At some point in stage two, add ‘porting’ as a researchable technology with a pretty hefty research point cost.
Once researched, you would be able to pick a 2nd platform when developing a game, the same way you can choose an optional second genre after researching muti-genre. You would obviously need the licenses for both platforms and would be prompted to buy one for the port if needed.
You cannot port hand-held platforms (Gamling, Game Gear, moble phones, Ipads etc) to larger platforms (consoles and the PC) and vice versa. You also cannot port between platforms with different tech levels (Developing for the mBox and trying to port to the PS1). The PC is not constricted by tech level and thus can port with non-handheld platforms of any tech level.
You also have to pay an additional 50% of the cost of the base game make a port.
When you make a game with a port, the first three phases of development goes as normal, with absolutely no changes to the way it is done now. After you finish the game, you enter the bug fixing stage as normal. However, the “finish” button will be replaced with a “port” button. Once you click that, you enter a 4th stage of development, which is equal in length to one of the previous three.
This stage would have only one focus “Porting” and thus not need a slider. The “Porting” focus would still require you to assign a team member to it. Team members who were in charge of previous game aspects would still have their % used up. In essence, you would need an extra employee to be your porting guy. (So a medium game would require 4 people to do properly if you included a port).
The porting stage is unique as it does NOT add any more points to design or tech. Rather, it acts like creating an engine. A target number is calculated. This number starts as the sum of the design + tech from the base game, and is reduced by the tech skill of the person in charge of porting. (The higher the skill, the bigger the reduction). The phase then begins as if the team were creating an engine…with everyone contributing tech points only, and reducing the target number for each point generated. (and a few research points along the way as normal).
The goal is to reduce the port target to 0 before the 4th phase ends. If you manage to do that, you’ve created a 100% faithful port to your original, that looks and plays just as good as it does on the primary platform.
If there are any points left over when the phase ends, the port was less than faithful and inferior to the original platform. You do not have the option to just extend the 4th phase longer, so delaying the final release will not cause any leftover port points to be worked on.
The benefit to a port is that it expands your potential market share. Your new game’s platform market becomes (Primary Platform’s Current Market Share) + (Secondary Platform’s market share * Quality of the Port). The appropriateness of the genre/target age of each platform will factor into that platform’s sales. (So if you have a mature PC game and port it to the Super nintendo, you won’t get nearly as many extra sales from the Super Nintendo’s port)
If you do particularly poorly on a port, the review score for the entire game will receive a penalty, with reviewers calling you out for “Should have made this an exclusive” or “They shouldn’t have bothered bringing it to the (platform) it’s junk there”
Even after you research porting, you always have the option to make your game for just one platform if you don’t want to risk a bad port, or take the extra time and money needed (such as when you are chasing a trend).