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The Wii's innovative control options allow for versatility in gameplay that hasn't even come close to reaching its potential. Since the "wiimote" uses bluetooth functionality to communicate wirelessly, some of these innovations are transposing onto the PC platform.

Posted by stenchy on Dec 26th, 2007

So some people thought the Wii would be a fad, some think it still is. Whatever it is, it's selling like hotcakes and grabbing market share faster than Nintendo could have hoped. The Wii's innovative control options allow for versatility in gameplay that hasn't even come close to reaching its potential. Since the "wiimote" uses bluetooth functionality to communicate wirelessly, some of these innovations are transposing onto the PC platform.

Tutorial panel

It wasn't too long before the beloved Half-Life 2 got the wiimote treatment. Fans could experience the FPS in a whole new way for just the price of a few new accesories (a wiimote with nunchuk, sensor bar and bluetooth dongle). Although this new control option may not coerce the most hardcore players away from their mice and keyboards, it offers a genuinely unique experience that can contribute to gameplay immersion. However, the wiimote isn't just all about the waggle...

Interesting developments have been posted by Johnny Chung Lee
that offer plenty of new ways use your wiimote. Examples include finger tracking, multi-point virtual whiteboards and head tracking for VR displays. The most interesting of these with regards to gaming is the last video. Sure it may make you look like even more of a geek strapping on more headgear (in addition to a headset microphone) to play your favorite games, but at least you would be able to physically peek around those corners! What do you guys think... is it the future?


 

Check out Johnny Lee's Wii projects page for the other videos and his project blog for even more details. Would you like to keep up to date with news like this in the games development scene? Check out my blog as I'll be posting regularly with interesting little tidbits.

UPDATE! 


Wii you like to play Crysis? Well you will be able to soon!

Post comment Comments  (0 - 50 of 64)
Phoenix85
Phoenix85 Dec 27 2007, 12:02am says:

that is incredibly sick

+4 votes     reply to comment
vfn4i83
vfn4i83 Dec 27 2007, 12:52am says:

Wow

Has been a long time since ive played some VG, but that Wii is just getting my atention completally.

+1 vote     reply to comment
thebeerinator
thebeerinator Dec 27 2007, 2:22am says:

that is incredible looking O_O

+1 vote     reply to comment
Orion
Orion Dec 27 2007, 3:46am says:

That's just simply amazing..!! Would be sooo cool to be able to incorporate this as a very attractive feature to our mods!

It definitely has a future in gaming one way or the other! If it doesn't I'll eat my wardrobe and everything in it!

+5 votes     reply to comment
Halloween4
Halloween4 Dec 27 2007, 3:54am says:

Nice artical.

0 votes     reply to comment
BunnyJen
BunnyJen Dec 27 2007, 4:08am says:

Yeah it looks so exciting! I love the whiteboard he made....like a Cintiq minus the £2000 :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
InAction
InAction Dec 27 2007, 1:34pm replied:

And pressure sensitivity.... And tilt.... And resolution... :P

+1 vote     reply to comment
BunnyJen
BunnyJen Jan 8 2008, 7:30am replied:

Lol yeah those too...sigh..one day, many years from now, I will get one ha ha!

+1 vote     reply to comment
deloctyte
deloctyte Dec 27 2007, 5:08am says:

Is it just me, or would Poral be just awesome in this?
..actually, come to think about it, any game would own using this technology... o.O
Well done!

+1 vote     reply to comment
SubjectiveEffect
SubjectiveEffect Dec 27 2007, 5:44am says:

This guy has the best ideas. The other stuff on his site is just amazing too. Did Nintendo think of any of this when they made the Wii?

+1 vote     reply to comment
formerlyknownasMrCP
formerlyknownasMrCP Dec 27 2007, 5:48am says:

This is definitely how VR can make a comeback.. This man is a legend :D

Please for the love of god someone in the industry PLZ start making games like this. It's like looking into another world.

+1 vote     reply to comment
WFG-Kimball
WFG-Kimball Dec 27 2007, 6:29am says:

Woa, that's got to be the most amazing thing I've seen this year... on a computer at least.

+1 vote     reply to comment
mikejkelley
mikejkelley Dec 27 2007, 6:41am says:

I sincerely hope he's able to make some money off this.

...but instead he just asks developers to make him some games using the tech. That's a hardcore gamer for you! LOL!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord
Dragonlord Dec 27 2007, 8:06am says: Online

Been recently on slashdot :D . It's a very nice idea but the use for a game is only limited. The reason is that you have just like a window you poke in to the game world. You can alter 3D rendering with this but it's not real VR. I don't know many games that would become better with this. Nevertheless a nice thing though.

0 votes     reply to comment
sbnewsom
sbnewsom Dec 27 2007, 2:34pm replied:

Complaining? I guess we are either better off with nothing at all or with a $2000 set up just to get close to the illusion of VR.

+1 vote     reply to comment
HeIIMaster
HeIIMaster Dec 27 2007, 8:58am says:

So some of you people are thinking of full 3D games to use with this?

I was kinda thinking a very up to date Rail-Shooter, like Time Crisis.
Think how ace that would be.

+2 votes     reply to comment
stringed_Evil
stringed_Evil Dec 27 2007, 10:22am says:

wow. I couldn't believe what I was seeing for a second. I just hope it makes sense with a fast shooter :D..regardless, very cool exploration.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ethan101
Ethan101 Dec 27 2007, 11:26am says:

Thats amazing, I really want to go buy a Wii right now and a extra controller and try that out, would it work with current games for the wii or no?

+1 vote     reply to comment
stenchy
stenchy Dec 27 2007, 4:27pm replied:

no it wouldn't, this is just and external piece of software that Johnny wrote and is running of his PC. You don't even need a Wii console to demonstrate what he is doing.

+1 vote     reply to comment
MrTaxikiller
MrTaxikiller Dec 27 2007, 11:38am says:

thats to good, make this also for the xbox360 so i can play halo3 better than ever >:D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord
Dragonlord Dec 27 2007, 11:42am says: Online

Why are people so awfully excited about this? It won't help you an inch playing an FPS and especially it won't make you better. Tell me one game where this system here "really" adds to the game and would be not just a nice gimmick?

-4 votes     reply to comment
Phoenix85
Phoenix85 Dec 27 2007, 1:16pm replied:

sure, it wont help you playing the game. Nothing will be easier then a keyboard and mouse, of course. But, hey, new gimmicks are fun

+1 vote     reply to comment
sbnewsom
sbnewsom Dec 27 2007, 2:35pm replied:

Maybe you should think about other people instead of yourself.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord
Dragonlord Dec 27 2007, 3:50pm replied: Online

I'm really getting sick of your useless one-liner posts just to look good. If you have nothing valid to say then don't say anything at all. And stop down-voting people whose opinion you don't like. Grow up and start acting mature!

-2 votes     reply to comment
sbnewsom
sbnewsom Dec 27 2007, 7:27pm replied:

I never used the rating system. Its as annoying as Gametrailers.com

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord
Dragonlord Dec 27 2007, 8:35pm replied: Online

There I agree with you 100%.

-1 votes     reply to comment
stenchy
stenchy Dec 27 2007, 4:29pm replied:

Time Crisis

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord
Dragonlord Dec 27 2007, 4:35pm replied: Online

Can you elaborate a bit?

+1 vote     reply to comment
stenchy
stenchy Dec 27 2007, 5:33pm replied:

You asked for a game as an example where this system would really add to it rather than just being a nice gimmick. The Time Crisis series is one solid example. Ducking and dodging mechanics are prevalent in that series. Combining it with a sense of depth just adds to the immersion. Gamers actually leaning to dodge bullets in the past will now be able to actually translate that into in-game movement.

Can you elaborate why you think it wouldn't make games better?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord
Dragonlord Dec 27 2007, 6:10pm replied: Online

Because of the disconnection of the game content. Games tend to have a two layer system. The first layer is the HUD which usually composes of your limbs and a weapon or tool you are using. The second layer is the game world rendered behind. Here you have now a system where the camera moves relative to the screen. For the second layer this works but what for the first layer? You are moving forth and back but what with the first layer?

The second problem is the Blender3D-Orbit-Camera problem. If you used blender ( or any other tool using orbiting cameras ) you know what happens if you try to navigate a world. It gets next to impossible since the movement you try to do is not in sync with what you see. As long as you are standing still you can use an orbiting camera relatively well but once you move it's like a slingering boat. You have a hard time to get where you want to go. This problem happens because the pivot of rotation is no more the camera itself. But the human mind is used to the fact that they are the same.

I see the point with the bullet dodging and yes for this it would work. The problem I see are the above mentioned ones.

0 votes     reply to comment
stenchy
stenchy Dec 27 2007, 6:21pm replied:

What you are describing is totally true if this feature were to be used as the primary movement mechanic. However, if this were to be used to augment movement controls (in cooperation with the nunchuk), the possibilities are plausible and exciting! Imagine playing a tactical shooter and physically peeking around corners. C'mon, look on the bright side and dream a little bit!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord
Dragonlord Dec 27 2007, 6:32pm replied: Online

No problem with that. I'm not a troll I'm just having my opinion on what are the pros and cons of such an approach. Like mentioned if you are static then this works. Peeking around a corner is a static operation ( you do not dislocate ). I see only one problem. Peeking around a corner involves a camera rotation of up to ( not fully ) 90°. That system would only work up to something like 25° maybe ( the sensor bar is limited to something like 40 or 45° degree in total if I remember correctly ).

+1 vote     reply to comment
Crispy
Crispy Jan 8 2008, 2:10pm replied:

- HUD stays as it always has been, an overlay onto the screen.
- VR headgear controls head/neck movements
- Hand-held controller controls forward/back/side movements.

You could use the VR headgear in collaboration with a 'loose-aim' system, so small movements within the middle 25% of the screen result in 'peering' and any faster movements that move the crosshair outside of the middle 25% of the screen result in 'turning' of the body.

Or is there some reason why that might not work?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Toblerone
Toblerone Dec 27 2007, 12:30pm says:

The vid reminds me of an arcade light gun game i played a good while back.. where you stood on a specific spot and then moved your body which moved your persective on the screen. You did this to dodge bullets, it wasn't perfect but it was quite cool, and an idea that could be brought into the home using this method.

The Wii never ceases to offer new possiblities for gaming control.

+2 votes     reply to comment
stenchy
stenchy Dec 27 2007, 5:57pm replied:

I remember that game, if you played long enough your legs got tired from squatting so much. Haha.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Apokalypse13
Apokalypse13 Dec 27 2007, 2:05pm says:

Ive always thought this would be great for a Zorro game. You use the wiimote for swordfighting and for using a whip. You can even mix fps and platformer by allowing the whip to grab onto things and swing across gaps.

Of course an Indiana Jones game would be good too since he uses a whip, but the Zorro would have swordfighting and whipping which I'd personally prefer ;)

+1 vote     reply to comment
sbnewsom
sbnewsom Dec 27 2007, 2:36pm replied:

Indeed, anything sword fighting would be great. It can even just be a tech demo and I'd be set. ha ha

0 votes     reply to comment
Fewes01
Fewes01 Dec 27 2007, 2:07pm says:

That is one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

+1 vote     reply to comment
grinder71518
grinder71518 Dec 27 2007, 3:28pm says:

Christ That Beats Imax And 3D Glasses Anyday!

That's very cool thinking :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
grinder71518
grinder71518 Dec 27 2007, 3:30pm says:

This Would be awesome for shooters!!!!! :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
DJ-Ready
DJ-Ready Dec 27 2007, 3:50pm says:

Yeah it definitely would
If I had a Wii, I'd start on a minigame utilizing this right now :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
stenchy
stenchy Dec 27 2007, 4:31pm replied:

Haha, don't say that!

+1 vote     reply to comment
BrokenTripod
BrokenTripod Dec 27 2007, 6:28pm replied:

You don't need a Wii to do development for this. All you need is a Wiimote, Blutooth dongle and Infared lights (I think?)

The Wiimote acts as the sensor/camera, picking up the infared lights on your head. Then the wiimote sends signals to the PC which displays stuff on the screen based on a program.

So you could probably implement this into games like HL2 and stuff, making head movements move the camera around in the game...Wouldn't help much, though, unless you could figure out a way to get behind cover better.

If you have SMod or something, you could probably mod that to lean based on head movements...Don't ask me how, though, I'm not a programmer =O!

I also can't issue karma. I feel sad about buried comments that shouldn't be buried now. Especially if they're only -1.

+4 votes     reply to comment
VertigoSFX
VertigoSFX Dec 28 2007, 12:43am says:

That is fantastic! I can't wait to see more stuff done with this, I guess that is the next direction for video games to head towards once they've perfected the graphics and what not.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Tycoon-Master
Tycoon-Master Dec 28 2007, 1:18am says:

*After finding my jaw, since it rolled under the desk*

That is so incredibly amazing, I cannot even begin to piece words together to make a sentence.

I can't imagine playing an FPS with VR... such as F.E.A.R. or Crysis.

/swear
/swear

Thanks Johnny for being smart and beating us to the punch :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
MrBCut
MrBCut Dec 28 2007, 1:32am says:

It is possible that Mr. Johnny Chung Lee has taken an impressive step towards the future of gaming via the Wii.

I will no longer scoff at the Wii! lol And honestly, I critiqued the Wii and its games from a QA development standpoint, with my experience working on Wii titles and it's Dev kits, and personally I wasn't too impressed. However, now I see this is due to developer's limitations for lack of creativity besides shaking the Wii-Mote throughout gameplay.

Nonetheless, this is very interesting and awe inspiring and perhaps even historic...

+1 vote     reply to comment
xXRapidXx
xXRapidXx Dec 28 2007, 1:44am says:

Just one more step into Virtual Reality!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Apokalypse13
Apokalypse13 Dec 28 2007, 1:09pm says:

It's funny how everyone is going crazy over this.

Go google a book called "Garage Virtual Reality" written in NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR. Using the directions in that book, this has been possible since then using pieces of the Nintendo power glove.

There are already commercial head-trackers but no one ever buys them or uses them or even develops games based on them.

Let's hope the attention this guy gets makes devs start ;)


+1 vote     reply to comment
BrokenTripod
BrokenTripod Dec 28 2007, 4:17pm replied:

I think it's revolutionary because it doesn't cost much. It's just a wiimote, infared lights and a blutooth dongle.

From what I've seen (I haven't seen much) those head-trackers cost a lot, don't they?

Or am I thinking of something else..?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Apokalypse13
Apokalypse13 Jan 1 2008, 1:17pm replied:

They dont. And you can make one from a 10$ nintendo power glove.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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