Award-Winning Game, Bastion, Comes to iPad Thanks to Xamarin

Jo Ann Buckner

Bastion, the award-winning PC and Xbox 360 game that sold more than 500,000 copies in 2011, is making its debut today on the iPad. Using Xamarin, along with the open source MonoGame project, the team was able to re-imagine Bastion for touch and publish it to the App Store.  As WIRED put it, this “might be the best console-to-tablet port yet.”

We had a chance to catch up with SuperGiant Games Creative Director, Greg Kasavin about the process of bringing Bastion to the iPad.  Development took about 5 months and was SuperGiant Games’ first foray into developing for iOS, so the team “spent a good amount of time iterating on controls and retuning the game, as well as making sure the presentation was as good as possible on the iPad.” according to Kasavin. “Nearly every level, creature, weapon, and upgrade in the game got special attention, as we wanted Bastion for the iPad to feel home-grown on the platform even though it originally released for the Xbox 360 and PC.”

With intense competition among iPad games, a fully native user experience and native performance are critical to an app like Bastion, as well as support for the latest iPad features like retina display and Game Center integration.  Bastion’s large following from the Xbox 360 and PC versions put additional feature demands on SuperGiant Games. The iPad version needed to offer the complete game experience including all the narration, music, artwork and gameplay.  And SuperGiant Games needed to implement two control systems – a touch-optimized default one for iPad-only users, and a “Classic” control system that mimics playing the game with a gamepad.

Using Xamarin, SuperGiant Games was able to meet all of these user experience, performance and feature demands. “The iPad version of Bastion would not have been possible without Xamarin. Xamarin allowed us to get the game up and running on the iPad quickly, and meant that we could invest our time into iterating on the design and presentation, rather than on having to rewrite the entire game engine.”

Congratulations to our friends Greg and Andrew and the entire SuperGiant Games team! And check out their their blog post about the port for more information.

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