RCMADIAX has fast made a name for them — wait, himself — among Wii U owners. This one-man development team not only has BLOK DROP U releasing exclusively to the Wii U in the next few weeks, but he has gone one step further in announcing three more games coming to the console in the future.
I decided to talk to developer Michael Aschenbrenner to find out exactly why he chose to support the Wii U when so many developers out there neglect this potential-spurting box of goodness.
Who are RCMADIAX and what games have you created before?
My name is Michael Aschenbrenner, born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and I am the sole member of RCMADIAX. Growing up, I owned just about every Nintendo console on launch day from SNES to Wii U. I would have to say my favourite console and game of all time is Nintendo GameCube and Wave Race: Blue Storm. I choose to work alone because none of my friends are into development and sometimes, I can be a control freak! The only other development experience I have is an iOS game I released in 2012. It was a terrible experience and turned me off game development for some time.
BLOK DROP U is your first Wii U game. What exactly is it?
BLOK DROP U is a simple, yet challenging, physics-based puzzle game exclusively for Wii U. Your goal is to guide the red blok safely to rest on any of the normal platforms by tapping and destroying the grey bloks. A number of different obstacles, such as open holes, blades, bounce bloks, and more will try to destroy your red blok. Players can pick which set of stages they would like to play or begin with the basics and continue all the way through to the end. The game has been in development since I got accepted as a Wii U developer in September 2013.
How many levels will feature in the game?
At launch, the game will include thirty stages. I plan to release updates throughout 2014 of twenty stages in Q2/Q3 and thirty stages in Q4, bringing the total to eighty stages!
You\’ve announced your second project, SUPER ROBO MOUSE. What can players expect from this game?
SUPER ROBO MOUSE is a game in which you, as the player, control a robotic mouse whose main goal is to go from level to level collecting \”Titanium Cheese.\” The idea for SUPER ROBO MOUSE came to me around December 2013 while I was finishing up BLOK DROP U. Development of the title has only recently taken off within the last week or so. I am currently working with a very talented artist on the look of SUPER ROBO MOUSE.
Are you planning a similar approach to additional levels with this game or perhaps a multiplayer mode?
The exact number of levels in this title should be around fifty or so. Stages in this game will be much bigger than BLOK DROP U and could take upwards of an hour to complete some of the mazes. At this time, the title is single-player only, but anything is possible before now and release.
There are a lot of indie titles heading to the Wii U. Have you considered making use of any of the consoles unique features to help the games stand out?
My first title, BLOK DROP U, was a simple game to get my feet wet and SUPER ROBO MOUSE will take it much further. My favorite feature of the Wii U is the second screen and my two current projects use it only in the sense of duplicating what you see on TV. I would love to integrate Miiverse into all my titles, but I am still experimenting with that feature. As of now, BLOK DROP U and SUPER ROBO MOUSE are single-player experiences, although that may change as my skills increase.
Let\’s talk about release dates. When can we get our hands on these games?
BLOK DROP U has been submitted to NOA for testing and should have a release soon. SUPER ROBO MOUSE is looking at a Q2 2014 release, but that can change at any time.
The Wii U has had a hard time of late. Why did you decide to bring your games exclusively to Wii U?
Nintendo was the only console manufacturer giving unknown game designers a chance. It also helps that, up until recently, Nintendo consoles have been the only game machines which I would purchase and play games on. I love that Nintendo does something different with each of their machines, which usually leads to others following suit. They are industry leaders in that regard.
How did you find the process of becoming an approved developer?
I found the entire process very simple. It was during GDC 2013 is when Nintendo had opened up applications for web developers to apply for Wii U developer status. I got my call around September 2013 and have been toying around with ideas ever since.
Once development is complete, what\’s on the cards next for RCMADIAX?
It may be some time before development of SUPER ROBO MOUSE is complete. I do have ideas for two additional titles and two BLOK DROP U updates to get finished this year. My plate is rather full at the moment, but if 2014 is successful, then I plan on continuing development for Wii U well into 2015 and beyond.