Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story Postmortem: The Challenges When You Publish Your Game on PC and Console

By Febrianto Nur Anwari

How Agate face their challenge when developing the game? Also, how profitable to port your PC game to consoles?

GP: The game is available for PS4 in Europe and US. Why it’s still not available in Asia or Region 3 for now?

Cipto: From our research, there’s a different characteristic of western people (Europe and US) and Asians. Western people have a tendency to spend their free time at home. After they go home from work, they enjoy their time watching movies, TV serials, or playing games.

Asians spend most of their time in the road. They play games when they commute to their office or waiting for something. So, most of the Asians have so little time to play console of PC games. That’s why we’re targeting to release our game for Westerns first because the console game market is way much bigger there.

For the region 3 PS4 editions, we are still in the preparation phase because now it’s already the end of the year. We’re still waiting for the right moment to release that. For region 3, we will sell physical copy and collector’s edition too. Now we’re also negotiating the publisher so the physical copy and the collector’s edition can be sold in Indonesia.

valthirian arc: hero school story postmortem

GP: How strict is QA process in the console, either it’s PS4 or Nintendo Switch?

Cipto: Patching process is different than on PC. On PC (Steam), everything you can do it by yourself, ranging from uploading our game to store to patching and maintaining. On the console, we should submit the patch to the Sony/Nintendo. Sometimes, the patch didn’t pass the QA process, so we should fix, balance and submit it again.

Even for the small details such as a typo, we should wait a couple of weeks before we can submit the patch again. Releasing a patch too often can make gamers upset.

Fandry: For example in Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story‘s case, in the tutorial, we display a Dual Shock 4 controller that isn’t identical with the real controller (no option and share button). It won’t pass the QA process, so we have two options on how to fix it. First, we should display an identical picture of Dual Shock 4, or we can’t describe the picture as a PlayStation 4 controller.

Cipto: The main criteria for a game to pass the QA process is the game is playable from the beginning until the end. So, when the QA team play your game and the game suddenly crash, your game won’t pass the QA process. Too long loading time and no indicator for it can make your game fail the QA process. Because if players experience that, they will blame the console rather than blaming the game.

valthirian arc: hero school story postmortem

GP: Any plans for the DLC or additional content in the future?

Cipto: We don’t have any plan for that. Our plans for the future are only to do the bug fixing and balancing. We want to improve the experience for the players without adding any content. By the way, we’ve also localized the game in Bahasa. We still wait for the right time to deploy and release it.

GP: Any tips for developers out there who want to make and publish a console game?

Cipto: The easiest way is to, find a publisher. Why? Because it’s still very tough to get access to a console SDK in Indonesia. You only have two option, either find a publisher or open a branch office in overseas to have the access to the SDK. (For additional information, you can read our previous article about how tough to get a console SDK in Indonesia)

How Tough is It to Develop and Release Console Games for Indonesian Developers?

The biggest challenge for Indonesian developers to release console games is not the skills nor budget. So, what is it then?

Fandry: From the development side, there is no significant difference with developing games for PC. Maybe the significant difference is in the simpler control scheme because the console has its own standard for the controller. It’s different from PC that has many keyboard scheme, ranging from Qwerty, Azerty to Dvorak. We should provide it all, or we can provide a special setting so gamers can bind their keyboard themselves.

For porting process from PC to console, nothing is different in terms of project management. Maybe the difference is on the low level technical, so you should make an adjustment. Such as, the shader could be work perfectly on PC, but when you port in the console, it changes to magenta.

If you make a game with a high-level engine such as Unity, I’m quite sure that would be okay. You won’t face any problem to do that.

However, if you port from console to PC, there are many challenges. Control scheme like I mentioned before is only one of the challenge. You most likely face another challenge such as thinking about how your game will perform in a lower spec PC. You probably face some technical challenge such as shader, rendering, and collision that maybe won’t work in PC. It’s far more complicated.

valthirian arc: hero school story postmortem

GP: Thanks, Cipto and Fandry!

Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story is available now for PC (Steam), PS4 (only for Region 1 and 2) and Nintendo Switch.

Edited by Devi




About Writer

Febrianto is the Senior Editor of Duniaku.net and the Lead Editor of Gameprime.org. He started his career in game industry as a game journalist since 2008, and was one of the initial members of Duniaku.net since 2011. His biggest interest is local game developer scene. Currently, his mission is to spread the news about Indonesia’s game industry to both local and international game and creative industry’s enthusiast.