Eddie Krassenstein: What type of tools does OUYA give developers like you in order to track downloads, sales, play time, etc for your game?
Zach Burke (Hypercane): Right now what they provide is 3 .csv files. These only cover downloads, purchases and crash logs. So actually there's nothing available that helps you track play time. We've implemented Google Analytics to help get these statistics. As an example of what downloads looks like from their CSV file:
Eddie Krassenstein: Ahh OK, I see. Would you care to share how many downloads Rage Runner has had up until now?
Zach Burke (Hypercane): Last refresh I did yesterday (April 2, 2013) put us at 51.
Eddie Krassenstein: Oh nice. Not too bad considering only less than 1000 consoles are probably in the hands of gamers/developers so far.
Zach Burke (Hypercane): Yeah that's not bad, especially considering most developers are only playing their own game in hopes of winning the contest.
Eddie Krassenstein: What do you think of the OUYA Sandbox?
Jake Burke (Hypercane): We did start in the sandbox, and are now out of it though. We were out pretty quickly on the second day.
Zach Burke (Hypercane): A lot of devs are complaining about it, but I really like it. I like the idea of everyone being given the same opportunity in the beginning. I really don't see how it's unfair at all. It seems very fair. The perception I get from reading other dev complaints is that they were hoping their game would magically be shoved in everyone's face without them doing any legwork. Or they were upset because they were a big Kickstarter backer and were promised more prominent placement - that I can understand. I strongly dislike pay to place. Sounds like a bad curation model.
Eddie Krassenstein: Yes, I agree and to an extent I think OUYA is trying to get away from this
Zach Burke (Hypercane): Yeah, I don't know exactly how OUYA will fulfill that promise, I just hope it's done in a way that's fair for everyone eventually. Maybe not initially but 6 months down the road it would be nice for all to be on equal footing. Also, would have liked to have seen Final Fantasy start in the sandbox.
Eddie Krassenstein: Now that you are out of the sandbox, where are you? In a category?
Jake Burke (Hypercane): Racing, simulation, short on time, and arcade, I think.
Eddie Krassenstein: What is it about your game that you feel makes it different then other games on OUYA?
Jake Burke (Hypercane): I think it's just all about speed, and being up close and personal with a twitch game of this type. But the power ups really add a whole other element to a obstacle avoidance game, that you just dont see. Then you got the competition factor which you dont really see with this type of game usually. Lastly the level editor, that you can really do some amazing things with. Oh, and we are real 3D, so the trenches aren't randomly generated, it's all player made which adds to a more personal feeling. After all, the current levels are made with our level editor, by us.
Eddie Krassenstein: Do you plan to continue to develop further OUYA games, or any DLC for Rage Runner?
Jake Burke (Hypercane): We are working on our first update for Rage Runner now, which will have new types of Obstacles, some new levels,and some other stuff I can't talk about yet. We have also started to talk about making our second game, and have started drawing things out. We came to the conclusion that our second game will also be first to OUYA, and slated to be done by June.
Zach Burke (Hypercane): We've found that we have a very accepting audience on OUYA. It's rough being indie and trying to compete with the gamer expectations on platforms like Xbox or Playstation - you just can't compete with teams of a few hundred people. OUYA has given us a console platform and an audience, that combination is going to be tough to find anywhere else. So we see ourselves here for awhile. We want to make console games, not things designed for the limitations of mobile.
Eddie Krassenstein: Any sneak preview into what this next game could be?
Jake Burke (Hypercane): All I'll say is 4 player local.
Eddie Krassenstein: I've noticed that you have really been taking part in discussion in your Rage Runner thread on OUYAForum. Do you like the idea of being able to easily communicate with your gamers this way? Has it been helpful and insightful at all?
Jake Burke (Hypercane): Very, its nice to really have a easy place to talk to the gaming community. We have been surprised by all the support we have received there
Eddie Krassenstein: Yes, it seems like OUYA gamers have really been supporting and helping out the indie devs. Have you noticed OUYA being very indie dev friendly?
Jake Burke (Hypercane): VERY. I really hope it stays indie too. I'm not a fan of AAA studios, but thats me. Indie Developers care about the projects they do, which leads to a better game in my opinion.
Eddie Krassenstein: Do you see OUYA as a console that is able to handle AAA titles, or do you think it would have issues running more sophisticated games?
Jake Burke (Hypercane): It completely possible to run AAA games graphics wise, depending on the game. It's really all about what's being drawn on the screen. Normal mapping plays a huge roll in what a game looks like.
Eddie Krassenstein: What else do you have to say about working with OUYA in general?
Zach Burke (Hypercane): Well I will say that from a developers perspective, I really like how the OUYA team has done things. I've used a lot of poorly designed Android SDKs in my career. When I first got my hands on the OUYA SDK, it was pretty rough around the edges, but it was very transparent. The OUYA guys let us submit documentation patches in an open source fashion and were very open and thankful for suggestions and discussion on improving things. It was really nice to see a company actually engaged with the developer community, asking the community for advice and then actually listening to that advice and putting out a better product based on it.
Eddie Krassenstein: Your game looks amazing.
Zach Burke (Hypercane): Thanks, Rage Runner has come a long way from inception. It's something we're proud of and we're excited for it to hit the hands of the players so it can start the next step in its evolution. We're excited about the level of access to players that being indie allows. Not many/any AAA companies have the game creators jumping in forums and chat with players and asking for what they want to see next. It's a fun and unique opportunity being indie, one that puts us close to players and allows us to iterate quickly based on what the fans want. I'm excited about this, especially combined with the OUYA "Make" feature being built out.
Eddie Krassenstein: Can you explain the OUYA "Make" feature a bit? How much information do they provide about getting your game on OUYA?
Zach Burke (Hypercane): So there's this menu option called "Make". When I, as a developer run it, it shows me all the games I've published. From what I've read in forums etc, once this is fully built out, we will be able to provide multiple beta builds and when users hit this menu, they'll have the opportunity to try these beta builds and give feedback. The features aren't totally clear yet, but that's it in a nutshell.
Eddie Krassenstein: Thanks so much for the interview. I'm sure all of our readers will love to see your insight!
Zach Burke (Hypercane): Cool, thanks for your time,
Feel free to communicate with the developers of Rage Runner via their thread at: https://ouyaforum.com/showthread.php?...ercane-Studios