Outlast is out now on the Nintendo Switch. The two games in the series were ported to the Nintendo Switch by the developer Red Barrels and they seem to hold up surprisingly well against the console version, however with a penalty to the frame rate that drops from the 60 FPS target on PS4 and Xbox One to 30 FPS on Nintendo Switch.
In a recent reddit AMA, the developers talked about the difficulty of porting the game to Nintendo Switch considering the fact that it was never intended for it in the first place.
Ill try to answer both at the same time. Much like the DOOM guys, we were fortunate enough to have our game run at 1080p/60fps on PS4/XB1, so cutting the the resolution in half (720p is a bit less than half the number of pixels) and the framerate in half means you can run on a machine that is 4x less powerful, which is pretty much what the switch is in handheld mode.
Keeping the 60fps on switch would have been impossible. I mean, we would have had to cut so much that it would not have been the same game. Games like Mario do it but their lighting is extremely simple, most objects don’t cast shadows or anything, which obviously doesn’t work for a game that is all about hiding in the dark. They also barely have post-fx or anti aliasing.
While they weren’t able to keep the 60 FPS target, they consider the porting process rather easy for the Nintendo Switch.
Porting was pretty smooth. The Nintendo tools and devkits are great. Most of the challenges were in the second game, for which we needed to do a few content changes. Most of the vegetation, for example, (trees, plants) had to be remodeled since they had too many vertices.
When one fan asked them about the censored content in the console version and whether they faced any issue with Nintendo, the developers had the following response.
By content changes, I only mean changes necessary to meet our resolution/performance targets. The Switch version DOES include the new Story mode, but does NOT include the restored previously censored content. Besides that, the game is exactly the same. Nintendo never asked us to remove any gore or anything like that. That’s what ratings are for.
Outlast Duology is available now for the Nintendo Switch. It was developed and published by Red Barrels.