Sign in to follow this  
therealremi

is there any way I can make a game for Wii?

Recommended Posts

I've heard you need to have an experienced company in order to get some dev kit from Nintendo in order to be able to develop for Wii. Is that true? I do not really understand this policy. I'm an individual with some experience developing very simple games for PC and I thought about buying Wii with the sole intention of developing some simple game for my friends that takes use of its controller. Are the doors to Wii development closed to amateurs like me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can buy a Wii remote, buy a bluetooth USB connector, and set up a simple infrared LED array to use the wiimote on your PC. Other than that, and the flash game idea mentioned above, I'm not sure what you could do. There is one (good) wii mod chip on the market right now, the Cyclowiz, but I'm not sure if that would help you. Convincing Nintendo to give you a developer's kit is extremely difficult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by oscinis
You can buy a Wii remote, buy a bluetooth USB connector, and set up a simple infrared LED array to use the wiimote on your PC. Other than that, and the flash game idea mentioned above, I'm not sure what you could do. There is one (good) wii mod chip on the market right now, the Cyclowiz, but I'm not sure if that would help you. Convincing Nintendo to give you a developer's kit is extremely difficult.
And a Wii devkit is $2000. Ours is supposed to be arriving soon - whee! (Or wii!) [smile]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How is one supposed to become an experienced developer if there is nothing to play around with...?

That's what I want to know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It seems like its too much hacking for a noob like me.
I can't really understand this obscurity. I do not generally buy games that aren't moddable and I'll stay away from closed platforms too.

But what really pisses me off: I recently purchased this high end racing wheel GP25 from Logitech and I went to their site for some info/samples on how to programm this wheel - the thing is they want give it to you unless you are some big, experienced company. Can somebody tell me why is this so? Why can't they just put it on their site freely available for anybody who is interested?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You seem shocked, you shouldn't be. Nintendo and any other console manufacturer ONLY wants quality games associated with their consoles. It would be bad publicity if Average Joe saw low quality hobby games running on their machines. The purpose of any business is to make money, so far they are probably making more money by keeping crappy games off the market rather than pleasing a minority of developers. This might change in the future though with the current trend of high-level languages and powerful frameworks increasing the number of potential game developers. As you probably know Microsoft provides some possibilities for hobbiest to create freeware games for the xbox 360, but I'm guessing that's as far as anyone will go for now.

EDIT: typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by therealremi
But what really pisses me off: I recently purchased this high end racing wheel GP25 from Logitech and I went to their site for some info/samples on how to programm this wheel - the thing is they want give it to you unless you are some big, experienced company. Can somebody tell me why is this so? Why can't they just put it on their site freely available for anybody who is interested?
Isn't it a standard DirectInput device? If that's the case, you should be able to access everything you need through DirectInput.

Quote:
Original post by Omid Ghavami
You seem shocked, you shouldn't be. Nintendo and any other console manufacturer ONLY wants quality games associated with their consoles. It would be bad publicity if Average Joe saw low quality hobby games running on their machines. The purpose of any business is to make money, so far they are probably making more money by keeping crappy games off the market rather than pleasing a minority of developers. This might change in the future though with the current trend of high-level languages and powerful frameworks increasing the number of potential game developers. As you probably know Microsoft provides some possibilities for hobbiest to create freeware games for the xbox 360, but I'm guessing that's as far as anyone will go for now.
Another thing to remember is that console manufacturers actually make a loss on making consoles (I think the Wii is an exception?), they make the money back by taking a percentage of profits from games that are produced. If a hobby programmer goes and makes a game, then they're not going to be giving Nintendo money for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Evil Steve
Another thing to remember is that console manufacturers actually make a loss on making consoles (I think the Wii is an exception?), they make the money back by taking a percentage of profits from games that are produced. If a hobby programmer goes and makes a game, then they're not going to be giving Nintendo money for it.


QFT! Probably the most significant of all the reasons!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by therealremi
I've heard you need to have an experienced company in order to get some dev kit from Nintendo in order to be able to develop for Wii. Is that true?
I do not really understand this policy.
I'm an individual with some experience developing very simple games for PC and I thought about buying Wii with the sole intention of developing some simple game for my friends that takes use of its controller. Are the doors to Wii development closed to amateurs like me?


I'd follow oscinis's advice and try and get the wii-mote up and running with your PC..

Since the market for the Wii is in it's incredibly early stages there's always potential for new ideas from "the little people" to break through.. You just need to know how to gain exposure..

IF you have an exciting/innovative/original idea for a Wii game which you think no one has thought of yet then the best means for developing on it seriously would be to prototype it.. This all depends on how well you can get the Wii-mote to interface with the PC but if you can then you'll be in luck..

Once/If you can get a proto-type of your idea off the ground then the next step would be exposure.. Your aim would be to get private funding for full-scale development of the game either by pitching the prototype to nintendo directly or to a thrid party publisher.. That's probably the best way to get it off the ground and practically the only way you'll ever see your dream realised (the biggest problem is getting the opportunity to pitch the idea to a publisher but if your determined, focused, smart and professional about it and your prototype is novel & in good shape then its definitely possible/doable..)

As many have put it so far, it's obvious nintendo will not allow a hobbyist to ship a Wii title but if you get a publishing contract plus funding for your idea then the license fees, paperwork will all be done on your behalf, paving the way to your dreams being realised..

I'm saying this because I want you to know that the possibilities are there if your dedicated, passionate and motivated enough to work hard to get there..

The problem is not everybody is..

Good luck!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You know, Im kind of shocked with this console dev kits stuff, cause I live in Poland and we have a specific situation here - the wast majority of games sold in Poland is for PCs. Only recently, with Wii and Xbox 360 coming out, things begin to change, and I too became interested in consoles.

I do understand that a console manufacturer may want profits from game sales (especially if the cost of a console is higher than its price) but I do not think that hiding the dev kits from public is a good way to achieve that.

I mean its the same as with moddable games: some people buy games like Half Life mainly for mods. And all of the mods are free, so Valve does not lose any profits - instead their product is of a more value to the end user when they know they can get some extra mods free of charge. Modders can learn the Source engine and when they become professionals they just license it from Valve. This is good for everybody. Yes, most of the mods are crap, but there are lots of people (like me for example) that actually enjoy more creating something of their own rather than playing. I would never buy a console if I knew it was going to be only a stupid-proof, closed toy.
Now, if I were hired by a Wii developer, I would not know a thing about developing for Wii - thanks to the Nintendo's obscurity policy.

Does anyone think the same way? I just feel Nintendo's and Sony's managers are terribly wrong here. (Bill seems to have started thinking;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by therealremi

I do understand that a console manufacturer may want profits from game sales (especially if the cost of a console is higher than its price) but I do not think that hiding the dev kits from public is a good way to achieve that.


Because nobody wants to happens the same thing that the "video game crash of 1984" where all videogame market stopped profiting, caused by the high amount of low-quality (or poorly remakes) game titles.

Anyways, years ago a Devkit did cost more that 30k, even in some cases 100k and only can be purchased by a limited group of development.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I fully agree with you therealremi, it's a ridiculous and counterproductive policy.

Home-made games are a completely other market, even if it was run through the same console. I don't think it would noticably affect 1st party game sales just yet...


Actually I think Nintendo is more afraid of people modding their wii little box of wonder. DS Homebrew is already in full swing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
The thing is, if you can code a good game on the PC, you can do it on a console. If you cannot program a good game on the PC, you cannot do it on a console. Consoles don't contain some sort of magic pixie dust that makes games easier to make, or makes them better.

This way, the PC can act as a filter for new developers. If you can't succeed on the PC, the companies know that you will not succeed on the console either, and letting you develop games would only lead to bad publicity.

So, the advice has to be, for small developers: Get your game idea running on the PC, make it a commercial success, and THEN apply for console devkits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The wii dev kit does not contain magic pixie dust?

Oh well, forget it then... ;)



BTW, the beauty of homebrew in my opinion, lies exactly in the fact that they do not have to be commercially succesfull products. Pure entertainment, if not... No loss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I emailed Nintendo about this exact subject this week. I got a reply!

My Email:

Hello,
I emailed you about Nintendo supporting independent/homebrew developers on the Wii a couple of months ago. How people who's imagination is bigger then their budget can make games for the Wii, and the reply was that Nintendo hasn't made any announcements about it. I was reading about independent support, does this mean that only solid developer groups can develop for the Wii, or does this include 1 person teams? If not, I'd like to suggest to create a way to develop games for the Wii, similar to Microsoft's XNA program. Maby not making it super simple to make games, but let people who have some experience making games able to do it. And when a game gets completed, we can submit it to you so it could possibly be released on a Virtual Console/Store Channel like system.

I know Nintendo isn't about following their competition, but I would absolutely love to make my own games for the Wii. Even if I could never sell them or have an online feature, I'd still love to be able to do it for just for fun.

Their Response:

All I know right now is Nintendo has not backed down from their announcements regarding indie game development. However, at this time, there is no news to report. Your best bet is to monitor www.nintendo.com and www.wii.com closely. Once official announcements on the topic are made, you'll read about them there. You won't regret it!

Nintendo of America Inc.
M. Michel Grimaldi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
Make a flash game compilant with Opera 7. AFAIK, that's the only way so far. Or find a GC emulator and make a game through that.

Here's some links:
Flash

GameCube

If anything I posted is wrong, please erase and let me know. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Wii's tool chain is aweful, your not missing much, honestly.

There's no Visual Studio integration so you're left with Code Warrior and Cygwin command prompts. :(

I was hoping for so much more from Nintendo.

On the plus side the actual devkit hardware itself does look nice and the swirly light on the front is kind of hypnotic but ti would have been nice to have it networked like every other devkit I've used in the last 3 years rather than using a mass of USB cables. Really, it was way too many wires ><.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Kirl
How is one supposed to become an experienced developer if there is nothing to play around with...?

That's what I want to know.

Develop for the PC first.

Writing games on consoles is only a little different than writing on the PC. When you start out you will only be working on game play, which exactly the same as PC development anyway.

Finally, studios know that you can't get experience on the consoles unless you are already employed by a studio. That doesn't bother us in the interview. Show us that you can do the job, and we'll provide the (minimal) training needed to get you up to speed on the console.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
The newer Wii kits are alright, but the older revisions with the wired remotes were dead awful (at least the one I worked with up until last week). And I agree the 3 USB cable connection rather than an ethernet port is painful (especially since my team doesn't have enough kits to go around so sharing is made painful by this).

As for why they're not available to hobbyists? Well mainly because as some people have already pointed out that it doesn't make financial sense to sell kits to indie devs. I work for a big company and we're still short on kits (although that might just have been a budget restriction until the end of the fiscal year). Even Xbox 360 has a billion steps to reach and papers to sign before they'll ever ship you a dev kit.

The sweet thing about Wii is that since the controller uses blue tooth it can be used on a bluetooth enabled device. I haven't tried myself but I've seen a few people do this.

Lastly, dev kits (for any platform) are extremely expensive, not to mention confidential. When the company is done using them they must be shipped back to the company (i.e. Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony). This is the part that would scare me away.

My suggestion would just be to develop something for PC (with or without the Wii remote) and try to get some backing. The hard part about that though is that most companies won't even listen to game ideas from outside sources (for legal reasons. They don't want to get sued if you pitch an idea, they come out with a similar one and you get mad).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Naku
On the plus side the actual devkit hardware itself does look nice


You kidding me? It looks like a $10 amp you'd get from a yard-sale!

I've had good experience with developing for Nintendo consoles in the past, they've always had rather sensible, clean APIs (Providing you like C). It's just their IDE integration is... well, non existant. Nintendo have always been a bit raw when it comes to development.

Although I haven't actually toyed with programming for the Wii just yet, just going off GB/GBA/SNES development, so I'm not exactly in a position of authority here.

Regarding closed platforms:

I'm suprised that no-one's mentioned piracy here yet, as it's probably one of the bigger reasons for keeping the systems closed off. When I was in the PSP homebrew community, what I saw was 70% bootloaders/dumpers/emulators/firmware hacks, 15% applications development, 10% tooling around and about 5% actual indie games development. Even then, only about a pitiful 0.5% of the games that people started even made it to respectable level, and most were tetris/lumines/bust-a-move clones.

NOTE: If this isn't indicative of other homebrew communities such as the XBox or Playstation crowds, let me know. The GBC/GBA communities I was involved with were a lot better, with a lot more actual games development going on, but I think this was probably because due to Nintendos games-centric hardware design. There wasn't really that much you could do on the gameboy platforms other than make games.

Opening up the platform would also be opening up the doors to pirates. While the Wii/360/PS3 will all be hacked and get a generous amount of piracy regardless of the fact that they're closed platforms, these hacks will generally be unstable and/or inpermenant due to firmware upgrades, which will turn a lot of people away from living solely off pirated games collections. Open it up, and you're going to have to answer to the large development community when you start blocking out features to beef up the security, as well as giving the hackers a roadmap to exploiting your system.

Running through a virtual system or an interpreted/scripted language would probably diffuse if not destroy these concerns, but why bother for something that will take so much time and money to develop and support for the miniscule amount of decent games you'll get out of it? Microsoft already had the foundations and resources they needed for doing this with XNA on the 360, as well as the motivation with the whole Games For Windows line in an attempt to unify XBox and PC development. Sony and Nintendo, on the other hand, don't have a solid base and would have to build this stuff from the ground up, and they'll experience very little benefit from doing so.

Like a lot of people have said earlier, if you want to program games for a living, do it on the PC first. Chances are you won't get on an engine team the first time you enter the industry, so you'll have very, very little to do with the hardware specific implementations, if anything at all.

If you just want the console experience, then just get a bluetooth adapter and use your Wii controller on your PC. Drag it out into your living room and hook it up to the TV if you like. If that doesn't satiate you, then just jump into a homebrew comminity and start doing some real console development, but I'm telling you now, you probably won't learn much more than you would doing a PC game. I worked on learning the PSP inside-out just before I got my most recent job, and I only learned 2 things that helped me at all during my time of actual PSP development:

- Colors are stored as BGRA instead of RGBA
- It has the ability to use a light source to generate texture coordinates (Shade mapping, I believe they called it).

Both of which were plain-as-day in the official documentation. The rest I already knew about from PC development.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lots of universitys are starting to get access to Dev Kits so it could help if you do a course at such an institutuion. Try developing for the PC or if you really really have to develop for a console try something like the GP2X or writing homebrew for a machine that already has a homebrew scene in full swing such as the dreamcast, DS, PSP or the XBOX.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Naku
The Wii's tool chain is aweful, your not missing much, honestly.

It's not that bad relative to what has been out there in the past.
Quote:
There's no Visual Studio integration so you're left with Code Warrior and Cygwin command prompts. :(

There is a plugin for VC7. We use it. It's in the "Integration" folder under CW_RVL and has installation instructions in the developer notes documentation. There are many other third-party tools for CodeWarrior integration with Visual Studio, which when used together, can make debugging very easy.
Quote:
On the plus side the actual devkit hardware itself does look nice and the swirly light on the front is kind of hypnotic but ti would have been nice to have it networked like every other devkit I've used in the last 3 years rather than using a mass of USB cables. Really, it was way too many wires ><.

I dislike the USB cables as well, especially since sometimes one of the connections isn't recognized when plugged in to one USB slot but then recognized when put into another. ... But that's a different topic.

I don't find that the tool chain is that bad. I just wish that the corporate intellectual property agreements would let me work on my own personal Wii games on the side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this