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FuzzyWuzzyGames Talks About Its Development Experience With The Wii U

Posted by Mark Green

In early stages of planning for a fresh Wii U project, after Armillo

From an outsiders’ point of view, being a game developer seems like a fantastic way to express creativity. Whether you’re working as a team or whether you’re on your own, you are making something from scratch and turning it into something people can enjoy. There are many in the industry that agree that this is the case, but sometimes – especially nowadays – external issues can get in the way. Creativity becomes stifled as the higher ups care more about the business than the product, and developer morale starts to waver. In such a climate, it’s no surprise that smaller companies are on the rise. One such studio is FuzzyWuzzyGames, a group of passionate developers who have each seen the darker side to the developing life and decided to move out into the light.

The guys at FuzzyWuzzyGames have been professionally working in the industry for over 6 years, and have even rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in video game development. The team's current project is a colourful puzzle-platformer called Armillo, which sees the player take on the role of the titular hero in order to explore and solve the many environments of the game. The game itself is planned to hopefully release in 3 months time for the Wii U, before it eventually moves over to PC, and recently Nintendo Enthusiast held an open interview with the company on its forums to find out about the game and the studio's experiences working with the Wii U.

When the developer was asked what made them bring the game to Wii U — rather than other download platforms such as Microsoft’s XBLA – it said that it had initially planned to take the project to Microsoft, but was ultimately turned down.

The Wii U wasn’t really in our radar until Emily Rogers came to us and encouraged us to release it on the Wii U. Although the market is perfect for our game, the initial reason why it wasn’t on our radar was because of their office space requirement as we couldn’t really afford that extra expense at that point. Imagine how happy we were once we found out that they were getting rid of that!

With such enthusiasm for the platform, it’s easy to speculate that this might not be the only project FuzzyWuzzyGames chooses to place of the Wii U, and when asked whether it would consider doing more the with the console, the developer confirmed those assumptions.

Oh yeah! One of the aspects about Armillo is that it won’t really take much advantage of the Wii U’s unique capabilities because of how the game is originally designed. However, I am currently in the process of planning out something that is a lot more in-line with its capabilities in mind.

So it doesn’t look like the developer has any plans to move away from the Wii U just yet, but seeing as the team's excited by the capabilities of the Wii U, could the developer have plans to branch out towards 3DS games?

[we have] No experience with the 3DS. But I would really love to work on that system. Only problem is that we’re doing all our development work in Unity and there is currently no 3DS support for it. Doesn’t mean I’m going to close the door on it – I still would look into developing for it through other means.

So by the looks of it, FuzzyWuzzyGames is quite satisfied to be working on the system, and even has potential plans to go further, but what about thoughts on Nintendo itself? When asked if it had any complaints about how Nintendo was handling its hardware, the developer said this:

My complaints are probably similar to most people. They need to be more smart and aggressive about advertising the Wii U. The system is like something that you get excited about when you actually play it, but I don’t really feel it when I see their advertisements. They need to show what makes the Wii U unique – Off-TV play, second screen touch screen, Miiverse community, asymmetric multiplayer, TVii, etc. The original Wii had advertisements showing why it’s unique which really helped. This time, seeing some of their Wii U advertisements, I just see that it’s a Wii upgrade – a controller attachment perhaps? It’s not very clear.

So overall, it seems FuzzyWuzzyGames is happy to be working with the Wii U, but it looks like Nintendo still can’t shirk some of its demons regarding the advertisement of its latest console – at least in the eyes of some.


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User Comments (13)



SanderEvers said:

This is so correct. The Wii U is awesome, Nintendo simply fails at advertising it as that. Some adverts are decent, but most them are just what they did with the Wii games. That's not going to win people's hearts.



HappyMaskedGuy said:

Agreed- not sure why the message of poor advertising is being ignored by the marketing team in Nintendo HQ.
Its not enough to just shrug and say, "Wii U owners love it and we know its good, so why bother?"
Publicly highlighting indie support, securing exclusivity deals from new third parties with ambitious ideas and hitting the market hard with localised advertising will bring the Wii U an improved vision of health, and therefore worthy of purchase.
By the way, my friend, a Nintendo dooms-dayer, openly admits that having since bought his PS4 in mid December, he has played it 3 times. Can't find the motivation.
On the other hand, I can't keep myself off my Wii U and 3DS!



sinalefa said:

I was curious about Armillo. This, along with Scram Kitty, are some of my most anticipated indie games, and I have not heard anything about them yet.

They need to advertise more because hype sells systems, as the PSbone seem to prove. Thankfully Wii U already has enough good games to back that hype as well.



Macarony64 said:

And things like this that expose the lazy third party's would not be show on none Nintendo dedicated sites and forrums.



Sean_Aaron said:

Like others this is a title that's on my radar. I don't watch TV so I've never seen a Wii U ad, but the touch screen and off-TV play alone put it head and shoulders above any console I've used. Being able to make a Miiverse post mid-game is fab, the use of stamps as achievements which then encourages more use of Miiverse is a stroke of genius.

This is the kind of stuff they should be playing up - I'm thinking something like the early iPhone ads from Apple would be a great way to highlight this stuff:

Kid playing Mario finishes a level, does a post asking for help mid-game; gets quick helpful reply and then does a follow-up thank you with a newly acquired stamp he found - simple. Follow that with the stuff they've done before with someone else wanting to watch TV and switching to the Gamepad or mid-game web browser use and Google Streetview, plus some judicious display of Art Academy.

Loads of things they could do whilst also showing off software.



Daz-brum said:

Nintendo needs to listen to people about their crap advertisements and get the message across it is a great machine with great games, i got a PS4 and don't play it the WiiU is still ruling my living room space. Roll on Mario Kart and please Nintendo lets have on line play.



ACK said:

Really looking forward to cracking this one open with the kids. Even more interested in what FuzzyWuzzy can think up with a focus on the WiiU. I'll be there day one in both instances.



element187 said:

I read deeper, interesting quote that backs up what I've been saying about the Wii U since launch:

"“In terms of performance, I had to down-res Armillo on the XNA build to around 580p to get it to run smoothly on the 360. On the Wii U, I’ve left it at 720p and it also has more post-processing and lighting effects going on. I’m sure the PS4/Xbox One are quite a bit more powerful in terms of pixel pushing, but the Wii U’s GPU feature set is also a lot closer to the PS4/Xbox One rather than Xbox 360 and PS3. I’d say it’s good enough for us indies.”

It's nice to seem confirmation here. The Wii U is quite a bit stronger as it handles dynamic lighting almost perfectly without dropping frames, where as on the subhd twins it would kill the frame rate immediately.... It's a big deal because how resource intensive this lighting effect has been on gaming for the last 2 decades, so it's nice to see Nintendo be the first console to support it liberally

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