NWF itself is quite polished and very easy to work with. You get all the dev tools you know from Chrome – the debugger connects directly to the console. "Porting" my game was very straight forward for the most part.
However, the hardware setup was clunky. You're swapping out SD cards to install images with the system software and the account setup is really tedious.
The worst part was the whole paperwork you have to wade through. The game submission process is as manual as it gets. There's no nice web interface to tie it all together - instead you're writing emails, filling out PDFs and Excel Sheets(!). Hundreds of emails.
I can only hope that they improved the paperwork part. This was all about 2 years ago.
edit: I'm referring specifically to the need for lots of paperwork
Sadly Nintendo less connections oriented. Sony lends devkits for free pretty often if you can convince them your game is going to be good.
Maybe someone can clarify if this is the starting cost. From my reading, at minimum you need one of the CTR devices or (EDIT)IS-SNAKE devices to do anything.
Would have loved if I could just buy one of the dev-only Pandas 3DSs for $200 even if it meant not being allowed to use carts (since I didn't have a writer).
Given how dirt-cheap DS flash carts are, us hobbyists are probably better sticking to that for now...
Each engineer will need a CAT-DEV kit for development.
For testing, CAT-R kits will need to be used. They closely emulate a retail Wii U. CAT-R kits can run games that have been burned to CAT-R discs, and they can also run images installed to the system via SD card. They cannot run retail Wii U games.
And you can run your soft on CFW'd 3DS or WiiU, but don't tell N about that.
The PCs are just a part of the games industry.
Of course a nicer computer always helps, but honestly, even nano and gcc on a Pi can get you pretty far. There's a huge difference between "download this free software on your existing computer" and "beg us to sell you this $2k+ machine that will ONLY work for this one task".
This is a necessity when pushing new hardware these days. Remember the Vita? Neither do I...
Open a drawer? There's probably 8 of them lying around.
I wonder if anybody under 25 has any idea who half the characters in Super Smash Bros are?
The last 4 Mario games of this generation (New SMB, 3D world, 3D land, Mario Maker) have all been amazing, unique titles.
Zelda is a little bit harder, because the IP is a bit more restrictive. I honestly haven't played one since Twilight Princess (which I thought was great). The upcoming Breath of the Wild looks incredible though.
I hope they never stop making Mario and Zelda games, as long as they stay consistent with their innovation and creativity. To me, saying that they should stop, is like suggesting that they should stop making Bond movies.
Super Mario 3D Land/World feel manufactured to me. They have good ideas but it's just a bare series of levels. Barely any secrets. Nothing new other than the cat suit. Just feels like a dumbed-down version of 64/Sunshine/Galaxy with a SMB3 world map.
Mario Maker is a simpler version of Lunar Magic, and far less powerful; but far easier to use. Unique? No.
I've been playing Mario forever, and the games are consistently polished, but they need new ideas, not just rehashes of older ones. They're getting old.
They talk about call of duty, minecraft,playstation 4 and various ios android games. I asked them if they wanted me to buy them a wii u, and they said no. They wanted a steam gift card instead.
Personally I think Nintendo is losing relevance with the new generation.
Nintendo have been hesitant because they don't want to dilute and diminish their IP, but if the experience is nailed (PoGo is close enough to nailing it, and should only get better) then the IP should only be bolstered by the mobile version.
On the flipside, a traditional Mario / DK / whatever title on mobile for example would eat away at their console market, which is what they're aiming to avoid.
It is easy to imagine that someone could just re-skin the game engine with the official Pokemon licensed IP and put in a Pokemon-world map to connect all the levels together.
Good Nintendo games could be very profitable at $5 to $10 per title on iOS and Android because of the volume.
People spend way more than that on subscription models and micro-transactions. Look at Fallout Shelter, Crossy Road, Fallen London (really niche, but still has a strong active base of around 30k MAU).
$30 is a hard sell on mobile games, because most people understand that app store is full of incomplete, unpolished, dishonest, over-hyped or some combination thereof apps. There are terrible Pac-Man clones where the AI is too dumb to even touch you . Conversely, there are ported popular franchises where your game play is severely limited by micro-transactions or artificial time limits.
Ignoring bad control schemes, mobile is damn near the perfect platform for gaming. Everyone carries a phone or tablet. Even kids carry phones. Too bad it remains somewhat tainted by bad developers and greedy companies alike.
That's the whole point. Mobile devices aren't the perfect platforms for gaming. They have the worst control scheme, which makes it all but impossible to pull off great games in "traditional" genres (platformers, shooters; in fact, now that I think about it, anything with a movable camera). So we get new things that don't require a decent controller, but have the gameplay dumbed down to compensate.
This is why the 3DS still sells. It's incredibly difficult to put out a good AAA game on a phone (and forget about selling it for a reasonable price).
My point was not that mobile > mobile console. My point was that companies want to capitalize on mobile since is always available by most people. Even though you can make a lot of decent ports for mobile (e.g. swipe input instead of a joystick for Pac-Man or turn-based menu combat like Pokemon entries), a $30 price point is too high for nearly all games specifically for reasons that we have both cited: am I getting a full game or a watered down POS, are the controls sane, do I have to put up with ads after every event, etc.
Playing Pokemon Go has inspired me to dig out my ancient gameboy and to start playing Pokemon again. I'm strongly considering buying a new Nintendo device—I'd forgotten how fun Pokemon is.
Margin is crucial between "I've got Pokemon game" and "I have no Pokemon game".
"You've got Pokemon game on your phone, but they say there's a some other Pokemon game which maybe have some others features, but that would cost you $300" is not an unique selling proposition.
> Furthermore, their hardware gives them a base for their own software sales, for accessory-sales, royalties and the possibility for their own online infrastructure
If I had to guess this is both tactile and graphical, as touchscreens and mobile graphics libs were not designed especially for them.
I still think they have a broad appeal for Nintendo fans.
I think they see the writing on the wall and want to diversify.
You can do crap Mario for mobile, and nobody cares and you got bad PR and sales of consoles go south.
You can do great Mario for mobile, and everybody got Mario for free and sales of consoles go south.
Running between these scenarios is tough.
I don't know how much longer the game industry can expect its target audience to spend $60 each on piles of games. Things have been trending towards freemium for long enough that it almost seems weird when the game that everyone's playing is not free(ish).
My point being, if enough people aren't buying console+game anymore, would the opportunity cost of doing it on mobile instead be that bad?
I'll check this out again now and see how the offerings have changed.
Right now Nintendo is mostly making remakes of their existing games and non-Nintendo publishers don't get to receive the same amount of attention/sales.
Meanwhile, Apple welcomes developers from day one and there are so many applications developed that it's hard to get user attention amongst the app store noise.
Meanwhile gaming consoles are obviously not open platforms, but the vendors /do/ usually entertain developer relations from day one - I can't recall any launches with only first-party games.
Considering you can't deploy to iOS without Apple's approval, it's really not any more open than gaming consoles. The App Store and its approval process just operate at a larger scale, they're not conceptually more welcoming.
So if you're arguing Apple is hostile to developers because they didn't have an SDK on launch day, then you haven't thought through what iterative development at very large scale actually requires. Giving developers access to tools that aren't ready isn't the best criteria.
I didn't argue that point in my post. I'm aware the reasons for the iPhone not having a SDK on day one and the reasons for why gaming console vendors don't have a mass developer relations story are very different.
The more interesting point is that developer relations for gaming consoles and iOS devices are really conceptually pretty similar: Both require you to ask the device vendor for permission to ship your app. It's equally walled gardens.
So, pre-iPhone, the market for downloadable apps for mobile phones was huge and there wasn't any intermediary parties (like, say, network operators) getting in the way of developers, right?
For a number of years, Palm OS was the dominant mobile ecosystem, with sales almost double of its main competitor WindowsCE.
A buggy, half-baked API is better than no API at all, though.
But that's HN for you - we are all a bunch of pedants who love to point and yell when something is incorrect - I include myself.
The N64 launched with only Nintendo titles, but it launched with only 2 titles, and was in some ways a fiasco. Some third party developers had got cold feet during the pre launch period and jumped ship to Sony.
I don't know if new consoles could get away with that anymore though, since there's so many other options out there for games nowadays.
True that the Apple TV thing was not programamable till recently but I gotta say there's alot wrong with the AppleTV - it seems to be pretty blah and nothing and found no real definitive identity - a wasted opportunity on Apple's part.
It was with the launch of the iPhone 3G when they came out with the SDK + App Store and it was a really well executed coup.
Do you know how you got software on your phone before the iPhone? Getjar or side-loading (with a proprietary cable almost no one had with apps that would sometimes hard break your phone).
a) Sensible means of payment, no need to setup credit card processing, do deals with carriers etc for developers. Oh and no carrier lockdown on installing applications.
b) Macs going x86 based so you could develop for Windows / Linux and Apple all on the one box.
Basically Apple managed to make it possible for small dev shops to work on the iPhone without spending huge amounts of cash AND get money from consumers.
They may have had the app store model planned out from the start for the next version of the iPhone, but didn't want to talk about it when releasing the first version because that would highlight the shortcomings of the existing product and cut into sales. But you still have to have an answer to the question of how you make software for the new product, so they say build web apps.
Rather than saying, "we will have an sdk too, sometime", they played it off as intentional, and continued working on it silently. There is just no way they built it all in the single year from the release of the iphone.
The rest, all the infrastructure needed to have a working app store would be a much more substantial project. It is this part that would be difficult to build in a single year, and would have had to be in the pipeline when Jobs made his statement.
A major reason for the early game industry crash was that the "openness" led to a incredible amount of "shovelware" games that overloaded consumers with bad choices.
In fact the NES being closed in a very heavy handed manner (for example you had limit of games per year per publisher!) was seen as a good thing that helped rebuild the industry.
Now we are seeing this with mobile, where something like only 1% of the products have decent profits, or steam, that is slowly getting filled with crappy games that are outpacing their "discovery" features and got nicknamed "indiepocalipse" and has as one of its effects make people start to prefer AAA games again, due to lower budget games now being perceived as "most of the times crap, retro hipster pretentious, or both"
It's almost impossible to even get your friends to try playing a game they've never heard of (that another 100 people play, at most), so the community for the game is DOA.
Hence none of the things you can get from bigger games, like guides, support, community, clans, competition, marketplace, mods etc.
At best you might be getting a half-dead subreddit.
That's utterly untrue. Can I ...
* run my own (i.e. unsigned) kernel extensions in OSX?
* run OSX on non-Apple hardware?
* distribute apps for iOS through means other than the App Store?
* distribute non-approved iOS apps at all?
* build apps for iOS that allow end-users to program their own devices?
Apple is actually incredibly developer-hostile, especially considering their early history with machines like the Apple 2.
This is what a developer-friendly machine looks like:
Zinio has released a version of their iOS app for iOS 5 outside the app store. You went to their site on your iOS device and it downloaded and installed the app. I think it was done using Enterprise certificates, but I'm not sure.
As for iOS apps, you can compile and run iOS apps on your own device without the need for a signing cert.
There are apps for iOS that allow end-users to program their own devices. For example, Pythonista:
Plus, Swift Playgrounds gives access to the whole iOS SDK.
For me as a developer what matters is good relationship with the platform owner and support for when technical issues happen, not getting everything for free without quality control.
For the original XBox sure but the XBox 360 came with XNA at almost the start of the XBox 360. For free I downloaded the SDK, connected to my store bought XBox 360 and deployed code directly to it. It was amazing.
Granted they eventually axed XNA and left a hole partially filled in other ways afterwards but initially the XBox 360 was an amazing thing of beauty as far as openness. In fact I was in school and put in charge of making an XNA game with the cooperation of another University. It failed miserably but it was an awesome experience.
That's precisely what the console makers don't want: a huge mountain of uncurated, low-quality shovelware for customers to wade through. That's what XBLIG was until it was shut down.
Developers are interested, and gamers are interested in more features for Pokemon Go. Does anyone have the contemporary sales records for 3DS and Wii U?
So the company that would create a developer program for Pokemon Go would be Niantic, not Nintendo.
Console hardware preserves some role here in that it still offers the "best" premium experience, on average. PC games let you tinker with the settings more and add mods, but the lead platform for new, big budget games is usually console, and that includes portables. Plug and play still matters. Big budget experiences still matter. But it's not as big a business as the market for "small" mobile games - that's just how the numbers work out.
This isn't the first time gaming has gone through a business model shift, of course. Arcade gameplay and its quarter-munching habits used to be the standard by which a game was judged. It wasn't until the 1990's that those tendencies stopped being a dominant influence.