A talk with our producer about Xbox One development

The  Xbox One version of Zombie Vikings is releasing soon so I thought I’d sit down with our producer Kevin Andersson and ask him some questions about the Xbox One development process.

Tell us a little about how the development process for porting a game to Xbox One.

You need a developer kit from Microsoft and be approved as a developer with all the correct licenses. Contacting Microsoft and letting them know about our game was the first step to getting Zombie Vikings out on Xbox One.

Since we work with the Unity engine and our game was already released on PlayStation 4, we could quite easily get the game up and running on the Xbox. Even though that went quite smoothly, porting a game isn’t that easy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot easier when you use Unity to port your game to another platform than it used to be a couple of years ago when you had to write your own engine. But there’s still some issues that comes up since the different platforms have their own components and manages things differently, which can cause some in-game effects to not work properly. Other than that, how the console itself works differs a lot from other platforms.

A challenging part while making a port is that you never know what will break in the game and depending on the power of the new platform that you’re porting to, you might need to optimize the game even more. By doing so, there’s always a chance of some things breaking. The development process has gone pretty smooth though and and we’re getting ready to finish this version.

Is this the first Xbox One game Zoink is releasing?

No, we released Stick it to The Man back in August 2014. The programmers who worked on that game are also currently working on Zombie Vikings. It was two years ago, so our memory of how things work have faded a little. It’s slowly coming back though.

Will the Xbox One version have any added extras compared to the other platforms?

Other than the Xbox One specific features we’ve made five new versus levels and also added a special behind-the-scene video where we talk about how Zombie Vikings was developed. We’ve also decided to include our two DLC characters Frostbjörn and Raybjörn for free. You can also find Raz-ombie from Psychonauts in there as well.

3characters

Our DLC characters Frostbjörn and Raybjörn are included for free in the Xbox One version of Zombie Vikings

What are the requirements for releasing a game on Xbox One?

If you’ve have a developer kit and all the correct licenses, then Microsoft have a list of requirements of what needs to be in a digital game on their platform. If you follow that list you’re pretty much set to release. All the platform owners of course want every developer to utilize as many platform specific features as possible. We’re adding the things Microsoft requires us to add, but Zombie Vikings will be same game on all platforms. The only difference will be platform specific things and the extra content we’re adding for this version.

When will the game be available to buy?

I wish I had a more accurate date but I can confirm the game works perfectly fine when it comes to gameplay and all the Xbox One specific features works as well. Right now we’re just polishing and making sure everything works as it should.  I’m excited to soon be able to see people play Zombie Vikings on the Xbox One!

Thank you Kevin for answering these questions!

Thank you and I hope it wasn’t too technical. If you have any questions, you can always find me on Twitter.

@MikaelForslind
PR & Marketing Manager
Zoink Games