Unfortunately we decided to put the Wii U level editor of Toki Tori 2+ in the fridge... But... we have a surprise for you!
Update: Offer ends October 27th
Ok let me start off with an apology to everyone that is eagerly expecting the Toki Tori 2+ Wii U level editor: we’re breaking a promise as we decided to put the editor on hold and shift our attention to something new. There are a number of reasons why we chose to abandon the Wii U level editor for now and I’ll try to explain them in this blog.
I’ll start with the biggest reason: Toki Tori 2+ unfortunately didn’t sell as good as we hoped it would. We spent way more time than initially anticipated on developing the game and subsequently the major free “+” update.
Integrating a level editor and sharing is not something that we can easily do, as I will explain below. So we asked ourselves: is this big update really worth the additional investment? A level editor is a nice feature, but it won’t appeal to the general audience. Unless, like Little Big Planet, the game is centered around user level sharing, a level editor will only be used by a small percentage of the people. Knowing this, we also figured that if we release a level editor, it won’t do much extra to the sales. If that is the case, should we really invest in it or should we shift our focus and let our team chew on something totally new? When we weighed all the options, we unfortunately decided that it was the best option to move on and focus on a new game. Let me explain what problems arise when you want to create a level editor for a console and why it costs so much time.
We obviously wanted to use Miiverse for level sharing as everybody has access to it. But when we took a good look at it, we unfortunately ran into a number of technical issues and missing features. For instance, it wasn’t possible to start the game from a level posted in Miiverse. Nintendo is constantly improving Miiverse, so something like this might be possible in the future, but obviously these features are not available to us now.
To overcome these technical issues, we also considered setting up our own custom server that hosts user generated levels. But there are a number of issues with this solution. For one, it isn’t a seamless experience. Miiverse is integrated in the system; our server clearly is not. Users need to create their own accounts and login to that. And meanwhile we will have to solve problems like security, privacy protection, objectionable content checking, server maintaining and whatnot. I can go on and on, but clearly a custom server is way out of scope, so we decided to abandon that idea.
We did come up with yet another solution: Steam integration on the Wii U. This would make it at least possible for Wii U gamers to play custom levels created by people on Steam. We are actually pretty excited about that idea! So we talked to Valve and Nintendo to see if it was at possible in any way. But after discussions and technical investigations, it turned out to be a dead end as well. At least for now.
So even if we had an easy way to share levels, we still would face a big challenge to convert a PC oriented editor to the Wii U. Our editor makes heavily use of keyboard and mouse input and a windowed environment. All this isn’t available on the Wii U. We basically would have to start from scratch to create a completely new and different editor, which would be good enough for the highly critical console audience. We did some early tests on the Wii U with a highly simplified version of our internal editor. And even though it looked good, it still required a *lot* of work under the hood to be ready for the final game. A level editor, especially one on a console, requires a lot of tweaking and polishing, or we will end up in a self-inflicted support nightmare :)
I hope you understand why we chose to put the editor in the proverbial fridge for now. We’re not trying to be mean or evil in any way, promising you stuff only to take it away from you later. At this point in time it wouldn’t make sense from a design, technical and business point of view.
But…. we got a small surprise for you in (Steam) store.
Steam To The Rescue!
Since the Steam version has a level editor, we thought why not give that version away for free if you already own the Wii U version? So we’re taking a bold step here: if you really want to play around with the editor and share the levels with friends and family, we can provide you with a free Steam key*! Head over to these Miiverse posts (make sure you go to the correct region!)
Subject: “Wii U Steam Key”
Mail: a link to your Steam profile, a link to your Miiverse profile and your Wii U region (EU/US)
Please only send us an e-mail if you see a checkbox, indicating that you own the game, next to your name!
If all is good, we will send a free Steam version of Toki Tori 2+ to you. Again, don’t add any personal information in your reply to our post on Miiverse!
We hope this way we can make up a little bit for not releasing the editor on the Wii U. Should you have any questions, feel free to ask away!
note: this offer ends October 27th
*) It might take a while for the Steam key to be sent to your address, since this is done manually and we’re not awake 24/7. Also, we will continue this service as long as we feel is necessary. If it is being abused somehow, we’ll probably pull it :)
**)The Miiverse administrators don’t seem to like posting Steam IDs on Miiverse. Make sure you don’t post any personal IDs in your comment, otherwise they’ll delete it! Just a simple comment about the weather or whatever, would be enough. Mail us all relevant information: Steam ID, link to Miiverse profile and region!