TripWire Interactive is doubling down on the Ouya, with two games -- The Ball, a port of the PC original, and Killing Floor: Calamity, a spin-off title based on the original PC series.
"It was really hard porting an Unreal Engine 3 game, designed and built for top-end PCs to the Android platform," Tripwire's Alan Wilson says of The Ball's porting job.
Tripwire originally decided to port The Ball to Android as an experiment with chipmaker Qualcomm, to see how the company's Snapdragon smartphone chipset fared. Porting to Ouya was then a case of chasing new opportunities.
"We were one of the first non-Valve titles on Steam with Red Orchestra in 2006," Wilson notes, "and we tried out OnLive as well. So when we got talking to Julie [Uhrman, Ouya CEO] and Bob [Mills] at an event in Atlanta in January and realized they were big on Killing Floor, we got to thinking seriously about it."
He continues, "We had The Ball ready for Android anyway, so we ported it across from the Qualcomm chipset to the Ouya as a start point."
Wilson believes that, based on sales figures he's seen, The Ball is probably one of the top sellers on Ouya. "The numbers aren't huge, for sure, but it is very early days," he notes.
And the team will be hoping that sales pick up, as Swedish studio Gaming Corps is currently building the aforementioned Killing Floor spinoff with Ouya as the target platform. For now, Wilson has advice for those studios planning to port their PC games to Ouya.
"I wouldn't port another game designed and built for top-end PCs again in a hurry," he says. "It's a real tricky task to shoe-horn onto a much smaller platform. As for a game purpose-built for the platform in Unreal or Unity - yes, no reason why not."
Shay Pierce had just watched Ben Foddy's hilarious multiplayer game Get on Top being played at a local IndieCade Annex event when he had the idea to port the game over to Ouya.
Pierce had already experimented with porting one of his own Flash-based games to the microconsole, and the process had gone pretty well. Now he was looking for a game to release for the Ouya at launch, and Get on Top seemed perfect for the platform.
"I needed a project that would give me a break from my current major indie project, Uncanny Alchemist Battle 1934, which I had been toiling on for over a year," he says. As a result, he offered to build an Ouya port for Foddy, and Foddy agreed.
Of the development process for Ouya, Pierce says, "I definitely had some hiccups. We were the first game using Flash/AIR technologies to submit to the Ouya. Luckily the community (and especially Gaslight Games) had already created and shared libraries to integrate the Ouya APIs for gamepads and purchases, so I was able to use those libraries - but integrating them was tricky in some places."
And there were plenty of quirks porting with AIR too -- for example, the APK executables that AIR produces managed to somehow break the Ouya verification process, which clearly wasn't optimal.
Notably, Pierce also did most of the work on the Ouya Organ Trail port, which was built in Unity3D. While the Unity support on Ouya is better than the Flash/AIR support, that had quirks of its own.
"I definitely think that 2D game creators should consider using Flash for Ouya games though, so long as they're using the 'Stage3D' features - performance on Android devices is terrible without that," he adds.
And would Pierce build games for the Ouya again?
"As an experience, it was harder than I thought [it would be]," he admits. "But part of the point for me was to go down the 'Flash game on Ouya' road, and learn how to do it with a simple game - and that was a success."
In terms of income, Get on Top could have sold better -- but Pierce was never expecting to make big bucks with the port anyway.
To date, the game has sold 866 copies (that's after around seven weeks). Purchases are $2 each, which means that the game has seen total income of $606.20 after Ouya's 30 percent cut.
"According to Ouya's own 'unique downloads' number for us, we've had 8,119 of those," Pierce adds, "giving us a conversion rate of 10.6 percent - which I think is incredibly good for an open platform that's kinda-sorta targeted towards cheapskates."