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Rivals of Aether Project Lead on the struggles of Switch Port


In the reveal date announcement for Rivals of Aether: Definitive Edition, Project Lead and Director, Dan Fornace, posted an article summarizing the complicated hardships and development cycle of porting Rivals of Aether to the Nintendo Switch.

The full post can be read here but here are some key takeaways.
  • The port took a total of three years.
  • In March 2017, when the Nintendo Switch was released, the current Rivals of Aether engine (Game Maker Studio) did not have a public export option to console
  • The Rivals of Aether team began talking about porting with a team writing a Game Maker Studio emulator. Given the technical requirements (60 FPS on a Fighting Game), emulating the game on Switch turned out to not be feasible.
  • Later in 2017, they talked with another development team to port it to another engine.
  • Since DLC for Rivals of Aether had to be finished, the team was targeting a Summer 2018 hand-off
  • On March 9th, 2018, YoYo Games announced Game Maker Studio 2 compatibility with the Switch
  • The second team decided not to continue the collaboration
  • They hired two new programmers - YellowAfterLife (Past: Nuclear Throne), and ampersandbear (Past: Ghost Croquet)
  • Testing sessions ended up becoming long; four coders were needed at once to test four player online
  • The team had to reoptimize the game heavily to include rollback
  • Working on a Definitive Edition that would contain everything - Trying to not add any features that would cause a big delay
  • Pandemic scheduling at the end caused delays
  • Against many hurdles, Rivals of Aether: Definitive Edition has now launched on Switch as their biggest title to date
Rivals of Aether definitive edition has now released in Europe and Japan and will be releasing in North America at 9 AM PST, September 24th, 2020. Our previous article covers all changes.

Author's Note: Did you find reading about the team's hardships interesting? I know I did. Are you excited to pick up a copy on Switch? I know I certainly am! Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Lucas "Thirdkoopa" Guimaraes


It's already out on the Switch, which surprised me (I figured it wouldn't be out until noon). I picked it up.
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It’s cool to see Game Maker games on the Switch, Undertale and Hyper Light Drifter are also good examples. Hopefully more great indie games made with the engine come to the Switch in the future.
I wonder if we can get Fall Guys and Among Us as well. I do hope Rivals of Aether gets a Spirit Event. The characters would work perfectly in Spirit Battles and I think those would be a blast to do.
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