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.
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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.
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.
In our last blog post Paul went over our collective pre-launch thoughts on Chubbins. We're now coming up on a month since the game hit the eShop, so it seems a good time to talk about how things have gone post-launch. This could be considered a postmortem of sorts; I'll be tackling the project in sections, looking at what we did wrong, what we did right, and other aspects of the project and its reception worth noting.
In less than 24 hours, Chubbins will be launching on Nintendo's Wii U eShop! As developers, the agonizing wait for its success or failure is almost over, so it seems a good time to write up some quick thoughts about this stressful pre-launch window.
Any indie developer starting out needs to be prepared for failure, both mentally and financially. Unfortunately we made the mistake of wasting our "means to fail" with three games on the iOS market, where we didn't fit in. So in heading to Nintendo (where we wish we could have been to begin with), we knew from the start that it was a last chance scenario; we couldn't afford another failure. If our first game on Wii U doesn't work out, that's it. So I think it's safe to say that this period of hopeful anticipation has been more stressful for us than most.