It could simply be that the hardware's a perfect fit. "Coaster Crazy includes this really intuitive, tactile way of drawing the rollercoaster's route and then tweaking it afterward," says Woods. "Obviously, the Wii U is absolutely perfect for that, it's just a natural progression onto console."
Shigeru Miyamoto has talked about nurturing certain developers in their careers, allowing them to flesh out their ideas while coming to him for guidance, and it seems Nintendo takes a similar approach to the eShop. "Self-publishing can be intimidating at first," admits Sigurgeirsson. "You wonder if you are going to be hidden away somewhere. It's not happening, Nintendo is being very friendly to us, but it's very much our own project. You get amazing feedback when you really need it, otherwise you are left to concentrate on what you're doing."
For Tossell, that nurturing isn't some disguised self-interest on Nintendo's part; it instead stems from a genuine desire to see developers make the games they want. "For years, the status quo between developers and publishers made it difficult for the former to take ownership of their work and get it out there in a way that benefited them," he recalls. "Having opportunities such as the eShop to get your work out there and Nintendo's efforts to work with developers to make that as easy as possible are fantastic."
Nintendo's uneasy relationship with digital developers seems to be at an end, and Broadbent sees that as a boon for the platform holder and his studio. "Growing up on the eShop platform gives us the experience and inclination to work with Nintendo in future, and the company has given us the opportunities that we've needed as well as all the help and exposure. Hopefully, it's going to be mutually beneficial in terms of how we're able to grow and become established Nintendo developers."
Small-scale indie development is often seen as a one-shot culture, with creators releasing an idea into the world before quickly flitting onto the next, but Nintendo's close work with its newest collaborators might temper that impulse.
Image & Form has already started putting together a follow-up to Dig, but Sigurgeirsson is weighing up how to proceed from there: "The Wii U would work very well for the SteamWorld series, so it's definitely one of the things that we're looking into - we're fortunate that we left mobile at the right time and got embraced by Nintendo when it happened."
Taking into account how vibrant eShop's looking these days, Broadbent explains that seeing how other developers use the console is already giving him ideas for the future, while his game might do the same for them.
"I don't like the term, but as 'indie developers' grow a little and get some confidence, and as the recent boom of small teams gets more established and we all just become 'developers' again, we'll see those projects we used to, where they're dedicated to a single system."
That simple idea of a name change, the move from the 'indie' brand - at once a genre and hazy price tag - to a more inclusive notion that a small developer is just as valid as a multinational is what seemingly sums up Nintendo's current philosophy behind eShop.
To Tossell, previously of Rare, it's a comforting feeling: "I think what we bring is just years of experience of making really high-quality games. We were clear from the beginning that we wanted to make something that looks polished, sounds good - and that definitely comes from the "it'll be done when it's done" mentality that we had at Rare. The interesting thing to me is that when I started there - I started on Diddy Kong Racing - there were only about 12 people, so it really had that 'indie' feeling. Over the years, as the team got bigger, that got rather lost in translation, so for me it's like a return to that." It's like a return for Nintendo, too: the eShop is almost a nostalgia trip.
After 30 years of growth, hardware focus, diversification and a steady shift into the thick, grey world of business, this digital realm of risk-taking, collaboration, guesswork and creativity seems far from a step into unknown territory, it's more like turning a corner and finding yourself back home.