“It would actually excite me to develop on all of them. I’m a tech nerd at heart and the prospect of writing code for a new platform tugs at that nerd inside of me and I say bring it on – give me kits and I will code,” Byron enthuses when asked which next gen platforms he’s keen to make games for. Though he does have a penchant for Nintendo products and is excited about developing for the platform. Does this love of Nintendo make him blind to the potential of the PS4 and Xbox One?
“The other two – the PS4 and Xbox One, it’s all down to sheer power you can wield on them. I’m expecting to be able to really push some boundaries on them and attempt stuff that I couldn’t even consider on the current generation.”
Console manufacturers have clearly shifted in their attitudes to independent developers and Byron is glad that that this change now means that indies have a far easier time getting their hands on development kits. But the best thing that’s happening with next gen?
“The most exciting thing that has already happened is Unity announcing support for each of those consoles. Without that kind of support it would be very impractical to try and release a game on all of them unless I outsourced that development to another company – which if I could afford to do that then I really wouldn’t consider myself an indie developer.”
Still, it’s not all rosy: kits cost money, time is money – as Byron explains to me, time developing your own IP is time where you’re not being paid to do development for someone else. He’s also concerned about any hidden costs that might be lurking in the wings for next gen: localisation and certification for different territories.
Despite the wealth of platforms that will be available to consumers come the end of the year, Byron has his sights set on Wii U, iOS, PC and Mac for releasing Blast Em and So Hungry . He’s also just in the process of finalising his Vita license, so he’ll be heading there too – he plans to publish Cyberstream Fugitive on Vita, Mac and PC. But the 3DS? It won’t be happening any time soon due to the time drain working on an engine for the system would involve. He’d rather be making games.
The closest Byron will be taking his games to Android is the OUYA – “I don’t think the Ouya is a particularly profitable device to develop on but again with Unity it’s very easy to do so why turn down potential sales on it?” However, for him the market fragmentation makes developing for other Android devices unappealing.