Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Wii Entertainment Games

Wii Game Devs Testing Waters With Less-Casual Games 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the timmy-is-confused dept.
MTV's Multiplayer Blog has a pair of interviews with Wii game developers about how they're struggling to reach a more hardcore gaming audience. Jordan Itkowitz, lead designer for Deadly Creatures, wants to stay away from designing a typical collection of mini-games, saying, "The trick is to get those new players to step outside that easy comfort zone and try some genres and experiences that, while accessible and familiar to gamers, are still a bit foreign to anyone who's new to the culture." Dan Borth of Red Fly Studio is skeptical of the viability of hardcore games without relying on Nintendo and other major companies to "put a valiant effort in properly supporting developers to create great games."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wii Game Devs Testing Waters With Less-Casual Games

Comments Filter:
  • warning (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    do not view the comments in -1 mode. that is all.

  • They'll sell (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @05:35AM (#26369629)
    Yes, a lot of Wiis sold to casual gamers. But do they really think hardcore gamers didn't purchase a Wii? Of course they did, to sit next to their 360. They would buy a decent game no matter what console it's for.

    There is massive untapped potential for the Wii. I know the graphics are less powerful, but the Wiimote still lends itself to 1st person shooters better than any gamepad. Resident Evil proved that. And the Wii is the only console that a RTS (like Starcraft) would even be possible to be played on. Keep in mind, development costs on a AAA title for the Wii are half or less what they would be on a 360 or PS3.

    Please, just make some games for it. Please.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Crookdotter (1297179)
      Not to every demographic, certainly not to me. I play games on the PC (CoD, HL etc - the big grown up games), yet on the Wii I mainly play silly games, like mario kart or sonic or brain training stuff, or guitar hero. This is because the missus also plays on the wii (who wasn't any kind of gamer before the wii).

      One is the typical lone player in a room somewhere, the other is a social or family game played in the living room. I don't think we'd play hardcore games on the wii at all.

      Kids seem to favour the
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Nursie (632944)

        "One is the typical lone player in a room somewhere, the other is a social or family game played in the living room. I don't think we'd play hardcore games on the wii at all."

        That's just, like, your opinion, man!

        Personally I like the 360, I like FPS, but I also like doing it with friends, preferably in the same room. This is why things like Gears of War 2 utterly rock. It's an involved, all action shooter you can play split-screen co-op.

        The Wii sits largely unused because basically the games are usually lik

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Have you heard of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Tales of Symphonia 2, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, House of the Dead 2 and 3 Return, Resident Evil 4, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy, Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon, Manhunt 2, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, and so on?

          The games that have a little more substance than a 'collection of minigames' are there, you just have to be a little less of a gaming hermit and look for them.

    • by Swizec (978239)
      No, 1st person shooters on a wiimote? That's insane, you'd _actually_ have to be a good shot to be any good at the game and I doubt most gamers are.

      However I can't think of a better way to play Diablo or some other hack&slash than with a wiimote that carefully translates your actions into sword movements. THAT would be awesome! Does it even have enough precision by the way?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by pizzach (1011925)

        No, 1st person shooters on a wiimote? That's insane, you'd _actually_ have to be a good shot to be any good at the game and I doubt most gamers are.

        Not really. From what I have seen all first person shooters have a shooting ridicule so you know exactly where the shot is going to go. It really is a lot like aiming with a mouse in that way. With traditional first person shooters you had to feel for the correct spot.

        However I can't think of a better way to play Diablo or some other hack&slash than with a wiimote that carefully translates your actions into sword movements. THAT would be awesome! Does it even have enough precision by the way?

        Not likely or at least not easily. But Wii-motion plus should hopefully fix things. From what I have seen, the motion controls on the wiimote aren't that amazing, but the pointer controls work really well.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by alannon (54117)

        I disagree entirely. Just try playing Metroid Prime 3, for example. It's a first person shooter and has fantastic controls, particularly if you compare it the Gamecube Metroid games. As good as a mouse & keyboard? That -might- be arguable. But certainly in the same class.

      • However I can't think of a better way to play Diablo or some other hack&slash than with a wiimote that carefully translates your actions into sword movements

        Are you kidding? Going from *click*click*click*click* to *swing*swing*swing*swing* would make your arm fall off after 5 minutes.

        • by Swizec (978239)
          I didn't say it would be easy. But it would be AWESOME! :P
          • From what I understand there's a couple of games that try something like this and the combat was described as boring and uninspired.

            • by Swizec (978239)
              Probably depends on how it's done. If you just swing emptily around with gestures, that's boring. But if the motion of your wiimote is directly translated into the motions of your character's sword then that's something. But such a game with all its procedural programming would probably be top news on slashdot throughout its development like Spore was and wouldn't just be "a couple of games ..."
      • by geekoid (135745)

        yeah, you don't want any real skills to play a game.

        However, it's not actually that bad. The games I have seen are designed to take the lack of RW experience into account.

      • I think Morrowind had a system where it translated your mouse movements into specific attacks (slash, jab, etc). I could be thinking of Daggerfall, it's predicessor, though. I always thought that was pretty cool, and it should be implementable with the Wii. I would really enjoy that, but my right arm would also get really tired.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I know the graphics are less powerful, but the Wiimote still lends itself to 1st person shooters better than any gamepad. Resident Evil proved that. And the Wii is the only console that a RTS (like Starcraft) would even be possible to be played on.

      When i tried playing resident evil on the wii i found that the wiimote simply doesn't make a very good gun, you have to aim the a crosshair by moving the wiimote instead of just aiming. If the wiimote was ever made into a good aiming device then perhaps it would be good for "gun games" (i cant think of the correct genre name but timecrises and resident evil are not really FPS in the hardcore "oh shit i forgot to sleep again" sense) but the problem is that most genres need you to be able to control the direc

      • but the problem is that most genres need you to be able to control the direction and movement of the character, and if you want to achieve this you either lose the benefit of aiming with the wiimote, or end up with a complex control system which looses the benefit of the wiimote entirely.

        That's what the "nunchuk" (which includes a thumb joystick) is for.

      • Re:They'll sell (Score:4, Informative)

        by vux984 (928602) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @01:07PM (#26373699)

        When i tried playing resident evil on the wii i found that the wiimote simply doesn't make a very good gun, you have to aim the a crosshair by moving the wiimote instead of just aiming.

        Pretty much. The wii remote is not a light gun. The point the remote is actually pointing at is not likely the point at which the reticule is going to be at... so you can't sight down the 'barrel' of your wii remote.

        However, if you use it as intended, as a way of manipulating the on screen reticule... tilting your aim down to move the reticule down, up to move it up, etc... using the position of the reticule to guide your movements to adjust its position it works VERY well. And frankly this is exactly the same way you use a mouse on a computer or target with a thumstick on a ps3/360.

        In fact, in my opinion, it works FAR BETTER than a ps3/360 auto-centering thumbstick for aiming, and compared to the mouse its "equal but different".

        The mouse is still more precise, and you can play longer without fatigue so its better from that point of view, but standing in front of a big screen TV pointing at it with the wii remote is more visceral and immersive so its better from that point of view. ...but the problem is that most genres need you to be able to control the direction and movement of the character, and if you want to achieve this you either lose the benefit of aiming with the wiimote, or end up with a complex control system which looses the benefit of the wiimote entirely.

        It sounds like you played, Resident evil Umbrella Chronicles'. The rail-shooter.
        Try Resident Evil 4. or Metroid Prime 3 which use the thumbstick on the nunchuk to control movement to great effect, and then come back and let us know.

        It works much better than you seem to think is possible. The Wii is amazing with a good FPS title.

        • by CAIMLAS (41445)

          You do know you can calibrate the reticle to actually point where you're aiming it, right? It takes a little bit of effort moving the reciever around and testing, but it works. No more effort than sighting in a real gun, I s'pose.

          • by vux984 (928602)

            You do know you can calibrate the reticle to actually point where you're aiming it, right? It takes a little bit of effort moving the reciever around and testing, but it works. No more effort than sighting in a real gun, I s'pose.

            Is that a calibration feature of a particular game, or are you saying its generally true. Because its not generally true from what I can tell.

            You can certainly improve things to a point, by moving the light bar and re positioning yourself. But it has no way of telling it how big yo

      • by snuf23 (182335)

        you have to aim the a crosshair by moving the wiimote instead of just aiming

        I ended up putting a pillow on my lap and resting the wii remote on it. I only needed to make small movements of the remote to move the reticle about the screen. Much less arm strain than trying to hold the wii remote out in from of you during a long gaming session.

    • Keep in mind, development costs on a AAA title for the Wii are half or less what they would be on a 360 or PS3.

      Admittedly, it's been a decade since I had anything to do with the games industry, but I'm seriously drawing blanks there. Why would they cost less? Coding support for a mouse or gamepad isn't half the cost of any game I know of, so how's the wiimote going to cut half the costs?

      Or are you just comparing the cost of doing a silly (if fun) minigame on the Wii to, say, a complex RPG on other consoles,

      • Keep in mind, development costs on a AAA title for the Wii are half or less what they would be on a 360 or PS3.

        Admittedly, it's been a decade since I had anything to do with the games industry, but I'm seriously drawing blanks there. Why would they cost less? Coding support for a mouse or gamepad isn't half the cost of any game I know of, so how's the wiimote going to cut half the costs?

        Because Wii uses 480p video, artists can get away with less detailed meshes and textures than Xbox 360.

        In practice, you'd end up having to redo the graphics

        For a title that isn't going anywhere other than Wii, PS2, PSP, and PC with Intel GMA, you just "do" the graphics at low detail in the first place.

        • by Moraelin (679338)

          Except even a:

          - PS2 has 4MB of video RAM, vs the Wii's 3MB

          - PSP, ok, has marginally less RAM and video RAM, but has to run at a fraction of the resolution. And has the excuse that it's a _portable_ system, i.e., you don't expect the same games as on a home PC or console. You expect minigames to play on a bus or train.

          - PCs with Intel GMA, you can't even freaking buy one with less than half a gig main RAM and 64 MB video RAM, except if someone robbed a museum and you found their fence. Heck, most new-ish chi

          • by KDR_11k (778916)

            _Even_ _if_ you make the graphics only for the Wii, if you want your game to compete with more than minigames, you'll want the game to at least look competitive with what one can buy on other consoles in your chosen genre.

            No. People buy games for more than just their graphics. What you have to make is a good game which many companies are currently failing spectacularly at. Would you really buy an inferior game in the same genre just because it looks better? The competition is on quality which is more than g

            • by Moraelin (679338)

              No. People buy games for more than just their graphics. What you have to make is a good game which many companies are currently failing spectacularly at. Would you really buy an inferior game in the same genre just because it looks better? The competition is on quality which is more than graphics.

              You'd be surprised how many people proclaim loudly that they care about gameplay more than graphics, then go and buy based on graphics anyway. Plus, there's got to be _some_ reason why everyone falls over themselve

              • by KDR_11k (778916)

                Graphics used to be the yard stick but as you said the Wii isn't exactly graphically powerful yet it's outperforming the HD consoles by far. The PS2 is damn ugly compared to all three and yes, getting the most playtime.

                Of course the Wii won't magically make a bad game good, that's why third parties are failing so hard on the system, they just throw half-assed ports on there and wonder why noone buys them.

              • Last I heard, actually the PS2 is still in the lead as the most played console.

                It's just a matter of time. Nintendo is selling more Wii's every month, and has far surpassed the max per month Sony made of PS2's. So it's only a matter of time before the Wii becomes the most played console.

    • by Mattsson (105422)

      If they have support for using a Bluetooth or USB mouse, an RTS would be great on the Wii.
      Same goes for any other console with BT or USB support, though.
      In my experience with the Wii, the Wiimote isn't really suitable as a mouse-replacement.

      • Replacement != equivalent

        Developers should figure out creative and useful ways to use the Wii remote in their games, not just treat it like a mouse. Just because it's not as precise as a pointer device doesn't mean it doesn't have a place. The Wii remote doesn't have to perfectly mimic the function of a mouse to replace it for Wii games.

      • by Binty (1411197)
        After playing World of Goo for pc and wii, I have much more respect for the wiimote pointing function. In case you haven't heard of it, the game involves placing little balls using drag and drop mechanics to build structures. In some cases you have to be very fast and very precise and the wiimote handled it beautifully. It was at least as good as a mouse, and I think some extra polish on the wii controls actually made the game better on that platform.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by somersault (912633)

      I bought a Wii, then gave it to my little sister a few months after getting my PS3, because the Wii was getting absolutely no use. It wasn't because of the graphics, it's just because of the lack of games with depth. The only games I played for more than a week were Zelda and NFS: Carbon.

      You can plug mice into Xboxes and PS3s, so I don't see why playing an RTS on a console would be any more awful than it already is on PC. In fact my little brother used to play C&C on Playstation with a mouse, which we a

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      the problem is the "adult games" are half assed on the Wii.

      I have bought one of the Splinter cell series for the Wii. the game utterly sucks. Mostly because the controls were programmed by a complete idiot.

      Instead of using the Wii's powerful controls to make a shooter game better, Ala Raging rabbits, aim the wiimote like a gun, I have to shoot using their auto aim and the most ckunky control system on the planet. It makes the game suck because the guys that programmed it were idiots, the playtesters we

    • by plague3106 (71849)

      My wife got me my Wii. It's been a while since I owned a console (SNES). I like it, but I'm not into causal gamers. I try to buy all the kinds of games I do like (Tomb Raider, RE4, etc), but sadly there isn't much choice for me. So I plan on getting a PS3. I'll continue to buy games for both (Tomb Raider UW, since it seems the Wii version is different). Hopefully more serious games will come to the Wii.

      So... I'm with you, but I'm losing faith that my kind of games will ever take hold on the Wii.

    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      I'm sure there is a very large % of people doing exactly what you say, 360/ps3+Wii. Add the physical relationship the Wii has created between games and gamers and possible future games makes a hardcore gamer like me want it even more. I'd be pretty stout if my FPS gaming required me to run and jump.

    • by Jaazaniah (894694)

      I agree, but I'm not holding my breath. Several months ago I sent a scathing letter to Nintendo customer service as I felt I got the short end of the stick by a long shot by purchasing a Wii. The avoidance of "bundles of mini-games" would be a very welcome change to this hardcore gamer.

      A quick run down of my letter is I outlined my number of nintendo purchases over the years and the fraction of those that I felt were worth the time and money. It went from 50/70 for the original gameboy to 11/30 for the Wii.

    • by iwan-nl (832236)

      to sit next to their 360.

      That would be my PS3, sir! I've never been this insulted!

      ...

      Just kidding. I don't own any console. Just my Sony Vaio laptop :P

  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @07:16AM (#26370051) Homepage

    The Wii has sold 46 million consoles. How many of those do you need to sell to in order to make a profitable "hardcore" game? Not that many...

    • The math on this is quite easy to grasp from a marketing angle. If even a single percent of all Xbox 360 owners buy a game, that's still nearly half a million units. Considering that hardcore gamers tend to gravitate to the Xbox 360 (and PS3, which also has high units sold numbers), a well-designed title can do extremely well. Just look at the launch day numbers for games like GTA4, Halo 3 or GoW2!
      • by jgtg32a (1173373)
        A massive marketing blitz helps a lot too.
      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        Yet in the end most of the games are still crappy, don't sell and leave the company bankrupt because of the insane budgets they blow at these games. EA had to downsize because they no longer managed to make up for the cost.

        BTW, if 1% was half a million the 360 would have sold 50 million, it did about half that number. The Wii is at about 46 million sold, if 1% bought a game there you'd have your half a million.

    • by tbannist (230135)

      By that logic, everyone should be developing games for the... PS2?

      After all, it's got 5 times the install base of the Wii. The problem with "hardcore" games is that most of the people who like to play them don't actually own a Wii or also own a platform that caters to "hardcore" gamers. So, by producing the game for the Wii, you're either not selling to your target audience. If you go cross platform, your game either looks terrible compared the games on the 360 and PS3 or looks terrible on the Wii compar

    • But hardcore gamers also have a 360 or PS3. Both of which provide dramatically better graphics.

    • by grumbel (592662)

      What you forget is that a casual game is much cheaper to produce and might easily sell more. A hardcore game isn't very attractive target, when the target audience is in a completly different direction. Also most hardcore developers like to push boundaries, with the Wii it would be quite a step back on the technical side.

  • by LurkingOnSlashdot (1378465) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @09:11AM (#26370645)
    I think the Wii has a huge untapped potential for x-rated adult games with special "attachments". Why are we not seeing these materialize?
    • by Toonol (1057698)
      Adult peripherals? Nintendo should realize that's a great opportunity for market penetration.
  • by rlp (11898) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @09:12AM (#26370647)

    There are lots of in-depth Wii games. Just not a whole lot of shooters (Res Evil, Metroid, Ghost Squad, etc.) But given that the Wii is the number one selling console worldwide, I'm sure that will change. Can't wait for "Animal Crossing - The Revenge"

    "What's that? Terrorists have siezed Tom Nook's Store?!"
    Goodbye fishing pole, hello chain-gun!

  • Have you watched TV lately it seems like XBox and to a lesser extent Playstation are trying to get the casual/family gamers. Haven't you seen the XBox commercial were you watch a person playing a game all in a sudden gets a stroke and it spins around to the back of their head and you see them doing what they were doing before with a Dad or Mom or something. Then saying all the family games they have (like 2) just to try to get to the Casual Gamer/Family market and compete with the Wii.

    I personally don't ca

    • by tbannist (230135)

      I've noticed that every game I've seen advertised for the 360 lately has been cross platform. It's usually rock band or something similar in those commercials.

  • Hardcore Gamer (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kellyb9 (954229)

    Nintendo Wii? Oh you mean that thing I pick up once or twice a year when I'm having parties...

  • I played Resident Evil 4 (Wii Edition). I played Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I played Metroid Prime 3 and Super Mario Galaxy. I'd have played Okami if I hadn't finished it on the PS2. I played Bully: Scholarship Edition.

    Then at some point, it seems the industry decided to stop trying. I haven't seen a new Wii game that appeals to me in months. It's all casual games and shovelware. So I've mostly been focused on the PS3.

    But give me another Resident Evil or Metroid Prime on the Wii and I'm in. Or how

    • If you like games for real men, MadWorld is going to make you go nuts.

      A beautiful cell-shaded game, in black, white, and red. It's a gameshow where the more creative you are with your kills, the more points you get. I believe you're in downtown Tokyo or in a similar place, I've only seen screenshots but you're in a more Asiatic city environment.

      And there's also The Conduit, Monster Hunter 3, etc., which should be a lot of fun. Of course, I've still got to hunt down all those good Wii games, and it's fairly

  • by geekoid (135745)

    lets not develop for the most popular console in the way people bought them for.

    Genius!

  • I bought Star Wars Unleashed for my 15 year old son. It sure feels like a hardcore game to me. I know it isn't on the far end of the hardcore scale.

    Metroid Prime 3 is pretty hardcore too. The only thing lacking is gore and zombies.

  • The problem I have with the wii currently is that I can count the number of games which I have enjoyed on one finger. (Fyi, super mario galaxy.)

    The problem seems to be that for every "serious" game on the wii, 100 "fun/party" games are released. Sure, it was cute at first, but ~2 years later and I've pretty much not touched the wii since. Sure, a few party games are kinda fun (wii sports for example), but most of them fall into the category of "do something silly with the wii remote for a few seconds, and n

  • Yes, please please please develop more in-depth games for the Wii.

    Here are two current games that I want, but have not purchased only because they are not available on the Wii, and I have not purchased any other console:

    - Grand Theft Auto IV (I loved GTA III on the PC)
    - F.E.A.R. II

    And there are many others that I have passed up, the only reason being that they were not available on my console of choice (or more specifically, my controller of choice).

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

Working...