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Ouya Developers Share Their Experiences 88

RogueyWon writes "Four months after the launch of the Ouya micro-console, Gamasutra has pulled together a round up of the experiences of indie developers who have brought their games to the platform. There's both positive and negative news; developers seem to like the ease of porting to the platform, but have concerns regarding the approach that its marketplace takes. Perhaps most crucially, sales of games on the platform are far from stellar."
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Ouya Developers Share Their Experiences

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  • Why Ouya is Doomed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Friday October 25, 2013 @05:49AM (#45232219) Homepage Journal

    I got a preorder launch Ouya. It stunk on ice. Crash! Crash! Crash! And no support for any displays with anything other than VGA, 720p, or 1080p resolution, even though there is a scaler in there, but maybe that was just my pet issue. Thing is, for LOTS of people Ouya's output looks like poop on their device because Ouya wouldn't recognize their display resolution (loads of TVs don't actually use one of these resolutions as native, and even more monitors) and then it would render internally at 1080p, but scale the output down to VGA.

    The way they have differentiated themselves from other devices is to have their own store. It stinks on ice, too. Maybe they've made some major improvements since I dropped mine, but you couldn't even see your download queue, which would clear itself under some mysterious but trivially accidentally replicable conditions. But the basic fundamental problem is that now that google has announced support for gaming, and Ouya is doing things their own way, they've segmented themselves out of the market. Meanwhile, everyone else's devices will have play store game support. This one reason is enough to doom Ouya.

    • I love my Ouya (Score:4, Interesting)

      by meza ( 414214 ) on Friday October 25, 2013 @01:59PM (#45237439)

      Just to give a second oppinion I can say that I really enjoy my Ouya that I bought in August. I payed $149 (one extra controller) and honestly almost felt it was repaid after the first weekend of playing games and having a blast with my girlfriend (Hidden in plain sight, Bomb Squad, Suction co-op). And now that I've discovered XBMC and spend countless hours playing Nimble Quest and Knightmare Tower the cost is completely written off.

      I really like the simpleness of most Ouya games. I just don't have the time to get into some long complicated game any more, so most new AAA titles don't attract me. But my previous console was a Super Nintendo, so my reference frame might be different from many hard-core gamers :) In contrast to many other commenters here I also like the fact that it has its own store. That means that all the games I find has been tuned to work for the hardware. If it used the Google Android app-store I imagine the titles that worked well would drown in all the games that didn't make any sense to run without a touch screen.

      I have experienced some un-responsiveness with the controllers which went away after a reboot, but none of the other problems you describe. Maybe many of the issues that the Kickstarter supporters experienced in the beginning has been fixed providing me with a generally more positive experience. Also I just feel completely amazed at the power you can pack in such small item and for such a small cost. The same goes for the games, I mean, most of them are cheaper than my lunch!

      So, thank you very much for supporting the Ouya on Kickstarter, allowing people like me to enjoy it. I'm sorry it didn't live up to your expectations. For me it really doesn't matter if the Ouya is "doomed" or not, I'm enjoying mine plenty anyway.

  • Okay, so, this one time, I thought I was getting with this hot chick, but I was soooo wasted that I...

    Oh, you had something specific in mind. Right.

  • Seems like a poor attempt at making a product with no market appear sexier than it is.
    • That's what many (not all, but many) independent games developers call themselves, so I don't think you've got much of a right to object to the terminology.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        yeah even those who have hired several people, taken investment money from public fundraisings and use multi hundred million companies for distribution call themselves indie, by those criterias id-software is an indie company...... those used to be called studios and before that just game development companies.

        you know what's also stupidly funny? indie record labels. indie record labels which are owned by universal etc.

        • BMC is buying their way into "craft" beer. Small business always looks cool, so either big business buys in to what on the surface might appear small; or a small company grows to the size where they are in danger of losing the "coolness" factor, so they try to fake it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If a Kickstarter is very sucessful, does it not mean that the majority of people interested in the project has already committed money to it? Thus, huge Kickstarter successes are less likely to do well financially after it is launched?

    • Probably in this case, but not necessarily in all cases. If your Kickstarter ends quickly then there's clearly a lot of pent up demand left to satisfy when you make it a retail product. However Ouya kept expanding its Kickstarter until, as you observe, it had completely mopped up all the available demand.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I use my Ouya as a XBMC player, much beter then my raspi for that.
    As for the games there might be a few gems in there but I havent found them.

  • I decided to never buy one after I learned that the company didn't support a genuine end user recovery mode, and witnessed an Ouya employee (Al Sutton) berating and insulting the customers who insisted on one.

    His attitude about custom firmware was shocking as well. []

    I'm keeping a track of how many requests we get relating custom firmware, and from what I'm seeing the user base is not as interested in custom firm

    • Personally, All I really want as far as playing with different OSes is the ability to switch the primary boot device to an SD Card. I don't care if I can't mess around with the on-board storage, but there should be a switch, or some other easily accessible method (similarly to the PC BIOS menus) that I can just boot off a different device. You're right, there needs to be a way to fix things regardless of if the OS is broken. That way people can boot whichever OS they want, and they don't have to worry ab
      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Personally, All I really want as far as playing with different OSes is the ability to switch the primary boot device to an SD Card. I don't care if I can't mess around with the on-board storage, but there should be a switch, or some other easily accessible method (similarly to the PC BIOS menus) that I can just boot off a different device. You're right, there needs to be a way to fix things regardless of if the OS is broken. That way people can boot whichever OS they want, and they don't have to worry about

        • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

          isn't that irrelevant if they would make the bootloader boot up the os from either internal or from sd? but since they want a closed device with an os that asks for cc number when you set it up.....

    • Without wishing to go overboard on defending the company (I'm yet to be convinced by their console and would agree with you on recoery mode), is their attitude on custom firmware really "shocking"? I mean, my interpretation of that quotation is:

      "We're not ruling it out, but we have finite time, finite resources and a lot of other things to focus on. Custom firmware is something that matters an awful lot to a very small number of people. We'll get around to it when we can, but it probably won't be any time s

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I think the it wouldn't be surprising if they didn't promote "hackability" as a selling point. I don't care that my xbox isn't hackable: no one ever claimed it was. But when you tell me that something is user modifiable, I expect it to be rather easy to do and have the needed support to restore back to original software.

      • It's not surprising, but it is bait and switch. They promised openness and hackability and delivered neither. Their APIs are open, and they are being deprecated by Google forthwith so whoopdeeshit.

      • Which is probably a fair enough comment, given we are not talking about some vast multinational company here.

        But compare it to the Kickstarter page: []

        Hackers welcome. Have at it: It's easy to root (and rooting won't void your warranty). Everything opens with standard screws. Hardware hackers can create their own peripherals, and connect via USB or Bluetooth. You want our hardware design? Let us know. We might just give it to you. Surprise us!

        After people began calling Al Sutton out over this, he made things even worse by implying t

  • by the_arrow ( 171557 ) on Friday October 25, 2013 @08:25AM (#45232735) Homepage

    I installed XBMC on mine, and been using it exclusively as a HTPC.

    Been thinking about installing MAME or something similar though, but so far I haven't played a single game on mine.

    Oh and by the way, even with good ventilation, it gets hot!

    • The Final Fantasy 3 remake is about the only really good game I've found. I didn't get into Final Fantasy until Final Fantasy 8. I was able to go back and play FF7 but anything older than that I could never tolerate graphically. This remake is worthwhile. Of course it's also available on PS Vita and Nintendo DS, but I'm not much of a mobile gamer.

      Of course, PS Vita TV is also supposed to be roughly $99 when it launches in a few weeks too (Japan only for now though), and due to it sharing most of the lib

  • Sales? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Cat ( 19816 ) * on Friday October 25, 2013 @08:33AM (#45232791)

    Sales are far from stellar?

    Therefore we should immediately shut the company down, fire everyone, confiscate all Ouyas, sue them for the money they raised through crowdfunding, bulldoze the building, clear everything away but the dirt, churn saltwater into the ground, fence it off with biohazard signs and cement it over with six feet of pig iron, broken rock and mortar.

    You are not allowed to be anything but a five-time Super Bowl champion. Anything less and you should be exiled forever and your name erased from the history books, you fucking loser.

    Wall Street will only tolerate two companies in every market (except banks, then you can have five). If you're not one of those companies, you will always be portrayed as "not quite Ivy league" in the media until you go out of business. If you stick around long enough, one of your C-level people will be found in a hotel room fucking a chimpanzee.

    Apple and Microsoft, iOS and Android, Google and Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter, Wal-Mart and Target, Verizon and AT&T, Disney and Dreamworks, Mattel and Hasbro, and so forth. It's about monopoly profits. Not free markets.

    This country and society have become so obsessed with sour, angry greed. It's sickening.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by RogueyWon ( 735973 )

      Yes, damn those pesky independent game developers who really would quite like it if they could make a living by selling their games. The blood-sucking parasites who put time into making games and then sickeningly say they'd like to focus their attention on the platforms where their sales might actually let them break even. The absolute epitome of sour, angry greed, aren't they?

      Congratulations - you win the "Angry Communist Fuckwit of the Week" award. On slashdot, that's quite an accolade.

      • by The Cat ( 19816 ) *

        If you'll lean waaaaaay back and use your binoculars you might see the point as it sails past.

  • My Ouya (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Friday October 25, 2013 @09:52AM (#45233469)

    I recently bought an Ouya myself. Having looked at the system for a bit its not really THAT bad, but you have to go into it knowing the limitations. It's not an Xbox or a Playstation. Its basically a toy for tablet level games but just gives you a way to play them with a controller (which despite the explosion of tablet/mobile games is still a better way to play many things).

    The only real games I've used mine for have been Final Fantasy III and emulating consoles. It has worked well for that.

    Considering that my original motivation was that I wanted another XBMC box and setting up another Raspberry Pi would have been around $75 (with case, remote, power, etc), I figured that the extra $25 to have a basic "console" wasn't bad. I certainly won't be tossing out my "real" game systems any time soon though.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I absolutely love mine for XBMC, Crunchy Roll, Plex, and VLC. I know they aren't games, but I would rather watch my videos on my TV. I use XBMC video addons to watch all my shows on Penny Arcade TV, Retroware TV, TED Talks, etc. from the comfort of my couch.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ouya is good for indies : No membership fee, No 'Greenlight', a *free* QA on your submitted games : They are not just testing if the app is stable, they test the whole game, find bug in the menus, etc.. : It worth a 1000$ Q/A from a professional testing company. To me, the plan is to ship on Ouya, get QAed, and release on other platforms afterwards. So long life to Ouya!

  • Games sales on openish source Kickstarter hobby platform...low. Whodathunk?

This login session: $13.76, but for you $11.88.