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Physical Motion-based Gaming (Wii)

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Regarding the subject of motion-based gaming, as introduced by the innovative style of the Nintendo Wii, I'd like to ask about the benefits and challenges of this novel style of gameplay. I own a Nintendo Wii myself, and my favorite game is Wii Boxing, which I play regularly about 4 times a week, working up a good sweat each time. Recently, at a friend's house I had the chance to play Wii Jogging, which comes with the Wii Fit. This is another game which immediately hit it off with me, right off the bat. I enjoyed the experience of jogging through a scenic virtual park trail, while jogging on the spot with the wiimote in my pocket. Again, I liked this idea of getting a cardiovascular workout as opposed to being a couch-potato and thumb-jockey. Fine, fine, I won't dispute the critics who say that such exer-gaming is no substitute for real sports, except to say that Wii is a first-generation product which will see further improvement iterations, and also to say that exer-gaming is better than no activity at all. I would love to see Wii Jogging combined with the Line Rider game concept, whereby you could jog through a variety of user-created scenic backdrops, which others from the wider user community could make and post online for you to download and enjoy. This would be an example of user-created content (aka. Web 2.0) enhancing your incentive to exercise. I recently read that the Pitfall game will be resurrected for the Wii. Also, the latest Indiana Jones movie is coming out, and there may be a game made for that, too. I think it would be really cool to wield the wiimote like a bullwhip, for some satisfying gameplay action. I would love to try that. And speaking of melee-type weaponry, I would love to see a sword-and-shield game using the wiimote and nunchuk. I have only heard of a few swordfighting games for the Wii -- Ubisoft's Red Steel and upcoming Red Steel 2, No More Heroes, Bleach, Samurai Warriors: Katana, and Lego Star Wars which apparently has a Wii light saber feature. Also, I think Mushroom Men allows you to fight your opponents with a club. I'd really be interested in knowing about any other promising titles coming out that will make good use of the Wii's motion interface.

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I really wish devs out there would start using the full potential of the Wii Remote, rather than shafting the actual motion-sensing to a substitute for a button press. After playing Mario Kart Wii, you have to think, if the remove is sensitive enough to sense slight turns on the Y axis (pitch?) then how come there aren't more 1:1 games?

Although the Gamecube/classic controller is an option for MK:Wii, I played through-and beat- the entier game with the Wheel, and it's oodles of fun. Easily one of the best uses of the 'Mote.

The problem with doing 1:1 things, like sword/shield, boxing, ect. is unless it's coded extremely well, there will be bugs. And bugs are annoying. Lets pretend some dev team manages to put 1:1 style motion sensing into, oh, I dunno, a Fantasy-style game. You go through the motions to cast a spell or something, but for one reason or another, it doesn't work! And then you get killed, or whatever, and you have to restart...I have Medal of Honor: Heroes 2, and although it's a pretty rare occurance, sometimes the IR gets all screwy and goes everywhere.

I hope Red Steel 2 is good, the first was butchered by horrible controls, but they should just jack them from MoH. I like the idea of a customizable Wii Fit-style game, would be neat to explore user-created worlds with the Balance Board and WiiMote. I hope one day some team throws together an adventure game using the BalanceB and Nunchuck/Mote...would be neat as heck. I love Wii Sports, but there's too little to do, unless friends are over.

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I'm all for ideal motion for gaming input devices, but I don't want to see it go in the direction of targeting fitness. It should be used to improve the simulation experience. However, if the most effective input device just happens to increase fitness, that's fine.

Personally, I don't enjoy swinging my arms around to do simple gaming activities. I exercise normally so that I can be incredibly lazy when I'm gaming. Once the technology reaches the level of full motion body suits that can fully interact with a game world, I'll become a little more interested.

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Quote:
Original post by IronWarrior
I really wish devs out there would start using the full potential of the Wii Remote, rather than shafting the actual motion-sensing to a substitute for a button press. After playing Mario Kart Wii, you have to think, if the remove is sensitive enough to sense slight turns on the Y axis (pitch?) then how come there aren't more 1:1 games?


What exactly do you mean by 1:1 games?

The WiiMote is not all that accurate. It's probably possible to achieve quite a lot, but you have to bear in mind that most people are still only on their 1st or 2nd Wii title and won't have had much experience with getting the best out of the unit. Things will improve.

They also often have to write a game that works across multiple platforms, so Wii support may not get as much attention as it would for a Wii-only game unfortunately.

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I do think that the Wiimote is being underused but I think there are certain limitations to it that cause problems at 1:1. For slower precise motions I think it is great (i.e turning a steering wheel for Mario Kart) but for faster motions the detection seems to fall over (swinging the golf club in Tiger Woods Golf) which is why I think they use the gesture based systems.

I reckon the balance board can also be used in more serious games (like a hoverboad, skateboard etc.) with the wii-mote. The only problem is that a consumer would have to buy a board to truly enjoy a game.

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Without a doubt, the Wii if not being used to it's full potential. Part of the problem lies with developers doing waggle games targeted at non-gamers. Medal of Honour, while not great as a game, shows some promise towards a better future. After like a week of Metroid Prime, playing with a joystick on Halo felt very slow, so certainly in the FPS market there should be some decent title with online.

Nintendo should do what Microsoft are doing with XNA, I, and I am sure most people, have a few games that only the Wii can make.

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Quote:
Original post by thk123
After like a week of Metroid Prime, playing with a joystick on Halo felt very slow, so certainly in the FPS market there should be some decent title with online.

In all fairness, a joystick just isn't suited for aiming. However, as far as I'm concerned, nothing can measure up to a mouse for ranged combat aiming. Except perhaps a virtual and accurate simulation of wielding a gun (pointing a plastic gun at the screen isn't a substitute for this). Aiming is one of the few things that we actually have an excellent input device for. Or at least we do on the PC.

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I've never understood why there isn't 3000 sword fighting games on the wii! You would think that would be the most naturally-made game for the system. There's not even decent shooters for the Wii. It's all so odd. All developers seem to do is make a game for the PS2 then port it over to the Wii. Honestly, I was fine with the graphical capability of the (original) Xbox. So why can't I have pretty Ninja Gaiden style graphics with awesome sword-slicing fun? Why???

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I'm not sure about the specific sensing capabilities of the controller, but I sincerely doubt that it has a true sense of its position in 3D space relative to the screen. The camera on the front can use two reference points to measure distance and roll and to act as a pointer, right? Then it's got an accelerometer or two to detect changes in motion on one or two axes, and it can clearly spot the "steer" action, as Mario Kart (And Excite Truck before it) demonstrated, although that might be a repurposed accelerometer detecting gravity. I'm sure someone knows better than I do, but it's clearly not psychic.

If it could accurately detect its position, attitude and velocity in real-time, there'd be some tech demo-type game out there exploiting that by now. Even the most off-the-wall uses, in Wario Ware for instance, are fairly simple technical tricks.

And I'm not too worried about the learning curve. Remember the analog stick on the N64? Took some getting used to, but we've pretty much got that one figured out, right?

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"I'm not sure about the specific sensing capabilities of the controller, but I sincerely doubt that it has a true sense of its position in 3D space relative to the screen. The camera on the front can use two reference points to measure distance and roll and to act as a pointer, right? Then it's got an accelerometer or two to detect changes in motion on one or two axes, and it can clearly spot the "steer" action, as Mario Kart (And Excite Truck before it) demonstrated, although that might be a repurposed accelerometer detecting gravity. I'm sure someone knows better than I do, but it's clearly not psychic."

Pretty sure it can't detect it's position in 3d space, just motion.

"What exactly do you mean by 1:1 games?

The WiiMote is not all that accurate. It's probably possible to achieve quite a lot, but you have to bear in mind that most people are still only on their 1st or 2nd Wii title and won't have had much experience with getting the best out of the unit. Things will improve.

They also often have to write a game that works across multiple platforms, so Wii support may not get as much attention as it would for a Wii-only game unfortunately."

I mean 1:1 as in your motion controls something. It is a pretty broad term, but I'm refering to games like MK:Wii, where when you move, the car moves. Or when you move, a sword/bat/whatever moves. Something that doesn't just use Waggle-to-win tactics, but where the direction you move matters.

I have no real experience with anything technical with the Wii, but the Ball Levels in Mario Galaxy (you control a Ball holding the WiiMote as a joystick) were pretty precise, and it's in all four directions. Also, if you play Wii Sports Baseball, you can twirl the Bat around slowly while waiting for a pitch with the WiiRemote. Not ultra-accurate, but better than most of the weak uses it gets.

Yeah, the Wii really is gimped as far as X-Platforming goes...not strong enough to use the X360 or PS3 graphics, so it can't get those ports, and the PS2 isn't strong enough to get a game that fully pushes the Wii, so for anything that is on the PS2 and Wii, the best graphics and engine it can get is anything the PS2 can do.

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