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Developing for Wii

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I wish to get some feedbacks from some developers who are currently working on wii platform or intending to work on wii platform. While I have tried to google for for informations, it is the techncial differences that I hope anyone can give your inputs. Questions like: - Is there a big learning curve with Wii dev kits? - How do you feel comparing wii and other platforms? Thanks in Advance. -Janelle [Edited by - KYjanelle on February 9, 2008 10:18:44 AM]

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- Is there a big learning curve with Wii dev kits?

It depends on the programmer's background and the tools being used. If they are familiar with other Nintendo products and you are using Nintendo's libraries exclusively, they will find a very small learning curve. If they are used to game cube development, they will find practically zero learning curve.

If they are familiar with other consoles, it is a fairly small transition.

If they are only familiar with PC development, then the learning curve is highly dependent on the tools in use, the team they are working with, and the individual's comfort levels with unfamiliar systems. Those are very difficult to quantify.


- How do you feel comparing wii and other platforms?

It's just another console, with nothing spectacularly different than those before it. If you are moving from PS2 and GameCube era games, it is a nice evolutionary step forward in terms of graphics, processing, and so on. If you are comparing it to PS3 and X360 you will be disappointed by the comparatively small memory, graphics, and so on. Those systems are incrementally beyond the Wii, but still a basic evolution and not overly different as far as game code goes.

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I've worked on the Wii platform for a bit over a year now.

I wouldn't say that the Wii is that difficult to program for, although a lot of the console specific stuff is pretty ugly.

The main difficulties in programming for the wii is simply that the system is a wet noodle compared to the competition in terms of performance, and memory.

It's easier to program for in a sense since it's a single cpu, single core processor, and doesn't offer much in terms of vectorization support.

The tools I use are pretty bad in my opinion. The debugger I use has all sorts of problems and has a terrible interface.

The Wii remote was a lot of fun to play with for the first few months.

One last warning I have for you is that user interfaces are very complicated on the Wii (at least if you decide to use the DPD for point and click functionality). It's like designing a PC user interface with four mice. While still supporting button navigation.

Hopefully this helped you in some way.

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I think it is fun to see how different life experiences come to play.
Quote:
Original post by dashurc
The main difficulties in programming for the wii is simply that the system is a wet noodle compared to the competition in terms of performance, and memory.
We started with a cross platform XBox and PS2 engine, and added support for Wii. The Wii was much better than the PS2 in pretty much every way, and in several ways superior to the XBox.

Quote:
The tools I use are pretty bad in my opinion. The debugger I use has all sorts of problems and has a terrible interface.

/me hugs his tools, along with the nant-driven build engine behind them. Of course, Nintendo is as pathological as they have always been, but I'm pretty much used to that from GBA, NDS, and NGC. Radix is just another step along their own Japanese world view. Knowing a lot about their culture, the tools do make sense, in a way. Well, except for the horrible English translations in some of them. [grin]

Quote:
One last warning I have for you is that user interfaces are very complicated on the Wii (at least if you decide to use the DPD for point and click functionality). It's like designing a PC user interface with four mice. While still supporting button navigation.
Compared to allowing 8 players to run on the PS2, through having multitap on a combination of either port or both ports, the four controllers on Wii were quite simple in my mind.


I still firmly believe the learning curve is most dependent on both the tools in use and the experiences of the developers involved.

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Thank you so much for your advices.
I have a few more queries that need your helps.

1. Does Wii dev kits comes mostly with Japanese Language, do you have any problem that you face with the language?
2. Can we still use Directx while developing for Wii platform in term of Graphics?

Regards,
Janelle

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Quote:
Original post by KYjanelle
1. Does Wii dev kits comes mostly with Japanese Language, do you have any problem that you face with the language?

They offer everything in English, usually shortly after the Japanese versions. It hasn't been a problem for us.
Quote:
2. Can we still use Directx while developing for Wii platform in term of Graphics?

Um, no.

The GX interface on the Wii (and also GameCube) is similar to OpenGL. Note that it is NOT OpenGL, nor will OpenGL code work directly with it. You will much more likely be using the NintendoWare libraries, and they abstract most of the lower-level stuff for you.

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