RuneScape developers suggest Switch version is possible
RuneScape will be released on mobile in June 2021, which is a great experience for Jagex. While less modern iterations of the game like Old School RuneScape already exist on mobile, this is the first time that the main title will be portable. According to Jagex, mobile porting has been in the works for at least five years, which marks a milestone for the 20-year-old MMO. The game is well known for customizing its menus, so fitting this range of menus to a small screen was no easy feat and involved a radical overhaul of the MMO engine. As such, the mobile version of the game relies heavily on gesture controls.
According to the developers, creating these gesture inputs makes ports possible for platforms like the Nintendo Switch. In an interview with Game Rant, RuneScape Product Manager Matt Casey and Senior Product Manager Liam Powney discussed how the new mobile control scheme might lend itself to a Switch port. Following the previous versions on Mac and Steam, the next mobile version is the appropriate first foray into other platforms.
Powney and Casey both commented on the mobile development process and what it might have in store for the game. Unsurprisingly, it took a lot of work to condense such a sprawling MMO onto a small mobile screen, and as a As such, gamers might well see all that work reused for a handheld console version in the future, especially with a console that has touchscreen controls.
How did Jagex adapt RuneScape to mobile?
It is not easy to install a great game on a portable device like a phone. Even with more powerful hardware like the Switch, big game ports can often go wrong. A great example of this was The outer worlds. Switch port for The outer worlds was notorious and showed the dangers of not carefully optimizing a game for a platform.
Through a five-year development period, RuneScapeThe mobile port seems to be on a better way. The moment-to-moment action of RuneScape is governed by a player’s ability to navigate a sea of different menus and associated actions. On a desktop, this is relatively straightforward, as gamers can line up their menus and actions anywhere on their screen.
Powney explained how Jagex translated the MMO into mobile touch controls. The real “magnum opus” of the mobile port was to sort through these gesture commands. “When it comes to combat, we’ve made it so that on mobile you can access a good number of action bars.” These menus slide out with the swipe of a finger, which is a smart way to condense such a complex control system on a mobile. For consoles with compatibility and gesture control, a RuneScape the port becomes easier to imagine.
RuneScape Mobile and a potential Switch version
Casey looked at this new method of control as part of the multi-platform future of gaming. “It’s weird,” he said, because despite 20 years of computer gaming, “RuneScape is a game you want to be accessible wherever you are, whatever you do and whatever you play. ”According to the team, a goal for RuneScapeThe future of is a great cross-platform MMO.
The work done on this mobile touchscreen API means that if the game were to make its way to consoles, the Nintendo Switch would be a logical first choice. Casey spoke about how the game’s mobile port paved the way for platforms like the Switch.
“We’re definitely exploring other options, looking at things that it lends itself to well. There are obvious complications with Xbox and PlayStation in terms of controls. But, things like the Switch, where you have a touchscreen – we Did some of the groundwork there. So it makes sense that we start looking at some of those areas as well. ”
It looks like after the mobile release in June, the team will continue to move the game to other hardware. Powney added that “the mobile team will eventually evolve beyond the mobile team.” For Jagex, RuneScape “is a marathon, not a sprint,” according to Powney, and massive expansion to consoles like the Switch certainly seems possible.
“No promises or anything guaranteed, but I’d love to see it available. We talk a lot about the importance of cross-play, but for me RuneScape is a game that should be available wherever you are; whatever you do.”
RuneScape is available now on PC and will be released on mobile platforms in June 2021.
MORE: Jagex Developers Discuss How Mobile Ports Made RuneScape More Accessible
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