Friday, July 19, 2013

OUYA & Battle High 2 A+


Is the OUYA the first console to be smaller than its controller?
So the OUYA was released about a month ago, give or take a few days.  For those unaware, which there are probably many, the OUYA is an Android console that made well over its original KickStarter goal awhile back allowing it to go into production.  I bought one, more so because similar to the Xbox LIVE Indie Games marketplace, it reportedly has a low barrier of entry when it comes to getting a game published.  I still think it's too early to tell with such an experimental platform, but many are already deeming it a failure.  To some degree, I'll agree that there are some issues such as the controllers and the WiFi connection, but the real issue seems to be the philosophy that a low barrier of entry is good.  It's an idea that sounds great on paper, but there seems to be a lot of backlack from it:

Sorry, but OUYA's Ark only allows one male and one female game of each genre...
Essentially, the OUYA, which already has about 200 games released on it, is already reporting low sales for said games.  Part of this is that, even with the greatest game organization system, many users are probably still overwhelmed.  Another is the idea of indie and the misguided belief that a game will sell because it's indie.  Today, Alex Jordan, creator of Cute Things Dying Violently, probably tweeted it best -- and I paraphrase -- People don't buy games because they're indie.  They buy quality games that happen to be indie.  Some devs are getting all excited about some of the next generation console's stances on self-publishing and Steam Greenlight, but making an high-selling indie game on a low barrier platform feels like winning the lottery.  
Personally, as a hobbyist indie dev, I like low barriers.  My risks are low so when my rewards are, I don't really give it a second or third thought, but if I were pure indie, I would probably be worried and struggling to make ends meet, but it's so hard to break onto a console or Steam, so high barrier of entry models aren't appealing to me either.
I more or less wish there was a medium barrier of entry.  No $10,000 submission fees or having to know the right people, but at the same time, no opening of the floodgates.  If said platforms has 100+ shoot-em-ups, maybe reject a few unless they are truly groundbreaking.  If the art looks like it was done in MSPaint and the gameplay feels like it too, maybe give some feedback on where to improve but don't publish it.  Or maybe organize them somehow or give honest feedback; such a wish is probably unrealistic and expensive with the sheer number of games submitted to different platforms everyday.  It's a silly analogy, but OUYA's game portfolio is like an artist's portfolio; I've had many professors say that a portfolio is only as good as the worst piece.  Regardless of my stance on this, every bad game published to OUYA hurts the console as a whole.  Its name isn't established like Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo's; it's going to have to work harder to market to gamers and show them, "Hey!  We have actually good games!  Here they are!  Please play them AND buy them!"
Overall, I still have faith in OUYA, and it won't really teeter until I release a game on it, which brings me to my next topic:

Battle High 2 in Unity3D?! 

So before OUYA was released, but after releasing the latest Battle High 2 update, I wanted to release the Battle High 2 on OUYA.  As a fighting game, I believe that a console platform, even an Android one is really the best fit, well an arcade cabinet from the 90's would probably be the best fit, but I digress.  Anyway, I've started porting the XNA version of Battle High 2 to Unity3D.  My main reason for this is that, even if OUYA is a flop, I at least have the game done in an engine that allows for a multiple platform release since XNA is pretty much done.  I still feel like a hypocrite though; I hate reading about people struggling to make 2D games in a 3D engine and now I'm doing it.  I have a wishlist of features I'd like to add and thought I'd share:
  • Updated particle effects, taking advantage of Unity's built-in systems
  • 3D Backgrounds similar to Capcom Vs. SNK 2.
  • Remixed soundtrack -- this is a big, expensive dream but I would love to do a new soundtrack
  • ONLINE MULTIPLAYER.  Even if it's not the best -- and who am I kidding, it won't be -- I would love to try and get this feature, probably the most requested one, working.
  • Improved AI
  • More single-player features similar to Mortal Kombat 9's challenge tower.
Overall, again, as a hobbyist, I'd be happier just getting Battle High 2 out to more people, growing my experience and game development expertise, and I think that and porting this game to Unity3D will do just that.  So I guess in a way, this is an announcement for this project, that I've begun work on a new Battle High 2 iteration, which I'm dubbing Battle High 2 A+ !  Regardless, I'll post some images and video as I make more progress.


  1. Best of luck, mate. Can't wait to see some pics 'n' vid.

  2. Interesting this new Battle High with Unity3D ! I believe BH2 just need a multiplayer online support to be awesome !
    Just a little question : BH2A+ will be an update of BH2 or a new game ? It's not a big deal because if it's a new game I'll buy it, but I'm curious. Thanks :-)