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YoungOne

Programming a game for the Nintendo Wii

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Does anyone know what programming language is used to make games for the Wii? And if so, are there any good resources I can use to help me get started on a game project for the Wii?

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What you're describing is "Homebrew" development/programming. This type of development is not officially allowed (technically illegal) so the process is a bit convoluted for beginners.

It usually involves having a modchip (so you can run arbitrary software), then installing some custom tool-chain on your PC that will allow you to compile software that will run on that particular machine (in this case the Wii).

However there are some legal paths to this:

- Get an offical dev lisence, which is very expensive. Also you have to *prove* that you are a legit and qualified developer. Don't expect to get one of these.

- Get an indie (independent) developer kit. This basically means you're a company with no money. This would be reasonable to get a hold of. The problem is that I don't think that nintendo has started issuing these yet. Also the indie kits for the Wii are flash based last I heard.

I know the appeal of writing software for the Wii sounds exciting, but I would suggest you just write games on your PC. The process is technically no different than any other platform, and you will actually be able to share your games with other people.

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Nintendo has created a tool for making games on the Wii (http://www.efytimes.com/efytimes/fullnews.asp?edid=14865&magid=21). Chances are, the Wii uses OpenGL with the C++ language, but I doubt you'll be able to game makes like that, cause of Nintendo.

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Quote:
Original post by herocks
Nintendo has created a tool for making games on the Wii (http://www.efytimes.com/efytimes/fullnews.asp?edid=14865&magid=21). Chances are, the Wii uses OpenGL with the C++ language, but I doubt you'll be able to game makes like that, cause of Nintendo.
The language doesn't matter, so long as you can generate assembly code that will run on the Wii. We use C++ at work, and I suspect that all Wii games are also written in C++. And it's not OpenGL that it uses, it's a custom API.

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Short answer: You don't make games for the Wii. Authorized developers make games for the Wii.

Longer answer:: You can do homebrew development, but it isn't authorized and you can never sell the games you make. But that Wikipedia entry should provide some information, particularly the External links.

Hope that helps.

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If your game idea is fairly simple (the controller would be treated as a mouse and all other input would be ignored) and you own the software, Flash games can be played in the Wii's browser - just something to consider if you just want to run a simple game on the Wii for fun.

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To develop for the Wii you use C++. You also need to be a nintendo licenced developer and have access to a dev kit. You can develop flash stuff for use in the browser or you can wait for this indie solution that nintendo keep hinting at whenever they decide to release it.

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Right does that all also go for the xbox and playstation?

You need a dev licence from microsoft/sony and then you can get started with some tools?

Edit: Talking games for release, official ones. Not something illegal.

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Original post by Dolf
Right does that all also go for the xbox and playstation?

You need a dev licence from microsoft/sony and then you can get started with some tools?
Yes, the licencing can be quite expensive and may require an established reputation as a developer. In theory this allows them to control the minimum quality of games released for the respective platforms.


If you're interested in venturing into some homebrew I'd probably recommend targetting the Dreamcast if you're able.

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Quote:
Original post by Dolf
Right does that all also go for the xbox and playstation?

You need a dev licence from microsoft/sony and then you can get started with some tools?

Edit: Talking games for release, official ones. Not something illegal.


Dunno about the playstation, but if your interested in the xbox 360, anyone can make games for it and the development tools are free.. Its called XNA Game Studio Express using C# and XNA.. Of course I believe you'll need a creators club membership to distribute your game to friends with 360's.. or if you looking to sell it.

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Quote:
Original post by Kazgoroth
If you're interested in venturing into some homebrew I'd probably recommend targetting the Dreamcast if you're able.

The DS/PSP platforms also have homebrew capabilities. I've personally only done DS stuff, so I can't comment on the pros/cons between the three.

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Original post by Buster2000
...you can wait for this indie solution that nintendo keep hinting at whenever they decide to release it.
"Indie" doesn't necessarily mean "homebrew". The odds that the average Joe hobbyist developer is going to be able to participate are, probably, very close to zero.

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Original post by smitty1276
Quote:
Original post by Buster2000
...you can wait for this indie solution that nintendo keep hinting at whenever they decide to release it.
"Indie" doesn't necessarily mean "homebrew". The odds that the average Joe hobbyist developer is going to be able to participate are, probably, very close to zero.


I didn't say that indie meant homebrew. I was simply stated that getting an indie license or an official dev license are the only legal paths for writing native code on the Wii.

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Quote:
Original post by Dolf
Right does that all also go for the xbox and playstation?

You need a dev licence from microsoft/sony and then you can get started with some tools?

Edit: Talking games for release, official ones. Not something illegal.


Homebrew isn't illegal, it just isn't commonly supported.

in order to actually play most homebrew on most consoles you are forced to modify the hardware (or the software) which could violate some laws in certain countries (The US DMCA might be one such law if it is impossible to run the homebrew without circumventing the copyprotection on the console but most free countries do allow you to modify hardware you've bought).

For supported homebrew you would want to look at XNA for the xbox360 or Sonys GNU/Linux kits for the PS2 and PS3.

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I've seen a lot of things on YouTube and some searches where you can use the Wii controllers for PC games or programs. They looked like fairly simple scripts that allow you to map the Wii functions. The Wii uses bluetooth I believe so as long as you have bluetooth hardware for your computer and download any one of the scripts off the net, I don't see why you couldn't use the controllers much like any joystick or gamepad.

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Original post by Dwiff
The Wii uses bluetooth I believe so as long as you have bluetooth hardware for your computer and download any one of the scripts off the net, I don't see why you couldn't use the controllers much like any joystick or gamepad.

Yep, it's really easy to setup (at least, on Windows). I personally use GlovePIE to convert the WiiMote input to a virtual parallel port joystick (via PPJoy) which gets read by games.

Still working on getting a similar setup on my FreeBSD machine (currently hacking apart bsdmoted) :/

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