March 20, 2023
It Takes Two "Confident" Developers to Make the Switch Port Exceed Expectations

It Takes Two “Confident” Developers to Make the Switch Port Exceed Expectations

Nintendo Life: How does it feel to see a co-op game so great received at a time when gamers are perhaps more invested in single-player games?

Josef Fares, Hazelight Studios: It was really nice. Since my debut in this industry, with Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, I have always followed my heart and what I believe in. my games are written from the very beginning as a cooperative game, it’s not a drop out experience. There are always people who will say, “Can you really do this, will people want to play this?” and obviously these games are something that people want to play. A Way Out and It Takes Two both did incredibly well. They are also games that I personally want to play. When I made A Way Out, it was something I wanted to play with my friend, and there were no games like that out there.

So I would boil it down to believing in your own vision and not caring whether people will like it or not; I think it is important.

[the game has] become almost a kind of test for relationships!

You can definitely say It Takes Two was created with passion and creativity. I played the game in 2021 with my wife who was about eight months pregnant at the time; she’s not a gamer, but she loved it!

Prices: It’s great, how was the communication between you? Are you still together now?

Oh yeah, we’re good, we managed to get out of it!

Prices: It’s good to hear, it’s almost become a kind of test for relationships!

Absolutely. So just to touch on in-game creativity, as someone who grew up with Nintendo games, It Takes Two is very much like a Nintendo game in the best possible way; Would you be okay with that?

Prices: Oh yeah, this is in many ways a love letter to Nintendo. I love Nintendo’s approach to game design, it’s very inspiring to me. I’m a huge Nintendo fan and have been since the NES; I’ve owned every console, played almost every game, Mario, Zelda, Pikmin, etc. It’s definitely inspired [by] Nintendo, of course. There are obvious easter eggs and accomplishments in It Takes Two that are clear nods to Nintendo.

Image: Electronic Arts

Along with Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, this game came to Switch in 2019 with added co-op play. Did that influence the decision to bring It Takes Two to Switch as well?

Scott Cromie, Turn Me Up Games: Yeah, I would say that influenced our desire to work with Josef and Hazelight again. When It Takes Two came out, it was obvious to us that it was a natural fit, and based on our expertise and track record on the platform, we have to. If we don’t, someone else will, and I don’t know if they’ll do it as well as we can.

If we don’t, someone else will, and I don’t know if they’ll do it as well as we can.

How do you determine the viability of a Switch port? It Takes Two is a beautiful game, so is there any kind of hesitation in bringing it to Switch?

Chromie: Our goal is always to exceed fan expectations, especially with a GOTY title like It Takes Two. At the time we signed on to do the project, it wasn’t a GOTY title, so the stakes rose pretty quickly. But for us, luckily, we are able to strategically decide which projects we want to pursue; we want our team to be excited and inspired by whatever title we decide to bring to the Switch and It Takes Two has that in spades. We really loved working on it, it’s a great fit for the platform, and those are the things we look for in a project, we always like to think “what can we do that nobody else can, and what will the fans appreciate us doing?

It takes two 02
Image: Electronic Arts

Is there anything specific that was included or changed with this port of the game?

Louis Polak, Turn Me Up Games: I think players will find the controls very familiar to the original game; Since this is a GOTY winner, we didn’t want to tweak too much, we wanted to stay true to the original design. We’ve done UI scaling for handheld mode to account for the small screen, we’ve added touchscreen implementation for menus, and obviously we’ve included gaming local wireless, Switch to Switch. We’ve also added new voiceover languages, including Japanese, Spanish, French, and German; these are all new things for the Switch.

We made UI scaling for handheld mode to account for the small screen, we added touchscreen implementation for menus

Great! Were there any big challenges bringing the game to Switch?

Chromie: I’d say those are the typical challenges that come with most big, beautiful games like It Takes Two that were never really meant for the Switch — there’s these amazing environments that you go through pretty quickly — so yeah, it’s going a lot of work has gone into making sure we consistently hit that 30FPS and it looks great at 1080p in docked mode or 720p in handheld mode.

But I think, overall, those are the expectations of the players; there are high expectations when it comes to bringing a product like this to the Switch. There are around 111 million units of the platform sold, so it’s a large player base, some of whom are already fans of the title and others who may not have played it before. So there are a lot of expectations, but I am convinced that we have exceeded them.

Prices: Yeah, let me also say that I think this port looks really nice. Of all the third-party ports I’ve seen, this one is really nice. I myself was surprised, given that the hardware is quite old now, I was surprised that it looked and worked great. There are enormous challenges to be met in order to achieve this.

It takes two 03
Image: Electronic Arts

We really can’t wait to check it out! So, finally, are there any Switch games you’re all playing right now, or something you’re looking forward to?

Prices: I’m going to play Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope and probably delve into Bayonetta 3 a bit. Sometimes the only problem I have with action games is that there are a lot of button combinations to getting used to, so hopefully this has been simplified a bit for newbie. But yeah, definitely those two.

Chromie: It takes two! I know that’s the cliched answer but I can say we’ve played a lot of it all over the studio. This, and other projects we are excited about, will be announced at some point in the future. We tend to target games we ourselves want to play on Switch and It Takes Two was at the top of the list.

Polak: Yeah, I would just repeat what Scott said; I haven’t had a chance to play this game with my wife yet, so I’d like to show her what we’ve all been working on.

Prices: Test your relationship there, Louis!

Polak: Yes exactly! So yeah, I’m just excited for this game to come out soon.

Thank you so much for talking to us today, and good luck with the launch!

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Thanks to Josef Fares, Louis Polak, Scott Cromie and everyone at Hazelight Studios and Turn Me Up Games. It Takes Two will launch on Switch on November 4th.

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