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.
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Being the avid Nintendo fans that we are, and being the indie developers we are, it was a very exciting moment when we learned that the Wii U had an indie-friendly developer program. Console development could open up all sorts of possibilities to us, but first and foremost, we had a game that felt to us like it should have been on a Nintendo system all along, that never got a chance to appeal with its new, easier difficulty mode, and which we truly felt could find a good home on a system where the players would have the same gaming values as we did. It would be a great way to test the waters on a new market.
Somewhere along the way we decided it would be fun to add a little personality by giving each level its own title card. We love using quotes in everyday life. Movies, TV shows, games, books, real life personalities--you name it, if it's quotable we'll find a way to work it into our vocabulary. Chubbins is just weird enough that we felt we could share that part of ourselves by working those quotes and references into relevant (or semi-relevant in some cases) level names. Hopefully some of you out there have been able to pick out a few you're familiar with. Maybe sometime we'll write out a full list of where they all come from and why we chose them.
A while ago we posted about the reception that Chubbins got when it released last month on the Wii U eShop. Having rounded up and summarized the community's thoughts, I thought it would be fun to also share our own perspective as developers. Hopefully it will be an informative and entertaining look at the creative process behind the game. There may be some spoilers here and about, but since Chubbins is all about gameplay there really isn't much to spoil.
So, you may have heard already that my brother Toby and I have our gaming roots firmly planted in the NES days. We grew up on classics like Mega Man, Zelda and Mario, and we've pretty much stuck solely with Nintendo systems over the years. Needless to say it's incredibly exciting to be developing our own games for the Wii U.
(By the way, there's a price drop starting on 7/24 for Chubbins, just so you know)
Chubbins may not be ready for Wii U quite as soon as we'd hoped. Efforts to get the word out about the game have resulted in feedback that has us baffled. Most of said feedback relates to the game's visuals.
When you break it down, Chubbins is about moving left and right from block to block to traverse levels. That's the bare-bones objective. The platforming gets incredibly tricky at times, but at its core it's a very simple game with a very simple goal. So just what should such a game look like? To us it seems a simple game should have simple visual needs, especially when the player's concentration might be thrown off by unecessary distractions.