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The Ouya Experience: What game developers think so far

July 22, 2013 Article Start Page 1 of 5 Next

A little over a year ago, Ouya launched its widly-successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, capturing the enthusiasm of thousands, with promises of an open platform, affordability and a simple game console experience for the living room.

Ouya has been available at retail for a few weeks, so we wanted to get a very early idea of how Ouya is fulfilling its promise of a video game revolution. We asked Ouya developers about their experiences with the console so far, including game sales and development support. Here's what they had to say.

Why did you decide to bring your game to Ouya?

Rami Ismail, Super Crate Box (Vlambeer)

It's an open development platform that is accessible to pretty much every developer. There's no way Vlambeer isn't going to support something like that.

Eric Froemling, BombSquad

I'd been porting BombSquad to Android/iOS with the idea that I'd release it once I got networked multiplayer added (which is still an ongoing process). I already had local multiplayer in the game, however, and because Ouya is so conducive to that type of play I decided to go ahead and jump on the opportunity to be an Ouya launch title.

Ryan Wiemeyer, Organ Trail (The Men Who Wear Many Hats)

We originally had no plans to bring our game to Ouya, but a friend of ours who was eager to try out the development side of the system asked us if his team could port it over for us. So we did. Otherwise... probably would not have, even though I backed the Kickstarter. I thought of it as buying a toy. I would have probably dicked around with porting, but I didn't want to dip back into our code to port the thing.

Vlambeer's Super Crate Box

E McNeill, Bombball

I only made Bombball because Ouya sponsored a game jam. That gave me a much-needed deadline, plus a good excuse to finally make a spectator-oriented local multiplayer game. Then, I only developed the prototype into a full release because it got formally recognized in that game jam. Without the Ouya team's encouragement, I don't think Bombball ever would have happened.

Adam Spragg, Hidden in Plain Sight

My game was originally written for the Xbox Live Indie Game platform.  My game is local-multiplayer only, and when I saw Julie [Uhrman, Ouya CEO]'s original Kickstarter video, it really struck a chord with me.  I love couch-multiplayer gaming, and I loved the indie spirit of the Ouya.  So that sparked my interest.  It also was also free to sign up as a developer and release a game.  And then when Monogame released their update to support Ouya, all the pieces were in place to make it free and easy for me.  That's important.

Shay Pierce, Get on Top (Ouya port of Bennett Foddy's game)               

I realized that more human beings NEEDED to play Get On Top! Like all of Foddy's games, it's awesome... but it's a Flash game, which means 1) there's no easy way to play it with gamepads, and 2) there's no good way to sell the game. The Ouya solves both of these problems, and the system always seemed perfect for simple local-multiplayer games. This was also a great "test-run" for me, as I have another game that I plan to bring to the Ouya someday; porting and launching this one was great experience.

Joe Albrethsen, DubWars (Mura Interactive)

As a brand new indie company we saw Ouya as an opportunity to get a game out in front of an audience, both consumer and interested business parties. We knew if we could develop for this new console and have something ready for release it would bring about something to help put our company on the map. We did treat Ouya as a stepping stone from the begging and did not view it as the end platform for our success.

Article Start Page 1 of 5 Next

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Keith Burgun
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I love the OUYA, and I think everyone who likes innovative gameplay-first games needs to support this thing.

Fusion Reactions, the team I worked with to create 100 Rogues is bringing the game to OUYA next week or so, which will be great. I'm also definitely going to be bringing AURO to the system as soon as possible.

By the way, Bomb Ball rules. So does ICE RAGE.

Sammy ju
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Wow looks good

Joseph Willmon
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100 Rogues is my favorite game on iOS. Thanks for making it, and I'm looking forward to playing it on Ouya!

Eric McConnell
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Agreed. On a side note, your podcast rocks Keith!

Alexander Womack
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I got a couple of strong candidates in my stable, so far porting has been a breeze! I still have high hopes for the platform and I can only support the spirit they are espousing.

Justin Sawchuk
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Super create box is alot more fun on the ouya (because you actually have a controller!) then on mobile (touch controls suck) though ironically I did buy it on mobile but not ouya.

Phil Maxey
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Seems to be picking up some traction in the indie development field, but does anyone in the general public even know it exists? and that's the problem, unless it's use becomes far more wide spread I can't see it getting the kind of backing from developers it would need to make a difference.

John Swords
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I would love to see Ouya make it into the mainstream. It needs a cult/hit game that isn't a port from another platform to get broad attention. They also need to address the controller lag that plagues the system right now because pairing a PS3 controller to make it work well doesn't engender confidence in players.

Nicholas Stringham
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When I saw the Ouya kick starter campaign, I knew this would be a big hit with indie developers and others that love some of the games that made us all wanted to develop in the first place. Little did I know at the time that Ouya for its size still had great power and the graphics card internally can support DirectX 11. I have been developing for mobile for several years now and using Unity3D as my engine of choice at the moment, it became apparent to me the Ouya would give indie developers, which had little to no money, the opportunity to shine. With the Ouya console in my possession, I can easily develop and run alpha and beta test right on the console. For indie developer as myself, I have been waiting for a console that would give me an opportunity to create a game and be able to share it with everyone, without considering spending thousands and thousands of dollars. I very excited to be able to publish two games I have WIP and be able to make them reality with this new console. Ouya definitely has open doors for many. Thank you Ouya!

Rey Samonte
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I've recently (last week) picked up an Ouya to mess around with. So far, it's been fun. My only gripe is finding a better way to install your development builds. I should check to forums and see how other developers are doing it. I went with the Adobe AIR/Starling route and was surprised at how easy it was to port an existing prototype I made deployed to the Ouya. Runs well too.

One of the games that stands out for me was the beast boxing game. It's really well made and takes the "Punch Out" genre to a new level. The addition of upgrading your character's abilities and equipment is a nice touch.

Phil Maxey
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Maybe Adobe should think about buying OUYA, and calling it the "Adobe".

E Zachary Knight
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I would not want Adobe to buy Ouya at all. Adobe will destroy it and that is not what it needs. I think it needs to stick with those who have it now. They have good heads on their shoulders.

Kujel s
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I've only used mine to play games so far, I still need the damn xaramin license to port anything, but I've been having a blast with it.

Mike Domingues
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I'm thinking about making a game for the console in my spare time to evaluate the platform. The feedback from devs has been better than I expected and I'd love to bring my company along and support the Ouya by porting our future games. As a consumer I really like it, I've had lots of fun with it already and this thing has loads of potential thanks to it's openness and being so indie friendly. Can't wait to see how far this thing goes in a year.

Eric Robertson
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I got my ouya and my game on it (without controller tie in's) in about two hours after opening the shoebox. I had to google how to port apk's over to Ouya's storage but otherwise its nice to see my game on the big screen.

I look forward to adding controller functionality (including button highlights)

Bram Stolk
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OUYA team has been great.
But the big blemish that tarnishes their track record is how they handled the faulty analog stick.
They took a passive stance: wait for people to report a problem, send serial nrs of their controller and only then replace the controller.
And even then... on the forums people report sending support emails, but not receiving anything back.
Also, a lot of players will unknowingly keep using a broken controller.

They should have taken an active stance, and replace all controllers immediately, without prompting by customer.

Now the status of the issue remains in the dark. Heck, I don't even have a clear confirmation that all controllers in the stores now, are the fixed ones.

Dean Boytor
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My OUYA experience so far has been great. Any of the complaints so far I have quickly debunked, Such as
1.Ewww you need a credit card.
-You can use visa prepaid and also OUYA cards are wildley available at gamestop and best buy
2. It takes forever to set up
-It took me and my roommate less then 5 mins to get it up and running.

Those were the top two complaints I saw besides the huge butt-hurt complaints of OUYA backers who have not received special treatment from their donations.

So far I have been thoroughly enjoying.
3."That frog sand box game"
4. The Sonic Collection
5. Trains vs Zombies
6. Knightmare Tower
7.The Crane that Could

Just to name a few, some of the games are freemium type games you would see on cell phones but they are really easy to avoid and spot and seem to get buried amongst the honest games out there.

Amir Barak
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That frog game is awesome! I spent about an hour yesterday with my 6 year old daughter having a blast. Can't wait to see where they take it from here...

Groove Stomp
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I like the Ouya, especially Towerfall.
However, the controllers are absolutely dreadful.

Rosstin Murphy
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Ouya will snowball, hopefully. Start slow and pick up speed, as long as it can stay ahead of the other Android consoles.

It really needs to work out its usability issues in its next hardware release, though. The console's forced updates when its online were annoying last time we brought it out to play Towerfall.

Good luck, Ouya!

Tim Conkling
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Who is Ouya's intended audience - besides other indie developers?

Amir Barak
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Smart people and dashing rogues! (the two aren't mutually exclusive of course).

James Coote
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It doesn't have an intended audience. The idea is to put the console out there with lots of different directions it could go and see which ones catch on. Then refocus on those areas.

OUYA are only just starting to focus in on a few areas, in particular, emulators and local multiplayer games. The idea being to fill a gap between the 5 minute on-the-go mobile experience and the intense, heavy console experience. At the same time, with local multiplayer, give the sort of social, party-games / play with mates games; something that neither PC nor mobile can really do, and which other consoles refuse to.

Of course, OUYA are having a tough time selling that, since it's not like you can sum the above up easily in a sentence

Dean Boytor
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Interesting enough, First its the indie devs and the fans of OUYA. After that it goes like this:

I bring OUYA to a party to play towerfall/Any fun group game, and everyone's response will be "What the heck is this little box" "Wow this game is really fun" "How much is this?"

From there maybe 3 out of the 20 people at that party will get one.

At the check out line at Best Buy even,
"I saw this earlier what is this?" says the Best buy Employee, I then tell him/her what it is and they may invest or at least tell their friends.

I think the idea is that this is something that will get exposed to people who have never heard of this and it might catch on that way, much like a disease.

Other then us, I wonder who has the OUYA fever. :P