Just to spell it out for every reader let me give a quick example here. If you're developing for PC then you can let your game handle controls through a keyboard or a game-pad. In the other hand if you are preparing your title for a mobile device then you have to think about how to integrate controls onto your screen and without disabling valuable screen space at that. You get the idea.
There are a couple of things to consider when you're deciding what platform to aim for if it isn't absolutely clear for you from the get go. I turned these into questions you can ask yourself so let's go through them:
- Which platforms provide you with the in-game controls you want for your game?
- For Wasco this would be NintendoDS or Nintendo Switch however PC devices do not stifle the control issue since we require a D-Pad and A-B buttons for our game. On mobile this requires an added control scheme that is superimposed over the game screen.
- Which platform provides you the easiest access to those who want to play your game?
- For Wasco I assume we'll get the biggest number of players on mobile devices. I will have to do a research and find out which market houses the greatest amount of old school rpg players. Until then I don't know the answer for this question so it's a guesstimation of sorts.
- Which platforms have you had experience developing for before?
- For Gray Lake Studios this is mobile and especially Android at that since we've released multiple applications here already. iTuens AppStore on the other hand has only one port from us. Since we haven't released on any other platform than the ones mentioned before releasing something on Nintendo Switch for the first time strikes us as a daunting task. Perhaps a port would be more fitting having proved the game is lacking in bugs after it's out on Android.
- Which platform does the experience suit the best?
- From one angle this would probably be NintendoDS or Nintendo Switch for Wasco. Wasco has rpg elements that resemble early Final Fantasy V, Secret of Mana and Pokemon and these sort of rpg games are associated with such platforms the most.
I've found this image here which is made with data from GDC 2017.
Now these questions are pretty generic but if you follow where they lead you you will end up asking yourself questions like the ones below:
- Have you decided on the genre of the game? For example helping know what genre of game your title falls under will help you research what platforms provide games with such genre the most. For example Nintendo Switch may introduce more party games than PC does and since NS comes with 2 controllers it's easier for NS owners to quickly band their guests and get a quick game of Mariokart rolling. For PC you'll most likely have to hook up your laptop or PC to your TV and then consider buying gamepads to actually prepare such a setup which lowers the number of people who has such a setup already.
- Do you know which platform you'll have the most competition on? This question may help you figure out who you're competing against and whether if you have a chance beating your competition. It can also help you notice if there's a gap in one of the platforms and if there are people thirsty for the type of game you're making.