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Author Topic: Wii Port  (Read 14241 times)
lakota.james
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Wii Port
« on: June 01, 2008, 04:38:24 am »

I know i read this being discussed before, but it wasnt really possible yet.  However, there is WiiWare that it could be ported to (not really sure how that works), and a non-hardware hack http://wiibrew.org/index.php that can run homebrew.  I think that this might be even better on the Wii, for melee 1+2 could be used for fire and special, and B for thrust.  The pointer would be good for menus and dialogue (Actually, mouse would be nice in the real version, now that i think about it. Is there any plans for using it?).
I don't have any idea how hard this would be to do, by the way. If it is way out of the question, then tell me, so i wont dream of the day when someone with a Wii and lots of free time port it.  Grin
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GespenstM
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2008, 07:33:55 am »

Well. I'm not a coder at all, but I can tell you a few interesting bits of logistics that would go into this.

1 - The Wii, I believe, runs a form of PowerPC arcitecture. Any relevant port would need to be compatible with that, if I'm correct.

2 - A WiiWare release has... issues. For one, Nintendo limits published games on this medium to either 40 megs or 43 megs. The music and speech alone outweigh that limit, so any 'official published' version on WiiWare would not only be Game-Content-Only, but would cost money. It would also likely have to be okayed by Activision and/or Toys For Bob, as I understand (in fact, one of those companies would be the ones to approach Nintendo about this to begin with). Not only that, it probably would have to be significantly recoded accordingly; I'm 50% confident that UQM cannot be used for this sort of project. WiiWare is commercial distribution via Nintendo. So if 'amateur users' like us were to even try, I'm sure TfB would go "AHEM. Ours. What the heck are you doing trying to make a profit off our property?"

3 - Any homebrew port would be limited to a maximum of 1.9 gigabytes. ...That's not a huge issue. But it will be competing for space on whatever else is on your SD Card. And I'd really try to see what could be done to make it practical for 1 gig SD cards.

4 - Since we'd be running it from the SD card port on the front, the data must load quickly enough for seamless gameplay from said SD card. Is this an actual problem? I don't know.

5 - Need some way to enter text for fleet names. This would require either an 'onscreen keyboard', or players would have to supply their own USB keyboard to the Wii (possible, but the relevant homebrew libraries for this are still in development), or supply their own fleet files made by other ports.


As a result, I feel front-SD would be the way to go, avoiding WiiWare altogether. That said, I do not personally know if this is even feasible, but I would hope it is. The Wii would be an awesome platform for internet Super Melee play due to its wireless gamepads (I'd prefer a Classic Controller, but a Wiimote held NES style works too), and its wireless internet capability also lends itself well to this.

I can definitely say if someone builds it, I'll be there. But my experience as a coder is inadequate to take on this kind of project at present. Still, the above are some of the things that would have to be accounted for. My best guess is that a Wii port would not be immediate, and would be a moderately significant undertaking.
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lakota.james
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2008, 12:44:17 am »

hmmm... didnt know how wiiware worked, thanks.

how big is uqm? i didnt realize size would be an issue.

thanks for the interest, by the way.
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Novus
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2008, 12:50:41 pm »

how big is uqm? i didnt realize size would be an issue.
The basic content is about 12 MB, the program code a few megabytes at most and the 3DO music 19 MB. The voice data, however, is over 100 MB. Dropping the bit rate of the 3DO audio to 25% would allow you to squeeze everything into 40 MB but the quality loss would be unacceptable. Losing the voices entirely is probably the best option. It makes sense to limit the size of downloaded games to keep transfer times (and server strain) reasonable and allow the user to keep a decent selection of games on the Wii's internal 512 MB Flash.

With SD cards the full content is not a problem; you could even include the 3DO videos on a 1 GB card and have half the space left over.

CPU architecture is not a problem; UQM works fine on PowerPC Macs already. The graphics hardware, CPU and RAM seem to be sufficient. The lack of a keyboard is not really a problem, as text input is only needed to specify a few names here and there; we can remove all that with negligible effect on gameplay.

There are a few homebrew apps with similar requirements, so porting UQM should be technically possible. Looking at the SDLMAME port, it seems that all the libraries UQM needs already exist for Wii. Actually finding these libraries is surprisingly difficult, but they do seem to exist.

WiiWare comes with a bunch of weird legal restrictions from Nintendo, so I'd avoid that. Nintendo apparently expects royalties on every WiiWare game Shocked and generally speaking have a horribly complicated and demanding process for becoming a developer (most of which involves proving you are a major game developer and publisher already!). I also have no idea how their NDAs interact with GPL.
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lakota.james
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2008, 03:26:48 pm »

so, if we remove the voices (which some people dont like that much anyway) it would fit easily on a 1gb sd card, and all the librarys are ported already, then what would someone have to so to port it? remove the keyboard and replace with wii remote? and how hard would that be for someone with very little programming skills?
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2008, 05:49:56 pm »

so, if we remove the voices (which some people dont like that much anyway) it would fit easily on a 1gb sd card, and all the librarys are ported already, then what would someone have to so to port it? remove the keyboard and replace with wii remote? and how hard would that be for someone with very little programming skills?
If we remove the voices, UQM fits easily on a 64 MB SD card or in a 40 MB WiiWare download. Even with the voices, you'll have plenty of space left even on a 256 MB card.

Much of the work, I guess, would be setting up a working Wii development environment, ironing out the idiosyncrasies of SDL on the Wii, testing, and sorting out potential performance problems. Someone with Wii homebrew experience should be able to make a decent attempt, but programming skills are likely to be useful if something doesn't work as expected.

As I said, I'd just forget about text entry and use the remote as an old-school gamepad; after all, the rest of the game only needs two digital axes and a few buttons. I imagine the Remote could be used as a pointing device, so any mouse support that is later added to UQM would probably translate into Wii Remote support.
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 12:25:39 pm »

I don't know if it's of much help in finding the relevant libraries (or if people in this thread are already aware of the site), but wiibrew.org may have some of this stuff already. They've also released updated front-SD libraries that drastically improve the load times, addressing my major concern about a port.

Granted, my lack of coding skill means this is about as helpful as me saying "Go get 'er, Ray." Oh well.
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lakota.james
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2008, 11:00:35 pm »

I don't know if it's of much help in finding the relevant libraries (or if people in this thread are already aware of the site), but wiibrew.org may have some of this stuff already.

I linked to it in my first post Wink
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JPL
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2009, 02:13:21 am »

Hi folks.  I'm guessing there hasn't been any further development on a Wii port of UQM?  A google turned up nothing about a port.

I must say, I'm tempted.  Unlike the DS version people were talking about here a while back, the Wii has the horsepower for it, SDL for Wii seems to have matured somewhat - several bits of notable homebrew use it - it's now shockingly easy to install homebrew on a Wii, and with external SD card storage it would be pretty easy to fit all the UQM content in.

Plus, ScummVM got a wii port, and UQM has always been in my mind the lesser-known, but still totally awesome little sibling.

My programming skill is hovering somewhere around "intermediate", and I'm thinking this might be a good way to fill in some gaps in my experience, plus it's a game I adore and would love to play on a console.  I might hit some spots where I need to call in some real muscle for sorting out platform specific issues.  For starters, I'd have to figure out how to rope together SDL, the UQM codebase and whatever wii specific dev tools you need to get stuff running on it.

So without making any concrete promises, I think I'm interested.  I have a AAA game to help ship first, so I might not be able to really start work on it until this fall.

What do folks here think?  Is this something you'd be interested in playing, testing or contributing to?  Did I miss an already-underway project to do the same?
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CelticMinstrel
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2009, 06:03:54 am »

So if 'amateur users' like us were to even try, I'm sure TfB would go "AHEM. Ours. What the heck are you doing trying to make a profit off our property?"
I know this is a year-old post, but I'd just like to point out that this is not an issue. First, Toys for Bob renounced all their rights to it when they released it under the GPL license. Second, I don't think you can make a profit on it due to the GPL license; I'm not sure if it actually directly forbids making money on it, but the requirement that the source code be released would mean that free versions would probably appear very quickly.
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meep-eep
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2009, 09:56:09 am »

What do folks here think?  Is this something you'd be interested in playing, testing or contributing to?  Did I miss an already-underway project to do the same?
All known ports can be found here: http://wiki.uqm.stack.nl/The_Ur-Quan_Masters.

I'm happy to answer questions you may have about the source, where I can. You may want to hang out on the #sc2 IRC channel on irc.freenode.net, where more of the devs can be found. Note that response times are likely to be slow though.

So if 'amateur users' like us were to even try, I'm sure TfB would go "AHEM. Ours. What the heck are you doing trying to make a profit off our property?"
I know this is a year-old post, but I'd just like to point out that this is not an issue. First, Toys for Bob renounced all their rights to it when they released it under the GPL license. Second, I don't think you can make a profit on it due to the GPL license; I'm not sure if it actually directly forbids making money on it, but the requirement that the source code be released would mean that free versions would probably appear very quickly.
I think you're missing a crucial point of how copyright works: By releasing something under some license, you give others the permission to use it; you do not renounce any rights.
Furthermore, only the UQM code is released under the GPL; the content (graphics, music, dialogs, etc) are released under the "Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 license", which does not grant you commercial exploitation rights. Porting to the Wii is ok, but to make money off it, you need separate permission from TFB.
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2009, 03:34:23 pm »

Okay, so what I said applies to the code alone then. They've renounced their rights to the code, but retain some rights to the content. Fair enough.
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meep-eep
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2009, 07:01:19 pm »

Okay, so what I said applies to the code alone then. They've renounced their rights to the code, but retain some rights to the content. Fair enough.
They can still license their code (before our modifications) under different licenses, and they can still lease or transfer ownership of that code.
The only thing you might say that they "renounced" is their exclusive rights.
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2009, 05:24:26 am »

For the record, this port would be a homebrew project; I'd never ever try to do a WiiWare version, or try to make money off this in any other way.  In fact, if I get anywhere with it and TFB want to use that as the basis for a proper WiiWare release, I'd be more than happy just with my name in the credits.  My main aims in this are to increase my programming skills, learn some stuff about the wii internals, and pay tribute to a game I love.

Meep-eep, thanks for offering your knowledge, I may take you up on that.  I'm comfortable with the IRC knowledge base thing too.

Jeez, I feel like I'm already making promises I'll regret.  I just found out today that the project I'm on will be going an extra few months, so it may be a while before I'm able to start work on this in earnest.  First task will be brushing up on makefiles and figuring out how to reconcile the way DevKitProPPC and UQM like to compile.
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Re: Wii Port
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2009, 09:01:53 am »

If DevKitProPPC works uses GCC and binutils, the easiest way would be to create a dir, put in links to gcc (with the name 'gcc') and the various binutils in it, and put that dir in front of your PATH, so these programs get found before their native versions, set the environment variable BUILD_HOST to something like 'WII', and see how far you get with that. Make sure that your compiler can find the include files and libs of the host system (including everything listed in INSTALL); set CFLAGS and LDFLAGS if necessary.
If that fails, you may need to edit set_host_system() in build/unix/config_functions and build/unix/config_proginfo_host.
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