A staple I do in all interviews in order to start things off is to ask that you elaborate a bit about your game that people might not know?
Jaakko: Thus far 10tons has published eight games for Switch: Sparkle 2, Neon Chrome, JYDGE, Time Recoil, King Oddball, Spellspire, Xenoraid, and Crimsonland. This is a good cross-section of what 10tons is all about; we make a lot of shooters, especially top-down twin stick ones. But we also make all sorts of casual puzzle games, and we’re eyeing new genres to take on too!
I’ve noticed a number of 10tons games have been releasing on Nintendo Switch, how has the reception been and can Switch owners expect to see more titles in the future?
Jaakko: Our titles have been received great on Switch, and there’s no question about us bringing our entire console catalog to the platform. That was the plan all along, we’re very much a multiplatform developer and publisher.
With that, do you feel the Nintendo Switch’s hybrid capability of docked or undocked gameplay works well within the selection of released 10tons games?
Jaakko: Switch is indeed a pretty much perfect device for our games, as we’ve always targeted the cross-section between low end PC, high end mobile, and consoles. Switch is pretty much exactly that, console style gamepads, mobile style touch screen, and a good amount of performance to boot.
How has the process been when working on porting games over to the Nintendo Switch? Has it been relatively simple or perhaps difficult to get the games running and certified?
Jaakko: The development and publishing processes have been really easy for us, as we expected. We’ve had plenty of practice on pretty much every non-Nintendo platform out there, and we were happy to discover all the good things said about Switch tools and processes were true. Practically all our Switch ports have been done by one developer, and I’ve done pretty much all of the publishing facing tasks.
Some publishers/developers spread out their games releasing them on one platform at a time, is that something 10tons will be doing or is the goal to reach a release parity across supported platforms moving forward?
Jaakko: We’re aiming for parity, as we’d prefer to treat all our fans as equally as we can. We’re only ten people though, so we might not succeed in full parity every time. For example game certifications are a thing that may produce hiccups every now and then. But we definitely try.
With 10tons releasing games on so many platforms, do you feel it’s best to offer games in as many stores as possible?
Jaakko: “As many as possible” is probably stretching it, but we try to be on as many as make sense for us. Indie games is a really tough business these days, and we count our blessings more and more each year as we see how essential multiplatform distribution is becoming. If we were only on one or two platforms, things would look a whole lot different. There’d be fewer of us, for starters.
When working on games, is there ever a targeted platform in mind or is the goal to build games that could work on a number of platforms and controller inputs?
Jaakko: We’ve always been a multiplatform developer, so we always have all the platforms in mind when developing games. Granted, some games are more naturally multiplatform or at least control interface agnostic than others, but thus far we feel like we’ve done a good job overall. A twin stick shooter may not transfer directly from a gamepad to a touch screen, but we’re happy with how Neon Chrome has been received on mobile, for example. A word game like Spellspire is the most fluid with a physical keyboard, but we’ve heard good things about the gamepad only console versions. On Switch there’s of course the touch screen, and that’s pretty darn good too.
Are you able to tease any new releases or upcoming ports?
Jaakko: There’s not a lot to tease as we stated months and months ago that we’re bringing our entire console catalog to Switch. So if you look at what we’ve got on PS4 or Xbox One and compare that catalog to what we have on Switch, your answer is there. And the brand new game we’re wrapping up, Tesla vs Lovecraft, will also be on Switch, hopefully simultaneously with other platforms. So it’ll be more casual games and physics based puzzles, and shooters.
Do you have a personal favorite release within the 10tons library that you’d like to suggest players check out?
Jaakko: JYDGE is probably the one to look into first, if you’re into shooters. It’ll be updated soon and it’s also going to be discounted real soon! Puzzle/casual gamers would do well to check out Sparkle 2.
Lastly I would like to leave a spot for you to say something or go over anything I might have missed during the interview?
Jaakko: I’d like to thank all our new fans we’ve got on Switch! Our titles have been received great, so it’s been awesome entering a new platform. We’ve dreamed of being on a Nintendo platform for many years, and it’s just so cool to finally get there, and to be embraced right off the bat like we have.
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