What's Retro Studios working on? That question has been common since development of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze began to wrap up towards the close of 2013, while it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the talented studio will have begun work on its next major endeavour while DK's adventure was still in its latter stages. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nintendo with an outstanding track record with its games, it's not unreasonable to expect that the studio's next project will be an important release.
It seems the Texas-based company is beginning to ramp up on its current efforts, with five recent job postings appearing; though they've been on Nintendo's recruitment site for a short while, we stumbled across these due to them all being uploaded to respected industry website Gamasutra over the past few days, suggesting the company is taking its recruitment effort further afield. There are five high-profile roles currently being advertised, with the high level descriptions below.
Senior Tools Engineer
Senior level engineer responsible for driving the development, maintenance and support of proprietary Windows PC applications and libraries necessary for the creation of Retro Studios’ games.
Individual contributor that develops, writes and debugs code for video game software and tools with a specific focus on AI programming for enemies & bosses and various other game-play systems as required.
Retro Studios is looking for a Visual Effects Artist
Individual contributor that designs, implements, tests and maintains tools for a broad range of functions
Individual contributor that develops, writes and debugs code for video game software and tools with a specific focus on gameplay programming for player, camera, gimmicks and various other game-play systems as required.
While the descriptions generally steer clear of specifics — listed platforms are 3DS / Wii U for four of the roles, with 3DS / Wii U / Wii in one — there are some elements that point to a home console project. The FX Artist entry states "next-gen shader technical expertise preferred", while incorporating varying styles to "produce FX with a strong and appropriate sense of timing, color and drama". The Gameplay Engineer role necessitates "prior experience working on game-play systems for AAA video games".
Thoughts on what Retro Studios is producing are only speculation at this point, though we'd hope that Nintendo is entrusting one of its best teams with a major project. What would you like Retro Studios to be developing? Let us know, as always, in the comments below.