With so many independent developers looking to the Wii U as a viable platform for their games, someone needs to be able to report back and offer guidance to the rest on what they learned from the experience. For this cause, we decided to make a new Post-Mortem series where we ask indie developers to share their experiences and what they learned throughout the development process on Wii U. Our first developer in line is Michael Aschenbrenner of RCMADIAX, who is a super guy and always great to collaborate with. He recently released Blok Drop U on the Wii U eShop. You can find our review right here. Thanks again to Michael for taking the time to share his learning experiences with other developers.
Do you feel like you got better at making games through your experience in making Blok Drop U? What lessons do you feel you learned which you can take with you?
Absoutely! Like I have said before, I came into this as a novice before making BLOK DROP U. Everyday I am learning something new about the business and feel like I will never stop learning. The most important lesson I have learned is you have to be open to criticism, even the negative. Use that criticism to help sculpt your next project and so on.
What are you doing differently for development of Super Robo Mouse now that you\’ve completed your first experience with Wii U game development?
Now that BLOK DROP U is released, at least in America, I will be taking my time with SUPER ROBO MOUSE. I feel that maybe I rushed releasing BLOK DROP U, and this was due to some financial reasons surrounding the costs involved with development. With that out the door, I can focus on making sure SUPER ROBO MOUSE is a quality experience from the start, without relying on promising content or feature updates.
If you could go back, would you have done anything differently in making Blok Drop U? If yes, what?
In hindsight, yes! I would of most likely pushed to get an additional 20 stages out at launch.
What game dev business strategy lessons did you learn from your first endeavor as a indie game development studio?
Start small! I had exactly $0 to develop BLOK DROP U with, other than the cost of the development hardware. As you can tell in the game, I had to make all the graphics myself, and licensed the music track from a composer on SoundHound.com. Starting with SUPER ROBO MOUSE, I am working with professional artists and composers to give my games a premium feel.
Was it difficult to use the Wii U API? What was your experience with the Wii U when it came to the technical and programming side of the development?
For me, no. I use the Construct 2 engine by Scirra, so the engine takes care of all the coding for me. That\’s not to say there wasn\’t times were a struggled to get something to work. Even now working on SUPER ROBO MOUSE there is much I am learning about the engine and how to create games in different ways.
What tips do you have for indie developers who are considering making the move from PC or mobile to Wii U? What can they expect?
The most important thing to remember is content. Console gamers are used to having full experiences and don\’t react kindly if they feel that all your offering is a mobile port. Try and incorporate some of the Wii U\’s unique features.
What tips would you offer to developers about to make their first game?
When thinking up your game idea, if you say the words \”This game is like XXXX\”, then you should scrap that idea and start over. Come up with something that no one else is doing and you will find success. Also, don\’t overwhelm yourself. I started with BLOK DROP U because the concept was simple, and the execution was as simple as I could get.
If someone is looking to learn how to program games especially to be able to make a Wii u game, how would you guide them on their journey? What resources would help to make their learning curve easier?
It depends. If you have a passion for programming, then I would go the traditional route and code it out by hand. In my case, I hate to program, but love to create. So I chose the Construct 2 engine by Scirra. Construct 2 is a fantastic game engine that doesn\’t require traditional game programming and instead is more of a WYSIWYG editor with a twist.
One more thing I wanted to add. Nothing that I am working on now would be possible without the support of everyone that has purchased and continues to purchase BLOK DROP U. I look forward to a long relationship with Nintendo to develop unique experiences.