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Making games on the Nintendo?

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#1 shinypixel   Members   -  Reputation: 151


Posted 11 May 2014 - 02:43 PM

A friend said since my mind is set for working with Nintendo, it's better not making PC games as I'm doing now with C++/Win32/OpenGL. He recommended to look at the homebrew kits for making games on the Nintendo, all in hopes to impress the interviewer later on with actual console experience, starting with the GBA or what not. I feel it doesn't matter, but given that consoles and PCs are two different worlds, I thought I'd get your opinion.


#2 Shane C   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1283


Posted 11 May 2014 - 04:59 PM

To me it doesn't matter.


However, you can actually make indie games for the Wii U, using Unity. It may cost up to $3000 for a Wii U development kit, though.

#3 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 31153


Posted 11 May 2014 - 05:36 PM

To make games legitimately, your legitimate games company need to sign a bunch of contracts with Nintendo ;-P

Making homebrew games is hard - probably much harde than actual legitimate development, because instead of having the official hardware, SDKs, documentation and tools, you've got community-made reverse engineered stuff (and retail hardware)...

If you're not already quite an experienced programmer, it will definitely be worthwhile to continue practicing on PC.

Also, FWIW, every console game I've worked on has actually been developed on PC as well.
E.g. When making a Wii-exclusive game, we'd internally develop it to work on both Wii and Windows/D3D (which isn't sold to customers). Most of the staff developed the game using the PC version because it's easier. You'd only need to use the Wii version if you're developing new engine features, doing performance testing, or doing final art checks on a TV -- otherwise it was the same as making a PC game most of the time!

#4 shinypixel   Members   -  Reputation: 151


Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:35 PM

Thanks for the thoughts.

Edited by shinypixel, 14 May 2014 - 12:44 AM.

#5 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 14027


Posted 20 May 2014 - 03:51 PM

A friend said since my mind is set for working with Nintendo … I thought I'd get your opinion.

All of Nintendo’s development offices are in Japan. You must be fluent in Japanese and already live in Japan (they don’t hire from abroad and they won’t hire anyone not perfectly fluent in Japanese).
Even if you live in Japan and speak Japanese perfectly, you are still unlikely ever to have a chance at a job there; they only hire fresh graduates from Japanese universities except in the rarest of cases. The only person I know who got into Nintendo mid-career was a Japanese who made a very famous iOS app that was ranked #1 for quite a long while and most likely made him a millionaire, pulling in I believe around $30,000 per day for a period.

Unless you will be perfectly fluent in Japanese, live in Japan, and either freshly graduated from a Japanese university or in the top 0.01% of individually ultra-successful programmers, it is for your own good that I suggest you forget that dream and focus on virtually any other company.

Source: People I know who work for Nintendo.

L. Spiro
It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
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#6 Crichton333   Members   -  Reputation: 288


Posted 20 May 2014 - 06:06 PM

@Spiro, I dont think he wants to work for Nintendo he just wants to publish his game on their consoles.


They have a deal with Unity3d to enable indie developers to publish on Nintendo.



"Smoke me a kipper i'll be back for breakfast." -- iOS: 2048 Numbers Mania -- Android: 2048 Numbers Mania

#7 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22285


Posted 21 May 2014 - 01:45 AM

More was written about it here, directly from Nintendo's indie liaison rather than hearsay through a rewritten article about what a different news reporter overheard during E3. 
Different people define "indie" very differently.  
In the business environment, "indie" means a professionally organized group of people, with legal agreements forming a proper business entity, with contracts to ensure all rights are assigned to the entity. It means a business that is independent of existing major corporate ties.
For lay people, "indie" often means teenagers in a basement, or hobby development lasting for years as an evening project. Unfortunately for these people, their projects are very frequently legally tainted. Without an agreement generally ownership is joint and requires agreement by all parties, possibly even if their contribution was nothing more than a single email. Often this type of indie groups do not have proper legal contracts to clearly own all the IP rights. Often there are code snippets from the web without attribution or rights disclaimers, or there are images and textures and models and audio from unknown sources or with improper written licenses. Almost always you find multiple developers working together without a written collaboration agreement. Precisely who owns the product, and can you prove it if challenged? Which specific people have a right to sell it, or must the agreement get signatures from everybody? Which specific people have a right to license it? Do you have a legally enforceable way to divide revenue, or to retain revenue? How are taxes handled? Who owns derivative works? What happens when someone leaves? Is separate usage by contributors permitted? How will disagreements be resolved? And on and on.
While the second group absolutely can create fun games, it is such a legal morass that companies don't want to touch them. 
Nintendo works with the first kind of indie.
The link (same as above) is pretty clear on the requirements. You must be a registered Nintendo developer. You must have a registered company, either that you own or that you work for. You must have game development experience, but the article doesn't say if that must be professional experience; in the past, employment at an experienced studio was a requirement. You must have the resources (read:money) to bring a game to completion. You must be able to secure all their property, both software and hardware, but according to the article they no longer strictly require a secure office environment as part of the policy, yet I don't expect a shared dorm room would satisfy that requirement.
The Unity3D plugins for Nintendo system are not free and require Unity Pro, so you are in to the investment several thousand dollars just for that, and you need a paid copy for everyone doing development on it. You also will find yourself in need of devkit hardware and other equipment, which is also not inexpensive. One aspect of getting Nintendo to talk with you is the resources: do you have the several thousand dollars to get the equipment, the money for legal costs for trademarks and such, the significant funds for certification tests, the money for your own QA groups, the money for ESRB certifications, and so on? 


The first group of "indie" looks at a $5000 or $20000 or even $100000 to entry as a cost of doing business that will be recouped through sales. The second group of indie often sees it as an unfair requirement against their creative powers.


Make sure you are in the correct "indie" group.

Edited by frob, 21 May 2014 - 01:58 AM.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I write about assorted stuff.

#8 Crichton333   Members   -  Reputation: 288


Posted 21 May 2014 - 04:58 AM

In short you have to be incorporated and be subjected to a vetting process 'cause Nintendo likes to do its due diligence.

"Smoke me a kipper i'll be back for breakfast." -- iOS: 2048 Numbers Mania -- Android: 2048 Numbers Mania

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