Mintrocket on Porting Dave the Diver to Different Platforms

Jaeho Hwang, Director of Dave the Diver, and Bosung Seo, Mintrocket's Lead Programmer, have joined 80 Level to tell us about the early days of Dave the Diver and explain how the game was ported to different platforms.

Early Days

Jaeho Hwang, Director of Dave the Diver: Dave The Diver was originally designed for mobile devices in 2018 but was later abandoned. In 2020, we shifted our focus to PC and started the development process from scratch. While Nexon is widely recognized for making large-scale online games well, some in the gaming market have more diverse tastes that go beyond. As a relatively independent operating studio, Mintrocket was founded to create smaller-scaled, innovative games that would be challenging to produce in Nexon's conventional manner.

Bosung Seo, Lead Programmer: We had a mobile version of Dave the Diver that was developed in the Unity engine but scrapped. We decided to utilize this existing mobile project to speed up the core testing process of the current version of Dave the Diver, and we chose to keep using the same engine. Along with the basic package, we found two tools – Odin Inspector and Serializer – to be particularly useful.

Dave the Diver

Jaeho Hwang: Dave the Diver is a hybrid marine adventure game that lets players catch different kinds of fish and manage a sushi restaurant in the Blue Hole – home to all the fish species in the world. The idea for the game was first conceived while we were working on Jeju, an island in South Korea that allowed us to be close to it. We wanted to make a game out of it, but instead of just exploring, we thought bringing in resources from the sea and running a restaurant would be more fun. After three years of development, the game was finally launched in Early Access on Steam.

Launching the Game on Mac & PC

Bosung Seo: We initially developed Dave the Diver on the Windows platform. Later, when we decided to support the game on macOS, we created a build of the Mac version on a Mac device. After thoroughly testing the build on Mac, we found that most features worked well. But in the early Mac version, users occasionally experienced crashes while playing in the Sea People's Village. Apart from that, there were no other painful issues.

Porting DTD to Nintendo Switch & Steam Deck

Bosung Seo: One of the benefits of using Unity SRP is that you can develop your game in the editor on the OS preferred by the developers, even though the game runs on multiple platforms. If you need to work on a specific platform, you can use the "Define Symbol" feature, which can point to that platform.

Apart from using the Unity editor, we also installed the Unity plug-in from the Nintendo SDK and used the tools provided in the plugin for development. Optimizing the Nintendo Switch version of the game was challenging, and we heavily relied on Unity's Analyzer to help us with that.

From a technical standpoint, porting to Steam Deck wasn't a major issue. All we had to do was build Steam Windows. However, since it was our first time attempting to support portable devices, we encountered some readability problems in the user interface. As a result, we focused on addressing and resolving those issues.

Advice for Beginners

Bosung Seo: Each platform has its own specific manual or guide, except for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, for which Unity provides the guides. If you want to work on a particular platform, the first step is to obtain the developer permissions required for it. Once you have that, you can refer to the platform-specific guide to get started. 

Jaeho Hwang and Bosung Seo, Director & Lead Programmer of Dave the Diver

Interview conducted by Theodore McKenzie

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