I have always been a bit of a Nintendo fangirl even when they make poor decisions. It’s probably because, like so many in my generation, it was the first gaming console I had owned. I had always dreamed about seeing a game I had created on a Nintendo system. Fast forward to today and that dream isn’t so far from reality. At IndieCade East, Nintendo gave a presentation on how indie developers can submit their games to the Nintendo eshop for both the Wii and 3DS.
If you’ve already looked into the information, there isn’t too much new though they did touch on a few points I thought would be interesting to highlight.
- If you become a Wii U Developer you get the pro version of Unity for “free.” I put free in quotes because the Wii U dev kit does cost money. How much? Nintendo wouldn’t put an exact figure on it, but they did say it cost around the same as a high performance, gaming PC. That would probably price it around $2,000 – $3,000. While that’s certainly not cheap, that’s the only up front cost you would need to pay to become a developer. After that, you can put as many games up as you want, which is pretty cool.
- As of now Wii U uses Unity 4.3 but they did say that once Unity 5.0 became available, Nintendo would then upgrade all of their developers to the newest pro version about a month after its release.
- While they are looking into Unity support at some point for the DS, there isn’t any currently. That means you cannot easily port a Wii U game to the 3DS if you’re using Unity.
Overall, the presentation was meant to get developers excited about submitting games to the Nintendo virtual store. And let me tell you, I was excited about the potential prospect. While I’m sure the representative wanted to put Nintendo in the best light possible, a lot of what they said was very attractive. The biggest sell point for me was their emphasis on helping indie developers get in front of an audience, as their presence at IndieCade East proved. In order to take advantage of these and other opportunities, the Nintendo spokesperson urged independent developers to forge a strong relationship with himself (Damon Baker) and other marketing managers. While it might not guarantee exposure, building these connections will keep you on their radar when you release patches and future games. In essence, the advice is similar to what you hear in every profession – build contacts and solid relationships to form a strong foundation.