User Profile



Nocturnal Central

Male, Australia

Run Indy developer Nocturnal, based in Australia. Developer of Flowerworks HD for the WiiU.

Tue 8th Dec 2009

Recent Comments



Cathousemaster commented on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Is Rece...:

Finally announced. I saw this running about a year ago, and had the chance to work on it... Working on a real Zelda game was very, very tempting. Alas real life and my existing job got in the way.

Will definitely pick this up, although tp is one of my least favorite Zelda games.



Cathousemaster commented on Eiji Aonuma is Aiming For an Open World "Surpr...:


1/ link loses his ability to walk at the start and has to crawl around. The entire open world game takes place in a village... Takes a couple of hours to crawl from end to end.

2/ entire game takes place in a sphere world. You travel by digging down at the right angle through the centre of the world... To arrive at the right destination. Look out for falling rocks or diamonds on the way.

For the record: I loved skyward, just wished it was HD. My favorite 3D Zelda. It was a bit disjointed though.



Cathousemaster commented on Potential Massacre Averted At Pokémon World C...:

...and this is why I'm more than happy to NOT live in the US.

Hell, I don't know a SINGLE person with a gun here in Australia... apart from a friend who works as a security guard.

I'll much rather live in a society where NO ONE has guns rather than EVERYONE,



Cathousemaster commented on Review: The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (Wii U e...:

So what's up with this? Wasn't this unable to release on Nintendo platforms for "religious" (themed) reasons? I don't see anything in here that implies that, even a smudge of it...?

I'm definitely keen to give this a play, although I'm unlikely to splash out more than $10 (AU) on it. And my backlog is huge



Cathousemaster commented on Latest Splatoon Splatfest Results Are In, Eati...:

Really enjoyed the splatfest... .until 11:40pm here (3 hours before the close?) when the servers decided to stop working. Had 20min of continuous failed to start game errors ... matched 4 people on my team (sleep), and then ... failed to match anyone on team eat.

Apart from that, it was lots of fun ... they just need to tweak the rules, and make sure the losers get something out of it as well.



Cathousemaster commented on First Impressions: Our Maiden Flight In Star F...:

People need to cut Nintendo some slack. When was the last time they put out "rubbish" as a first party studio, on either the WiiU or 3DS?

Who knows when this build is from, and how the final version is going to look.

The controls do worry me though - because this could get totally slammed in the review stakes if the controls are not intuitive.



Cathousemaster commented on Metroid Prime: Federation Force Is The Metroid...:

Gotta lol at people based on comments. Nintendo is also working on QoL, mobile and NX. They already said there won't be that much.

Expectations are totally unreasonable. They don't care about Sony or MS.

Sony are still effectively bankrupt and MS are going back to core... Which is not gaming.

The glory days of staying up for e3 were over 10 years ago. Only reason I'm awake is my son has a fever 😕



Cathousemaster commented on Metroid Prime: Federation Force Is The Metroid...:

I have a lot of respect for next level games, so I have a lot of hope for this. Probably very early being a 2016 release.

Still a 4 player coop shooter in the Prime universe... Be interesting to see if it has puzzles or what form this takes.

And people are missing the obvious... This would be unlikely on its own. Something for consoles likely to be in development...



Cathousemaster commented on Mario & Luigi Paper Jam Brings More RPG Action...:

Oh no... Alphadream. Dream team was one of the worst Nintendo games I ever played. This seems to be basically a sequel, reusing some of the paper Mario assets.

None of the paper Mario goodness... I'll be waiting on reviews for this for sure.



Cathousemaster commented on Splatoon Global Testfire Suffers Major Problem...:

@edgedino no I didn't get any games in.

My issue is less with the experience and more with the network code and uix design itself. Hopefully the demo is not representative of the game itself. But now I'm going to have to wait for reviews... This is the make or break for the game.

No feedback to players. No way to abort or choose servers. No idea how close a game is to starting. You can't even go back to the home menu. No idea if there are server issues or it's working as expected.

This is 2015 not 1995.



Cathousemaster commented on Splatoon Global Testfire Suffers Major Problem...:

This was a total disaster for us. I got up early, and woke the kids up (it was 8am here). This was our first session and the kids were really excited for this.

The tutorial was great ... but after playing it 3 or 4 times, we had enough.

The networking and matchmaking was a total disaster. No feedback, no way to abort, you can't even go to the home menu!

After 5-10min waiting to join a game, we got a random error each time. The whole hour, not a single game.

Gave up before the end, had no idea it was extended (and couldn't try more

Either got "Unable to connect to partner device" or some other generic error.

A almost certain purchase has now turned into a almost certain non-purchase.

I can understand having server issues ... but having this level of feedback to players (i.e. within the game!!) in this modern world is just a joke.

Yet another potentially great Ninty game ruined by half-baked network architecture and design.

</rant off>



Cathousemaster commented on Editorial: The eShop's Pricing Dilemma is the ...:

God, it's taken me over a minute to scroll to the bottom here so I could comment!

The biggest surprise I've had about flowerworks on WiiU is the "sales" of the demo. Without revealing figures, the numbers are at least 10x lower than I expected. And its totally FREE.

The install base should be big enough for much bigger numbers... Unless there is something really, really wrong. Like no one is using the system 😯

I put the price down when sales dropped to basically nothing. And dropping price always boosts total revenue incoming by a lot... Maybe 5x.

So in the end I never regret it. It makes economic sense.



Cathousemaster commented on Ronimo Games Explains Pricing for Swords & Sol...:

They should release at as high a price as possible... Its the only way to make money off the eshop. Prices can always go down, up... Not so much.

Personally I liked the first game, but I really thought it lacked depth and real strategy. I doubt this is that different. And given my backlog I wouldn't splash 20-30 au on this. Maybe the $5-$10 range.



Cathousemaster commented on Exclusive: eShop Publishers Are Dropping Relea...:

We had the same choice. At least Germany is a major market... And we didn't have to pay for another usk rating for flowerworks on the WiiU. But Australia is at least 10 times worse. Market a fraction the size and rating costs many times higher. So Germany... Sure, some risk but not much. Australia? Not a hope in hell.



Cathousemaster commented on Video: Xenoblade Chronicles X May Have Been Su...:

Its hard to know really. What typically happens in game development is:

1/ You start with a nice pre-rendered sequence (which is what this looks like)
2/ You finish the game
3/ You replace the models + textures in the pre-rendered sequence with the same ones used in the game. This keeps it consistent, and makes it less obvious that its rendered.

This might be all that's going on - for any real comparison, you need to look at true gameplay footage.



Cathousemaster commented on Sales Fall Away in Japan as Xenoblade Chronicl...:

Wow, 20k for 1st. That has got to be close to the worst ever sales for the #1 position in Japan ... like ever. And with a new title (well, new release!), that is a RPG.

New 3DS is not a mistake. Hardware sales are doing well, and XC is not only selling more hardware - the release would not be possible without it. Its going to gradually keep selling, and be responsible for more hardware being sold. And given its a port - the dev costs should not have been that high. Probably broken even already.



Cathousemaster commented on Review: Donkey Kong 64 (Wii U eShop / Nintendo...:

I remember finishing this back in the day .. there was a LOT of swapping, and its debatable as to how much fun it all was. Pity BK isn't available, that was fantastic.

Oh yeah - I do remember that the final boss battle - the wrestling match drove me absolutely insane. Throw controller at the wall insane.



Cathousemaster commented on Mega Blastoise Event Launches in Pokémon Shuf...:

I am still enjoying this game, and its now the first game my son (5yrs) has been able to play by himself.

But I'm up to level 150, and pretty stuck - unless I use some big powerups (can't be bothered grinding for coins) or cheats (never knew about the home button trick, but it makes sense).

I don't have the Pokemon everyone else is using for the comp, but ranked about 9000 / 24000 earlier this evening. No doubt I'll miss out



Cathousemaster commented on Buy Three Nintendo 64 and DS Virtual Console G...:

Without sounding like a whinge, its still too expensive here. I picked up the Metroid trilogy (on its e-shop launch sale) for around $10... yet they want about $13 for each of these. So even with the 4th free, its about $40... and that's assuming you want to play all 4 on the WiiU (which I don't).

I might pick up SM64, which is one of my favourite games ever - been a long time since I played THAT on the big screen.

Now we just need Goldeneye ... (do a deal with MS please!!).



Cathousemaster commented on Reaction: The Nintendo 'NX', and Why We Think ...:

NX is a platform guys. Not a product. So don't be surprised if there is NO hardware to go with this. Forget about specs and WiiU or DS replacements.

Think iOS or Android. Once they have a platform, all future games will be written for the platform.

Then as long as someone can write drivers or a runtime, this could run on anything. PC. Mobile. WiiU. 3DS. PS4.

Once this is working, Nintendo is free to release and iterate as many hardware models be it handheld or console as they like. Think new iPhone releases every year. All run the same software.

This is the end game for ninty, and could lead to massive profits if done properly.



Cathousemaster commented on Nintendo Looking To Offer Affordable Smartpho...:

Its a nice idea... but they will need to further change their development and submission processes.

Mobile games - no devkit, no dedicated hardware needed, no game classification rating needed, no e-manual required, no LotCheck approval.

That all costs thousands of dollars and weeks/months of work from a developer. Why bother for a "mobile" game on a small install base (compared to hundreds of millions for Android/iPhone) that "might" bring a few hundred $ of revenue.



Cathousemaster commented on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Facing Potential E...:

My guess is there is a file system issue introduced either by the game, a patch for the game (any yet?) or a specific set of save data - possibly generated by this "For Glory" mode.

Its a little strange, but this could also mess with the data management part of the system (i.e. if a file ends up with a negative size, or incorrectly so big there is no memory to load it or something).

Even if this happens, I wouldn't panic: play what works and hold off until the patch is ready - I'll be shocked if its going to take more than a couple of days.



Cathousemaster commented on Feature: Breaking Down Over 50 Must-See Things...:

A WiiU game internally has 2 frame buffers (one of which can also be double or triple buffered).

The first is the "native" buffer, where the game uses the CPU/GPU to create each frame. When a frame is complete, and the TV is ready for syncing - this buffer is blitted (copied) to the "TV buffer". The resolution of the TV buffer determines what the input mode of the TV needs to be.

Its quite common to make the TV buffer full HD (1920x1080) - and the native buffer a lower resolution (say 720p). When the native to TV blit occurs, various filtering techniques can be used to smooth out jaggies and more.

So don't be too shocked if the TV buffer is 1080p and the native buffer(s) are 720p. It really doesn't matter too much either way - and sometimes it can make the game look better.

(note: for games that support off-TV play, the TV buffer is replaced by the GamePad buffer which is much lower res. Rather than changing the res of the native buffer, its easier to blit and downsample to a lower res).



Cathousemaster commented on Don't Touch Anything Red Close to Release, Hel...:

Nintendo have already told us (Nocturnal) only games are being accepted for the WiiU at this point in time. We submitted a detailed design for a non-gaming application, but it wasn't even considered.

If this media player thing is allowed, I'll be very surprised.



Cathousemaster commented on Nintendo Download: 31st July (North America):

Nintendo have confirmed that the price was adjusted... but it seems the news didn't get out. US sales have a long way before they catch up to Europe sales!

I'll contact NintendoLife, and ask for the price adjustment to be listed for the next week.



Cathousemaster commented on Nintendo Download: 31st July (North America):

Hi - can I ask someone to check whether "Flowerworks HD" has been reduced in price this week on the NOA e-store? It was supposed to have been reduced from $6 to $4 - but its almost impossible for us to check, and I haven't had confirmation from Nintendo yet. Thanks



Cathousemaster commented on Talking Point: The Wii U eShop is Raising Toug...:

A couple of points for everyone:

1/ Releasing any game on the eShop is a lot of work. When I say "a lot", I don't mean a few days of overtime 'a lot', its months of solid work. And the worst thing that can happen to a game, is it gets ignored or sells so badly - that the developer walks away forever. And this happens to "good" games... so you can imagine what happens to games that score "1/10".

2/ The Nintendo "Seal of Quality" never censored or blocked games from release. Its all about "technical quality" - they force you through a submission process, and its up to them to approve the title and burn the carts or disks (at least in the old days). This came about when Atari 2600 crashed, because back then any company had the right to manufacture games at all. Like a cross between the PC & console industry. So in short, don't expect Nintendo to ever block a game on "gameplay quality" grounds.

3/ If I was going to offer a solution, its simple: make the default sorting for all titles based on ratings. Higher rated games appear closer to the top, with extra weighting based on number of sales.

Once the 'The Letter' gets over its initial period where it appears on the title screen, its going to fade away into obscurity.

A bigger risk, is by feeding the trolls (and giving titles like this too much easy publicity) - its going to do well, and attract hundreds of similar titles.



Cathousemaster commented on Vblank Entertainment Provides Sales Threshold ...:

This is only one of "many" games on WiiWare to fall into the same category. And I'm speaking from experience here...

I originally suggested to Nintendo they allow WiiWare developers caught by the threshold trap to trade sales for credit towards WiiU devkit equipment.

Brian is brave to quote hard sales figures though - technically breaching his contract.

Must pick this up on the 3DS at some point, assuming its available in Australia.



Cathousemaster commented on Digital Foundry Pins Down Mario Kart 8's Resol...:

Mario Kart does NOT run at 59fps. Saying it does is totally incorrect.
As DF explicitly said, every second one of the frames is duplicated (i.e. frames 59 and 60 are identical). This is most likely because of additional processing that is done regularly once a second (music, AI or other) on this frame, meaning the next frame is not ready for display within the required time.

As mentioned by a poster above, its also likely to relative to a game mode, specific settings, etc.

As long as there is no visual stutter, this is totally irrelevant to the game.

This is also typical behaviour of "most" 60fps games, unless they run at 60fps ALWAYS (i.e. fps never dips).

This could quite possibly be fixed in a patch, or even a OS update. Or running the game digitally, or from a hard disk rather than disc.



Cathousemaster commented on Digital Foundry Pins Down Mario Kart 8's Resol...:

As stated in other articles, I'm very happy to report that FLOWERWORKS does run at native 1080p 60fps on the WiiU. And it uses a fraction of the consoles power... and is totally un-optimised. So its, very, VERY possible to do so on the console. 1080p does suck LOTS more RAM, and doubles the pixel fill-rate though.



Cathousemaster commented on Review: Flowerworks HD: Follie's Adventure (Wi...:

@CrabGats: You are not meant to get 5 stars on the first level, not initially anyway. As you progress through the game you collect powerups, which enables higher scores on all levels.

I usually play hard or master - and getting 2-3 stars on the first level initially is a good effort. But by the time you get near the end of the game, its easy to get 5 stars on level 1 (even on a hard difficulty).



Cathousemaster commented on Review: Flowerworks HD: Follie's Adventure (Wi...:

@Zach: thanks for the comments!

1/ The original PC release (a long time ago) allowed for direct name entry - but since it didn't impact the game at all, it just slowed down the console version and added a remarkable amount of complexity (for no gain!). I would only consider re-adding this for console, if there was a solid purpose behind it. Choosing a name is really just tagging a save slot.

2/ We also used to have the "press button to toggle flower selection", but it didn't work at all, and actually made the game a lot more complicated and harder to play. This might be different now, that the game supports direct movement (as it takes time to move around the screen, unless you use touch or Wiimote pointer). Its not going to make this patch (sorry!), but I'll consider it if we do a second patch down the track.

While I'm here, I'll drop an update on the patch - which is almost complete, and just needs a lot of testing before we send it off to Nintendo. Any feedback, please let me know ASAP!

  • When a level starts, Player 1 can "choose" any input device, exactly the same way "Player 2" can. This is how player 1 will be able to use Wiimote or Pro control in the game. After Player 1 chooses, Player 2 then gets a chance to also choose (as before).
  • The overworld / menu controls have been opened up, to allow input from any device (not just the GamePad). As a result, its possible to play the entire game now with a Pro or Wiimote controller, without needing to use the GamePad at all. There are a couple of minor exceptions, relating to some of the in-menu controls (touching locations on the map for teleport, etc).
  • in game menu is in, but its just "Quit" / "Continue". Retry would have caused some issues (and been blocked in Arcade mode anyway, otherwise that would promote "cheating") - and because there is 0 loading time, it literally takes around 2 seconds to quit a level, and restart it.
  • changed the purple/blue pollen, to make them more obviously different
  • a few (minor) defects have been fixed


  • Mike


Cathousemaster commented on Review: Flowerworks HD: Follie's Adventure (Wi...:

@JustinH: You can put the pricing down to "rounding" then - it definitely wasn't a business decision. For example - If the price would have come to $4.30 CAD, it would still be $4.00, not $4.50. Its good feedback to know that people are this sensitive to pricing - from now on, I'll be rounding down on all currency conversions. I'll look at changing the full price in Canada from $7 to $6.50 CAD (which makes it cheaper than the the US price, etc).

As far as foreign accounts go - I have done that on my 3DS, but it seems harder on the WiiU (can't remember why ). Plus, we definitely won't get access to US or Canada games - UK might be the only other English region we get. So its a good point - when it releases in Europe, I'll see if I can switch account and get a copy



Cathousemaster commented on Review: Flowerworks HD: Follie's Adventure (Wi...:

@JustinH: what do you mean about the Canadian price? All the prices were set based on the current exchange rate compared to the US dollar (possibly with some minor rounding up/down - and usually down).

It should be retailing for $3.50 USD in the US, and $4.00 CAD in Canada ... is this correct? If not, please let me know!

As for an Aussie being sympathetic ... have a thought for us: because the classification costs in Australia are so high, we are not going to release the game here at all. So I'll never get to play or show this to people on my WiiU

I know some of the overworld navigation is 'annoying', but its also at your leisure, and there is no penalty for bumping into things (you'll never lose or fail anything!). Additionally, if you touch a location on the GamePad, Follie will "auto-route" there, without bumping into things. This is especially useful in the forest maze (which is quite hard!).

Work on the first "patch" is progressing well: a few fixes and improvements are in, the in-game menu is working, and I'm looking at player-1 controller changes. Hopefully it should be ready for submission within a day or two.



Cathousemaster commented on Review: Flowerworks HD: Follie's Adventure (Wi...:

Thanks again for the feedback everyone - we love it. I think having this sort of direct conduit between developers and gamers/users is essential - but unfortunately, its unlikely to happen with bigger projects or companies.

Feedback on above:
@sinalefa: thanks for the comment on the blue/purple thing, its a good point. In the patch I'm planning on adding some stripes to the purple pollen, to really differentiate them. If you have issues with any of the other colours, please let me know.

I also like the restart idea (although if the quit/play is quick enough, its close). But we all like a fast "restart" - I'll try and get that into the menu too.

@Stargazer: overworld 'smoothing' isn't an easy thing to do, due to the nature of the game. That said, if you use the touch screen and the auto-navigation it should be very smooth between moves.

As for the Vita - I'm not so sure. Apart from being keen to stay Nintendo exclusive, I think it may be hard to play on such a small screen - even playing with pure touch/direct control on the GamePad isn't ideal (but using the GamePad as a indirect panel for a TV is better). Might look at that in the future, but it won't be something done anytime soon (be a big project).

Looking into the patch now, but just to dash hopes of any immediate fixes: its going to have to go through a Nintendo submission/testing process, so its likely to be 2-3 weeks before its live (at best). Its definitely going to happen though, and the European version will have these improvements at launch.



Cathousemaster commented on Review: Flowerworks HD: Follie's Adventure (Wi...:

I do understand the feedback, so no offense taken - I've been in the industry too long for that . That said, I have pretty much exactly the same thoughts on the game, and none of the feedback surprises me so far.

Flowerworks HD for us is a balancing act: I never want to put out "crap", but how much time is it worth spending polishing a previously released game like this? I'll much rather spend my time working on a all-new, WiiU exclusive... and I'm sure you all will too.

That said, unless this covers some of our costs there won't be any more games from us. So its a balancing act.


As a compromise, I'm going to see if I can quickly add a in-game menu - that will also have an option for switching Player 1 to one of the Bluetooth controllers. This setting will be remembered between level sessions as well. You will still have to use the GamePad for menus and overworld. Its not ideal, but its the best I can do for now - it will allow 1-player WiiRemote or Pro control. 2-player games will probably require player-1 to use the GamePad as well.

Would this satisfy the people that want it?



Cathousemaster commented on Review: Flowerworks HD: Follie's Adventure (Wi...:

Hi everyone - this is Michael from Nocturnal again. Your feedback is really appreciated, so bring it on.

We are actually going to patch this shortly (long story!). WiiRemote controls are still in there, but because of the way the WiiU works we decided to make player 1 use the GamePad. I felt that forcing the player to switch between the GamePad and WiiRemote for 1 player was ridiculous. If WiiRemote support is in there, it has to work for the entire game (overworld, menus, game sections, etc).

Personally, I definitely preferred the "direct" WiiU controls (touch/buttons/analog) over the indirect WiiRemote controls. Then again, I don't play any of my WiiU games with a WiiRemote.

One of the strongest feedback points we had on the WiiWare version, was that people hated seeing a "mouse pointer" on the screen, which we'll have to bring back to control the entire game with a WiiRemote.

You can pause the game at anytime - just use the HOME button. But you can't abort levels, just like the WiiWare version. If there are enough requests, I'm happy to add a in-game menu with two options (Continue, Quit).

I'll have a look to see whether we can get the WiiRemote easily working for player 1. You might have to start a level in 1-player mode (otherwise pressing something will activate 2-player mode), hit a button on the GamePad (i.e. + or -), then we can let a secondary controller take over.

Adding full Wii Remote support for the entire game again will be significant work.

Has anyone played with the WiiU Pro Controller? We spent a lot of time implementing that (and generally supporting multiple types of controllers) - is anyone using it?

Thanks again for the feedback - and be honest, we can take it .