For fresh, straight-out-of-college game devs, catching a break can be tough. It’s no different from any other job; employers want their new recruits to have experience in the field they’re applying for, so getting the job you want straight out of school can be hard. This was no different for Team Kakumei – a group of 18 year old freshmen who only ever had experience with Flash MX, Unity and Android development before now – and it seemed as though, like everyone else, they would have to work their way up the ladder the old fashioned way. However as luck would have it, despite their arguably low experience, they are now officially developing for the Wii U.
This would be a big moment for any up-and-coming developer, and Team Kakumei is wasting no time, as plans to bring its OUYA game Wrecking Balls Arena to the Nintendo system under the name Wrecking Balls Arena DX are already underway. Wrecking Balls Arena DX is no mere port however, it is a sequel/expansion to the original and will feature new stages, items and gameplay elements, whilst still retaining its previous hand-drawn style and charm. The game will be coming to the OUYA as well as the Wii U, possibly sometime in 2014, but the team is toying around with the Wii U’s unique capabilities in order to get the most out of the GamePad.
Such an opportunity rarely comes along, and the guys over at Team Kakumei got in touch to emphasize how please they are; more specifically, the team seems grateful that they have been given such a chance. Team Kakumei member, Jonathon Bont, pointed us to a Reddit thread where he said the following:
Nintendo just let an 18-year-old college freshman like me join their Developer Program (plus the other 2 members of Team Kakumei), and all I personally had was a few years of game making experience including some Flash MX, Unity, and Android (OUYA) development as well as being the main developer of the original Wrecking Balls Arena on OUYA. We didn't have to have an office, any previous experience working at a "real" game company, etc. Say what you will about Nintendo's "outdated/ignorant" practices and policies in some areas right now, but if what I just said isn't an indication of just how open they're becoming towards indie/garage developers, then I don't know what is.
It looks as though Nintendo isn't afraid of bringing some fresh blood into its developer family, and it’s good to see that some companies are willing to look past the lack of experience to see potential talent. Wrecking Balls Arena DX is pencilled to arrive sometime in 2014, but nothing is set in stone just yet.