaming industry and the increasing popularity of various gaming platforms, game porting has become an essential aspect of game development. 

In this article, we will delve into the process of game porting, exploring the challenges developers face when bringing a game to a new platform and offering tips and strategies to help make the process smoother and more efficient.

Preparing for the port

Before beginning the process of porting your game to a new platform, it’s important to take some time to prepare. This involves several key steps:

  1. Assessing the feasibility of the port: Consider factors such as the technical requirements of the new platform, the compatibility of your game’s code and assets with those requirements, and the potential market for your game on the new platform. You may also want to consider the cost and time involved in porting your game and whether it makes sense from a business perspective.
  2. Choosing the right platform: Research the different platforms available and understand their unique requirements and capabilities. Consider factors such as the size and engagement of the player base, the platform’s developer support and tools, and its revenue-sharing model. Choose a platform that is well-suited to your game and offers the best potential for success.
  3. Assembling a team with the necessary skills and expertise: This may involve hiring new team members or training existing ones in the specific skills needed for porting to the new platform. Look for team members with experience in cross-platform development, knowledge of the new platform’s technical requirements, and expertise in areas such as optimization and debugging.

By taking these steps to prepare for the port, you can increase your chances of a smooth and successful transition to a new platform.

The game porting process

Game porting is the process of adapting a video game from one platform to another. The goal is to bring the game to new audiences, expand the game’s reach, and increase revenue for developers. However, the process of game porting can be challenging due to the differences between platforms in terms of hardware, software, and user experience. Here are the main steps involved in the game porting process:

  1. Analyze the New Platform. The first step in game porting is to analyze the new platform and its specifications. The developers need to research the new platform’s hardware, software, and technical requirements to understand the limitations and possibilities for the game. This research will help them identify potential challenges and opportunities when porting the game.
  2. Adapting the Game’s Code and Assets. The second step in the game porting process is to adapt the game’s code and assets to the new platform. This involves making changes to the game’s programming to ensure compatibility with the new platform’s operating system and hardware. The developers also need to optimize the game’s assets such as graphics, audio, and input controls to suit the new platform’s capabilities and limitations.
  3. Testing and Debugging. Once the game has been adapted to the new platform, it needs to be tested thoroughly to ensure that it runs smoothly and provides a seamless gameplay experience. Testing is a critical step in game porting, as it helps to identify bugs and glitches that need to be fixed. The game needs to be tested on the new platform as well as on different devices to ensure compatibility and stability.
  4. Optimizing Performance and Addressing Platform-Specific Challenges. The final step in game porting is to optimize the game’s performance and address platform-specific challenges. This involves tweaking the game’s code and assets to ensure that it runs smoothly on the new platform. Developers need to optimize the game’s performance to ensure that it runs smoothly and doesn’t cause any performance issues or crashes. They also need to address any platform-specific challenges that arise during the porting process, such as differences in screen resolutions or input controls.


Launching and marketing the port

After you’ve completed the process of porting your game to a new platform, it’s time to launch and market the port. This involves several key steps:

  1. Preparing for launch: Before releasing your game on the new platform, you’ll need to prepare for its launch. This may involve creating promotional materials such as trailers or screenshots, setting up a page for your game on the platform’s store, and announcing the release date to your existing player base and the wider gaming community.
  2. Promoting the game on the new platform: Once your game is available on the new platform, you’ll need to promote it to attract new players. This may involve running ads on social media or gaming websites, reaching out to influencers or streamers to feature your game, or offering special deals or promotions to encourage players to try your game.
  3. Gathering feedback from players: After your game has launched on the new platform, it’s important to gather feedback from players to see how they’re enjoying the game and whether there are any issues that need to be addressed. You can gather feedback through in-game surveys, social media, or by monitoring reviews and ratings on the platform’s store.
  4. Addressing any issues: Based on the feedback you receive from players, you may need to make changes or updates to your game to address any issues that arise. This could involve fixing bugs, making balance changes, or adding new content to keep players engaged.

In conclusion, game porting is a complex process that requires careful planning, research, and execution. It involves adapting the game’s code and assets, testing and debugging, and optimizing performance and addressing platform-specific challenges. By following these steps, developers can successfully port their games to new platforms and reach wider audiences while also increasing revenue.

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