It’s an exciting time to be a sports fan, Super Slam Dunk Touchdown has launched on Xbox! Thanks to Microsoft’s backwards-and-forwards-compatible platform, building the game for Xbox One means SSDT can be played on the shiny new Series X|S consoles!
I can’t speak to developing on other platforms, but I do want to speak out in support of Microsoft’s Xbox platform being friendly to indies. One of the ways it does so is with the newer Xbox Series X|S consoles supporting compatibility with the Xbox One games. For a game like Super Slam Dunk Touchdown to be able to be built for an “older” platform, it means that a tiny one man studio can have the flexibility to spend time developing the game and not trying to keep up with the ever changing technology.
Try to imagine what an indie dev team must feel when they have to choose between releasing an unfinished product that isn’t the experience they want gamers to have, and launching at the end of a console’s lifetime. For a game like Super Slam Dunk Touchdown, there wasn’t any obvious graphical boost to be gained by new hardware. All an incompatible new platform would have done would be to increase the development time even further. But if the newer consoles weren’t backwards compatible, it would mean releasing after many gamers had upgraded and couldn’t play it. As it is, everyone with an Xbox One through the powerhouse Series X can play all the sports!
I hope Microsoft continues this forwards. After all, we’re certainly still able to play PC games from 10 years ago. Any console maker who fully commits to this path of being gamer friendly (and developer friendly!) will be the standard for the rest. A gamer can get the latest games without the latest console and keep their old favorites when they upgrade. A developer can delay a project to make it better, and not lose customers because of a shiny new console release shifting gamers away from their platform. It’s win-win!
As a former XBLIG developer, I also feel the pain of what a non-physical release can mean when a service shuts down. I don’t even have a way to run the games I wrote on my own PC! Not to single out the XBLIG channel, other online game stores for consoles have shut in the past as well. Regardless of the platform: no game should disappear from history.
This is why for me personally, updating the PC version of Super Slam Dunk Touchdown is important. Beyond it being good for gamers who bought the game for PC, it’s good to have alternate sources where gamers can find your game. Obviously it would be ideal to have it on all platforms! The other good thing about developing for Xbox was it worked really well with developing in Unity on Windows. With very little differences, the same code runs on both platforms, and I can even test the Xbox version of the project within Unity.
On to Steam!
The updated Extra Seasoning PC version of SSDT is already underway. Let’s see where we’re at.
An early lesson I learned is many Steam players don’t use controllers, even when the game is 10,000% better with a game controller. That means the game needs to provide correct instructions for the controllerless souls who choose to play with keys and a mouse. I didn’t bother with these instructions during the Xbox development, so as to get the game done quickly for Xbox release. Now that it is released, I have to update the instructions everywhere if you don’t have a controller plugged in.
Since SSDT supports total remapping of the keyboard controls, I had to create symbols for each key because typing it out like this would spill out of the text area in a lot of places.
The other thing complicating this is you can (and should) shoot with the mouse for more precise aiming, but keyboard controls also exist for shooting. This complicatedness shows up on the character select screens where you must use the keys or else you might accidentally start the match with the mouse!
I’ll keep working on the Extra Seasoning update for PC, which also needs to support Steam Cloud Saving, Remote Play and all 100 achievements!
SSDT launched on Xbox rated T for Teen, but then after launch I got a notice that the ratings had changed it to E10+! I don’t know why.
I was fine with it being rated T, so hopefully nobody gets too offended by the streakers.
A new video series from Tipping Goat helps you GET GOOD at SSDT! The first character training video is out, check out Soccer Tips and Tricks: