What we thought was impossible will happen – The Witcher 3 will show up on the portable Nintendo platform.
CD Projekt RED‘s Piotr Chrzanowski told Eurogamer a few details about the surprising Switch port: „[Development has been going for] over a year now. Well, it depends on whether you want to add the business stuff, but then I would say it’s around 12 months at this point.”
The game has changed since its E3 build, though: „Of course, along that path, we’ve worked on specific optimisations. We’ve worked a lot on memory optimisation. We have much less memory available on the Switch [compared to the other consoles]. So making sure that the game works stable and within those boundaries, that took a while. Some things we’ve added a bit later, like the AO [ambient occlusion – „a shading and rendering technique used to calculate how exposed each point in a scene is to ambient lighting”] which wasn’t there I would say in the earlier builds,” Chrzanowski added.
He also revealed how they managed to cram all the game onto a 32 GB cartridge: „We did a lot to make sure that this doesn’t take too much space, but mostly [that’s for] memory consumption. Cutscenes, textures – mainly those things.
We had a set of optimisations planned basically for GPU, CPU and memory consumption, to make sure it would fit in the 3.5GB [available RAM]. So all three areas we’d been optimising simultaneously, and there were areas where we had to push to some level, and then switch to another one – pushing that little bit more. And then we can switch back to the one that was blocking us. So the work was going basically on those three areas simultaneously. I think we started with GPU first, and then we moved to the CPU side, and then the memory, and then a few iterations on those,” Chrzanowski said.
So they had to fine-tune the game a lot to run on the switch. The Witcher 3‘s Switch port is out in October – we’ll see then if they did a good job or not.