Nintendo breaks down barriers for indie game makers

Super Mario
You don't have to be as big as Mario

Nintendo has been known to be quite selective about sharing its games. In fact the whole company has always been intent on remaining shrouded in mystery, which makes it difficult if you're an indie developer trying to create a game for the Mario masters. Oddly enough, Nintendo says that's actually not so.

According to Nintendo's Dan Adelman, the company has "always been friendly with indie devs."

During a presentation at GDC, Adelman detailed the process of joining the Nintendo Web Framework, the company's dev program for the Wii U platform, and pointed out that several steps have been simplified to make it easier to join.

Notably, working from home is now an option compared to previously when the company required an office setting to be a Nintendo developer. Adelman said that in the end, this no longer made sense and caused many would-be devs to purchase office space only to sell it once they were in the program.

Step 1

The process of creating games for the Wii U is similar to that of Sony's developer program.

Unity Pro is free since Nintendo covers all the licensing fees but a dev kit still costs money. There are of course the usual legal actions that must be taken, making the game, getting it checked and marketed. Like Sony, Nintendo will also assist in promotions, DLC, game updates and community management.


Teslagrad, an indie game made with Unity for Nintendo

Also similar to the PlayStation maker, Nintendo sounds adamant about helping devs join up and create games. The program also seems like its gaining more steam with the Nintendo eShop stating that it has "over 1,000 new, classic and indie" games for the Wii U and the 3DS.

Despite recent numbers about the lack of dev interest in the Wii U, maybe the addition of indie games will help boost the ailing company more than its proposed health initiative.