Switch Nindies share how welcoming Nintendo has been, impressions of the Switch

Brjann Sigurgeirsson, CEO of Image & Form Games

"We've been treated like royalty. And I would be saying that even if we weren't sitting in this room. We've always felt special [with Nintendo]. If you can make everyone feel special you're definitely doing something right. You're not treating an indie like something you can afford to miss out on - if you treat an indie studio like the way you'd treat a bigger studio or publisher that indie studio is going to love you and do stuff for you forever. And that's exactly the feeling we've had with Nintendo the whole time. We released SteamWorld Dig, the original on the 3DS in 2013, and we've never looked back. It's never been a question of what platform we would support first. They inspire loyalty in you by treating you very, very nicely.

There was a time when Steam wasn't so cluttered, meaning that if you as an indie could get your game onto Steam you'd be set. It's really not that indie friendly on Steam any more; it's not even publisher friendly. It's started to resemble the App Store in a way - you have so many titles that almost by definition it's not indie friendly. On the App Store you have a hundred new games coming out everyday - maybe there are a hundred games coming out to the Switch in a year. You're almost guaranteed so much more visibility.

We've made games for the 3DS, the DSi, for the Wii U and they all had some issues - the 3DS and DSi were just weak," he said. "Since we were developing for them specifically it wasn't like we were watering down our games, but all the time through development we had to think about how not to overtax the system. With the Wii U there was more power but you had the gamepad where you could use the [screen] and TV at the same time and so you had to show different things and take that into consideration.

This is straightforward, period. What you see on the big screen is what you're going to see on the handheld as well. It's very simple and powerful, and ingenious - it's a home console and a portable unit. Everybody's wanted to say that in the past but here it is now. It's powerful and really easy to develop for. There's not very much wrong with the system."

David Dino, a designer at Sumo Digital

"When you look at all the [indie games at this event] they almost chronicle the type of genres that have made gaming in general and I think Nintendo understands what the indies can do to bring [a variety of content] to the Switch. They've been very welcoming and almost hand-holding through whatever process we need to get our games on the platform."

Carl-Henrik Skarstedt of Yacht Club Games

"It's been great. They've been really supportive of us while at the same time trying to get their hardware out... If you're just starting out making games it might be hard, but once you have something great to show, as soon as Nintendo's ready for it I think it might be easier to get in touch with each other and start a dialogue about publishing on their machine."

Zoink CEO and creative director Klaus Lyngeled

"I also did Wii titles, and back from the Wii days it's very different. They are much more approachable, they are much more interested in you, it's easier for us to get a kit, and... it's become a lot easier for us to actually publish something on the eShop. I feel like there are a lot of indies who are really interested in Switch now. They really are pushing for it and they want to have a new platform to release something on.

I'll want it to be curated somehow because I don't want to be stuck - that's the problem with Steam right now because I feel like I'm just shovelware. It doesn't matter if there are so many users on Steam, because if you can't reach any of them with all the noise [in the marketplace] it doesn't matter. It's much better to get out on a platform where you can be seen.

When we tried to do Zombie Vikings for Wii U - when I got Unity I could see it just wasn't going to work, it was too slow an engine; then we got Unity for Switch and we saw directly, 'wow it's actually working' and the tools are much better. So that part is very important for most indies. Most indies are using Unity and that makes a huge difference. It feels like they are pushing Unity more to make it good from the beginning."

Luke Burtis, co-founder of indie publisher Tiny Build

"Before they've kind of been a lot more closed off, and with the Switch it seems like they are opening up a lot more. They are obviously taking a cautionary step - they are only working with a couple handfuls of indies initially to see how the reception is from the consumer base, but I think it's a great first step. We have Mr Shifty coming out in April and we'll have a few other games coming out later in the year

Nowadays? (I hear from indies wanting to work on Switch) Pretty bloody often. Beforehand, not so much - I think as more information came out about the platform it got a lot more people excited. Every single dev for games that we now have coming out are like, 'Hey can we also be on the Switch?'... But I think it's definitely a platform that pretty much any indie is going to want us to target.

Definitely discoverability from our standpoint is one of the biggest things. It's going to be curated for quite a while, so if you can get on there you should be pretty golden. I also think that being able to take such polished games...with you on the go [is amazing].

Categories: Interviews, Consoles
Tags: eshop, switch


Top Rated Comment

nintendo really needs to get an achievement system going. it would encourage people to buy games more. smh

nintendo really needs to get an achievement system going. it would encourage people to buy games more. smh

Tue Mar 07 17 06:14pm
Rating: 1

Games; their more for points than they are for fun?

Seriously though, why would people buy games to get achievements within them? Wouldn't that encourage "rewardless rewards" mentality of game developers and curtail any enticing rewards in turn?

Yes, it absolutely encourages this and that's exactly why I voice such a loud opinion of not wanting them. It's lame and I don't care if some people like it. That's their lame problem. :0)

I would loooooove to see some research backing up such a bold claim. I've never met anyone who has claimed they bought a game because of achievements. I haven't even heard anyone reference achievements outside of the internet since I was 14. (9 years ago.)

I certainly know people who buy multiplatform releases based on achievements/trophies. Whether they want to build up a certain account, or in the case of Switch, choosing not to buy an indie title on it and instead opting for PS4.

Tue Mar 07 17 06:45pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

If I remember correctly, I think people were buying Legend of Korra (among other games) because the achievements were easy to get.

Also this about Avatar : The Last Airbender on Xbox 360: "No achievement guide fails to mention this game, as all the 1000 points can be achieved in two minutes by pressing one button over and over again." (Sotamaa 2009) It was originally presented in a game studies conference.

I don't doubt that people get games (mostly in the clearance bins) to get easy points

Several of these interviews mention the value of visibility in a given marketplace, and that's something I'd never really considered. The relative sparseness of the Switch's library actually helps them. That's fascinating.

If Nintendo really doubles down on the indie scene and pushes it as hard as they seem to be gearing up to do, I wonder at what point the indie devs will consider that benefit of visibility lost or diminished.

From what we can see, its the big problem with Steam and PS4. PS4 dev kits are....eesh at well over $2000 per, which for small indies like myself and many others, not feasible in any way.

Steam is too crowded and if their Direct system works and has a fee over $100, then cool, but its still incredibly crowded and if they do go as far as $5000 per game, then that's a no as well.

Switch is pretty much the haven now, which is worrying me as many indie developers are actively left out by Nintendo.

Good! I'm all for indies, more games, creative advancements, etc. but do not open the door to s*** and shovel ware. Nintendo needs to only allow quality titles, less they diminish their own marketplace.

Keep the crap games away.

Absolutely. Lock the floodgates unlike Steam (Thank you God...) BUT don't make it a walled garden like Sony. Not many indies have $2500 for a PS4 dev kit and the massive license fees.

But via the developer portal and such, Nintendo allows for free (At least on Wii U and 3DS) submission, making the only cost software and hardware. Which I like.

What I don't like, immediately at this time, is what feels like overly cautious moves. I understand why, but I hope when my game or soon for Axiom Verge and such, are ready or closer to complete, the option is a bit more open, because if not, well a lot of developers have nowhere that provides a feasible release otherwise.

But again, it does seem to be temporary, for now. I already threw away my game design degree by being an advocate for Nintendo content (We should consider GBA as a GB regarding sales according to them...) and content in a way that was different from the heavy story open world mega bucks costing content they want us to produce. Which sucks, because a game is a game. I want to make content I know people will enjoy and that I will enjoy making. But in doing so they don't like that because that pushes me toward Nintendo. Its weird.

Switch is pretty much the haven now, which is worrying me as many indie developers are actively left out by Nintendo.
What exactly is Nintendo doing to actively leave out many indie developers? Seems to me like they're doing quite the opposite

They are being "Selective! with pitches, getting dev kits out and the such.

Despite being registered and ready for go for 3DS and WIi U, all I got was a "Wait for more information via the portal". and this is being echoed by several.


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