There’s such a thing as a game that can be played locally with as many as 9 players. Developer 13AM Games is working on Runbow, for none other than Nintendo Wii U.
In talks with Gamasutra, the developer mentions where the idea spawned from and why exactly it went for that platform. Tom McCall of 13AM Games commented:
We looked at Xbox, PlayStation, PC, all those things, and we just kind of did a tally of how many controllers we could link up.
And when we got to Wii [U], we found out that if you tether a Wii Remote to a Wii controller four times, and then add in the Wii U tablet controller on top of it, you can get up to nine players. We’d never seen anything like that before.
Originally, Runbow was a prototype created as a Global Game Jam entry, though it then ran on PC and supported “just” eight players. Since then, the developer has worked on the game’s visuals, to improve it based on feedback.
Runbow is a running game, where colorful platforms bridge gaps, while a self-colored background periodically switches colors. If platform and backdrop match, then that footing disappears, which makes any player left standing on it drop into a precipice.
Given how many players can run around in the game at once, it proved to be a challenge to contain its entirety and keep a clear overview. Developer Lucan Takashi mentions:
We had to totally readjust the size of the characters and a bunch of other things, and it’s hard because we have to always keep in mind ‘it’s a nine-player game, we need to have enough space for nine people to play in here.
Moreover, Runbow has since opted to put in power-ups to prevent players in the back of the pack to be lost forever. This implementation, however, was hard-fought, as Takashi states:
Yeah, deciding to add in powerups was like the worst.