Another route to the Wii U eShop

Currently underway in Cologne, Germany, GDC (Game Developers Conference) Europe 2013 is bringing together hundreds of companies and studios for various presentations, demonstrations and networking opportunities. As we've reported before, Nintendo is in attendance and also hosting two developer sessions to promote the Nintendo Web Framework and Unity support for Wii U eShop publishing and development.

The first of those sessions, focused on the Nintendo Web Framework, has taken place today. As reported by Polygon, Nintendo of Europe manager of developer relations Martin Buchholz explained the role of the framework in allowing web game developers to quickly and flawlessly port their content across to the Wii U architecture; with preset libraries to assist, developers can bring their HTML5 and Javascript games to the platform almost immediately and with minimum fuss. Popular programming support libraries such as jQuery, Underscore and Handlebars have been tested, as well as rendering and art tools such as Processing.js and pixi.js.

The main focus of the demonstration was reportedly on specialised dev-kit libraries, namely two called Impact and Enchant. Impact was shown in practice, with the GamePad showing key debug information, and perhaps the most impressive aspect was that, in the case of an 8-bit platformer, a demonstrator "painted" a new platform into the game world, and the framework's code was automatically updated in the live game. A bullet-hell shmup was also shown that performed with no issues, and the demonstrator stated that using the tools in the Framework development of the demo, porting and running on Wii U had only taken one week.

It was also confirmed that Glandarius Wing Strike, a four year old iOS game developed with the language incorporated in the Framework, is currently being ported to the Wii U. While that iOS shmup may not set pulses racing in its own right, the assurances that Framework developers enjoy the same pricing and release freedom as others opens the door for more content to come to the platform. Aside from understandable concern at the prospect of some disappointing games potentially flooding the eShop, there is scope through these tools for more developers to come onto the system and boost its library.