The Ouya Experience: What game developers think so far
A little over a year ago, Ouya launched its widly-successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, capturing the enthusiasm of thousands, with promises of an open platform, affordability and a simple game console experience for the living room.
Ouya has been available at retail for a few weeks, so we wanted to get a very early idea of how Ouya is fulfilling its promise of a video game revolution. We asked Ouya developers about their experiences with the console so far, including game sales and development support. Here’s what they had to say.
Rami Ismail, Super Crate Box (Vlambeer)
It’s an open development platform that is accessible to pretty much every developer. There’s no way Vlambeer isn’t going to support something like that.
Eric Froemling, BombSquad
I’d been porting BombSquad to Android/iOS with the idea that I’d release it once I got networked multiplayer added (which is still an ongoing process). I already had local multiplayer in the game, however, and because Ouya is so conducive to that type of play I decided to go ahead and jump on the opportunity to be an Ouya launch title.
Ryan Wiemeyer, Organ Trail (The Men Who Wear Many Hats)
We originally had no plans to bring our game to Ouya, but a friend of ours who was eager to try out the development side of the system asked us if his team could port it over for us. So we did. Otherwise… probably would not have, even though I backed the Kickstarter. I thought of it as buying a toy. I would have probably dicked around with porting, but I didn’t want to dip back into our code to port the thing.
Vlambeer’s Super Crate Box
E McNeill, Bombball
I only made Bombball because Ouya sponsored a game jam. That gave me a much-needed deadline, plus a good excuse to finally make a spectator-oriented local multiplayer game. Then, I only developed the prototype into a full release because it got formally recognized in that game jam. Without the Ouya team’s encouragement, I don’t think Bombball ever would have happened.
Adam Spragg, Hidden in Plain Sight
My game was originally written for the Xbox Live Indie Game platform. My game is local-multiplayer only, and when I saw Julie [Uhrman, Ouya CEO]’s original Kickstarter video, it really struck a chord with me. I love couch-multiplayer gaming, and I loved the indie spirit of the Ouya. So that sparked my interest. It also was also free to sign up as a developer and release a game. And then when Monogame released their update to support Ouya, all the pieces were in place to make it free and easy for me. That’s important.
Shay Pierce, Get on Top (Ouya port of Bennett Foddy’s game)
I realized that more human beings NEEDED to play Get On Top! Like all of Foddy’s games, it’s awesome… but it’s a Flash game, which means 1) there’s no easy way to play it with gamepads, and 2) there’s no good way to sell the game. The Ouya solves both of these problems, and the system always seemed perfect for simple local-multiplayer games. This was also a great “test-run” for me, as I have another game that I plan to bring to the Ouya someday; porting and launching this one was great experience.
Joe Albrethsen, DubWars (Mura Interactive)
As a brand new indie company we saw Ouya as an opportunity to get a game out in front of an audience, both consumer and interested business parties. We knew if we could develop for this new console and have something ready for release it would bring about something to help put our company on the map. We did treat Ouya as a stepping stone from the begging and did not view it as the end platform for our success.