As you might have heard on our Facebook/Twitter, Colors! 3D is in submission with Nintendo. I got some questions what that means, so I thought I’d talk about that a bit here. Like the other big console manufacturers, Nintendo require all products to go through a submission process to make sure the product works well and is consistent with other games on that platform. The process is slightly different for each console manufacturer, but overall it’s a fairly similar process.
Before you submit something for review, you need to make sure your product adheres to all the standards set up. For the Nintendo 3DS, these standards are called the platform guidelines, and covers everything that Nintendo expects out of a game. There are basic things in there like that the game shouldn’t crash, but it also goes into great detail in how to handle save game management and the multiplayer connection process with the goal of making everything easy to use, safe and consistent.
For Colors! 3D, one of the things I’m most uncertain about is the terminology part. To make things clear for the users, all games need to use the same terminology when referring to things like the “3D depth slider” or the “Circle Pad”. Terminology errors are one of the more common things that a platform manufacturer will ask you to correct, and for Colors! 3D there might be an even greater chance of an error having slipped through because we use a lot of features that are not that common in other titles (rich user generated content, camera integration, exporting to the SD card, independent servers, etc.).
We recently sent a candidate of Colors! 3D to Nintendo, and they are now having a team that goes through the product in detail. The submission is a scary time for any developer, as you can never be sure how it’s going to go. Either Nintendo gives the all-clear, which for Colors! 3D means that it could be in the store a few weeks, or they come back with a list of proposed (or more often required) changes. If that happens, you have to make those changes, and then the process restarts.
But, at the same time – it can be a good place to be. You know that the hard part is done. Now, you are either done, or you will get a very specific list of changes that you have to work through. And while I’m waiting to hear back, I can write blog posts like this.