5 Years of Us!
You'll be able to find all our 5-year celebrations up here. There's going to be some great stuff.
Five years of Games of the Year...
Five years of the forums...
Five years of KNTV...
Five years caught in our documentry...
Five years of Doctor Who...
> Nnooo hasn't been around for long. Can you breifly describe how you came to be to our readers?
I have worked in the games industry for over 12 years now and most recently was a lead designer at EA in London. In 2006 my partner was asked to move to Australia for work so we both discussed it and jumped at the chance to live in such a beautiful country. I decided that with the move it would be a good time to try to fulfil a lifetime ambition of setting up my own games company. As XBLA had only been out for about 6 months at the time and WiiWare and PSN were just a distant dream I decided that focusing on downloadable content would be a good way to go.
On arriving in Australia I set about finding contacts and engineers so we could start making this dream happen. At the same time I was in contact with Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony about developing games for their various downloadable services. Nintendo approved us as WiiWare developers in April 2007 and we managed to get Pop out for the launch of the service in May 2008!
> When working on Pop for WiiWare, your enitaly team only consisted of three people. How has the studio expanded since?
The team has changed quite a bit since we made Pop. As Nnooo are entirely self-funded by myself we started to run out of money just as Pop was finished. The engineers I was working with were freelancers and so, understandably, had to look for other work. As we get paid by Nintendo each quarter (as is standard in the industry) we had to wait 3 months to get our first pay cheque, which as you can appreciate would be a long time for my engineers to wait.
The good news is that Pop made almost double my investment and has allowed for me to create a much more stable footing for the company. We are currently working with 3 engineers and continue to use Beat Therapy as our audio engineers.
> Pop is -at heart- one of the simplest games on WiiWare, and myNotebook is essentially just a normal pad. Is simplicety key to making a good game in your view?
Not necessarily. For us simplicity is important as we are a very small company with limited resources. It is very easy to spend all your money and have no game at all at the end. For us that is something we want to avoid at all costs. Instead we have been focused on learning not only the hardware we work on but also the craft of making fun to use software.
We feel that with each project we can learn more about the hardware and also more about what makes something fun. With this approach we are building up to more complex games and using simple fun projects to fund that learning and development research. I'm sure most of our fans would rather we focus on making fun quality software rather than rushed, half-baked software and then go bust!
> On the subject of Pop, how about you give us a narrative? Who are we playing as? Why are we popping bubbles?
Pop is not intended to have any real narrative. It is meant to be something to relax and unwind to in a similar way to tetris. In tetris there is no reason to organise the blocks you just do!
> And for our final question on Pop, what's your highscore on Pop+ Solo's (DSiWare) Adventure mode? Ours is 1,546,855.
That is a great high-score! I don't think I have managed to get much more than 1.5 or 1.75 million so well done! David Wallen our tester on the other hand... He has managed some great high-scores!
> myNotebook, myPostcards... What's next for the 'myLifestyle' games?
We are working on two new myLifeCollected applications and two new games. Unfortunately we are not at a stage where we can announce anything. Watch this space.
> And is anything else on the horrizen for Nnooo? Can you give us some hints as to what they will be?
As I mentioned above we have two new games in development. One is exclusive to DSiWare while the other is hopefully going to be not only our return to WiiWare but also available on Playstation Mini and DSiWare! We hope to release more details about these titles in the coming months.
> Nintendo has taken some stick from WiiWare and DSiWare developers for the lack of promotion for their games. Is this a concern to Nnooo?
I think any developer who moans about Nintendo no promoting their title has to realise that Nintendo are not, and should not, be responsible for promoting your titles. On WiiWare and DSiWare you are both developer and publisher and this means that you must take control of the marketing of your titles. If you just push your game out onto the service and do little or no marketing then you will not succeed.
We try out best to market and promote our titles and are always looking for media contacts and ways to broaden our reach. It is hard work which also reaps huge rewards in terms of sales and user support. We now have a small, growing, fanbase who are excited about each of our upcoming titles.
> Rumor has it that Nintendo have handed out DS2 kits to developers? Have you seen or heard anything?
Not yet. We are excited about new hardware from Nintendo. However developers usually find out about these things at the same time as you do. I'm secretly hoping for them to reveal something at E3 but if they do or what they reveal well your guess is as good as mine.
> And last but not least what other games on WiiWare and DSiWare have you enjoyed, or have inspired creations of your own?
Lost Winds, Bit Trip and Art Style series, are cool on WiiWare. While on DSiWare I really love Reflect Missile and Starship Defense both rock. I have just downloaded the three new Game and Watch games for DSiWare which take me back to my childhood.
Back at the start of the year, you may remember us mentioning we had an interview with dthe people behind games such as Pop, Nnooo. Since then? Nothing. You see, we where planning to release it alongside the launch of our new WiiWare section, only for the old "Technical Difficulties" to hit and delay the thing a few months, at which point we opted to leave it for the site re-launch (Still coming soon!). There was also the matter of a suprise 3DS announcment from Nintendo themselves ruining one of the questions.
However, we felt this interview simply had to go out, so here it is, only ten months late, KN's interview with Nnooo's creative director, Nic Watt. Enjoy...