Nintendo Switch

From my limited experience with fluid/flexible/elastic web design and just general experience with graphic design and how minute size changes can throw whole layouts off, I’d say in the context of games it’s probably a huge headache. Keeping things tidy visually is one thing, but increasing the size of text will increase the space needed for descriptions which in some cases will necessitate scrolling and additional inputs. If you need to compare things then screen space becomes an issue. Some UIs are very tight/rigid before increasing the size of certain elements so that’s another potential problem with no easy fix.

I think with the Switch and soon the Steam Deck, decent scaling will steadily become more widespread but it doesn’t seem to me like an easy thing to do retrospectively. I’m not a developer though!! :-)

You’re correct. There can also be technical issues associated with font scaling - you can’t just scale up the texture and get something readable. You usually have to render out the font at a higher point size. Depending on the tech in use that may or may not be a simple thing to do.

Yeah, that was something I was going to mention but I’ve no idea how game engines treat text and icons ie. raster or vector.

Grim Dawn scales its font on PC, and man, it looks really ugly. But I still scale it up so I can read things. Sometimes I’m jealous when I look at other people’s screenshots though.

“Oh man, how come your Grim Dawn looks so much nicer than mine?”

It’s not trivial, but a lot of what you need to do to make text scaling possible overlaps with what you have to do to support additional languages anyway, since you can’t guarantee that a given block of text will take up the same amount of screen space once it’s translated. Whatever container you’re using to present text to the player should be designed to handle an arbitrary amount of text, via scrolling or pagination.

Obviously that doesn’t apply to fixed interface elements, where scaling gets more complex because they can bump into one another. But the vast majority of issues I’ve had aren’t with static elements, but with dialogue boxes, card text, help text, and the like.

You can if you use signed distance fields for text, which basically encode vector text in a bitmap and use shaders to render it. No need to render out fonts for each size.

Here’s the famous Valve paper from 2007 for anyone interested:

Of course, you are correct this is heavily dependant on Mercury Steam’s tech, and the Switch’s capabilities… :)

Oh lord I’d not thought about that! I’ll never forget doing certain designs in the past where I had to swap English copy out for various translations. Among the worst were Italian and Polish where sentences that were, say, 10 words, would end up 16 with considerably more characters too. I’m sure it depends on the sentences and indeed the translators. That totally borked some layouts though and required pretty extensive adjustments!

I was thinking more for subtitles and text overlays rather than UI elements, where increasing the fonts size would affect other things…but yeah, good points all around.

Online + Expansion Pack increases the price from $20/yr to $50/yr ($35 to $80 for families) and includes the N64 and Genesis game libraries plus access to the new Animal Crossing expansion (or $25 to buy the expansion standalone). I don’t think there’s $30/yr in added value there, personally.

The N64 and Genesis controllers are also available for purchase on Nintendo’s website.

That’s bananas. I can only imagine it’s a precursor to phasing out the cheaper option altogether.

For me personally, there’s barely $1 a month in value in the expansion pack, and that’s only on the assumption that more games will be added.

Edit: Apparently it’s not quite as bad in the UK. “Only” double the price. Still way more than I’m willing to pay, though. In fact, this is just reminding me I should cancel my existing sub.

This only makes sense for people who were going to buy the AC DLC anyway. And maybe that’s the beginning of an ongoing strategy where other DLC may be included, but for now, it’s an easy pass from me.

I’m trying to think of any DLC I’ve bought on Switch and I can’t think of any.I was tempted by the Mario + Rabbids one, but didn’t bite.

You really should though. It’s very good.

I finished the main game, then immediately started it, and 100% completed it as well.

I’ll second that. The Donkey Kong expansion is brilliant if you enjoyed the base game and fancy more. That reminds me: damn, I’m looking forward to the sequel.

I got that and all the Breath of the Wild DLC.

Did we know Sin and Punishment was one of the N64 titles? That’s neat.

The (whole?) initial batch had been posted by Nintendo the day of the annoucement, but checking just now, it seems to have been put away?
It was mostly Mario all star around, but there was Sin & Punishment and some cover shooter I had never heard about too.

I hope they don’t get rid of the basic pricing. I’d love to play some Genesis games, but looks like there won’t be much on there that isn’t already on the Sega Genesis Classics Switch compilation I already own. And the few Nintendo 64 games I wanted, I got the DS/3DS ports of.

I would be more enticed by them adding Gamecube games.

And who thought more than doubling the cost was a good idea? Geez. $30 would have been a fairer price.

Woah what. This escaped me.
I thought it was cute and cool to add those n64 and megadrive games. Now it just became absolutely stupid and dispensable.

So forgive my ignorance, without the “expansion pack” what do you get for the base $20 a year? The ability to play multiplayer games? And occasional games like Tetris 99? Is that still around or is it gone?