“It really has never been easier to build games before,” Uhrman said. “Between the growing number of platforms and the growing number of engines to the fact that every single person today is a gamer. I truly believe that. I think one of the things that mobile and tablets did was create an instance for us to always engage and to play something.”
Santiago, a former developer herself at Journey and Flower creator thatgamecompany, explained that even after three critically and commercially successful releases, thatgamecompany was “broke” and had trouble raising money for its next game. Part of why she’s become a developer advocate at Ouya is to help talented creators “accelerate the path” to being empowered and getting their games made.
“I think now is a great time to be a developer, because we as developers have so many options today on where we can distribute our games and connect with our players. Ouya has really been built from the ground up in that era of thinking,” Santiago said, “recognizing that the rightful place of game developers is in front of the platform because they are what make being a gamer so great. We realty wanted to make a console that got out of the way of this relationship between the game makers and the gamers.”
Several developers took the stage to explain how Ouya has helped them find funding and made it easier to get exposure, plus how the ecosystem allows for quick and easy bug fixes, making a better experience for both developers and gamers. Still, just as Uhrman recently discussed Ouya’s mistakes, she reiterated here that the company has had its problems recently but that she’s committed to “making it work.”
“We’ve definitely had our share of ups and downs,” Uhrman said in response to a question at the end of the panel about maintaining morale. She mentioned maintaining “commitment and stamina,” and added, “we’ll keep riding our ups and downs and hopefully do less downs and more ups. We’re absolutely committed to making this work.”
As the panel came to a close, Uhrman and Santiago were asked how Ouya can stay on top with so many other micro-consoles set to enter the market in 2014.
“Great content,” Uhrman simply said. “That’s our plan for next year.”
“I hope that people have seen that even through the ups and downs of this past year, the changes we have been making are always to improve the developer experience,” Santiago added. “And that’s what we’ll continue to do. The nature of the company is that we can react very quickly to developers’ needs, and as challenges or issues come up from our developers about the storefront, about the pipeline for publishing, all that stuff, we react quickly and improve iteratively. Constantly. That’s what will continue to propel Ouya to greater heights in the space.”