Indie Games Showcase: Nnooo

February 17, 2015 Written by Michael Briers

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Much like studios of its ilk, Australian-based indie developer Nnooo got its foot into the pixellated door of the video game industry via Nintendo, where it began specialising in downloadable WiiWare titles. The company’s maiden release, Pop, launched in tandem with The Big N’s online service in 2008, laying the foundations of a strong relationship with the Japanese publisher and the console space in general. But it wasn’t long before Nnooo spread its wings and went multi-platform.    

Business and Marketing Director Bruce Thomson runs through the formative years of Nnooo, from a Scottish cry of frustration to becoming one of the industry’s more promising up-and-comers. 

Nic (the founder and Creative Director of Nnooo) and I are partners and we had an opportunity to move to Sydney from London with my employer. Nic had a great job at Electronic Arts in London at the time but always wanted to set up his own studio. This was the perfect opportunity. Nic’s first job was as an artist in a small games company in Leamington Spa in England. At lunchtimes everyone would gather round the TV and play games. The rest of the team would make fun of Nic’s Scottish accent when he shouted “NNOOO!” when something went wrong during a game. He thought that would be a cool name for his new company, and the rest is history!  

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Meet The Team:

  • Nic Watt – Founder and Creative Director
  • Bruce Thomson – Business & Marketing Director
  • Steven Ogden – lead programmer

Fun Facts About Nnooo:

“We’re a studio that likes to try different things, so among the software we’ve released are notebook and diary apps for Nintendo handhelds, Spirit Hunters Inc, an augmented reality spirit-hunting game (for Nintendo 3DS/DSi) and escapeVektor, an award-winning game set inside the player’s handheld where the game’s protagonist battles against the handheld’s CPU (PS Vita/Nintendo 3DS).”

“We also recently published the highly successful PC, Mac and iOS game Cubemen 2 on Wii U, resulting in full cross-platform multiplayer and sharing of player-generated levels across all platforms, a first for an indie game on any console.” 

“Steven, our lead programmer, is the only member of the team to have studied game development. Nic did an architecture degree at university and Bruce is an accountant.”  

Nnooo Games Gallery

Upcoming Game Highlight: Blast ‘Em Bunnies

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With eight years of groundwork laid, Nnooo was given the golden ticket two years ago in the form a PlayStation 4 dev kit. As a result, the Sydney-based studio is bringing its upcoming endless shooter Blast ‘Em Bunnies to both PS4 and PlayStation Vita in 2015 — and yes, the pick-up-and-play title will support cross-buy. 

We really wanted to do something with cute characters and fast-paced action. We also really liked the idea of it being an endless style of game but not the usual endless runner or rogue-like dungeon crawler. The original game concept was set in space shooting aliens (which probably would have been easier!!) but we thought that bunnies were more fun and possibly appealed to a wider audience. We thought it would be cool to shoot evil bunnies with a Carrot Rifle, Watermelon Machine Gun, Turnip Mortar or Runner Bean Laser! As we toyed about with the idea we came up with more and more whacky bullet types and the idea of being able to add extra barrels and upgrades to the weapons.

The game now has 4 weapons, lots of upgrades for each one, 4 bullet types for each weapon (each with a unique ability or effect) as well as 5 paid-for DLC bunny skins and 5 paid-for DLC bunny arenas to customise the experience! The DLC ranges from Zombie bunnies to Luchador and Ninja bunnies as well as desolate ruined cities or colourful Japanese inspired valleys to blast away those bunnies in!

Fun Facts About Blast ‘Em Bunnies:

  • You get extra coins if you shoot the “throat slitters” who are trying to kill your baby bunnies. Miss a throat slitter and a baby bunny gets it! We spent a lot of time discussing if this was going too far but decided to keep it in the game. For that reason the game is rated E10 in the Americas, 12 in Europe and M in Australia. This is the most mature classification of any of our games to date.

Inside the Studio

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A huge thanks to Bruce Thomson of Nnooo for providing us with the information found in this feature. To keep up with all of the studio’s projects along with Blast ‘Em Bunnies, you can follow them on Twitter @_Nnooo