Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Developers, what's your issue with the Wii U GamePad?

12:00 PM on 01.28.2013 // Chris Carter
  @DtoidChris

Why can't the GamePad just be a controller

We already knew that Crystal Dynamics had some issues with bringing the latest Tomb Raider reboot over to the Wii U, but they recently made light of the lack of a Wii U version again, amidst a petition created by gamers unhappy with the move.

To put the rumors to rest, Crystal Dynamics Creative Director Noah Hughes had this to say about a potential Wii U version of the game:

All three [consoles] are really trying to deliver roughly the same experience but delivered best on each platform, and I think something like the Wii U often asks you to do something unique based on a unique interface. That’s something as a gamer I love but it’s something you don’t want to do half-heartedly as a developer.

The question is: do you really have to do something unique with it to consider your effort more than "half-hearted?"

Or can it just be a regular ol' port with the GamePad as a controller, like any other port ever?

I think you know the answer to that.

Attention game designers: the Wii U is not strictly a tablet. There are buttons on the touch-pad enabled controller, because it is in fact, a controller. You don't have the same restrictions as an entirely touch-centric platform, because Nintendo gave you the option to utilize either control type, or both.

But it's not just Crystal Dynamics that seems to have this tunnel vision based design philosophy  -- other developers are also at fault. Gearbox recently came out and said Borderlands 2 wouldn't be a good fit because the Wii U version wouldn't be "OMG enough." As our own Jim Sterling perfect summed up in the same article, "there's no shame in a Wii U game just being, y'know, a normal videogame."

Amen.

You want to know one smaller developer that answered the call, despite these claims from the big boys? Double Fine. Despite having zero experience with Wii U development, they brought their action-platformer The Cave to the Wii U eShop, with completely minimalistic GamePad support.

In fact, the only thing you can do with the GamePad in The Cave is control the game (with the available buttons, just like the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC versions), and tap a character portrait on the screen to switch to them (which you can do with the d-pad anyways). That's it. Done and dusted, here's a Wii U port. That's all they did, and it's still the same great game.

Now, I would be the first person to say full support for remote play in The Cave would have made the Wii U edition the best possible version of the game. But is my illusion of grandeur better than not having the game at all because Double Fine threw their hands up and "couldn't figure it out?" Of course not.

On the flip-side, developers like Rocksteady sometimes add too many options to the GamePad's functionality simply for the sake of adding it, often to the detriment of the game. In fact, the PlayStation Vita is extremely susceptible to this design pratfall as well.

You, um, really don't need to do that. The 360 and PS3 versions of Arkham City played just fine. The Wii U GamePad is perfectly capable of controlling the game just through the standard practice of button mapping. There's no need to cram every single menu ever on the GamePad for the sake of doing it.

If a game is ported from the Xbox 360 to the PS3, or vice versa, at an absolute maximum there would be some sort of Kinect or Move functionality added in as an optional control scheme. Then when the game is ported, you can just choose to not use it and play the game in the exact same manner as the other console.

Could you imagine how maddening it would be to hear that a developer couldn't figure out how to shoehorn Kinect into an in-demand port, and thus gave up on bringing it to the Xbox 360 entirely? Then blamed the entire ordeal on the Kinect?

Does that make much sense to you? Then why does the exact same thing happen to the Wii U?

Now, I'm smart enough to know that blaming the GamePad may just be an excuse for some other cost-related reason. If developers don't want to develop for the Wii U because they think there isn't a market yet for it, just say so. If it's because historically they haven't had a great time working with Nintendo on past projects, that's a fair concern as well, and should be addressed.

But developers, please stop blaming everything on the Wii U GamePad. Not every game needs to use it in some elaborate manner that will take months of dedicated development time. If more developers keep thinking like this, we'll end up losing all multiplatform support while they figure out what they're supposed to do with it.

Here's what you do with it if you can't figure it out -- just map the controls, because it's a controller. You're welcome.



Chris Carter, Reviews Director, Co-EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Agent9 avatarAgent9
I miss Crash and Spyro. They had a fantastic trilogy on the ps1 and I loved every minute of it. Here's one of my favorite Spyro tracks, why not post one of your favorite tracks from wither of these great games.
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
Many thanks to a pal from time immemorial for his sneaky late birthday present to me of a digital Amazon gift card, which I promptly redeemed for this alluring beaut. Cheers! Viva la PS Vita~ [img]http://i.imgur.com/Cx3fPPb.png[/img]
Parismio avatarParismio
So I played xcom eu last night to get that xcom hype back. Half hour ago I already lost my brother, my best friends and my dog. Its been a stressful evening.
Nick R P Green avatarNick R P Green
Asides from a last proof read and any final edits, the script for my final 2015 reflection video is now complete. I will see this through to its conclusion. There'll be a blog version as always and once it's done and over with, I'll finally update my bio!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Gore Magala set complete! That only took like 15 or 16 tries!
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
AT LAST, THE FOUL SEEDS OF RAGE BORN FROM THE WITHERED PLANT OF LOVE BREAK THROUGH THE EARTHS CRUST TO GIVE RISE TO A HARVEST OF RAGE. A NEW BLOG WILL BE THE GRAIN AND THE BREAD, TO FEED THE GNAWING HUNGER OF HATRED ALL VITA LOVERS HARBOR.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I'm glad that the Amiibo stock situation got much better. Because Hasbro sure as hell didn't get the memo with their Marvel Legends figures. These two seem more elusive than a western Lucina Amiibo!
taterchimp avatartaterchimp
Yay, finally beat the Necrodancer!
Jinx 01 avatarJinx 01
The next time you're getting riled up about game news, politics, drama, etc. just step back and be like The Dude.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
So #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan ?
Gundy avatarGundy
*Neps Internally*
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Seeing as how SMT is nowhere near as massively popular as Pokemon, this probably won't become a thing. Still, I'm curious about whoever's favorite demon/persona. Mine's probably Trumpeter! Without 'em, I would've never aced P4G on Very Hard.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Playing Tearaway Unfolded without glasses on makes it looks even prettier, gives it a glossy papercraft or almost dreamlike feel to it.
Parismio avatarParismio
eating cold pizza RN. i would warm it up but eeeeeeeeeehhhhh.
Kieronpowell14 avatarKieronpowell14
Just some Marvel stuff
EAPidgeon avatarEAPidgeon
Have a good one everyone. May you enjoy bountiful carbs and fats this Super Bowl Day.
Heat avatarHeat
someone asked me what i am going to do on my vacations... "playing like 6 hours of XCOM 2 daily, then some Diablo 3. Later, Darkest Dungeon and some beers, and to end the night, i'll watch some anime and eat instant noodles" "Perfect"
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
I've beaten the Gaping Dragon and finally got the key to Blight town, whats the first thing I immediately did when I got there? Fall right into a endless pit and died.
Bardley avatarBardley
I scanned some pages from issues of Nintendo Power from the early 90's and saw this back cover ad. I thought it would be appropriate to post today. Who's everyone rooting for tonight?
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Came home pissed off for some reason, hopped on Rocket League and played the best games of my life. New tactic!
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -