News Article

Tantalus Media Seeking Staff With Wii U Experience for New Triple-A Title

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Funky Barn 2: The Cattle's Revenge?

Wii U owners have had to endure plenty of game announcements that have skipped Wii U in recent months, so we're happy to jump on any news that suggests an upcoming project is destined for the Nintendo system alongside its new rivals in the market. It seems that a "new AAA Next-Gen title" from Tantalus Media, a studio based in Australia, will be including Wii U in its development that's scheduled to start this month.

A December job listing for Contract Engine Programmers cites "Nintendo Wii or Wii U development experience" as a desirable quality in candidates, with the similar development infrastructure between the systems likely meaning that those with experience on the Wii will at least have some groundwork to start on the HD system.

So what games is Tantalus Media best known for? On the Wii U it was the studio behind the much mocked but actually decent Funky Barn, a launch title on the system. The studio's sister company Straight Right was founded by Tantalus boss Tom Crago, with that younger company having worked on the Mass Effect 3 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut ports for Nintendo's console. Unfortunately for those fantasizing that this Tantalus project will be a gritty, high-budget mature game, Crago clarified the respective studio's roles in a previous interview with VG247.

I founded Straight Right, and I own and run Tantalus. The two are sister companies, and share the same studio and technology. Tantalus has been around since 1994, which makes it one of the oldest game development studios in Australia. We started the Straight Right label as a way of differentiating from the kids and family stuff for which Tantalus was growing synonymous. Tantalus is going to continue to work on those kinds of games, across a range of platforms. In fact we released a 3DS title with Ubisoft very recently.

Straight Right is focussed on games for more of a core audience, maybe with an emerging nod to digitally distributed titles.

For those that prefer a bit of optimism, Straight Right did post a practically identical job listing in September 2013, so perhaps there is a degree of cross-collaboration between the sister studios.

We shall have to wait and see, but it at least seems that these companies are keeping the Wii U on the radar. Funky Barn 2, anyone?

[via tantalus.com.au, dromble.com, vg247.com]

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User Comments (26)

Kyloctopus

#5

Kyloctopus said:

Funky Barn is a pretty good game. I have it for 3DS. So if it is Funky Barn 2, I would be happy.

Dauntless

#6

Dauntless said:

Funky barn is a fun game. The problem with it is lack of content & polish. It needs a lot more polish. It also needs a lot more content. The game has only 3 maps. There were even some bugs that needed squashing. Funky Barn had the potential to be a great RTS micro management game if it had more TLC. If funky barn 2 fixes everything wrong with the first game and really expands upon it, I would definitely go for it.

Burning_Spear

#9

Burning_Spear said:

Funky Barn was unfairly ripped because of its price. OK, it's not a $50 game, but it's a fun way to pass a weekend.

ledreppe

#10

ledreppe said:

Hmm... a game from a sister company setup to distance itself from Kid's and family games, yet not a gritty mature game?! I'm intrigued to know what it is as I don't normally play Kid's/Family games or gritty mature games (COD etc.).

SKTTR

#12

SKTTR said:

Funky Barn could have been decent.
With better controls utilising the GamePad, and the bugs and weird crashes and the repetitive petting and crazy long loading times removed.
I wished that the company would release an update fix, but they never seem to care.

The 50€ price was way too much as its quality and content is even below eShop standards. Now that it's 15€ it can be seen as a digital game and it's all more forgivable but it still feels like a rushed, untested, damaged product.
It had potential, it was fun for a few hours, but man is it flawed. Since it cannot be completed 100% because of a Wii U freezing bug and nothing was done about it, it's one of the few downloads that I would like to trade back in.

Most Wii U developers brought updates to fix glitches, bugs, and crashing in their games. They talk to their customers on Miiverse even.... but no one at Tantalus seems to even acknowledge that their game is broken.

I'm obviously cautious now. Didn't have a good start with them.

Subie98

#13

Subie98 said:

@Dauntless I agree. I liked funky barn too. I also agree that it needed more content. I was ready for more after the first three maps and was disappointed that was it. Glad I only rented mine from the library. If I had paid id have been frustrated. Id play a funky barn 2.

ACK

#16

ACK said:

FB2: Funking AAA?

Seriously though, I'd love to see Straight Right get an opportunity at an original Wii U game. Why not? Always like to see new developers' visions.

RedFireTiger

#17

RedFireTiger said:

funky Barn didn't look as polished as Hay Day... and that's an iOS and Android game... c'mon this for Wii U... next gen ... i wanna see the fur on those cows and lil' freckles and spotted utters! grass swaying as they're grazing! :) too much?

Captain_Gonru

#20

Captain_Gonru said:

@SKTTR I agree with many of your points, and generally enjoyed the game. I wonder about the glitch you speak of, though. I finished 100%, though I'm in NA, so I wonder if there was some difference in the coding.

Nibelilt

#22

Nibelilt said:

It doesn't really have anything to do with the current conversation but I heard the name "Tantalus Media" and thought it sounded familiar. Then I remembered that they made the DS version of Spyro: Dawn of The Dragon.

Meh.

MEGAMAN_D

#23

MEGAMAN_D said:

they are the guys that did house of the dead for the saturn back in the day. They been around a while, deus ex was fantastic on wii u

SKTTR

#24

SKTTR said:

@Captain_Gonru

When you maxed out the amount of water troughs, and want to place the final one, the game sends you to the Home menu (yeah it is a very weird glitch).

At that point, better just shut off the game. Don't go back into the game or the console will freeze.

Burning_Spear

#25

Burning_Spear said:

@SKTTR I thought I was the only one who was experiencing that particular glitch. The glitches were a very frustrating aspect of an otherwise fun game.

SKTTR

#26

SKTTR said:

@Captain_Gonru
@Burning_Spear

Funky Barn Download (Wii U) received an update. It fixes many issues.

  • No more crashing. (water trough bug fixed)
  • Loading times reduced from minutes to just a few seconds.
  • Unskippable intro/credits scene was removed (still viewable in the credits option)

However, the sound bug is still in there (all audio output randomly stops, no ingame music or soundeffects anymore, until restarting the game).

Anyway, the game is a lot more recommendable in this format, as the biggest issues are now a thing of the past.

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