Interview: Bringing Two Point Campus to Nintendo Switch
Two Point Campus will be released later this year and it takes everything the team has learned from Two Point Hospital and takes it to another level. We have a full preview of the game here, we need to familiarize ourselves with the PC version of the game. But we only had to ask about the Switch version, we discussed it with Ben Huskins, the design director of Two Point Campus.
We were also able to familiarize ourselves with the game and get an overview here.
The Two Point Campus development team had the ambition to release on all platforms from day one. What impact did this have on the game design process, given that Two Point Hospital was first made for PC and then for consoles?
BH: We learned a lot from bringing Two Point Hospital to consoles. We spent a lot of time thinking about what a simulation game should be like when played with a controller, and how to overcome the various technical challenges. This gave us a good idea of what works and what doesn’t on all platforms. With Two Point Campus, we actually built the game from the ground up with that in mind. The commands, the menus, everything has been designed to work well on consoles.
The Switch is unique because it allows players to enjoy the game of their choice in any location of their choice. Were there any specific challenges, with bringing a game that offers many screens of data, to the platform?
BH: We had to keep that in mind in everything we designed. There’s a lot going on in the game, but our philosophy has always been to keep the game simple on the surface, but allow more advanced players to dive into the nuances of the simulation. In general, we try to keep you in the world as much as possible. You spend a lot of time building rooms, placing objects, following characters, and you can access the most important information by selecting items in the world. But we also provide plenty of shortcuts in each menu so it’s easy to dig deeper and find out exactly how your campus is doing. Each menu is broken down into small chunks, and it’s quick to navigate through tabs and lists to find out what you want to know. It feels very natural on Switch.
Is there touchscreen functionality on the Switch version, when players are in handheld mode?
BH: We don’t support touch input, but we’re really happy with the controls on Switch. It’s really easy to build your campus and navigate the menus. We’ve designed all menus with handheld mode in mind, so it’s easy to read and select the information you need.
Switch games usually run at a lower frame rate or even lower resolution in order to run smoothly on the platform. How does the game work on Switch?
BH: From the beginning, the plan was to release the game on multiple platforms, so we designed everything with Switch in mind. Our experience bringing Two Point Hospital to consoles really helped here too. We built Campus from the ground up to make sure we can optimize it for all platforms. We also plan to keep updating the game with more content after launch, so we’ll keep optimizing it to allow people to build even bigger campuses!
Sim games usually feature modes like sandbox, are there any new modes or ways to play introduced in the series with Campus?
BH: We have sandbox mode, with a whole range of different settings to play with. It’s great for people who just want to get creative and build their dream campus, or for people who want to create a real challenge for themselves. And of course there’s the classic career mode where you progress through Two Point County by earning stars for each campus. But we’re also very interested in other ways to play the game, and we want to continue updating the game once it’s released, so watch this space!
Long question, but will the Switch version support amiibo?
BH: Unfortunately not!
Is there anything you would like to tell Switch gamers about Two Point Campus?
BH: I’m really looking forward to seeing how people use all the new creative tools we’ve developed for Campus. It’s really easy to build your campus, customize your rooms, decorate campus grounds, and rearrange everything to experiment with different layouts. You decide which classes to run, and that shapes your student population. Thus, everyone ends up with a campus of their own. Doing this on a Switch is nice, and portable mode makes it really easy to show off your campus to your friends.
Two Point Campus releases on August 9, it was originally supposed to release in May but a three-month delay was announced alongside this preview.