Nintendo makes the Switch an extremely exciting place for gamers and developers.
By Tom Marks
There has been a massive wave of indie and support for the Nintendo Switch. Everyone wants every game to come on Switch, and this desire is shared by many developers. But Switch did not just become one of the best places to create new games – we spoke to a number of independent developers featured in this week's Nindie Direct, and all paid tribute to Nintendo for doing so -this way.
If you ask Kirk Scott, editor-developer relationship manager for Nintendo of America (and the full-on Nindie guy), you will not think that what they are doing is such a big deal. "I think what Nintendo is doing specifically to support independent developers, it's just to make us more available," Scott said. It sounds simple, but Scott explained that an entire team was dedicated to researching, improving, and supporting major independent games – and that the active support they provided is, in fact, very important.
After announcing Cuphead's arrival on Switch next month, Jared Moldenhauer of StudioMDHR told me that the process of working with Nintendo was "very nice" and was going smoothly. "We can not do more with so many games coming out now," said Moldenhauer, "but it's nice to see how much effort [Nintendo] put in support [indies] as much as it is humanly possible. "
"[Nintendo] see the innovation in the games, and they love the creation and the artistic process and want to show them. – Lindsey Rostal, Timberline Studio
Timberline Studio has also collaborated with Nintendo to announce its first game, The Red Lantern, during Direct as well. The director of the game, Lindsey Rostal, said the same way that Nintendo only supported. "They see innovation in games," said Rostal, "and they love the creative and the artistic process and want to show them." This support is also tangible, as Rostal explained. [indie devs] In interviews, it is really important to know that you benefit from this support. "
Chris Lee, of Netflix, once again echoed the fact that Nintendo had provided considerable support to Stranger Things 3: The Game and that it was "amazing" to work with them. David Pottinger, CEO of BonusXP, developer of Stranger Things 3, said that part of this positive experience is that they "facilitate access to the platform" and that the innate benefits of the Switch, such as mobility and ease of cooperation attract more third-party developers to the switch, even if their raw power is not as great as that of other consoles.
As Switch eShop grows, Nintendo has miraculously managed to maintain a level of quality associated with the "Nindie" indication – a mark of both Pottinger and Rostal resembling the former "Seal of Quality". Lee explained that "people will come in [the eShop] and know that everything available there has been filtered and organized, "also noting that for other platforms," in the absence of filter, the discoverability of the filter becomes a huge problem. "
This is a sentiment shared by Rostal and Moldenhauer as well, which seems extremely relevant at a time when Steam opted for a less restrictive solution, which resulted in scandals and usability issues. Pottinger's explanation that Nintendo did not suffer the same fate despite the tidal wave of games that come on Switch is quite simple: "One of the ways that Nintendo maintains quality when you watch the games they bring to Switch and the games that they promote is an honest effort.
"Nintendo is the type of company that believes in independent games." – Jared Moldenhauer, StudioMDHR
"It just takes effort," Pottinger repeated. "You can not get good results without it." Scott tells me that Nintendo's Nindie team "will actively seek quality content and talented developers" at any time, and that it's vital to find the right hardware to evolve in Nintendo Direct. good timing and "a lot of hard work from our team".
Rostal said that she thought that Scott and his team members "sincerely loved" finding and raising games that might otherwise be overlooked, and that she thought they "are also proud to find the rough diamond only to make a business-scale ad. "And while previous systems such as the Xbox 360 or the PS Vita have certainly offered considerable support to freelancers, but it and Moldenhauer seem to think that Nintendo's passion is different this time around.
"You have to trust a company that is looking for and finding a way to put in place the most interesting games and put them in the hands of the players," Moldenhauer said, noting that "Nintendo is the kind of company that Believes in Indie Games. "Rostal said that" the indie enthusiasm around the Switch is something that we all rallied to as an industry ".
Moldenhauer said that since the Switch is both a mobile device and a console, players are not forced to choose, which gives "a better opportunity for small developers to play their games more and more often". The hybrid nature of the Switch was mentioned. many developers, and it's not hard to see the fun that explodes online every time a traditional console-based series such as Wolfenstein or Mortal Kombat becomes suddenly playable, making it a system as attractive to player developers.
"It's definitely part of the to-do list that your game has been released on a Nintendo device." – David Pottinger, BonusXP
But it's not just Nintendo's hardware and development support that makes the Switch one of the best places to create new games, it's also nostalgia for Nintendo at work. All the developers I talked to mentioned this type of intangible enthusiasm for the idea of playing on a Nintendo system. Scott said that doing things like putting Hollow Knight in their E3 Direct last year "gives hope to two-man teams," and this hope clearly touches on the deeper idea that these two-man teams with Nintendo guarantee it.
Pottinger said that hearing their match as a Nindie was one of the best times he has spent with his team. Not only for the seal of approval that it represented, but also because "it's definitely a part of the to-do list that your game was released on a Nintendo device." Similarly, Stosal stated that "you are going to be a Nindie, unbelievable. "
Moldenhauer had the same enthusiasm. "Something like that, that's what you dream of," he explained. "Just like a child who knows the old gods of the video game of Sega and Nintendo, you must finally be on the one who is still alive, nothing like this experience." Many independent developers were now the players who played on Nintendo systems even before PlayStation or Xbox existed, and this nostalgic magical feeling persists decades later.
Rostal specifically stated that "many of us have grown up playing these games on Nintendo, and we have always dreamed of being part of that. She went on to say that "there is this feeling that I want to have my because my childhood was there and that they continue to build it for new childhoods." "Get the stamp Nindie does not boil down to Nintendo's marketing power and developer support, it's further evidence that, as Scott has said, there is hope for smaller teams .
Scott said the switch "just creates a way for independent developers to launch their games," and that it's up to the independent developer to decide how that changes the industry. In his opinion, Nintendo has only a few things to do here. fundamentally new or revealing within the industry. But the developers we talked to made it clear that even though it was up to them to create new games, the veracity and passion that Nintendo has for raising independent games on Switch are making the same waves.
Tom Marks is the Associate Editor of Critics at IGN and the resident pie maker. He is ready for everything on Switch. You can follow him on Twitter.