A stretch goal on the Kickstarter campaign for Bloodstained - the Igarashi developed spiritual successor to his Castlevania series - has seen Texas-based tech firm Armature commit to porting the UE4-powered platformer to both the Wii U and the Vita, two machines which don't officially support the latest version of Epic's engine.
The project has absolutely obliterated its funding target of $500,000 and is rapidly approaching the $5 million mark with around 40 hours to go, but the ports were confirmed at $3 million and $3.5 million. Now, Armature has 18 months to finish what could be an extremely challenging task - and when it does, the company is planning on releasing the code base which lets UE4 run on the platforms for free, legal restrictions allowing.
"It turns out that a people have shown a ton of interest in our plan to port UE4 to the WiiU and PS Vita," reads a post from Armature on Bloodstained's Kickstarter page. "Since they're not officially supported platforms, it's going to be a lot of work to get Bloodstained and UE4 on these platforms, but we are up to the challenge.
"Since the community got these platforms off the ground, we figure that it's best to let the community have them back when we're done. As a result, after the release of Bloodstained we will share, for free, the UE4 WiiU and Vita code with any developer authorized to develop on those platforms! Thank you all very much for this opportunity!"
In an interview with Gamasutra, Armature's tech director Jack Mathews spoke about the restrictions that might apply to the finished product, as well as what licensing issues might stand in the way of a fully open-source process.
"The first steps for any project like this is to do whatever you can to just get the code building on the target hardware while documenting everything you had to disable or remove to get there," said Matthews. "Once you're at that point, it's then about putting the pieces laying on the floor back into place, slowly making those pieces work on the new hardware as you go.
"We're very familiar at this point with hardware features of the Vita as well as the Wii U, so a lot of it is going to come down to working within those hardware feature sets to facilitate as much of the UE4 feature set as possible. From there, we'll end up doing a lot of performance profiling and tuning, and adapting our focus on optimization as the development of the game unfolds.
"We will do this and when we're done, anyone who wants it (and is allowed by first parties to have it) can have it. It's that simple."
One of the remaining stretch goals, which Bloodstained looks like it might comfortably reach, is to build a prequel mini-game for handhelds, although it's not known whether Armature would be working on that, or whether it would employ Unreal Engine 4.