INTERVIEW: Nic Watt from Aussie developer Nnooo!

Nnooo, Sydney-based Wii developer, has release escapeVektor: Chapter 1 for Wiiware today. MCV spoke to creative director Nic Watt about this addictive and fun downloadable title.

How effective is Wiiware as a publishing platform? Is it easy for indie developers like Nnooo to be successful there?

Like all digital platforms WiiWare is a pretty tough market to turn a profit in. A large part of this is down to visibility in the market place. Independent developers are generally not as experienced in marketing their own digital work compared to publishers marketing boxed product. For Nnooo, every title we have shipped so far has covered its costs and gone on to turn a profit. Our myNotebook title for example has sold over 250,000 units on DSiWare alone.

We do find it hard to get as much coverage as big name titles. Despite saying that they support indie developers, many websites are in fact more interested in the Modern Warfares and Halos of this world than trying to help the little guys get some press attention. We usually direct our attention to indie friendly sites these days.

Why choose Wiiware for escapeVektor specifically?

escapeVektor seemed to be a title suited to the users of the platform. It made sense for us to spend money where we had experience rather than risk it all on a platform we were not used to. We do have big plans for escapeVektor, and indeed Vektor as a franchise, and are currently speaking to other platform holders about bringing the series to other devices and consoles.

What are the biggest benefits and problems facing Australian developers right now?

There are a large number of great university courses dedicated to games degrees here. They all have very good reputations, so the graduates we can hire from places like Qantm are of a very high caliber.

On the flip side, the strength of the Australian Dollar, the lack of government support in Australia compared to places like Canada, and the fact we are paid in Euros and US Dollars, means we are at a disadvantage cost wise. All of these factors have had a pretty clear impact on the local market recently.

It also does not help that the Australian classification board charge the same price for rating digital titles for WiiWare, DSiWare, PSN and XBLA as they do for their disc counterparts. This means it is expensive to release our games to the local market considering the significantly smaller number of consumers here compared to Europe or the Americas

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