Saturday, March 31, 2012

nD, An Open Platform For Indie Developers



A man locked in a room for 100 days straight, protesting the big N for not bringing his game, "Bob's Game," to the DS. Many may remember this as a foolishly childish endeavor, but it was actually a clever viral marketing campaign. Robert Pelloni is the man behind it all, and he spent five years creating his game. But that's old news. Now he's making a system to go with it.

The nD fits perfectly into the market. It isn't trying to compete with the juggernauts, because it doesn't need to. It's going to be sold at an estimated $10, because that's how much the materials used to make it cost. If he's making no profits on the hardware, surely he must be taking a nice chunk out of game sales right? Nope. Developers get 90% of the profits from their game sales. I think this is an ingenious model. Who wouldn't want to jump on board? Developers are already working on titles, listed at http://www.the-nd.com/games. Then of course there's Bob's Game. There should be a demo floating around somewhere if it's no longer at http://bobsgame.com. I thoroughly enjoyed the small portion of the game the demo showcased, and can't wait to play it in its entirety.

As stated, it's completely open, meaning no special licenses or spending thousands of dollars on an SDK. The nD's SDK is completely free, and can be found at http://www.the-nd.com/develop. The nD runs on C++ and uses SDL for graphics and sound. No monetary investment necessary.

As far as I know, the nD is supposed to launch around the same time as the Wii U. There hasn't been any official news on the subject since late last year. This is something I and I think a lot of other aspiring developers would like to see come to fruition, and I encourage anyone interested to give it a look.

Resources
Free C++ Compilers: Dev-C++ | Code::Blocks

If you're new to programming and find C++ to be a little intimidating, yuu might want to start off with something like Blitz Basic.

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