"Unique Interface" Keeps Tomb Raider Off of Wii U

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"Unique Interface" Keeps Tomb Raider Off of Wii U

Crystal Dynamics Creative Director Noah Hughes says Tomb Raider isn't coming to the Wii U because of the unique demands of the system's interface.

You probably already know that the new Tomb Raider isn't being developed for the Wii U, and maybe you're not very happy about it. Nintendo's latest console is more than capable of handling the new game, after all, so why not? The answer, according to Hughes, lies in that crazy Wii U GamePad.

"I'm always a fan of the Nintendo systems in particular, they really push interface designs, and from a game design perspective it's fun to play with new interfaces," Huges told TrueGaming. "Having said that, it's something that I think we would want to tailor the experience to if we were going to do it, and currently we're offering it on PlayStation 3, Xbox [360] and PC, and all three of those are really trying to deliver roughly the same experience."

"I think something like the Wii U often kind of asks you to do something unique based on a unique interface," he continued. "That's something as a gamer I love but it's something you don't want to do half-heartedly as a developer."

It sounds like a bit of a dodge to me, since I can't imagine it would be that hard to duplicate the Xbox 360/PS3 experience on the Wii U, even if it meant making the Pro Controller a mandatory requirement. But that's what the man says, so I guess that's what it is. Tomb Raider comes out on March 5 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

Source: TrueGaming

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See this kind sir? Utilise it. The gamepad has all the same buttons too.

Nobody wants you to reinvent the wheel for the Wii U using a touchscreen for platforming somehow, you can always just use it for inventory management, menu selection, or something else lazy like that, even then you don't have to, you could just make it so that people could take Lara to the bathroom for alone time play it on the gamepad anywhere in the house.

Andy Chalk:
even if it meant making the Pro Controller a mandatory requirement

The gamepad has all the same inputs, just a touch screen too. Not sure if the pro controller has a gyroscope yet though...

Fair enough I suppose. Easy to stick a few gimmicks on the pad and release a crappy port like so many did back when the Wii came out. I guess it's a shame Wii U only users will miss out. But then again they would miss out on other games anyway. It's a fresh system and it deserves fresh ideas.

Well I suppose it's for the best. Better they save their efforts for the audience that is more receptive their game anyway. Most of the people who bought a wii u probably didnt buy it for games like tomb raider.

I'm sad to hear them say this, as I was quite looking forward to Tomb Raider. It's not like it's too hard anyways, just do what Assassin's Creed 3 did, if even that. I don't really even NEED touch-screen menu options or any of that jazz, I just want to play it on the Gamepad at my computer desk or in bed, not really on my TV.

But, eh, if they don't want to, I guess I'll just have to miss out. At least MH3:U is coming out in March, and I still need to pick up Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper.

SkarKrow:
Nobody wants you to reinvent the wheel for the Wii U using a touchscreen for platforming somehow, you can always just use it for inventory management, menu selection, or something else lazy like that, even then you don't have to, you could just make it so that people could take Lara to the bathroom for alone time play it on the gamepad anywhere in the house.

But that's the thing - they don't want to do a lazy port just for the sake of it. Why bother adding some useless gimmicks when the original game works perfectly without it?

It is a bit of a dodge. Just because the Wii U seems to want you to throw in some stupid recognition of the second screen doesn't mean you have to do it. I think that while the Wii U will eventually be racking up all the same titles as it's competitors, developers will start shunning the duel screen feature pretty quickly.
In this day and age, encouraging exclusivity to your console is doing yourself a diservice, business wise. The best console is simply the one with the largest game library, and if developers see the choice of which consoles to develop for as "develop for the wii u and get the game out on one console, or develop for not the wii u and have it out on two consoles" it's pretty clear which is better for them.

This is what I was afraid of, and what may end up being a deciding factor in getting a Wii U or not. Third party developers look at the controller Nintendo put out and say "yup, that's not gonna happen". Even though Nintendo put all the buttons that other game systems have, developers still don't want to invest the time and money into putting anything on that extra screen. I would be perfectly happy if they just, you know, didn't use the screen, since every other button is still there to be able to play the game, and it would at least not end up being gimmicky, even if it leaves a pretty big feature of the Wii U unaccounted for.

Hopefully this kind of design behavior becomes the exception rather than the rule, as I really want the Wii U for Retro Studios' games and, of course, Nintendo's classics.

SkarKrow:
image
See this kind sir? Utilise it. The gamepad has all the same buttons too.

Nobody wants you to reinvent the wheel for the Wii U using a touchscreen for platforming somehow, you can always just use it for inventory management, menu selection, or something else lazy like that, even then you don't have to, you could just make it so that people could take Lara to the bathroom for alone time play it on the gamepad anywhere in the house.

This post sums up my reaction perfectly. Thank you.

Volan:

SkarKrow:
Nobody wants you to reinvent the wheel for the Wii U using a touchscreen for platforming somehow, you can always just use it for inventory management, menu selection, or something else lazy like that, even then you don't have to, you could just make it so that people could take Lara to the bathroom for alone time play it on the gamepad anywhere in the house.

But that's the thing - they don't want to do a lazy port just for the sake of it. Why bother adding some useless gimmicks when the original game works perfectly without it?

You don't need to add useless gimmicks at all, like I said, you could use the gamepad for inventory management, which stops you navigating menus in a clunky and slow way. Darksiders 2 did it and was a slicker experience for it.

Given that I'm not overly invested in the title anyway, but it'd still be a nice addition, I'm sure a talented team could come up with some way to use it intuitively. Though by all means, don't go doing the thing games for the Vita do and use features to make things more complex and awkward than need be.

At this point I think things like tablet controllers and motion controls should be sold separately from this point on. That way console developers aren't pressured to have to slap on features for a peripheral that isn't needed for the game. Nintendo's always been good at selling peripherals for their consoles. Hell, I got the GameBoy Camera on release and played it for hours. But I think that building unneeded side features that, to be honest, don't really enhance gaming as a whole should be an optional thing and not built in to the console.

I dunno, I think that it creates an attitude where the developers think they are expected to use the tablet for any game they make on the Wii U or it comes off as a cheap port on one side. On the other hand, players seems to want the tablet controls to enhance the gameplay when the game didn't need a tablet to do so. Either that or the players get the game, use the tablet and ask why the developers bothered in the first place.

Vault Citizen:

SkarKrow:
image
See this kind sir? Utilise it. The gamepad has all the same buttons too.

Nobody wants you to reinvent the wheel for the Wii U using a touchscreen for platforming somehow, you can always just use it for inventory management, menu selection, or something else lazy like that, even then you don't have to, you could just make it so that people could take Lara to the bathroom for alone time play it on the gamepad anywhere in the house.

This post sums up my reaction perfectly. Thank you.

Got mine today and I just can't put it down, absolutely love the thing :)

It's no biggie, people don't buy Wii U to play Tomb Raider games, they buy it to play Mario/Zelda/etc. At this point everyone already knows that 360/PS3 are the platforms to stick with in order to play non-Nintendo titles. They cost a hell of a lot less than a Wii U and 99% of hardcore titles will continue being supported on 360/PS3 until the next gen consoles come out, developers will make sure of that. No need to waste money on a Wii U unless you're a huge (and I mean HUGE) fan of Nintendo IP's.

SkarKrow:
image
See this kind sir? Utilise it. The gamepad has all the same buttons too.

Nobody wants you to reinvent the wheel for the Wii U using a touchscreen for platforming somehow, you can always just use it for inventory management, menu selection, or something else lazy like that, even then you don't have to, you could just make it so that people could take Lara to the bathroom for alone time play it on the gamepad anywhere in the house.

he said he didnt want to force the wii u pro controller on everyone.
although the standard controller might do the deed
image

i guess they are starting to learn the new architecture on the WII U and are just looking for an excuse to buy more time or let it pass altogether.

or like he said, he thinks that the pro controller might be good enough to allow a good control in the game, but he doesnt want to force everyone to buy one.

rhizhim:

SkarKrow:
image
See this kind sir? Utilise it. The gamepad has all the same buttons too.

Nobody wants you to reinvent the wheel for the Wii U using a touchscreen for platforming somehow, you can always just use it for inventory management, menu selection, or something else lazy like that, even then you don't have to, you could just make it so that people could take Lara to the bathroom for alone time play it on the gamepad anywhere in the house.

he said he didnt want to force the wii u pro controller on everyone.
although the standard controller might do the deed
image

i guess they are starting to learn the new architecture on the WII U and are just looking for an excuse to buy more time or let it pass altogether.

or like he said, he thinks that the pro controller might be good enough to allow a good control in the game, but he doesnt want to force everyone to buy one.

I don't see why the Pro Controller would even need to be factored really. I mean, they both have the exact same buttons and layout, they control the same way. No one would need to buy a Pro Controller to play Tomb Raider, and you don't really need to go out of your way to gimmick up the game. A simple inventory quick-switch menu would be more then enough, but even then all I really want to do is play it on the screen, so I wouldn't even be using the touch-menu anyways.

That's the second game that's canceld for WiiU, the first one being Metro Last Light due to it's processor.

They do know that the gamepad has buttons, right? They don't NEED to do something "unique" to it. Using it as an inventory or map shortcut would be more than fine. Just because it's there doesn't mean you need to use it, and forcing new features on a game just because they're there can be far more detrimental than just not using them.

SkarKrow:
image
See this kind sir? Utilise it. The gamepad has all the same buttons too.

Nobody wants you to reinvent the wheel for the Wii U using a touchscreen for platforming somehow, you can always just use it for inventory management, menu selection, or something else lazy like that, even then you don't have to, you could just make it so that people could take Lara to the bathroom for alone time play it on the gamepad anywhere in the house.

Well, I have a thought on why this is an issue:

I remember when the PS-3 came out there were demands that developers use the Siraxis controller's features in some way for all of their releases. This lead to some awkward bits in playing games like say "Marvel Ultimate Alliance" with those controller motions which generally blew chips.

I have to wonder if perhaps Nintendo has a policy that any game coming to their system has to be optimized to in some way take advantage of their special features.

Now, you might wonder what the big deal is about just doing something simple like inventory management or whatever with the new features, but the point is that it takes time, effort, and money just to do that for one system. If Nintendo itself isn't going to foot the bill to get the game for their console, it becomes entirely a question if the guys developing the game think it's worth the trouble for the number of extra units they are going to move, considering that work, along with the manufacturing of the games, extra shipping, etc...

Given that Nintendo's recent consoles have hardly been viewed as a platform for serious gamers, and a lot of people are predicting the collapse of the Wii U already, even going so far as to say Nintendo is on it's way to becoming irrelevent, I can see why a developer isn't jumping at the oppertunity to do a bit of extra work to run their game on the system.

That said, we also don't know what the dev tools and system arcetecture [SP] are like, the comments on the controller might just be a dodge for them saying that they find it a pain in the arse to develop for Nintendo's current system, while they are comfortable with the systems they are already developing for. As much of a pain as the PS-3 apparently was, it was out for a while, and people got used to it. The Wii U on the other hand is brand new, and might involve a decent amount of learning, more than a company wanting to rush out another title before the end of the current generation wants to put into it.

There are a lot of reasons why I could see this happening, one of which are exactly the kinds of things you see spelled out in a press release.

In the end though, those with a Wii U who want this game, are going to be POed they aren't getting it, no matter what the reasons are. I can empathize, I get the same way when a game comes out that I want but can't get for my system of choice.

I can kind of see where he's coming from, it's a catch-22 situation. No matter what you do you're going to catch flak over it in this case. Don't release? Catch flak. Release but make Pro pad mandatory? Catch flak. Release straight port and ignore pad functionality? Catch flak. Release modified port with half-hearted screen utilization? Catch flak. Devote extra time and resources to developing a new version of the game that fully utilizes the gamepad but at the expense of other projects? Catch flak.

I don't envy being in this position.

A shame devs are so lazy they can't port something without a gun pointed to thier head...

Good. Screw the Wii U and its attempts to remake the wheel.

Any time a AAA refuses to release for a console because the control scheme is too unwieldy it delivers a nice stern message. "The game should be easy to play, not fancy to play."

Im happy its not coming on Wii U, because i think Wii U should die. Nintendo is like Stalin, noone liked him but they still bowed down to him.

They're probably making a smart move here. I doubt that any option they could do wouldn't catch them some flak, at least the current course is saving some money, or perhaps putting more money into potential marketing. Sure, they could create some simple thing such as a map or inventory screen so that there's no game-breaking issues without the pro controller, but really you do have to ask yourself if it's worth getting it for the WiiU if those are the only new features for it.

I doubt that the markets of "People who own a WiiU" and "People who don't own a 360/PS3/Gaming PC" cross over enough to make a big, easy to sell market that making a WiiU version would be worth it.

Andy Chalk:
It sounds like a bit of a dodge to me, since I can't imagine it would be that hard to duplicate the Xbox 360/PS3 experience on the Wii U, even if it meant making the Pro Controller a mandatory requirement.

Likely because that would most likely be a wasted effort in porting.

If you can't make it unique, then you're basically making it for the portion of the WiiU market that doesn't already own a Ps3 or 360. Now, be honest here, imagine a Venn Diagram with people who will likely buy Tomb Raider, people who have a WiiU, and people who don't have a Ps3 or a 360. Tell me, how big is that point of intersection?

It could be bigger than you might think. Either way, if you supposedly like the Wii U you're not really helping it by keeping a highly anticipated AAA release off of it. The regular Wii U pad has all the buttons a 360 has, so there really is no reason why they couldn't do a port, they don't -need- to reinvent the game to make it a good Wii U game. An inventory or a map would've been plenty for a game so shortly after release, especially for a port.

Therumancer:
Snip

I understand that it would take time and resources for the developer to do extra stuff with the controllerm but a few ports like Black Ops 2 don't, they just let you play the game on the gamepad itself, which in itself is a fairly useful feature for those who have to share their TV.

Even nintendo didn't do much with Super Mario Bros U, you can draw platforms in multiplayer but otherwise all they use it for is playing on the gamepad while others use your TV.

I don't think Nintendo have policy that says you have to use the gamepad, I think developers are just kind of seeing it and thinking "oh shit! we have to use that or people won't buy our game!", much like the craze with the sixaxis near the start of the PS3's life.

I hate sixxis by the way, in 9/10 cases it doesn't work > >

rhizhim:

SkarKrow:
image
See this kind sir? Utilise it. The gamepad has all the same buttons too.

Nobody wants you to reinvent the wheel for the Wii U using a touchscreen for platforming somehow, you can always just use it for inventory management, menu selection, or something else lazy like that, even then you don't have to, you could just make it so that people could take Lara to the bathroom for alone time play it on the gamepad anywhere in the house.

he said he didnt want to force the wii u pro controller on everyone.
although the standard controller might do the deed
image

i guess they are starting to learn the new architecture on the WII U and are just looking for an excuse to buy more time or let it pass altogether.

or like he said, he thinks that the pro controller might be good enough to allow a good control in the game, but he doesnt want to force everyone to buy one.

Why would anyone need to go and buy a pro controller? The gamepad has all the same buttons, just the pro controller is a more traditional option, but the buttons are identical. Like you just showed, inventory management or a map is perfectly acceptable, or just playing on the gamepad.

I'm not too pissed off about this situation in particular, I'm just hoping there isn't a situation like, as someone else has mentioned, the industry gets sixaxis ever and has to shoehorn every feature into every game even when it doesn't work. That's what puts me off a lot of Vita games (and has thus far stopped me buying one).

So they can't even do a straight port because those guys would just have to include waggle controls since they can't not use a feature that is there?

Honestly this only bothers me just a tiny bit but in the end I still own a 360 and can still buy it and once I buy myself a Wii U I shall be able to enjoy being able to play Bayonetta 2 only on that one console.

I'm getting the impression the developers haven't seen the kind of stuff us Vita owners had to put up with on the launch line up, such as the crazy swiping on the touch screen in Dynasty warriors and strangeness in other titles. If they have to add something all they need to add is some kind of basic, optional functionality for the touch pad and the game is good to go...

Oh sweet mercy please don't make people aim the bow with the Wii U tablet acting like a giant Wii remote with a see through window! ~ ~

I love it how people are saying "just make a lazy port" like that would actually be okay. These are the same types of people who keep asking developers in beta to just release it already and that they can fix the game later, because that always goes so well.

The reality is, you will get far less bad publicity by skipping one platform altogether than you will by not developing it fully for that platform. People who don't play it at all won't get upset that this or that feature is buggy or missing. Release that incomplete product, though, and the internet hate takes on a life of its own.

Why are developer always searching for some fucking excuse instead of telling the truth.
"We don't want to, no more discussion!"
Simple as that.

If they wanted to make a WiiU port, they could have simply ported the game as it is without adding any stupid gimmicks for the tablet controller. Hell, the WiiU has a "Pro" controller only for this kind of lazy developer and they still are telling this bullshit.

Eh good, I probably wont buy the game myself, but good to see another developer putting the WiiU in its place :P

SkarKrow:

Therumancer:
Snip

I understand that it would take time and resources for the developer to do extra stuff with the controllerm but a few ports like Black Ops 2 don't, they just let you play the game on the gamepad itself, which in itself is a fairly useful feature for those who have to share their TV.

Even nintendo didn't do much with Super Mario Bros U, you can draw platforms in multiplayer but otherwise all they use it for is playing on the gamepad while others use your TV.

I don't think Nintendo have policy that says you have to use the gamepad, I think developers are just kind of seeing it and thinking "oh shit! we have to use that or people won't buy our game!", much like the craze with the sixaxis near the start of the PS3's life.

I hate sixxis by the way, in 9/10 cases it doesn't work > >

Maybe your right, maybe your not. We don't know Nintendos policy, it was just a theory.

On the other hand the other bit I theorized... about it being worth the trouble due to the reception of the Wii U and the potential audience, notice that the day after I posed this The Escapist itself is running an article about the state of the console, with Nintendo substantially lowering it's sales expectations based on performance, and their sales on all their hardware dropping accross the board. Not good, especially given that their version of a Next-Gen console is already on the market.

A lot of people theorized things like this, and devs also might just not want to get on board developing anything for what they see as a sinking ship.

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