Minecraft creator on Ouya: "It's basically the Steam box"

Ouya draws 'cautious optimism' from indie developers

The developer community is starting to weigh in on the potential implications of Ouya, the ambitious new product that is seeking to bring a home console experience to consumers for only $99.

Joystiq took the time to sit down with multiple developers, most of them considered independent, and asked them what they thought of the new Ouya console. Developers like Markus Persson of Mojang and Edmund McMillen of Team Meat, as well as a few others, seem quite hopeful for the future.

"I am quite frankly surprised this hasn't happened earlier," said Persson. "Me and plenty of other people have tried connecting small PCs to their TVs and plugging in controllers in an attempt to get an open TV gaming experience that they can control, but there's been constant interface and infrastructure problems with that. And frankly, the only really good use of it was to run emulators."

Team Meat's McMillen added his caution to the tale, citing a few problems with how the console hopes to work with various developers. "I'd love for there to be this amazing console that lets everyone dev for it... but there already was and the lack of control turned it into a garbage dump of crap apps, rip-off games and rehashes, I mean honestly iPad and iPhone started out with serious games trying to break in but got undercut by everyone and became a dump. This aspect of the Ouya seems flawed and could be the downfall of it if it gets legs once it releases."

The main theme from developers behind The Dream Machine, Auditorium, Serious Same Double D XXL, Canabalt and Retro City Rampage is that they are all "cautiously optimistic" over the opportunity to work with the ambitious platform. Many simply believe that the system is a fantastic concept, but they fear that the platform won't actually work simply looking at what's being offered thus far.

Of course, hope remains for the device coming from smaller developers. The creator of Minecraft still feels the opportunity is present, saying that "I hope it does well. It would be amazing. It's basically the Steam Box."

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Latest comments (3)

Keldon Alleyne Strategic Keyboard Basher, Avasopht Development9 years ago
Hmm, I feel we've failed to ask the most pertinent questions about Ouya, as if we are ignoring any aspects other than the fact that it is an console with an open publishing policy and lighter restrictions than the big 3's offerings.

What about visibility? and discovery? What sort of ad, and user acquisition systems will they put in place? What factors have they considered and solved? such as creating a sustainable economy?

How will they make up for their absent patience and prudence, which has allowed companies like Nintendo to move slowly and test the waters without disrupting the balance of things - even when innovating? This is very important because the chaos that is likely to ensue could go either way. Yes they have momentum, but this can so easily go against indie developers. How? Simple, if it become profitable then larger companies will want a piece of the action, they will flood the market, create clouds of mist that obscure any view of the hopeful indie, and push us out completely. If the big companies don't come on board then it either has not gained enough user interest, or it risks failing to gain their interest should they not consider this to a better offering to a PS3, XBox or Wii.
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Chuan L Game Designer / Indie Developer 9 years ago
Oh Notch ., you seem to be full of dumb ideas except when they're somebody elses.! Seriously though the point about the "ecosystem" is a big one, and those indie devs are just being polite [ or a little hopeful ] that it doesn't become just a rush to the Cydia -store perhaps? Even with a complete fulfilment of units the installed base is going to be less than 200K worldwide at current costings so that's also another limitation there.

It's clear that people are looking to the next wave of technology that integrates access to games, media & information however I don't think you can do this in a meaningful way without re -thinking cloud / and mobile usage in general. Packaging something that already exists like the Android platform into a static form factor seems to me like a regressive step rather than doing something original with the tech, it's possibilities and how we might use it.

-- Chuan
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Ian Brown IT Developer / IT Infrastructure 9 years ago
So how many Angry Birds & Fruit Ninja clones are we going to see on this then? I've nothing against good indie games as i find they take me back to the days of the Amiga, but poor knockoffs are a different matter altogether. I enjoy a 3 minute game now and then but overall i'd rather be immersed in a bigger budget game for a few hours.
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