News Article

Nintendo Confirms Presentations and Games for GDC 2014

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"Nintendo offers wide-ranging support for indie developers"

Next week San Francisco will host the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2014, from 17th to 21st March, a significant event that brings thousands of developers and publishers together. It hosts talks and presentations, while also giving companies an opportunity to network with others and promote their projects.

As has been the case in recent times, Nintendo is making an effort to attend and promote its eShop platforms, in particular the Wii U store. Nintendo of America has now confirmed its plans, including playable games at its booth as well as a presentation by manager of Business Development Dan Adelman. That presentation will be at the Unity booth (number 1402) on Thursday, 20th March from 10:45 to 11:15 Pacific time, and will provide a step-by-step guide on the processes for bringing games to the eShop. Aside from a focus on the free Unity Pro license that's available on Wii U, the Nintendo Web Framework will also be shown off — that support is now contributing games such as BLOK DROP U, and a demo at the Nintendo booth will use elements from the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series to highlight the ease with which the framework can be used.

The Nintendo booth at GDC will also have the following Wii U games playable, all of which use Unity.

Nintendo of America's vice president of Licensing, Steve Singer, has said the following about Nintendo's attendance at GDC.

We want to demonstrate to developers how easy it is for them to bring their creative ideas to Nintendo systems. Nintendo offers wide-ranging support for indie developers, whether they want to use NWF, Unity or their own proprietary code.

The gradually increasing support for the Wii U eShop is certainly a major talking point for Wii U owners, and GDC will give Nintendo an ideal opportunity to attract more developers to the platform.

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User Comments (63)

IxnayontheCK

#1

IxnayontheCK said:

Good. Said it before, I'll say it again, with little 3rd party support Wii U needs to promote it as 1st party and indie games machine...

datamonkey

#4

datamonkey said:

"Nintendo offers wide-ranging support for indie developers"

This is a far cry from the attitude of Reggie a few year ago when he said Nintendo are not interested in indie garage developers!

Seems like they realise that's their best chance of getting any type of 3rd party support on Wii U...

Kifa

#5

Kifa said:

There must be something wrong with me, because as much as I am all for first- and second-party games for Wii U, very few indie ones really seem attractive to me. Of the games mentioned on the list only Armillo seems like something actually worth playing... But I guess it's just me, and I'm too mainstream... ;P

Dinosaurs

#6

Dinosaurs said:

Did Dan Adelman get promoted or is that his designation for the last while?

The eShop is beginning to really make up for the unacomodating Wii shop. I think we can all say it's encouraging at the very least.

readyletsgo

#10

readyletsgo said:

Hmm, interesting. I guess with all big 3rd parties not wanting ANYTHING to do with Nintendo now-adays this is the road they will go down for the next 3/4 years, 'Indie-devs'. I'm gonna miss my boxed games.

I wonder if there will be any 'Indie' games that are secretly developed by, say, Capcom or EA or Ubisoft or whoever, to test out new franchises under different small 'Indie-Dev' names. Just a thought.

rjejr

#12

rjejr said:

@readyletsgo - One of the problems w/ so called "indie" games, for me at least, is that they range from the extremely basic Blok Drop U and that horrific looking Penguin in a rolling ball game that go for $1 or $2 or $5, but then you have stuff like Guacamele and Castlesiege that go for $10 or $15 and are much closer to retail games than "app" games. But they are all just lumped under "indie". The PS3 has a "minis" label but Wii U hasn't gotten there yet. Kung Fu Rabbit isn't nearly the same game as Trine 2.

Glad to see Nintendo getting on board w/ the "indie" games. I've probably played indies just as many hours on my PS3 as retail games.

How many hours has the world as a whole put into Minecraft?

MrV4ltor

#13

MrV4ltor said:

@rjejr LOL indie is short for independent, so even if a game is shorter, doesn't look as good or doesn't cost as much it's still indie. Yeah, there are the more popular indie games, like Guacamelee and Don't Starve and then there are the smaller indie games that don't get as much attention like Blok Drop U or Spin the bottle: Bumpies partie, but they are still all the same: indie games.
Good to see that Dan Adelman is still there. Was a bit worried after he stopped posting on twitter last October or so.

shingi_70

#14

shingi_70 said:

@rjejr

Well that the beauty of Indie titles you can still have stuff on the lower end of the spetrum like Kung-Fu Rabbit which is a pretty small title. At the same time you can have something like Bound by Flame which would have been on consoles years back.

@MrV4ltor
I prefer getting away from the word indie and use the term Digital Download. I mean technically Crytek is a Independent right.

TruenoGT

#16

TruenoGT said:

Whether it's indie or big publisher, I just want to see more games that take advantage of the Wii U's uniqueness in particular and are of high quality. If all that comes of this are basic ports of simplistic smartphone/flash games, it's just not that interesting.

rjejr

#17

rjejr said:

@MrV4ltor - "but they are still all the same: indie games"

Everybody knows "indie" is short for independent, bu that doens't make all the games the same, and that is part of the problem. Most people think indie means cheap throwaway app game, and many people think a cheap digital download means indie, when large companies make $10 games. It just seems like the term "indie" is often used as a negative, like people use "app" game as a negative, when some of the games are of a high quality but people won't give them a 2nd thought b/c they have the "indie" label attached.

Dark-Link73

#18

Dark-Link73 said:

@Kifa There's nothing wrong with you. Not that many Indie games appeal me either.The only one I'm really looking forward to is q.u.b.e. Other than that, nothing that I can think right out of the top of my head.

DiscoGentleman

#19

DiscoGentleman said:

@rjejr Smurfs 2 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze absolutely don't compare, but they're both major retail releases and platformers.
Don't really see what you're nitpicking about when retail/major games are guilty of the same.

LittleIrves

#20

LittleIrves said:

Ballpoint Universe and Stick It to the Man both look pretty solid. And I've heard great things about Ittle Dew, especially for fans of top-down Zelda. Wooden Sen'Sey looks interesting.

My concern is that most of these have come out for other platforms already, so aren't designed w/ Wii U in mind. I really hope to see more games like Scram Kitty, and the newly-announced Affordable Space Adventures, in the future, games made for Nintendo's hardware first.

MrV4ltor

#21

MrV4ltor said:

@rjejr I don't see why there is a problem with all of them beeing called indie games, because they are all made by independent devs. I also have never heard anyone say that indie games a cheap throwaway apps. And this comes from a person who has had an argument with someone who said that Knack for PS4 is a piece of art and that SM3DW is a doggieoopsiepoopiepoodle game with a low budget.

Profanity is not necessary here -Lz

rjejr

#24

rjejr said:

@shingi_70 - "At the same time you can have something like Bound by Flame which would have been on consoles years back."

Not sure exactly what you meant by "on consoles years back" but Bound by Flame is getting a retail release as well as DL, and it doesn't look like it is going to be cheap.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_9/280-3276379-6076827?url=search-alias%3Dvideogames&field-keywords=bound%20by%20flame&sprefix=bound+by+%2Caps%2C227

Guess this does prove the point that all "indie" games are not created equal.

Dark-Link73

#25

Dark-Link73 said:

@rjejr @MrV4ltor Exactly right. Wonderful 101 is an Indie game because Platinum Games is its own independent studio. It doesn't belong to any of the big publishing conglomerates.

The same happens in Hollywood. Any movie that isn't made by the big studios (WB, Universal, Paramount, Columbia, et. al.) is an independent film. Little known fact: the Star Wars saga films (prior to Disney) and the Indiana Jones movies are independent films.

MrV4ltor

#26

MrV4ltor said:

@rjejr "Bound by Flame is getting a retail release as well as DL", well it's not like the same can be said about any third party release last gen lol He probably wanted to say that Bound by Flame is a smaller experience on a lower budget than, say ACIV. Just so you know: Child of Light is also getting a retail release on PS3, PS4 and PC IIRC

rjejr

#27

rjejr said:

@DiscoGentleman - "Smurfs 2 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze absolutely don't compare, but they're both major retail releases and platformers."

Thats a problem w/ "shovelware", especially in the abundance that Wii received it, and AAA games costing the same $50 or $60 as garbage like Fast and Furious. But garbage games on shelves costing $50 is a completely separate argument than Nintendo setting up an eShop page for "Indies". I honestly believe setting up a separate page for "indies" makes it more difficult for the higher quality indie games to get sold.

DiscoGentleman

#28

DiscoGentleman said:

@LittleIrves I think games getting ported over is not too much of a big deal because, IMO, the big picture is that the devs find that working with Nintendo is pleasant and/or lucrative, and maybe they make a game that uses the hardware better. Or T least release more games on the eShop and who knows in the future. It's about sowing seeds of partnership. Some of these indie devs will go on to be bigger, and some will stay strong, independent businesses.

Peach64

#30

Peach64 said:

I keep seeing people say how Nintendo should promote Wii U as an indie machine, but how would that even work, when almost none of the best indie games are on it? Teslagrad and Nihilumbra are nice games, but almost all the really good stuff is nowhere to be seen. Guacamelee is the first real critically acclaimed indie the console will be getting, and it just seems dumb to shout about indie games when your selection is so poor compared to the competition.

MrV4ltor

#31

MrV4ltor said:

@rjejr No that was supposed to be an argument against your "Bound by Flame is getting a retail release as well as DL", so you know that small titles can also get retail releases.

MrV4ltor

#32

MrV4ltor said:

@Peach64 Nihilumbra was received really well on iOS, but I kinda agree that they should go more for the 'bigger' indies. Would love to see games like Don't starve, Rogue Legacy or Risk of Rain on Wii U.

shingi_70

#33

shingi_70 said:

@Dark-Link73

Wonderful 101 isn't an Indie game. Nintendo funded it and owns the IP so its not really indie to be honest. I don't consider games like Jounry or State of Decay to be indie either for that matter.

@rjejr

huh didn't know about that. I think its going to be digital only here in the states I'm assuming the price will be at the $15-$20 range of the studio's previous title Mars War Logs.

But its also the reason I prefer the term Digital Download compared to indie.

rjejr

#34

rjejr said:

@MrV4ltor - "so you know that small titles can also get retail releases."

So now you are using the word "small" interchangeably w/ "indie"? Saying that a small title by Ubi is the same as an "indie" title? Does any large company like Ubi or EA get to have a title on the "indie" page? EA owns Popcap so PvZ2 is hardly an "indie" game, or is it? Is Rovio still considered indie? Mojang?

BTW, in case I lost you talking about the "indie" page, here's the link from yesterday.

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2014/03/nintendo_of_america_launches_eshop_indie_website

An here's the link to the actual page:

http://www.nintendo.com/eshop/indie

The actual name of the page is "indie". Should Child of Light - Ubi developed and published - be on that page or not?

shingi_70

#35

shingi_70 said:

@Peach64

Wii U is getting alot of digital games. The big problem I see is that its not getting high profile ones that push units, While Sony is getting smaller titles as well as the big games coming out.

It doesn't help that the main big support for the Nintendo digital eco system are from the same 3-4 devs who mostly make games for Nintendo Platforms. Even as a indie platform vehicle I find it hard to recommend the Wii U compared to the PS4 which seems to be get announcments every other day.

But more games the better is what I always say.

Its ha

Yasume

#36

Yasume said:

Yay for mediocre and dated indie games? I love indie games and I've played and finished a fair share of them. This selection is quite poor to say the least.

MrV4ltor

#37

MrV4ltor said:

@rjejr No it shoudln't be there. Also, you are twisting my words around, the way you want them. I never said that every small game was an indie game. I even gave you the example of Child of Light, which is published by a major publisher called Ubisoft. It's a FACT that Child of Light was developed by a smaller, inhouse, Ubisoft team on a smaller budget than most of their other games. So, no it's not indie.

SphericalCrusher

#38

SphericalCrusher said:

Awesome! I've said in the past, that along with the 3DS, I feel that WiiU can use these indie and small eShop titles as a good crunch between huge retail titles. I look forward to hearing more about this!

rjejr

#39

rjejr said:

@MrV4ltor - Sorry if I was twisting your words, but you are the one who brought up "Child of Light" in a discussion of "indie" games when you yourself say it isn't one, how was I not supposed to be confused?

I like indie games, I'm looking forward to Child of Light, I just don't like the term "indie" being used for marketing purposes. And if Nitnedio is going to have a page a called "indie" and not put "Child of Light" or other "budget" titles made by big companies on that page I still see it as a stigma on the indie developers which was my original point.

I would say the "indie" page should be labeled "Budget" titles, but than somebody else, maybe you, would react the same way to "budget' that I do to indie, it's a stigma b/c when people see "budget" they immediately think "low bugdet = bad" even though in video games low budget can still get you a very good game. but at least "budget" would allow all cheap games, no matter who the developer was, to be on the same marketing page.

rjejr

#40

rjejr said:

@shingi_70 - "I prefer the term Digital Download compared to indie"

See my thoughts on "Budget" instead of "indie" above this post, which has its own inherent flaws. Digital download is self explanatory, but I think it's too all encompassing, everything on PSN by default is a digital download. And if you want to amend it w/ "Digital Download Only" that still includes $40 and $50 games like Agarest War and Fist of the North Star which are discs overseas but not in the US. Though I think I would prefer "digital only games", or in Nintendo's case "eShop download only" to "indies".

Emblem

#41

Emblem said:

@shingi_70 I wonder if any indies are making much money on the PS4 though, everyone I know myself included has got every indie game we own "free" via PSN+ due to Sony not having enough full retail games to put up yet.

While I expect Sony pay the owners of the free games some kind of royalty (I hope so anyway), it has already given us all the impression that there is no point buying indies as its likley they will be given away until the retail titles start hitting psn+ regularly later this year.

Ofc as a consumer its a good deal but for devs I'm not so sure.

Dark-Link73

#42

Dark-Link73 said:

@shingi_70 Just because Nintendo "funded" Wonderful 101, it doesn't stop the game from being an Indie game. Nintendo didn't make the game, Platinum Games (an INDEPENDENT studio) was hired by Nintendo to make the game. Nintendo claimed exclusivity distribution rights from PG because they forked out the money. Who do you think came out with the money to make Star Wars (an independent film) in the first place? George Lucas was broke. It was 20th Century Fox. They got distribution rights as part of the deal.

Your view of Indie games is part of the misconstrued view of most people. Just because it has a big budget, it doesn't mean it isn't independent.

Dark-Link73

#43

Dark-Link73 said:

@shingi_70 Btw, I just noticed that you said that Nintendo owns the W101 ip, if that's true then its a bad example of a big budget Indie game. How about Bayoneta? If PG owns the IP for the series then those are Indie games.

The bottom line is that just because a game has a big budget, is not created on a "garage", and it has a wide retail release; it doesn't stop being an Indie game. As long as created by a completely independent studio, then it is an Indie game.

WaLzgiStaff

#44

WaLzgi said:

It's not "indie" because Nintendo published the game. "independent" means COMPLETELY independent of major publishers, funding-wise as well.

unrandomsam

#45

unrandomsam said:

@Dark-Link73 If it is published by Nintendo it is not indie. Especially when it wouldn't have been made otherwise. They are not independent because without Nintendo's money it couldn't have been done.

hiptanaka

#46

hiptanaka said:

@Peach64

Shovel Knight is Nintendo only (on consoles), and one of my most anticipated indie games. A lot of other good looking stuff is coming. Scram Kitty, Shantae, 1001 Spikes, etc. I'm usually more into the old school indies than the artsy stuff that get the praise, honestly.

shingi_70

#47

shingi_70 said:

@Emblem

Depends there's still a ton of indie games out or coming that aren't apart of the PS+ program and I've heard about people picking up games like the new awesomenauts.

Vita has been surviving on PS+ content, but beside that the system still has a great attach rate and sales of indie games have been really good. I won't be suprised if the PS4 is the same.

unrandomsam

#48

unrandomsam said:

@Unca_Lz What about when a publisher just picks up something that was made right at the very end. (Like Capcom did for the GBC Shantae). I think that is still indie. Same with stuff like Ikaruga (Been published by loads of people but most recently by Treasure.)

Dark-Link73

#50

Dark-Link73 said:

@Unca_Lz @unrandomsam If we follow your definition then EVERY SINGLE Indie game that required a kickstarter is NOT an Indie game because they are not COMPLETELY independent of funding since they required external funding. Just because a studio makes distribution deals with major companies, it doesn't make the studio "dependent" or a second party programmer.

Unless Nintendo owns shares or stakes at PG, they (PG) are an independent studio. Thus every game they make, as long as they own the IP, is an independent game regardless of who funds it. Funding usually secures distribution rights as in Bayoneta 2. W101, if owned by Nintendo, then yeah it was a bad example, but if Bayoneta is owned by PG, then it is a good example.

Simple logic, just because most Indie games are small, digital distributed, and made by small studios; doesn't mean ALL Indie games are small, digital distributed and made by small studios.

This is a common fallacy called a "hasty generalization". (Btw, don't take it personal. I just love "devil's advocate" when I think I have a valid point, lol.)

Dark-Link73

#51

Dark-Link73 said:

@shingi_70 No my good sir! You're the one that is "bigly" wrong. It seems we've reached an impasse. As such it is obvious to me that the only way to solve or differences is through a duel! pulls out white glove I challenge thee to a duel to the death! smack! High noon. Tomorrow! in raspy voice THIS THREAD AIN'T BIG ENOUGH FOR THE TWO OF US!!!

LoL! ;-)

Dark-Link73

#52

Dark-Link73 said:

@shingi_70 btw, you do realize that by your logic Minecraft (360 Ed.) is not longer an Indie game because it was published by Microsoft, right?

unrandomsam

#53

unrandomsam said:

@Dark-Link73 Grey area. They are not independent because they need that funding. Some of them are still making the game they want but most are making the game most likely to get funding on kickstarter. I think that should be called something like charityware.

DarkKirby

#54

DarkKirby said:

Indiezzzzzzzzzz...

I'll say it again, indie titles are not console sellers. Nobody buys a console to play indie games. Indie games are great additions to a console you already own, but they don't convince people to buy consoles.

And really, no platform will ever beat PC for indie games.

rdrunner1178

#55

rdrunner1178 said:

@TruenoGT I agree. I love my Wii-U so far, but we do need more games that take advantage of Wii-U's capabilities like the Gamepad. Lego City did a good job using it for the Chief to communicate with you, etc. But they could do a lot more like the Warioware games on GBA and DS did.

DarkKirby

#58

DarkKirby said:

@MrV4ltor
If it wasn't obvious, the Wii U suffers greatly in sales of both the console itself and purchases for the console, and if all you have you show off is indie games that isn't good news for the Wii U.

rjejr

#60

rjejr said:

@shingi_70 - "What about using mid and low tier than."

I may have mentioned earlier - I think I got a bit carried away on this thread - that I like how PS3 has "minis", usually $1.99, no online, no multiplayer, no trophies - but now that I thnik about it I don't recall them having anything else that separates out titles, just the minis. So I guess I'm just going to shut up and deal w/ the "indie" thing and keep my dislike to myself, b/c I really don't have an alternative I'm 100% happy with, everything is either too broad, too narrow, or too negative.

MrV4ltor

#61

MrV4ltor said:

@DarkKirby You do know that GDC is short for Game Developer Conference? Why would they show off their own games if they want the devs there to bring their Unity games to Wii U. None of Nintendos games are built in the Unity engine and the people that attend GDC are not consumers, they are devs.

TG1

#63

TG1 said:

Nice! Nintendo already has a solid selection of indie games, and with so many more coming in the next few months the selections are gonna be great!

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