Easter Egg Turns Nintendo Switch Into A Development Platform

Like a lot of game developers [Amir Rajan] likes to put Easter Eggs into his creations. His latest Nintendo Switch title, A Dark Room, has a very peculiar one, though. Instead of a graphic or a Tetris game, [Amir] put a code editor and a Ruby interpreter in the game.

Ruby is a language that originated in Japan and is popular with Web developers, in particular. It has dynamic typing, garbage collection, and supports several different programming styles. We aren’t sure what you’d do with it on a Nintendo Switch, but any time we can program a gadget, it makes us happy.

You don’t have to hunt hard for the Easter Egg since [Amir] gives instructions. Simply hook up a USB keyboard and press the tilde key. If you read the comments, there is a lot of debate about if Nintendo will pull the game or not. There are other examples of titles that allow some form of programming, but apparently, there is also some sensitivity to giving users too much access to the device.

We aren’t sure why [Amir] chose Ruby. Not that it is a bad language, but if you wanted a little hackable interpreter, we could think of other options.

The Switch, it turns out, is highly hackable. We’ve really enjoyed some of the hardware hacks.


5 thoughts on “Easter Egg Turns Nintendo Switch Into A Development Platform

  1. I’m hard pressed to think of a Nintendo console that didn’t have Basic as an official title on it in some form or another. Glad to see someone’s keeping the trend going (and not to break any potential NDA’s, so you didn’t hear this from me, but the code review to get a certain companies “Seal of Approval” is, well, rigorous to say the least.)
    They knew.

    1. Alright, looks like not so much.
      If all he did was put this in as a “Level editor” or “Custom game builder” option, it wouldn’t have been an issue at all.
      Switch games are so sandboxed that trying any level of “inside out” hacking from an unprivileged game environment is just pointless, and Big N wouldn’t have cared one bit.
      The fact that he phrased this as some “SECRIT HAXXING SYSTEM” is what killed him.
      You don’t go putting USB code in a game like this without it coming up during review, someone wondering what’s it for, looking at it, and realizing it’s harmless. Maybe there was a bit of a chuckle in the office, some “Laughs in Japanese”, but not much else.
      You hide it from Big N, your publisher, and then announce it right after release?
      I’m pretty sure he got a phone call from NOA basically saying “Do you realize exactly who you’re dealing with here?”
      The fact it can handle code execution isn’t the problem. Look at the FUZE4 app that’s coming, I’d bet released uneventfully and without issue.
      Sneaking this stuff through? Now that’s a big no-no.

      1. Alright, fine, I’ll break NDA. Just for you all.
        The problem here is that when a dev (Like myself) sees this, they err away from a platform for fear of piracy reducing sales.
        Now I’ll personally look at the system and evaluate the state of piracy, but the problem is it’s not just the devs that are cautious, it’s the investors.
        No investors funding games for a console = no devs making games for a console = console dying.
        This is the number one thing that people are trying to prevent here, bad press (for an already compromised platform)

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