Saturday, November 27, 2010

Starting the Opera browser in your Wii from your BennuGD games

The Internet Channel is a Nintendo-sanctioned port of the popular Opera browser that has been free to download for your Wii for quite some time.
With the latest builds of Bennu for the Wii, you can now launch any webpage you want from your code. To do so, just add the following line in the appropriate place:

exec(_P_NOWAIT, URL, 0, 0);

And the Internet Channel will open URL. Just remember that your game will quit right after that call and do as needed for a clean shutdown (saving gamestate, unloading resources...).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pixbros preview release!

It has been quite a while since I told you I was working with Pix Juegos' Pixel to bring you a preview release of Pix Bros for Wii, but it's already arrived for your gaming pleasure!

As I said earlier today, it's still a preview so be sure to understand that what we're releasing today is only a preview of the game: when the final version is released, bugs will get fixed and the game will look much prettier. It is, however, a very playable version of the game: It's running at 32bpp, with MP3 music and it will even open the designer's group website when asked to! (more on this on a later post. If you want to give it a try, give an eye to the game's code).

Today's preview does have a few limitations, though. Fonts are not working as one might expect them to, so we've released a version of the game that uses the default system font. That font is basically available for debugging purposes, so it is barely visible and looks plain wrong.
This game also showed some issues with the joystick handling routines which might be caused by the SDL port. To avoid them, only one player can play at any given time, sorry for that.
On a final note, the game seems to slow down a bit at certain points. This is caused by it running at 32bpp: looks like we hit the Wii's limit when processing graphics without its GPU. In case we can't solve this, we might have to release the final version with 16bpp mode set by default.

On the bright side of life, you'll enjoy the latest and greatest version of Pix Juegos' game, which has gone through major improvement since its last release. I can promise you the game is really, really entertaining. I've been waiting for it on the Wii for a long time :)

For the rest, the game is completely playable. I haven't finished the game (those Rarutos keep killing me...) but it seem pretty rock-solid. It's really encouraging to see that :)

Both Pix Juegos and me wish you an absurd level of fun, but remember this is only a preview and things might be broken. If that's the case, please let us know so that we can fix them.

The screen grab below shows the state of an early build of the game (it's really the same one as shown earlier). 

Get the game from here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

WIP sign for your games

When we released the EEEEK! EEEEEK! HOOOOOOK!!! preview, many people liked it and took it for what it was with bugs and all.
Many people downloaded it and found it playable to the point that some user uploaded the preview to the Homebrew Browser, the author of the game grew concerned that many people would play a pre-release version of the game that contained known bugs and featured no notification on that regard.

The final version of the game for the Wii was released a few days later with many enhancements and all the known bugs fixed, but we were left with the doubt of whether many people wouldn't upgrade from the pre-released version just because they thought it represented the overall quality of the game.

That's why, for the launch of a Pix Bros preview (coming later today) I've created a pretty straightforward sign, which can be seen below:

And here's the original SVG image. It probably won't display correctly in your browser, it works just fine with Inkscape. Feel free to add it to your projects (even if they're not Wii-related) and treat the image as public domain.

For example, here's what Pixel you'll see in Pix Bros when you download the preview:

Enough, will be back with some real news (Pix Bros pre-release, a code status update and I'll tell you how to open web addresses from your games directly in your Wii!) later today.