US video game outlet GameStop has confirmed that it plans to get involved with early game development to provide users with exclusive GameStop only content. The company will be helping out on a number of popular titles which may include GameStop offering exclusive gameplay.
Kyoto NP is reporting that Nintendo’s new development building is finally open for business. The building located near Minami-Ku, Kyoto will be where Nintendo hardware and software is produced. The company also said that it will promote the product development and initiative of next-generation game consoles. The total cost of the building is around 19 billion yen. Here’s what Nintendo president Satoru Iwata had to say, “We’ll be interacting more deeply with hardware development, but we’ll also be able to develop integrated software.”
Developer Hitoshi Yamagami has told fans that Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem development is going really well. Yamagami says that Code Name: STEAM hasn’t impacted development of Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem and the game is right on schedule.
“We’re right on schedule, but if I answer in any more detail I will lose my job, so please have mercy on me,”
Jade Raymond, the Canadian video game executive and the Managing Director of Ubisoft Toronto, has revealed that the company currently has five new games in development. Raymond wouldn’t specify what the titles were, but one of them has to be the next Assassin’s Creed. Two of the games are co-productions with other gaming studios, which sounds interesting.
No one left any the wiser as to what’s up at Ubisoft Toronto, only that there are five titles being developed there right now and that two of them are co-productions with other gaming studios. Continue your wild speculation, gamers.
“There are definitely a lot of plates spinning,” confirmed Raymond, best known for producing the wildly popular Assassin’s Creed series for Ubisoft’s Montreal office. “None of them have been announced.”
Nintendo Japan has completed work on its new development studio which is located in Kyoto, Japan. Japanese gaming publication Inside Games recently took some snaps of the new studio which looks very similar to Nintendo’s headquarters. Nintendo says that they built the structure to centralize and strengthen Nintendo’s game development. You can check out all the images, here.
Thanks, N-Dub Nation
Super Smash Bros creator Masahiro Sakurai has addressed a fan’s concerns in his semi-weekly column for Weekly Famitsu. The fan asked why Japanese games supposedly take longer to develop than western games. The fan asked the following question: “It appears that the time it takes to develop a game differs between Japan and other countries, so why do people say that Japan takes a lot of time on development?” Here’s what Sakurai had to say on the matter.
“Whether it’s domestic or international, development speed is a case-by-case scenario, so I feel this may be a biased opinion. I think the Yakuza team is quite fast considering the scale of their games, and some foreign games can take over 5 years from initial proposal to the actual product release.”
“However, the fact that someone asks this does seem to indicate that it’s not completely unfounded. If I were to guess, it seems that foreign studios have the appearance of a stricter product schedule and organization. Then again, in some cases, even if the development period is long, the development staff can be small, so the entire picture is a mystery.”
“Also, the time between announcement and release does not necessarily equal the development period. In most cases, when development actually started is never publicly announced.”
“In any case, whether it’s cost-effective or not is what’s important. Whether the development period is long or short, the real questions is if the man-hours spent can bring about a profit or results. Of course, this is also a case-by-case scenario.”
Respected technology publication Digital Foundry has shed some light on the experience of developing on Wii U at the time of the launch. There’s a whole host of interesting information contained within the article so it’s well worth giving the full thing a read. Here’s some interesting titbits from the feature including the difficulties third-party developers faced when developing for the system.
“So a basic comparison/calculation makes the Wii U look, on paper at least, significantly slower than an Xbox 360 in terms of raw CPU.”
“Having worked on other hardware consoles, I suppose that we were rather spoilt by having mature toolchains that integrated nicely with our development environment. Wii U on the other hand seemed to be trying at every turn to make it difficult to compile and run any code. Nintendo had provided an integration of their development tools into Visual Studio – the de facto standard for development – but it didn’t work, not even close.”
“After about a week of chasing we heard back from the support team that they had received an answer from Japan, which they emailed to us. The reply was in the form of a few sentences of very broken English that didn’t really answer the question that we had asked in the first place. So we went back to them asking for clarification, which took another week or so to come back. After the second delay we asked why it was taking to long for replies to come back from Japan, were they very busy? The local support team said no, it’s just that any questions had to be sent off for translation into Japanese, then sent to the developers, who replied and then the replies were translated back to English and sent back to us. With timezone differences and the delay in translating, this usually took a week!”
“At some point in this conversation we were informed that it was no good referencing Live and PSN as nobody in their development teams used those systems (!) so could we provide more detailed explanations for them?”
The latest demonstration from the Game Developer’s Conference in Europe showcased the toolkit for Unity, the engine behind Nintendo’s developer-friendly Web Framework. As we reported recently, Nintendo’s Web Framework is a program that allows developers to quickly and easily port games from other platforms to the Wii U. Today’s Unity demonstration provided an in-depth look at the process for porting games to the console.
Wii U’s Unity is integrated with the systems many hardware devices, including the gamepad, Pro Controller, and Wii Remote to access Unity’s many functions. This provides developers with an intuitive process for customizing games directly to the Wii U. Among the many unique specs for Unity on Wii U are “DX10 level graphics, deferred rendering, GFX output support on the Wii U GamePad,” according to Polygon. The toolkit is even free for developers who register to become licensed with Nintendo, making the process for creating games on Wii U extremely accessible to almost anyone with the will and ability to do so.
The first title to use the new Unity toolkit is Wooden Sen’Sey, a demo of which was on display at the GDC and was rumored to have been ported over in only two days. By streamlining game development for Wii U, Nintendo hopes to appease calls from gamers who have decried the low number of must-have games for the console, while curbing the system’s poor sales. No release date has been confirmed for Wooden Sen’Sey at press time.
Legendary games designer Shigeru Miyamoto says that Wii U video game development actually requires twice the human resources than before. Miyamoto explained that the teams have struggled to adapt to the HD era, and a result a number of software titles were delayed. However, Miyamoto says that Nintendo is almost out of this phase and are creating an easier development approach.
“When it comes to the scale of software development, Wii U with HD graphics requires about twice the human resources than before. Please allow me to explain that we may have underestimated the scale of this change and as a result, the overall software development took more time than originally anticipated just as we tried to polish the software at the completion phase of development. However, we are almost out of this phase, and we are also trying to create something unique utilizing an easier development approach called “Nintendo Web Framework.”