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SnowCastle Games Keen on Public Beta Testing and In-Game DLC Purchases for the Wii U eShop

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Nintendo aims to be accommodating

While the current rate of arrival for new download-only titles on the Wii U eShop could be considered rather slow, the coming months look set to bring us a handsome range of new games, many of them multiplatform. With Nintendo's free Unity tools and generally supportive terms attracting a number of studios — including some that'll be publishing on a Nintendo system for the first time — the future of the eShop platform is looking positive.

While the console's eShop functionality and its publishing terms are a long way ahead of the Wii Shop, there are naturally still substantial areas for improvement. The influx of interested developers actively working on the Wii U has included plenty of those that are most experienced with PC platforms such as Steam. Just this week Astrogun's Xander Davis told us that he'd be interested in the option for beta availability on the Wii U; sometimes smaller developers on Steam give you an opportunity to either buy or freely download a game early, and your feedback assists with later stages of development. It's win-win, as you get an early crack at an anticipated game and the developer gets valuable user information.

Another developer interested in features such as these is SnowCastle Games, which is bringing its intriguing Festival of Magic RPG to the Wii U eShop; its target release date for the early episodes is Q4 2014. Speaking with Dromble, the studio's co-founder Bendik Stang explained how Nintendo won the company around, but highlighted key areas for improvement on the platform.

We met with Dan Adelman and Tim Symons at GDC in San Francisco in March this year. Before GDC we had no hopes for developing for the Wii U, but the meeting changed this. Coming back from the conference we found ourselves fast tracked through the certification process. It was our first experience working with one of the 3 big ones, and we feel really well taken care of.

At PAX Prime a few weeks ago, we met with Mr. Adelman again, and talked about our need for some extended eShop features. We would like a lot of stuff that the eShop currently does not support; like public beta testing and an in-game shop for the DLCs. He told me that they wanted to accommodate our needs, but it would take some time to get all the features in. So hopefully by the time we are ready with FoM, those features will be added to the eShop.

In terms of influences for the title, meanwhile, a notable Nintendo franchise got its traditional name drop.

There’s too many influences to list here, but in general it’s high quality stuff we all love like Disney classics, Studio Ghibli, Legend of Zelda, Squaresoft’s Final Fantasy series and western games such as Beyond Good and Evil, and Monkey Island. So all fairly big budget stuff!

We think it'd certainly be worthwhile for Nintendo to include more intuitive DLC purchasing options and early beta access for games, and it's positive that Nintendo of America's Dan Adelman has reportedly suggested that it's a possible future development. Do you think these sorts of features should be a priority for Nintendo's eShop teams? Let us know, and you can see a trailer for Festival of Magic below.

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User Comments (10)



WiiLovePeace said:

For games I'm interested in I'd love to beta test them before their release to make them better & from the trailer this is a game I'd definitely be interested in



unrandomsam said:

Public Beta testing is doing something that reputable companies pay for.

There should be some worthwhile benefit to the person doing it.

Already thinking about DLC before the thing is even remotely finished (Already totally uninterested).



Nukarmer said:

unrandomsam, the guys are talking episodic content and weekly challenges. do not rush to conclusions, bro!



Emblem said:

Beta testing and early access games are slowly pushing me away from my main gaming platform (PC), i'd rather the trend not come to consoles aswell.



9th_Sage said:

That's the thing though right....there is nothing making you buy these games early. Just so long as games are well marked as being 'early access' then I don't see the problem.



AyeHaley said:

I noticed you can now go directly to the eShop through Zen Pinball to buy additional tables, without exiting the game. So they are definitely trying to improve it.



Freakazoid said:

His running looks so akward i hope they fix this. Well the rest looks interesting. But when they really going episodic im out



ikki5 said:

so... let me get this strait. The game is going to go into BETA and yet they are talking about DLC....... wtf?



AJWolfTill said:

Full respect for these guys, I have sent them a couple of questions about the game and the work process in the past and they have always been friendly. I can't wait to play this, especially if doing so helps them refine the experience.

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