On the 31st we announced that we were ceasing our indie game development efforts (thanks again for all the well-wishes, everyone!). At the same time, we made a second post with some collective thoughts on the eShop market. As we said in the first paragraph of that post, we wanted to discuss the topic because A) it's very relevant to why we didn't succeed, and B) our experience could be very valuable to other indie devs looking to get their games on Wii U. Case in point, ourselves. If we were just getting in on the Wii U scene now, that post would be a great reference and would undoubtably change our entire approach.
Following up our recent announcement that Dahku is done with game development, we have some thoughts on the current state of the Wii U eShop, and why we think things turned out the way they did for us. This may be informative for fellow small devs looking to Wii U as a development option, and it may be of interest if you're one of the few who like what we do.
As we've said before, we were really excited when the opportunity to develop games for Wii U arose. This was Nintendo--our home turf so to speak--and with the power of a console the possibilities were endless! Still, after a year of total fail in the iOS market, we had to remain realistic. We ported Chubbins, to test the waters of a new market and try to get a return on our time invested. We always did feel the game was more like a Nintendo title than an iOS anyway.
Non-disclosure agreements prevent us from talking details, but even before we signed on as developers we'd heard that Nintendo offers newcomers a chance to work with their equipment free of charge for a time. We hoped that Chubbins would be successful enough in that window of opportunity that we could then move on to bigger and better Wii U exclusive games.
By contrast, Chubbins on Wii U was a success. We managed to stand out, get great community coverage, and the sales have been infinitely better than they were on iOS. Sadly, it still wasn't enough. Nowhere near it, in fact. Having put all that effort into learning the Wii U ropes and gaining valuable insight into the market, we realized the window of opportunity would still be open just long enough that we could try to put that knowledge to use on an experiment of sorts.
We're happy to announce that the soundtrack album "Dahku 13" is now available through Loudr! It contains all music tracks from our three indie games: Starlight Blast, Chubbins and Soon Shine. If you enjoyed the soundtrack in any of these games we hope you'll check it out!
UPDATE: The album has moved to Bandcamp, with a pay-what-you-want plan.
I begin to feel like a fossil, a relic of a bygone age. The more I experience, the more I'm realizing that when I see people say they like "retro" games, what they really mean is they like the visual style of 8-bit games (or 11-bit, as seems a better approximation of what people do these days). There's a big difference between a game that simply looks like it's from the old days, and one that actually incorporates gaming values from the old days. We, Dahku, really liked those old days, and we try to bring to the table the essence of those days, not with little pixel graphics but with core gameplay ideas and values... And I think it's killing us.