Case study 1: Gravitronix
Three schoolmates longed to make games and finally got the chance thanks to WiiWare. “It wasn’t until the Wii and the rumour of original downloadable content that we moved toward becoming a development house,” explains Medaverse CEO Jesse Lowther. And their first game? Gravitronix. Lowther explains the game as “twisting the remote or Nunchuk to move your ‘gravity platform’ within your territory, and using a limited but constantly recharging energy beam to stop projectiles launched at your territory while trying to launch projectiles at the territories of your opponents.”
The neatness of the set-up is clearly the multiplayer action. “Gravitronix will be a multiplayer game at heart, with eight-player support on one console,” Lowther says. “Four players holding remotes and four holding Nunchuks.” You’ll be able to try it yourself for a mere 500 points. Why the low price? “We’re a completely unknown developer,” says Lowther. “No one has any clue about what to expect from our games. As such, we decided that anyone willing to patronise us should only need to do so at 500 Wii points.” What a nice man.
Above: A bunch of random crap you'll see floating around in Gravitronix
Case study 2: Bruiser and Scratch
Developer: Steel Penny Games
Out: Q2 2008
Typical. You’re minding your own business in the woods and before you know it, you’ve fallen into a strange portal. Happens to the best of us. What lies through the gateway? According to Steel Penny Games’ founder, president and ‘technical guy’ Jason Hughes: “A puzzle game. Not a huge drawn-out adventure, just something fun to play for a few minutes or for a few hours, depending on your determination.” Though the game is single-player, Hughes says that, “From what I’ve observed, anyone in the room at the time can’t help but become involved, so in a sense it’s a viral local multiplayer game, yet only requires a single controller.”
Of most interest, however, is Hughes’ desire to create a WiiWare franchise. He notes that, “Making the game good comes first, having a story to tell comes a close second,” but Steel Penny “hope to produce a game that has enough story to give life to the characters [Bruiser the dog and Scratch the cat] outside the confines of a puzzle game, so players would look forward to seeing them in another type of game.” Could Bruiser and Scratch be the faces of WiiWare?