Nintendojo journey to Nnooo (part 2 of 3)

This is the second part of the article Evan Campbell posted on Ninendojo about his visit to Nnooo. You can read the full article here.

Nnooo Knows Games

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Seeing video game consoles stacked next to work desks indicates a strong love for gaming, even if the system revolves around research. Nic Watt, CEO and creative director of Nnooo Studios, just used his Nintendo 64 to check out the polygon count on character models since the system specs parallel Nintendo DS and DSi.

The latter handheld serves as a home to most of Nnooo’s releases — from Pop Plus Solo to myNotebook and the recently-released my Postcards. It is no wonder why Watt continues to explore the hardware, specifically in regard to DSi. He wants “to make sure that [Nnooo Studios is] exploring the best features of the particular platform and making the best use of them because [he] thinks people buy a DSi because of the features that it offers…”

Watt believes the software must bond with the strengths of the platform to succeed. Thus, when Nnooo Studios creates a game, the developer wants “to make sure it justifies and makes you excited again about the reason that you bought that hardware.”

Understanding the symbiotic relationship will help Nnooo reach Nintendo-like quality, according to Watt. “If we want to get to that same sort of level of quality as Nintendo and really make people excited about software, we need to know how every part of the hardware works,” he said.

Nnooo seems to be on the right track in regard to figuring out the hardware, especially with DSi. my Notebook utilizes touch-screen writing and drawing, and positions the system in book format for use. Thus, the slick application gives someone the ability to easily jot down a number from a friend, play a game of hangman or even write journal entries digitally.

But the developer also takes advantage of hardware strengths that are invisible to the end user. For example, the studio figured out how to stream save data while players flip pages in my Notebook, with no hindrance to the user. So, if someone turns the app off, the game keeps the pages. As such, people do not have to constantly worry about saving their notebook.

This tech knowledge not only helps my Notebook, but also aids the studio in the future. Learning how to stream saved data without a loading screen or separate menu will aid Nnooo for every DSiWare title it creates. This seemingly minor detail leads to a much friendlier user interface and more seamless experience.

As such, Nnooo proves the importance of the symbiotic relationship between software and hardware. And, at the same time, the company showcases its maturity as a game developer.

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