Third party developer details frustrating experience of creating games for Wii U


An anonymous third-party developer, who claims to have produced "one of the better" third-party launch titles for the Wii U, has written a detailed account of the difficulties involved in developing a game for Nintendo's latest console.

While many of the issues can be chalked up to working with pre-launch hardware, some of the problems appear to arise from Nintendo's rather shocking ignorance of the online offerings of its major competitors.

In an attempt to understand how their game's online capabilities might integrate with the Wii U's network infrastructure, the developers "probed a little deeper and asked how certain scenarios might work with the Mii friends and networking, all the time referencing how Xbox Live and PSN achieve the same thing."

Surprisingly, the developers were told that "it was no good referencing Live and PSN as nobody in their development teams used those systems (!)"

Excellent sales may have smoothed over such problems, but the developer said that that they would be "lucky to make back all of the money [they] had invested in making the game in the first place."

Although Nintendo has recently made a point of reaching out to third-party developers, it seems clear that Nintendo is still not yet able to provide the same level of support expected from the likes of Microsoft and Sony. If things don't improve quickly, we can likely expect to see more stories detailing the poor sales of Nintendo's latest system.

Source: EurogamerImage via Nintendo

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Maybe not everyone has an interest in online gaming? I would much rather have a solid, polished single player experience then play any sort of online multiplayer content.

este said,
Maybe not everyone has an interest in online gaming? I would much rather have a solid, polished single player experience then play any sort of online multiplayer content.

Me too! I simply don't desire an online experience from my game consoles.

este said,
Maybe not everyone has an interest in online gaming? I would much rather have a solid, polished single player experience then play any sort of online multiplayer content.

IMO, the Wii U actually has a better online system than all other Nintendo consoles, 3DS included. Unfortunately, that's not saying much considering Nintendo consoles in general don't have that good online services.

I have full respect for Nintendo for creating innovative products. But hoping that there inventions make up for loss in rarw power from the console was a bad move.

Nintendo have really let consumers down, they have such a strong brand that is loved by all ages, i feel like going out and buying Nintendo products i'd never use out of loyalty. Instead i downloaded the Dolphin Emulator which allows Wii games to run at native resolution, and can hook up standard Xbox controller to mimic a wiimote or classic controller and i've got to say the experience is simply amazing, playing supermario galaxy at 1080p or higher is mind blowing and not far off matching modern consoles.. but it makes me sad to think that is what Nintendo could be firing out right now.

In a lot of these articles there are always comments about the Wii-U not being worth it- but there is a (probably small) category of people like me for whom it is a really good investment. That is, ones who never owned the original Wii. My last system was a Gamecube as I could never afford a new system until recently. With this purchase, I not only have several Wii-U games I can play, but the entire library of Wii games, many of which can be purchased inexpensively on Amazon or whatnot for used copies. In addition, my library stocks games for all recent systems (PS3, PS4, Xb360, XbOne, Wii, Wii-U, DS, 3DS, and even some older systems like PS2, XBox, Gamecube). Not a bad deal at all.

Just got a Wii U for Christmas. I don't know about the particulars of this article, but I was shocked at how awful the procedure was to transfer our settings from our Wii to the Wii U. It was probably because the interface sucks. It is agonizingly slow and unintuitive. My kids seem to like it but I was shocked at how crappy the experience was.

what part of the interface sucks cause the OS itself is damn good and once ya start using the Wii U in ways you cant imagine right up front like using the web browser while in a game and the game is paused in the background or using nintendo TV while in game and the TV shows the game is suspended and or posting screenshots to Mii verse is damn nice so many things make it a great epxerance and while the Wii to Wii U trasfer is slow a bit still least you can transfer your stuff

Just a heads up, be careful with digital purchases too. I've heard stories of people losing their content due to a faulty unit, and the digital purchases being tied to the console as opposed to your account. (which begs the question why you create an account to begin with) Supposedly, Nintendo can transfer it from one console to the next, but why the heck you'd need them to do it is beyond me.

Footnote: Only going by the experiences that I've read at least.

http://www.ign.com/boards/thre...ecret-developers.453688639/


if you go over to that threads many users bashing the article for well being BS cause that is what it is . ther are many developers developing on Wii U who dont have issues with the system and we have some games on teh system that trump the Ps360 version in graphics and performance better then those other 2 system
wel also have the Project cars developers stating they will and PC will unlock hidden power of the Wii U and the fact PC is not coming to anything other then Wii U PC PS4 and such


so to sum up the eurogamer article this so called Dev is just lazy

I don't understand why Nintendo fans are in such denial. Like it or not this article and this developer have a lot of complaints that many people have voiced about Nintendo and the Wii U. Nowhere in the article did they say the Wii U is an OMG horrible system. They said it has its problems and when compared against the new system it gets blown out of the water that's just a fact.

The same person also gave Nintendo credit for saying they will work magic on the system but unfortunately everybody is not Nintendo and can't develop on a system like the creators of that system. Personally I've always believed that Nintendo withholds some information about their consoles just so a third party developer can't make better games than them since Nintendo makes their money off their software sales and they are in essence competing with those same companies.

Stop calling developers lazy who run into problems with a system that could have been better designed. Stop making excuses for Nintendo.

http://gaminrealm.com/2013/08/...ecoming-clear/#comment-9636


from the areticle:

In earlier news, Teku Studios, the indie developers behind Candle, confirmed that they will be bringing the game to the Wii U and will be “adapting” it's Direct X11 features for the Wii U:

“We will ADAPT our DirectX11 features to Wii U, not that it supports them natively. However, we are very happy with Nintendo and its console, and we think that it well deserves that extra effort.”

So Direct X11-equivalent features can be easily adapted to the Wii U, it just takes some extra time and effort (who would've thought?). This news of course outraged Nintendo fans due to Square Enix's reasoning for not bringing the much-deserved Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV to the Wii U was that they can't port over DX11 features over to the system. If a small indie developer such as Teku Studios can “adapt” DX11 features for the Wii U, why can't Square?

And then we have the report that the Unity Engine for Wii U runs native DX10 features straight-out-the-box. For those who may not know, the PS3 and 360 only supported DX9. During Gamescom, Nintendo confirmed a list of features and tools that developers have access to when developing a Unity game for Wii U:

notuptome2004 said,
http://gaminrealm.com/2013/08/...ecoming-clear/#comment-9636


from the areticle:

In earlier news, Teku Studios, the indie developers behind Candle, confirmed that they will be bringing the game to the Wii U and will be “adapting” it's Direct X11 features for the Wii U:

“We will ADAPT our DirectX11 features to Wii U, not that it supports them natively. However, we are very happy with Nintendo and its console, and we think that it well deserves that extra effort.”

So Direct X11-equivalent features can be easily adapted to the Wii U, it just takes some extra time and effort (who would've thought?). This news of course outraged Nintendo fans due to Square Enix's reasoning for not bringing the much-deserved Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV to the Wii U was that they can't port over DX11 features over to the system. If a small indie developer such as Teku Studios can “adapt” DX11 features for the Wii U, why can't Square?

And then we have the report that the Unity Engine for Wii U runs native DX10 features straight-out-the-box. For those who may not know, the PS3 and 360 only supported DX9. During Gamescom, Nintendo confirmed a list of features and tools that developers have access to when developing a Unity game for Wii U:

Specifically what features they are talking about, as we are talking about hardware capabilities, not the actual DX framework. The Wii U uses OpenGL 4.x which mimics many DirectX 10/11 features.

Often when developers talk about DX11, they are referring to tessellation or other specific features.

The GPU supports features found in DX10 and DX11, so there is no reason they shouldn't be using various DX10/11 'level' technologies depending on GPU performance.

(DX10 originally was supposed to have several DX11 features to bring it in parity with the Xbox 360, which also supports some DX11 features. NVidia's 8xxx GPU at the time didn't support the DX11 level features, which is why these features were deprecated for DX10 and Vista.)

*Slight correction to the DX capabilities of the Xbox 360 you mention. It used a 'superset' of DirectX that was between DX10 and DX11. Remember its GPU was the first generation of unified shaders and UMA/DMA which was the base requirement for DX10, and also supported features like tessellation that wouldn't get PC developer parity until DX11.


Having the 'capability' to use DX11 features doesn't mean a developer can use them based on performance and how their engine was designed. If it is an OpenGL 2.x engine with 4.x effects strapped on, it won't have the power to handle the extra effects. (The same is true when you see a DX9 engine with DX11 effects strapped on.)

Less realistic game designs can get away with DX11 features easily, where a high polygon count scene that is photorealistic would be hard as the GPU is already being pushed. This is why you might see smaller developers implement the features.

the fact that most engines nearly all of them support DX10 and DX11 feature sets from the get go means it wont be an issue and since the GPU in the Wii U is DX10/11 subset based GPU it will then mean Developers are usinga cutsom graphics API that allows them to use any feature set that the GPU is able to use openGL4x included features and above and since they are adpating DX11 based features to the system it means the Wii U hands down is a very capable peace of hardware


As for the Xbox360 GPU yes it was the first unified shader based architecture but it was based on Directx 9C but had the ability to some some custom features such as tessellation but no developer used that feature because of performance on the DX9 hardware . the PS3 same way but older hardware so the Wii U hands down beats the crap out of both Ps3 and 360 in hardware CPU speed isant everything but the GPU is a huge leap above those 2

notuptome2004 said,
the fact that most engines nearly all of them support DX10 and DX11 feature sets from the get go means it wont be an issue and since the GPU in the Wii U is DX10/11 subset based GPU it will then mean Developers are usinga cutsom graphics API that allows them to use any feature set that the GPU is able to use openGL4x included features and above and since they are adpating DX11 based features to the system it means the Wii U hands down is a very capable peace of hardware


As for the Xbox360 GPU yes it was the first unified shader based architecture but it was based on Directx 9C but had the ability to some some custom features such as tessellation but no developer used that feature because of performance on the DX9 hardware . the PS3 same way but older hardware so the Wii U hands down beats the crap out of both Ps3 and 360 in hardware CPU speed isant everything but the GPU is a huge leap above those 2

The Xenos in the XB360 was designed to use DX9, but this is essentially running translated, as DX9 is not how the GPU instructions operate natively.

It is a 'superset' of DX9c, not a 'subset'.

Since the framework was designed before DX10 was created, and some things changed for the PC version of DX10, it was less confusing to just call it a 'superset' DirectX version.

It is closer to DX10, and even more advanced that DX10 as it supports several DX11 features, even GP-GPU operations like DirectCompute features.

The important part of the 'feature' set of the hardware is not the 'framework' supported, but what feature level the hardware was designed around.

Microsoft wanted DX10/Vista to have feature parity with the Xbox 360, but lacking 'hardware' features in the NVidia GPUs of the time and first generation AMD Unified Shader PC GPUs fell short of the Xenos in the XB360.

PC developers couldn't seamlessly port to the XB360 until Windows 7 and DX11 was released, as the PC version couldn't implement 'all' the DirectX 'superset' features the XB360 offered. (Which is far more than DX9.)

When talking DX9/DX10/DX11, we need to really separate away from framework features and hardware requirements to run the framework.

This matters more in terms of performance and 'easily' handling things that a native DX9 GPU simply cannot. The XB360 GPU was able to use concepts and features that we now know as DX10/DX11 and not incur more work.

This is why the 'truly' DX9 PS3 GPU simply could not match the XB360 GPU features, and developers would give up visuals or try to shove them through the Cell processor to 'mimic' visual features the XB360 GPU inherently could handle.

The PS3 GPU is 'truly' DX9 generation hardware as it was designed with a dual VS/PS shader and didn't have the DX10 generation BUS/DMA transfer technologies that the XB360 GPU does.


As for the Wii U, the GPU is more powerful than the PS3 GPU or the XB360 GPU. However, based on what information is available, it is not a vast increase, and in some operations might come up slower depending on how it is getting clocked.

The 'problem' with the Wii U is the PowerPC CPU clock speed. It essentially has the same core model and the same out of order parallelism (multi-thread) as the XB360 CPU, but is clocked significantly slower.

In modern gaming and modern GPU, more games are CPU 'bound' than they are GPU bound when dealing with sub 1080p resolutions. This hurts the Wii U and puts it significantly behind the XB1 and PS4.

(GPU hardware 'features' are a bit hard to nail down. As you and I doing, we are using the DirectX hardware requirements to define what generation/feature set the hardware meets. This doesn't always fit exactly. There are features in the current generation of AMD/NVidia GPUs that don't fall in the DX11 hardware requirements. There are also features missing, and why NVidia's latest offerings are not DX11.2 compliant, where AMDs are.)

macrosslover said,
I don't understand why Nintendo fans are in such denial. Like it or not this article and this developer have a lot of complaints that many people have voiced about Nintendo and the Wii U. Nowhere in the article did they say the Wii U is an OMG horrible system. They said it has its problems and when compared against the new system it gets blown out of the water that's just a fact.

The same person also gave Nintendo credit for saying they will work magic on the system but unfortunately everybody is not Nintendo and can't develop on a system like the creators of that system. Personally I've always believed that Nintendo withholds some information about their consoles just so a third party developer can't make better games than them since Nintendo makes their money off their software sales and they are in essence competing with those same companies.

Stop calling developers lazy who run into problems with a system that could have been better designed. Stop making excuses for Nintendo.

The article above in question anyways is very old information from Pre-Launch of the Wii U those Dev kits at the time was early on stuff eurogamer just decided to dredge up old old information from 1 developer back before E3 2012 because they could this areticle is not based on current Dev kits as well if you have kept up you have many many ddevelopers coming out calling this article BS and well they are right the fact that this article does not allude you to the fact this is based on Early on Development of the Wii U is well crappy.


But anyways this is old stuff that eurogamer only resurrected to stir Negativity

First, it sounds harsh ask for a help citing the competitor.

Also, this news sounds like Nintendo were the sore loser of the console war and it is the opposite. 3ds is selling more than hotcakes (the last week, 3ds sold the same than ps4 and xbox 1 together) but, more importantly, Wii U and 3ds are consoles focused in first-party games. Nintendo is a game focused company where Microsoft and Sony, the video game console is only part of the business.

Brony said,
First, it sounds harsh ask for a help citing the competitor.

Also, this news sounds like Nintendo were the sore loser of the console war and it is the opposite. 3ds is selling more than hotcakes (the last week, 3ds sold the same than ps4 and xbox 1 together) but, more importantly, Wii U and 3ds are consoles focused in first-party games. Nintendo is a game focused company where Microsoft and Sony, the video game console is only part of the business.

The 3DS is wholly irrelevant to this conversation and article. The WiiU is a failure and the whole "gaming is only part of the business so X product is inferior" argument is complete nonsense. Microsoft and Sony are as focused on gaming as Nintendo is and quite honestly, probably moreso. If Nintendo were as focused on what the market actually wants (even if they only focused on their market) they'd get their act together. I don't know how you come off of a console that sold over 100 million units in it's lifetime to sell only 5 million in a year and a half. It's pretty pathetic.

And it's not harsh to cite a competitor - that's called good business strategy. You don't compete by ignoring your competitors.

Gerowen said,
I think the N64 was probably Nintendo's last great console.
http://youtu.be/4yL0dLEzutk

You know, as much as I love the N64, it's worth noting that the system had like... 2 RPGs for it between Aidyn Chronicles and Quest 64 I think? Oh, and Ogre Battle! Considering where the SNES stood, the Playstation really seemed to pick up in that category where the SNES left off. I still loved my N64, but that was something that always bothered me, and it never really got better with Nintendo either...

MASTER260 said,

But I really liked the Gamecube...

The GC was colossal failure, it had a mere 450MB extra storage space than the DC did from years prior which meant everything had to be cut down, the 'ethernet multiplayer' was a complete joke and half the features that could have been GREAT were used by 1-2 games, e.g. GBA link cable. Funny how it's implementation on the GC was so god damned awful and sony have got it right with the PS4.

well the Dreamcast was out in late 1999 and the Gamecube was out in 2001 november of that year and while the GC had 1.8gb disc it was still better then what they would have had if they used cartridges

notuptome2004 said,
well the Dreamcast was out in late 1999 and the Gamecube was out in 2001 november of that year and while the GC had 1.8gb disc it was still better then what they would have had if they used cartridges

1.8GB? Err no, it's 1.45GB, and the PS2 and xbox both had DVDs which whitewashed the storage availability of the GC.

n_K said,

The GC was colossal failure, it had a mere 450MB extra storage space than the DC did from years prior which meant everything had to be cut down, the 'ethernet multiplayer' was a complete joke and half the features that could have been GREAT were used by 1-2 games, e.g. GBA link cable. Funny how it's implementation on the GC was so god damned awful and sony have got it right with the PS4.

All of that may be true, but I still amassed a large collection of Gamecube games during the 128 bit generation & a lot of them I really enjoyed.

TBH, I can't really say the same about the Wii U because there's only been a few games I've been interested in getting for the console. When the Gamecube was as old as the Wii U is now, I think there were already much more exciting games that I was able to get...

Also, didn't different Gamecube memory cards contain different amounts of storage from one another? It depended on which memory card you got.

EDIT: Oh, wait, you were talking about the discs, not the memory cards. LOL, silly me.

Edited by MASTER260, Jan 14 2014, 8:17pm :

n_K said,
GC isn't 128-bit, it's 32-bit...
Yes, memory cards ranged in sized from 512KB to 4MB or something.

It had 128-bit graphics...

MASTER260 said,

It had 128-bit graphics...

LOL! Whoever told you that doesn't have a clue what they're talking about, it most certainly DID NOT have a 128 bit architecture, it wasn't even 64 bit. Might have been 32 bit, more likely to have been lower.
Though as I do have a complete gamecube development system and all the SDK for it I could go look sometime and get that info for you.
EDIT: Here you go, 24 bit as expected; http://www.segatech.com/gamecube/overview/

I'm not talking about the architecture.

You know why the N64 was called the, "N64?" Because it had 64-bit graphics.

You do realize everyone refers to the NES era as the, "8-bit era," the SNES era as the, "16-bit era," the N64 era as the, "64-bit era," & the Gamecube era as the, "128-bit era," right?

The architecture has nothing to do with the graphics, mind you.

MASTER260 said,
I'm not talking about the architecture.

You know why the N64 was called the, "N64?" Because it had 64-bit graphics.

You do realize everyone refers to the NES era as the, "8-bit era," the SNES era as the, "16-bit era," the N64 era as the, "64-bit era," & the Gamecube era as the, "128-bit era," right?

The architecture has nothing to do with the graphics, mind you.


It doesn't make one bit of difference what some people refer to things as, it is compeltely inaccurate and incorrect. NES is referred to as 8-bit era because the CPU is 8 bit, SNES because the 6502 derivative CPU is... 16 bits... N64 uses a 64 bit CPU and the gc, believe it or not, uses a 32 bit CPU and 24 bit GPU... Which means it is most definately NOT 128-bit nor a 128-bit era device. There is no 128 bit gaming console, and there won't be for at least 15 years.

I feel Nintendo would be better backing out of the console market and developing accessories and games for Playstation/Xbox.

That and making handheld devices. I don't really see much success gained from the Wii unit but their apps/games aren't that bad

I would like to play that new Mario game on Xbox One. But you know what would be awesome is if Nintendo backed out of the console market at the same time that Sega announces the Dreamcast 2.

Unlikely as it will be, the thought of playing 720/1080 versions of DS-esque Zelda/Mario/Pokémon games on a tablet would be awesome

virtorio said,
I don't want to buy a console to play maybe five games on it over its lifespan.

Me neither. That's why I bought a Wii U instead of wasting money on an Xbox One or Playstation 4.

Lord Method Man said,

Me neither. That's why I bought a Wii U instead of wasting money on an Xbox One or Playstation 4.


Ha, I'm the complete opposite. I bought the Wii U only with the plan to play 4-5 games on it (Zelda and Mario titles)... To be honest the Wii U hardware, lineup, and multiplayer experience are all sub-par to Microsoft's and Sony's offerings.

Note, I have a Xbox One in addition to my Wii U, and I *might* buy the PS4 when it gets a price drop if there are any PS4 exclusives that look interesting.

Enron said,
I would like to play that new Mario game on Xbox One. But you know what would be awesome is if Nintendo backed out of the console market at the same time that Sega announces the Dreamcast 2.

for what?? just because u love microsoft

True, for multiplayer, but their social platform (miiverse) is excellent. Way better than Facebook/twitter integration. The fact that Sony and MS aren't creating their own social platforms is a huge missed opportunity.

Yeah, I really should have mentioned that I meant online games and things like account management (not being able to take your profile from machine to machine, etc).

Geezy said,
True, for multiplayer, but their social platform (miiverse) is excellent. Way better than Facebook/twitter integration. The fact that Sony and MS aren't creating their own social platforms is a huge missed opportunity.

Sony tried that with Home and nobody gave a ****. I can't see separate social platforms taking off on consoles.

benthebear said,
Probably because Sony Home was crap.

Not disagreeing, but that's sort of the point - the social aspect to gaming is online gaming and Microsoft has been doing that excellently for many years, as has Sony. Nintendo, not so much.

Although Nintendo's online platform is lackluster, Miiverse is actually amazing. It's built in to all 1st party games at least and is very active for what it's worth. Nothing at all like PlayStation Home.

Home and miiverse are pretty different, I wouldn't call Home a social networking platform, it was more of a promotional platform.

spenser.d said,

Sony tried that with Home and nobody gave a ****. I can't see separate social platforms taking off on consoles.


Playstation Home is more like Second Life than Miiverse.

Well, given the Japanese culture in group mentality and proudness of their own products, I wouldn't be surprised if they don't bother to study their competitor.

One might ask then what about Sony? They have done a great job in analyzing the competition and trying to keep their edge in the past year or two.

Sony learned the lesson after they got their ass whipped by XBox 360, especially since Microsoft got the smarts to schedule the chip fabrication way ahead of time, causing a year lead time that XBox 360 enjoyed.
Nintendo never got to experience the competition, as their Wii was selling out like hot cakes. So they never had the need to see what the competitions are doing.

Back when I was in Redmond, WA, you could tell Nintendo was doing very well, just by how much physical activities (building expansions, new constructions, land purchases) were there on Nintendo campus. I guess you could say I am a tiny bit surprised that their developers never got to play with XBox 360, considering Microsoft is literally next door to Nintendo in Redmond

Game dev aks: "How to do the microtransactions for my released games?"
Nintendo: "We don't do microtransactions, yet"

Torolol said,
Game dev aks: "How to do the microtransactions for my released games?"
Nintendo: "We don't do microtransactions, yet"

Dev: lets buy Ps4

DLC is more acceptable than micro transactions which seem to just be a faster way of unlocking what's in the game already. I don't enjoy the idea of DLC, but if the game is complete and stands on its own and the DLC is extra challenges then I'm more OK with it, even though I don't buy it some people want that. The way games like Mass Effect 3 or Assassin's Creed 2 do it suck. Skyrim is not bad, there is a gigantic game there that stands on its own. The DLC feels more like expansion then a missing part of the game. So it really depends.