Hugo Smits is a game designer and programmer at Goodbye Galaxy Games and has created a range of titles on DSiWare including the excellent Color Commando and the fantastic Ace Mathician.
Now he has decided to embark on a new challenge after seeing how much interest there is in Kickstarter projects with a Wii U stretch goal. After seeing this he thought it offers a useful way of finding out if the community actually wants the game on a specific platform.
Smits got in touch with us to let us know about a his new development project and told us how it came about:
With Goodbye Galaxy Games I mostly make puzzle/platform games. But a steady group of Nintendo fans keeps asking me if I’m going to make a more ‘hardcore’ game.
BYTEKRIEGER is a new indie super group, which consists of three members - Hugo Smits, Danny Flexner from Goodbye Galaxy Games and WayForward fame and Wiklund, also from Goodbye Galaxy Games.
The new group has just released its first prototype called Super Beefjerks and it’s completely free to play. You can play it here if you like, we'd certainly recommend it.
It sees humans finally take the fight to the evil cows that have blighted our land for so long - you hop in a small aircraft and take out the black and white beings while avoiding asteroids - it's actually pretty challenging the further you get.
Smits said if the team gets enough interest from the Nintendo community they will make it into a fully fledged 3DS eShop game.
What do you think to Hugo's latest project? Let us know what you think to it and whether or not you'd like to see it in the 3DS eShop in our poll below.
Would you like to play Super Beefjerks on the 3DS eShop? (56 votes)
- Yeah, this looks great!68%
- No thanks, I wouldn't buy it.32%
Please login to vote in this poll.
"If there's enough interest" sounds familiar...
Looks good, it'd be nice to have on the 3DS
I smell a kickstarter coming.
I cannot eat as much as i would like to vomit...
"If there's enough interest" and "Kickstarter" are really starting to make me sick.
I miss the old times of putting games on console with out people asking.
No thank you.
I REALLY like the logo. The game itself is just sort lackluster, in terms of both art direction and actual gameplay. However, seeing as what's available to play right now is just the first prototype, I would assume these things are both subject to change to some extent. With some tweaking I could see this becoming a highscore chaser that I would sink a lot of time into, especially if I go play it whenever on the 3DS.
@Einherjar lol so true. I mean ..sure, I understand developers playing it safe, but ..where the heck is the risk-taking gone?? Back in the day a game was made, and it was made with a lot of passion and attention to detail. A strive for quality and perfection made game design an art. But nowadays it's all about making sure the bank account gets filled lol
I somewhat understand that, and I think that somewhere down the line something went wrong in the attitude of the fans (and even devs) that made developers so hesitant and cautious. Maybe I'm wrong, but in my younger days there were no 'console wars'. I played everything that was fun to me. I had a N64, my buddy had a PS, another friend had a Sega...etc.. They'd come over we'd play, I went go to their place and we played ..not bothered by the brand of the system.
Maybe I'm being a little naive, but I get the feeling that fans and developers alike are being over the top with generalizing the demographics of a certain system and its fanbase nowadays.. "casual, hardcore ..softcore, w/e"
lol maybe I'm wrong. Maybe devs are right for tackling projects a bit cautiously considering the competition the gaming industry entails today.
We don't see kickstarters for Zelda or Mario games (respectively) well ..for the NSMB series specifically. I noticed before the release of the past two games, there has been much criticism of them being too similar to the previous, recycling...etc.. and yet, after their releases they ironically get really high scores on most (if not all) gaming sites and what not. Gee, I wonder why. Maybe because Nintendo developed a very polished and fun-to-play game, despite the recylced music and generic graphics. That goes for a lot of games being announced or shown. They either get you excited or disappointed (ie. Tropical Freeze, Between 2 Worlds, Yoshi's New Island), and yet when people get to experience them, the criticism they previously had usually fades.
So I just wanna conclude that devs should take risks without this kickstarter crap ..asking people if they'd buy it, 'cause right there is a little bit of respect lost from my side. Therefore when making a product, put that little bit of extra effort or whatever it takes to make a polished end-product, which would then certainly get around to the buyers. Angry Birds for example, despite myself not being a fan, is a very simple yet polished concept of a time-killer game, which clearly became popoular very quickly.
It's a nice protoype. It needs some more work but it would be nice on 3ds.
I liked Ace Mathician.
It's unique, with flaws in UI and ultimately the game play, but w/uniqueness I'll overlook that.
Beefjerks is not really unique. It plays like a simple phone/flash game.
With the uniqueness gone I quickly lost interest.
@Goginho A very good read, thank you
But talking about competition nowadays beeing bigger than back then: I kinda think its the other way around. If you look at it, there were many MANY more consoles around at the time (Segas many efforts, the NEC stiff, SNKs systems etc). You still had the arcades with way more powerful systems. And still, nobody cared. It was all about the games itself, since multi console games where the rarity back then. And for example, its almost impossible to decide which 16bit console had the better line up (im a bit biased towards the SNES, but that aside).
If you had just one console, you played on the other one over at your friends house. Today ? Its not a "game war", not even a "console war", its simply put, a brand war. Like Apple, many many other companies produce far better stuff for far less money and still, people cant resist the prestige of apple gadgets.
You dont go over to your friends house to play PS3 when you only have an Xbox360. Why ? Because 90% of the games are on both consoles and noone may be allowed to like both exclusives without beeing picked on by the "hardcore crowd" Thats whats tearing apart the whole gaming community. The days where games counted are long gone.
And devs are defenitly tooting in the same horn. They dont want to be known as "a dev who makes kiddy nintendo games". Being "Nintendo" has become some sort of stigma these days. Devs take themselfes WAY too seriously nowadays and therefore, just want to be recognized by the hardcore gamers out there, because they dont want good games, they want interactive movies, and they are far easier to make.
Why indie devs are starting to get hesitant, i dont really know. Crowdfunding is one thing, but if you want to make a name for yourself, you MUST reach as much people as possible, that includes the "nintendo purists" out there. The WiiU is supposed to be a very indie friendly platform, so porting your game shouldnt be that much of a problem, since mostly the tripple A titles need certain hardware specifics. If an indie dev needs a reasnable amount of money more for the WiiU dev kit, im perfectly fine with that, but being picky as one as to what system im going to release my game its simply weird.
i like it
I wish we had more details on what they want to do with a 3DS version. Is it just this? Are they giving it a level structure and more story? More enemy movement types and power-ups?
I will/would buy this because of Goodbye Galaxy Games, but I wish I knew more.
@WesFX There will be lots of extra things. You can think of different enemy types (and even boss fights), different stages and characters (custom airplanes with their own features... or how about having some famous indie-characters show their face?).
In gameplay terms I want to add more depth to the powerups. Adding a powerup-tree where instead of getting a fixed powerup the player can actually decided in which way he wants to upgrade the aircraft.
Bring it on Hugo! I would love to see you back on our system. Hope to see you up in the Eshop soon
@Goginho First off, the console wars of the best where way bigger than anything seen today (especially between Nintendo and Sega kids). Trust me, I was in the trenches.
Second; This has nothing to do with taking risk. Because every company has to take risk. But just like every company, game studios also like to do marketing research.
Your comment about Nintendo doing well because they make polished games is only partially true.
They also have amazingly famous brands and a great marketing department. Those things do make a difference. Just look at how many amazingly polished games there are, which were unable to sell a decent amount of copies.
Basically what I try to do here is hearing out my fans. If you look over at @cyrus_zuo he’s obviously more looking forward to the traditional Goodbye Galaxy Games for Nintendo 3DS. And that’s cool. But there is also a group out there that kept asking me for games like this.
I don’t need anybodies money. I just want to know how big the interested group is.
In my opinion is the name of the group „BYTEKRIEGER“ much better than the game itself.
I am also not very impressed by the new GoodbyeGalaxyGames-game Tappingo – seems to be really familiar to the fantastic Drawing-Mode from Pic Pic – not that innovative it is promoted. I like logic puzzle games and the other games from Hugo, so I will give Tappingo a chance.
I'm very impressed, I hope this developer group would keep making platformers like these and will be only exclusive to Nintendo platforms..
I would definitely buy this game off the eShop, I do hope it gets a retail version of some sort :3
It was a alright game but if more stuff was added like Hugo said then I would most likely buy it.
Shallow, repetitive, and not very fun to play. Put crap like this on the iphone where it belongs.
I love your games @HugoSmits, but I just can't see myself wanting more of this. It's fine and should stay this way for free. I'd like to see how a straight up action platformer from you comes out though.
Remember in the early 80's and even 80's when social media was pretty much non existint. Now these game devs are so rich they need to ask how many people want their game to see if its worth their time making or porting it.
@Windy: I agree. That is...if the price is right of coarse;)
I being a wii U owner am starved for games. Especially the eshop indie titles. Nintendo cant release these indie titles fast enough for me. It's sort of a good thing because i. and others notice every new title that releases so im more inclined to purchase it. So sure, i would buy this game on the wii u / 3ds eshop.
Well it's fun enough for a freebie but on eShop I think it's would need to coat 99p at most or else it would feel like a bit of a rip-off.
It's perfectly suited for the likes of iPhone as 69p App though.
@Einherjar Okay, thanks for clearing out a lot of things I'm a 90s kid, and I know there were more consoles back then, but from my experience (or lack of expereince) I never really felt and experienced first hand the 'passionate hate' people had toward other consoles, maybe the different companies respectively, but now all over the net I see and read people bashing other consoles and tastes for videogames ..it's just not my style but whatevs
I agree with you on the games don't count anymore. Back then, Nintendo had everything ..from Bubsy to Mortal Kombat, and I guess you're right, nowaydays it's not really like that anymore, so devs think Nintendo is way too 'kiddy' lol, despite them trying their best to overcome that label, ie. Zombie U..
@HugoSmits Oh okay, thanks for clearing things out for me. I wasn't really targeting this specific game of this article. I may be a bit narrow-minded, but like Einherjar, I'm getting annoyed by constantly reading about kickstarter projects or 'could bring' articles. I dunno how it was done before in the ol' days, but now it seems like asking persmission for a game to be developed, although I can see the reason in that so don't get me wrong. I guess it's just a crucial part of modern, game development, and perhaps it's better like that, since devs wanna make sure enough people want to purchase their game.
And yea, you're right about the marketing. You gotta get your games out there, and I can imagine that that's harder than ever before ..although we do have a lot more media today, like youtube and what not ..hmmm, so I dunno about that one.
I really don't know, I can't put myself in the shoes of a game developer/designer, so I'm just babbling nonsense here lol
@Goginho Yeah, nintendo tried to appeal to a broader audience and thats where all the ports came from. We know had the games, everyone else had. And it totally backfired, since these games were lazy ports at best.
Its a good step forward overall though, i guess without that goal, Bayonetta 2 would have never been conceived.
But having all the games everyone else has wasnt the saving grace, and thats why i do not understand all the moaning about thrid party support.
3rd party supports nowadays means that a game gets released on every console there is and i cant see why that is good ? Everyone wants the "good old times" back, but in that times, these practices never happend. Crono Trigger never left the SNES, and i have NEVER heard someone complaining over that.
I dont know about you, but i decide which console i get based on its exclusives, and thats why i usually go with Nintendo without hesitation. Why should there be 3+ consoles on the market wit the same game library ? Because of the "unique" features of the console ? Please, we all got a PC that can do everything these new consoles can do just better, so thats out of the question.
But think of this "if there is demand" thing in other medias:
If movie makers or book authors started asking this, there wouldnt be any books or movies left. How on earth should i know if i wanted to buy / watch it, if it isnt made ? The same goes with these games. Not everyone looks at the games of every console and decides "if that game would hit the WiiU, ill defenitly buy that". If it would pop up in the eShop, you could see screen, read about it, browse the MiiVerse and watch trailers, that should be the factor that convinces you to buy a game.
@Dormouse How is asking it through social media any different than those customer survey leaflets you found in every gamebox back in the 80s and 90s ? companies always look for a market. And it has nothing to do with being rich.
In fact, if I was rich because of my videogames. I wouldn’t ask this, I would probably continue making the same type of games that are selling well
@accc Do you find it any worse than Paper Plane or Pyoro (Birds & Beans) ? because those are two of my favorite games on DSiWare. And although I bought bigger games on there, it’s those little ones I keep coming back for.
Just wondering if you dislike those as well ?
@HugoSmits I don't have those games on DSiware but I did play them in Wario Ware. I really liked Pyoro, it had a lot more depth than your game and its mechanics were more satisfying to master. I didn't really care for paper airplane. Your game reminds me of one of the countless flash games I played on Newgrounds 10 years ago. I would never spend time or money to play it today.
@accc how exactly does Pyoro have more depth? That game barely has different objects/enemies and no real powerup system. If you like that game better, that’s totally fine. I’m just trying to figure out why.
Right now it seems the people who dislike it, are doing so purely because it’s a flash game.
I think this game has potential, has a 90s vibe, I like that. That being said, adding more content and a form of progression will give this game some replay value. I look forward to this expanded idea, I enjoy quirky themes. Thanks for the prototype.
@Einherjar Exactly, I'm the same ..I'm a Nintendo fan indirectly, because I'm a fan of the exclusive games Nintendo makes, meaning that I'm (directly) a fan of particular games/franchises found only on Nintendo consoles. Like Reggie always says, "It's all about the software"
@HugoSmits There was strategy involved, with positioning yourself so that you don't get trapped on a narrow platform, risk/reward of going for high up pieces to get more points, and going for colored pieces to rebuild the lower platform. The various falling speeds also added to the game's complexity. Maybe your game had similar elements added later on, but to be honest it didn't hold my attention long enough for me to find out. I played it a few times until I got a pretty good run going, and after that I had had enough.
@accc Well almost all the same points you mention are in this game as well. You have to make sure not to get trapped between cows and asteroids. You get more points for making combo kills. And different enemy types (that all have their unique of way moving/attacking). Plus later on you get the asteroid waves!
Again, if this is not your cup of tea that’s fine. But going online calling it things like shallow and repetitive and then later on confess you barely played it long enough to find out… is just a little bit silly, don’t you agree?
Maybe, but the key point is that it isn't very fun to play. It lacks a hook that compels you to keep playing the game and improve your score.
I apologize if my first comment came off as unnecessarily harsh, but I really don't like seeing these types of games being turned into commercial products because they cause the entire handheld market to become devalued. Lots of people think that eShop games are overpriced at $5-$10 because they can buy Newgrounds quality flash games on the Iphone for a dollar, without caring that the eShop's games are far more substantial and give them far more value for their money.
@accc I think a lot of the things you state are assumptions, instead of actual facts. We certainly didn’t put less quality in there than we normally do with our Nintendo DS or 3DS products.
For example Danny Flexner’s pixel work for both Goodbye Galaxy Games and WayForward has always been regarded as excellent. That doesn’t suddenly change at the moment we decided to make a flash game!
About the devaluation of the handheld market; it’s up to the developers to create enough compelling content to match the price. And sadly a lot of overpriced crap is currently in the e-shop. I don’t think that has anything to do with what kind of game you make. Any game can be worth it’s money as long as it’s done good
Unfortunately it seems that what I tried to make isn’t compelling to you. That’s the harsh reality, you cannot make a game that everyone likes. But if you look up at the poll, you will see that around 70% would want to buy it if we ever work this out into a full game (at which point content will also be increased).
So I don’t think this type of handheld games are bad or devaluate the market.
It's certainly got potential. And judging by @HugoSmits comment (#13) i could see this becoming a cult favourite of mine. Keep it up, guys.
It all sounds good. Those are exactly the type of ideas I hoped you guys were considering!
@WesFX @beatalLiToaD Thanks guys!
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