We already have seen some of Nintendo’s plans on how to use the Wii controller and they have some creative ideas. Just look at Wario Ware Smooth Moves. What about the third party developers? What do they think of when they were designing games for the Wii controller? On the Wii controller THQ compares it to virtual reality, “one thought that came to mind was this wasn’t the next step in virtual reality, it was virtually reality. It brings gaming off the screen and into the world.” In the works are Wii versions of SpongeBob, Cars and Avatar. Read on to see how they plan to use the controller to bring gaming off the screen.
In SpongeBob Wii there are plans to have racing, flying, and rampage mini games. For the racing segments players grip the controller like a steering wheel for an “intuitive virtual driving experience”. By leaning the controller left and right players can bend around corners. For the flying parts the controller becomes an aircraft control stick. The idea is to hold the controller upright and then pull it up to raise altitude or angle it down to drop altitude. Rampage takes advantage of the Wii’s accelerometers to smash through Bikini Bottom as a huge plankton. Sweep, swipe and shake the controllers to punch, stomp, and roar your way through a path of destruction. There are other segments of the game with “retro side scroll action” where the controller is used like an old style NES controller. For the main game THQ plans to use the Wii’s direct pointing device to move around the camera.
Plans for control in Cars Wii is similar to the SpongeBob racing game. Players can hold the controller with the face buttons up and rotate it like a steering wheel. To jump the controller has to be raised quickly. The tractor tipping mini game uses the vertical joystick control set up where players can tilt the controller side to side for motion. The other mini game, pit stop, uses different motions to tune up the car. By rotating the controller in a circle the car can be filled up. Waving the Wii remote up and down wipes the windows. To change tires players twist the controller like a screwdriver while holding down the highlighted button. On top of gameplay changes Cars Wii will get a bunch of graphical enhancements like higher resolution textures thanks to the Wii’s expanded memory. Other enhancements in the works include dynamic lighting (if the Wii supports more than four lights per rendered object), improved particles and 60fps progressive scan.
Player movement is controlled by using the nunchuck scheme while holding the A button and slashing does melee attacks. THQ wants to add in audio feedback, but for the current build of Avatar Wii their dev kits did not have speakers in the controllers. The GUI uses point and click system where the Wii pointer can hover over menus and drag items to equip. To do focus moves gamers have to trace on screen symbols, similar to the DS version of the game. Lastly THQ is still deciding on how to do Avatar’s air bending moves. Currently they are thinking about having players hold down the B trigger button and then perform directional commands like waving the controller left, right, up and then down.