LAS VEGAS -- Nintendo wants more indie games -- not only on Wii, but on the upcoming DSi hardware.
That's the message that Tom Prata, the gamemaker's senior director of project development, sent to an audience of game developers and executives as the DICE summit drew to a close on Friday. While Prata acknowledged that Nintendo's move into indie game distribution was not without its hitches, he sought to assure the crowd that Nintendo was committed to fixing those issues.
Prata was joined by Kyle Gabler of 2D Boy, whose downloadable game World of Goo (above) is the third highest rated Wii game on the market and the winner of last night's Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences award for outstanding achievement in game design.
Gabler brought the requisite indie street cred to the presentation -- he did not directly discuss how his two-man company worked alongside Nintendo, but he did illustrate how being such a small organization can help drive a game with a singular creative vision.
For Prata's part, he addressed some of the issues that have become apparent with WiiWare development thus far, the sort of things that might turn off potential developers. "WiiWare is not magic, and digital is not perfect," he said.
Reach is a problem, he began: Not all Wii owners are connected online, which is a requirement if one wants to sell them a downloadable game. Prata said that Nintendo is "working to increase the connection rate."
Storage is a constant issue -- the Wii only has a small amount of onboard storage for games. Prata did not reveal Nintendo's solution, but only pointed out that the company president Satoru Iwata had, speaking in Tokyo last month, announced that a better storage solution is forthcoming.
Finally, Prata said that Nintendo is still attempting to work out better ways of promoting WiiWare games. As one example of new tactics the company is using, it will partner with GameTrailers to let users submit their own videos of World of Goo playthroughs for an upcoming contest.
With downloadable content, Prata said, "making it and forgetting it" doesn't fly -- "you have to create the content, and then you have to raise it up," he said. "I think that there's more that Nintendo can do to support (WiiWare games). This year, Nintendo will increase resources for development and promotion."
Prata concluded by discussing the upcoming launch of the DSiWare download store, which he said would go live when the Nintendo DSi hardware is released in the U.S. on April 5. While he did not say which games Nintendo would release in the U.S., he showed a lengthy video demonstration prepared by Nintendo developer Yoshiaki Koizumi especially for the event, in which the Super Mario Galaxy director explained Moving Memo Book, a DSiWare title that lets users draw their own animations on the DS and share them online.
Source : http://blog.wired.com/