Can Hex Heroes make the Switch?
Did you see the big reveal?!
We’ve had this update ready to discuss Hex Heroes’ place on the NX (Now the Switch) for a while now, and while we will be guaranteeing Hex Heroes on Wii U, it’s fun to speculate about the future. It’s also one of the questions we get the most, so let’s dive in!
First off, Unity support is promised, which is critical. Only time will tell, however, how easy it is to port from Wii U hardware to Switch hardware. The work we do ironing out one feature for Wii U might not translate exactly to the Switch, and we won’t know for certain until we get our hands on it.
Second, based on the trailer, it doesn’t appear that one Switch can perfectly mimic the Wii U’s ability to display different visuals on the TV vs. the gamepad. Two Switches, on the other hand, could. One Switch for the commander, and one switch docked to the TV for four player split screen. This makes an assumption about the Switch being able to support up to four players, though - the trailer has only shown up to two (granted, they were on the portable screen, not the TV). At best, two Switches can offer the Wii U experience, and at worst, three Switches will be needed (for 5 players). Again, time will tell.
It’s worth noting that Hex Heroes is being built for ALL control schemes on the Wii U. We don’t want to bar players from joining in the fun just because they only have Wii remotes. This early decision will serve us well, if we can make the move to Switch, given that each mini-controller has roughly the same amount of buttons.
Another positive is the performance. Even if the Switch has exactly the same hardware as the Wii U (it surely won’t), offloading at least the commander to a different Switch will free up some power. In fact, the more Switches you have (let’s say everyone playing has their own), the smoother the game will run, which is exciting!
There is one big, gigantic elephant in the room though: network programming. While the trailer makes it look like the Switch can pair with other Switches locally really easily, we have no idea how difficult/time consuming it would be to implement that kind of connectivity. It’s said in the biz that adding networking to a game (in the online sense) automatically adds a year to development (which is why we’re not promising that). We can just hope that the support is there. Who knows, maybe setting up local networking will be as easy as mapping controls. Maybe it’ll be identical to how the 3DS handles local connectivity and so there’s lots of documentation on making it work. We won’t know until, again, we get our feet wet with the system.
All this said, we know many of our backers have sold/traded in their Wii U’s. Because of this we would be completely open (as long as Nintendo is as well) to allowing backers to swap their Wii U copies for Switch ones before release. We’ll do an update specifically for that when the time comes, so don’t worry.
For us, the trailer was exciting, but raised more questions than offered answers. Will you be able to transfer digital Wii U games? Will previous controllers work? Is there a camera, accelerometer/gyroscope, microphone, 3D (hey, some of us still use it on our 3DS)? How many controllers can pair to a single system? Surely the screen is a touch-screen, right?
What do you think of the reveal and how do you think Hex Heroes will fit on the Switch? Let us know in the comments! We’ve got such a great community of Heroes, we’ll join in on geeking out :D