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Posted by Auzzie Wingman on 24 February 2013 - 06:05 PM
I'm not one of the most respected, I'm not one of the elite, I'm in no way saying I have a level of superiority above anyone. I am human and prone to error. I tend to care for every individual on this site, and for the site itself. So how about a little story time before I absolutely tear everything to pieces.
When I first joined, this site was quite literally a halcyon of the internet. Now, for those who don't know, a halcyon is period of utter serene peace, or something to that effect. The arguments were naught, the place wasn't spammed. "On the Wii U Forums? NO WAY!" Well yes, it is true. Such a thing existed here.... until Victorious V and nl had the first ever biache fight in the chat room. Mind you, such biaching was really tame to half the stuff that happens now.
And now, for the reasons that brought you here. My perspective on why things are DYING.
* Staff - It's a bit hard not to start with the staff. Of the six staff that can actually do something, only 3 of them are actually active. Mournblade is working his ass off for the most part, and Andy and Joshua tend to be on when he isn't. At least for the most part there is moderators around the clock. The problem is that there aren't active admins. I managed to send Feld0 and email today, and that's why he appeared today. AMAC and Crackkat have just disappeared off the face of the forums altogether.
We need a more dedicated administrator in the event that Feld0 can't acquire AMAC's services anymore. The same goes for the fourth moderator position if he can't get Crackkat.
* Threads - Yeah, threads. There are a number of problems going on with threads. First off, spam threads. We don't have a section for spam threads, so don't make them. And you wonder why people are calling this site crap. Didn't happen back in the day when quality existed, why did it ever happen. Then you've got Zinix's threads. I'm all for news, but there's also this thing called taste, and Zinix, I can tell you are purposely posting news that no one truly wants to hear. Anything that sounds immoral or destructive, you feel you need to post NO YOU DON'T STOP IT. Repeat threads. I think everyone needs to get over them. It's proven that search can be iffy and even more people don't know it exists. Merge whenever it gets found and never speak of it again, stop complaining about doubles. Do what Hunter did yesterday.
On another note, there really hasn't been enough meaningful topics out there. If you have an idea on how you can get a fulfilling discussion going, then post it. I'm more than ready to talk, practically everyone who uses the C3 is ready to discuss, heck, the people migrating from 3DSF lately more than likely have something constructive to say from where I'm sitting. I mean just look at 3Dude. 3DSF migrant who's been making great to hear news threads about the Wii U.
* Posts - First off, be constructive. Positive or negative, try to post things that actually make sense. No spam, no complete hatewagons. It's silly and degrading to everything, so don't troll. Also, cut the fanboyism. Saturn, this one is mostly to you. No need to be "Blame microsoft" or however it is that you do it. This might've been before you joined, but there is actually a strict "No bashing" policy on this forum. This also goes to several other members who have been invading the Hardware section and complaining "it's about the games, eff specs talk".
* Members - This is the big one. It involves all of you, no exceptions, not even Feld0, not even Epic Kirby, not even Hari nor Noonabites. EVERYONE. This is a public zone. You can hide behind your monitors but it's no different from being in school or a convention talking on stage. You can be yourself, but there are expectations of you from everyone else. If you feel that you aren't meeting those expectations, then perhaps you should show restraint. By expectations, people expect you to be polite. If you're gonna be aggressive then give a good reason to be aggressive. Don't troll others opinions and understand they aren't you, they might get it and they might not. If you feel offended, then let people know, they can't be expected to know if you don't say something. Stop working around behind each other's backs godamnit.
* Be part of the community - Say hi to people in introduction threads, jump into chat when you can, go into threads you don't usually go to, have fun in the forum games and roleplay section, put up a status update, change your profile every once in a while, discuss, post, be bothered. Simple.
Okay whatever. You've pissed me off. This is what you get.
Posted by Ponkotsu on 12 July 2011 - 11:24 AM
Been reading the boards here and there for a few weeks now, saw a sprinkling of interest - and not just here, but on other Nintendo forums too - in some kind of online virtual Mii world community for an interesting change in interface, and sometimes for Animal Crossing to be turned into the kind of new social platform I'm going to be discussing here instead. I've been gradually formulating some ideas on that sort of thing over the past several years, but haven't really posted them online in too much detail before, let alone where people would read them. So here I am, about to dump lots of text and example links on you - you've been warned. Read on if you're interested in this sort of thing, at any rate.
My goal here is to avoid slamming you with unreadable walls of texts, so I've done my best to break down my thoughts - as numerous and layered as these ideas have become as a result of years of overthinking - into categories and smaller paragraphs here for handy dandy easy reading and digestion.
Let's start with something, and talk about-
Standard Online Features
It's no secret that Nintendo's approach to online has needed a lot of work. As of E3 and beyond, it's been established that they're working with third parties to get together something that can rival their competitors for a while now and will be continuing to work on providing an optimal online experience on the Wii U, after a slower start on the 3DS. (Though granted, the 3DS is Nintendo's first system to have a game with online play at launch.) After the 3DS simplified the friend code system, friend codes are out entirely, and we saw them going as far as to include Skype-like video chat in the Wii U concept trailer at E3. For the first time, really, we're starting to see real third party excitement for Nintendo's online system, between the improved 3DS system (Which can obviously still use a lot more features and fleshing out, and with any luck, we'll see that in the future too.) and still-developing Wii U system. Let's take a moment to look at a few features that should be comfortable locks, given Nintendo's emboldened online ambitions, which third parties should help them achieve.
- Friend Lists/Communication: We've had friend lists since the DS and Wii, and a unified one for an entire platform for the first time since the 3DS. On the former platforms, we just had in-game communication in some cases, and otherwise Wiimail. So far on the 3DS, all we have are status messages: a welcome addition, but it shouldn't be any big deal to add at least text chat to the features - accessible while gaming, like the browser, game notes, and friend list - on there, and voice chat on at least a game-by-game basis, with perhaps a Wii Speak Channel-esque channel dedicated to voice chat calling. Pulling both text and audio chat off universally should be a piece of cake on the Wii U between the controller touchscreen and built-in microphone - along with any inevitable headset releases - and then there's the aforementioned Skype-style video calls in the Wii U concept video. Some notable strides, to be sure, though work still needs to be done on the 3DS.
- Profiles: The ideal is for a new centralized profile system on the Wii U to be something that could be extended to the 3DS through a firmware update and all future Nintendo platforms, ensuring ease of ability to transfer friend lists from platform to platform without having to deal with the hassle of rebuilding friend lists each time a new platform launches. Likewise, it should be easy to view friends' profiles along with your own, the profiles including - going on things spoken of so far - stat tracking, achievements, leaderboard positions, game progress, and so on. Pretty much anything and everything the profiles would track and allow you to display on the internet, Mario Kart trophies and license completion progress, Smash Bros. challenge/trophy collection progress, and so on, for example.
The importance of having a very simple, accessible image and text oriented alternative to the virtual world for those not interested in this sort of content at all, making it a big feature, but still optional for those not interested, like the ability to turn off achievement alerts and so forth. When the new Wii U online system gets going next year, the next for a big 3DS firmware update to let the 3DS connect with your profile for the new features and contribute too, perhaps patches for older games to add achievements and profile connectivity on an optional basis, expansion of the Activity Log to accommodate the new achievements and stats and directly connect with your online profile to upload stats, while giving you an in-system place to send these things so you don't have to be connected to the internet at all times for these things. Viewing friends' profiles with their game collections and, as Ubisoft has touched on with Wii U online talk already, achievements, game progress, and more. Already seeing achievement systems in-game in numerous Wii and DS games and now in 3DS games too, a unified profile to connect them to is pretty much inevitable.
- Accessibility: To get the mass market online where no other major platform in gaming has succeeded before, ease of accessibility cannot be emphasized enough. Online features and functionality have to be easy to get into, comfortable to use, and ideally possess some sort of addictive community quality to explore. This is a big part of the virtual social Mii world I'm going to be explaining here.
The idea here is to make one's username and Mii into Nintendo gamers' singular major online identity, ideally allowing for multiple user identities per platform, and a shared interconnected virtual social Mii world driven by the users on each console, further grown and developed by SpotPass/WiiConnect24-style received data and content over the internet.
Nintendo Gets Social / The Virtual Lives of Miis
To step back for just a moment again - a relevant detour, I promise - we should look at Nintendo's history of social development. Where the DS and Wii were largely underdeveloped on that front, with minimal real social content, online channels oddly free of any kind of friend list connection or much real use of the central Wii system address book, we still saw a few games - like Animal Crossing and Magician's Quest - with at least some meaningful social elements. Likewise, we saw the seeds that led to major 3DS innovation in the likes of Nintendogs' Bark Mode and Dragon Quest IX's canvassing, connecting with other players directly to share and exchange data. And now we have one of Nintendo's most oddly social elements yet as a cornerstone of the 3DS in StreetPass, with the StreetPass Mii Plaza that can hold hundreds of Miis and serves as a hub for some small social games and Mii customization item collection. This looks likely to expand in time as even Iwata has recently mentioned the likelihood of there being more StreetPass games due in part to calls for them directly within the Nintendo offices. As has been discussed on this forum too, it would make sense to have StreetPass connect to a larger Nintendo profile so that the Wii U and future Nintendo consoles could take advantage of StreetPass features through the latest portables, too. SpotPass has potential to serve as a great delivery system for the passive downloading of social online content as well, to passively upload updates to your own Nintendo profile and download friends' latest information as well, keeping a regular exchange of information going between friends' usernames and hardware in their networks of friend lists. This was something WiiConnect24 could have done, but its potential largely went untapped - something that will hopefully be resolved with the Wii U.
But as it stands, Nintendo has us building online friend lists with simplistic profile cards and collecting tags with shared basic information and game content with people on the street now. While not a whole lot can be done with either yet, it's a notable foray by Nintendo into the social realm. Iwata himself recently commented on the importance of social networking for their forthcoming new online system on the Wii U. Miis are at the center of all their social advances with the 3DS, and it seems obvious that they would be with the Wii U's leaps forward in online as well. Even Miyamoto has stated an interest in the possibility of an online virtual world of sorts for Miis in the past. It only seems like a natural evolution.
I can't be the only one who's enjoyed watching Miis wander around their plaza since the Wii launched, watching their varied behavior, minor interactions, and feeling like there was the potential for something amazing in that. Nintendo probably wouldn't have made the Mii Plaza such a lively little place - despite how disappointingly barren it was beyond the Miis themselves - if they didn't have ambitions to bring the Mii world fully to life, and we've seen plenty of evidence of that since. There's Wuhu Island, populated by Miis from our Mii Channels and the Check Mii Out Channel online in Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus, with huge numbers of Miis simply wandering around and living their lives, adding tremendously to the atmosphere and overall aesthetic feel of the world in these games. Nintendo made a big deal out of Wuhu Island's debut, though we've never gotten to really freely fully explore it of our own volition. Then Personal Trainer: Walking took place in another part of the Mii world - a warm, friendly place to be - and as you used the application/game throughout the year, you'd watch your Mii go through the seasons as backgrounds and environments changed, as well as a little 3D city setting that you would gradually light up at night in the treadmill mode, converting your pedometer steps into watts. PT:W undoubtedly contributed significantly to the decision to include a pedometer in the 3DS - along with the success of the PokeWalkers, of course - and the system could certainly benefit from the introduction of more of its little health-promoting step-based metagames and features. And even Nintendogs + Cats has significantly stepped up its social and virtual Mii world elements by actually turning the game's setting into a pleasant little town populated by Miis and allowing you to exchange Miis and dog data with other players you StreetPass with, encountering them on the street walking their dog. And otherwise, as you go on walks, you'll see other Miis taking walks, socializing, and so forth as a little bit of background detail making the world feel more alive. And then there's the big ones that never left Japan.
The Wii no Ma channel was all about streaming videos for the Japanese audience, but on top of that, it was a bit of a relaxing, cozy, chilled out virtual home like we hadn't seen for the Miis before. You threw a group of Miis - family, friends, etc. - together into a virtual Japanese apartment living room, with real time day/night cycles and lots of relaxing music, which was especially nice and moody at night. When not interacting with any of the channel's features - video streaming, celebrity concierge Miis, coupons to send to your DS, sponsor interaction/marketing/surveys, and more - you could sit around and relax listening to the music and watching your Miis come in and out of the room, sitting around the table and leading their daily lives in this little virtual home. There was minimal customization at most, with a few things changing here and there like the advertisement poster on the wall by the door. You could completely pan around the living room and enjoy subtle atmospheric and visual elements like: changing weather when it rained and snowed outside, occasional holiday elements like visible koi no bori carp streamers appearing outside the windows, a seeming very subtle changing of the seasons outside the windows in the Mii city, and the lighting up of said far off cityscape outside the window as night fell.
You couldn't leave the living room to see the bedrooms your Miis went back and forth between, and only the celebrity concierge Miis came through the front door to visit. Still, you could watch throughout the day as Miis went about various little activities, from eating meals around the table to channel surfing to playing a little golf in the room with a cup and ball and even celebrating each others' birthdays with cake - all based on input birthday, personality, interests, and such information to define each Mii as more of an individual. This in itself stepped up the Miis' virtual life/world elements in ways they hadn't been before and added a whole new relaxing aquarium-like element to the channel as you watched your Miis live their cozy little lives in that room when you weren't interacting with any of the channel's content. Notably since its inception, the only Japanese video streaming channel on the Wii - the Minna no Theater Channel - has shut down, and Wii no Ma received updates to add a theater room you could visit to stream inexpensive paid on demand content while gathered around in there, as well as a little virtual shopping mall of sorts selling, among other things, personalized Mii stamps. There were some brief hints of plans to bring the channel west, followed by silence, and obviously the channel never leaving Japan. While it's hard to say how the video streaming service would have done all that well outside of Japan, particularly up against services like Netflix, I suspect that the channel would have caught on for its very warm, pleasant, appealing virtual life elements with the Miis, and can't help but feel that those elements would be best applied elsewhere - hence again, the point of this whole ridiculously large post - more dedicated to an online social life with friends and family. Interestingly, Nintendo's first 3DS video streaming service launched last month in Japan as the Itsu no Ma ni Terebi application, which lacks any Mii virtual life element. This makes me think that as much as they've been exploring it lately as a concept, they have plans for that sort of thing elsewhere, out of place as it probably was in a video streaming channel. Of course, Nintendo Video is about to launch in both Japan and Europe and will undoubtedly arrive in North America soon too, and no one's seen the interface in that yet. Somehow, I suspect that won't have any Mii virtual life elements either, simply going on the name - 'Anytime Television' and 'Nintendo Video' don't quite evoke what 'Wii Room' did.
Finally, there's the most concentrated Mii virtual life software that Nintendo's released yet: Tomodachi Collection. For those unfamiliar, Tomodachi Collection is a virtual life game more akin to The Sims than Animal Crossing. The game's set around a huge apartment building that up to 100 Miis can live in, making for a very bustling, busy world. Though due to hardware limitations, you can only look into one Mii's apartment - and only really customize it with one set look rather than lots of individual furniture, though there's a lot of variety in the looks you can give Miis' apartments - and usually only a very few Miis hang out at any given time. Still, you set their personalities with a variety of information to make them into interesting individuals, watch them go about their lives, interact and play games with them, and give them food, clothing, and more to raise their fulfillment levels while they make friends, fall in love, possibly get married, and more. The game is mostly set around the interiors of the huge number of apartments and a few locations to play around with and purchase things at on the Miis' more urban island compared to the likes of Wuhu Island. In many ways, it's an incredible game-play oriented evolution of the virtual life elements of Wii no Ma, and the perfect basis for a much bigger online virtual world social setup, balancing single player and multiplayer.
You can exchange Miis with friends in Tomodachi Collection for more meaningful, substantive content to each Mii than what we otherwise get out of exchanging friend information and Miis for friend lists on the Wii and 3DS so far. Tomodachi Collection was a huge hit in Japan, and a game or service like it would undoubtedly be a smash hit in the west as well, considering the strong mainstream popularity of both the Miis and virtual life games like The Sims. Games and social networks built around concepts like this could pull off much more on the 3DS - and especially the Wii U - considering the massive leaps in power both have over the DS, while the game's an impressive higher-end DS game to begin with, with much more to do with 100 Miis than either the Wii or 3DS's respective Mii Channels. Incredibly impressive for what it does in the face of its ambitious concept and the DS's hardware limitations, Tomodachi Collection - 'Friend Collection' - has it in itself as a concept to become something so much bigger. A significant piece of software - the most substantive Mii-based game by miles - that takes a real leap toward the Miis beginning to reach for their true potential. And part of that potential lies in full Mii integration as a standard online avatar system and the exploration of a virtual Mii space and world for each player, growing and evolving through online interactions, optimized for online socialization.
Recently, Satoru Iwata himself has commented on social networking and the need for that in Nintendo platforms. Facebook connectivity of some sort seems likely and advised - the ability to upload gaming pictures, screenshots, and so forth from while hanging out with friends and tagging them seems like something that would catch on. The key to taking online not just to heights far above the clumsy place where Nintendo is now, but to reaching the mass market and getting them online when the majority don't tend to go online on consoles or portables, is all about the ease of accessibility, appealing features, and giving users reasons to stay hooked and keep coming back. Ultimately, to get the Farmville/social gaming crowd hooked on profile and virtual world building, create a system as easy to get addicted to and as accessible as Facebook, a universal profile that people have fun with and feel comfortable with. Something loaded with free activities, minigames, metagames, and rewards to keep them around. With an emphasis on friends/family connection and lots of affecting each other's experiences and social spheres.
At Last, Miitropolis
Finally we arrive at the central point of discussion I've been building to, a major online cornerstone concept I call "Miitropolis." Imagine a virtual world in the vein of Tomodachi Collection and Wii no Ma, but one in which you can enter and explore every building and area, and in which you can go outside, fully immerse yourself in the environment, and enjoy the scenery, the sounds, the atmosphere, and the hustle and bustle of daily life for the Miis populating the city. Clouds cross the sky, and weather varies. Sometimes it rains or storms, and Miis rush for indoors in cars and carry umbrellas. It snows at times during the winter, and the city's inevitably covered in snow for the duration of the season. The Miis bundle up for the season and stick to warmer places. Any outdoor pools are closed, but ice skating rinks and such become points of interest. Coffee houses are especially busy. This is your personal city for yourself and anyone else with an account playing on your Wii U. You build and personalize it yourselves, and populate it with family and friends, connecting with their data.
The concept is in part inspired by the MetropolisMania series, the first two games of which were brought west by Natsume on the PS2, while the DS incarnation sadly stayed in Japan and the PSP third official entry stayed there as well, due to how incredibly niche the series is. This series would probably have a good shot at finding an audience on Nintendo platforms in the west if they'd make more games for them and they'd get localized. They're sort of Sim City lite with a touch of Animal Crossing - you invite people to move to the city and build all kinds of homes, skyscrapers, businesses, restaurants, shops, and more to build a functioning, happy society. You wander the streets and get to watch all the families and people go about their daily lives, going to and from work and school, running errands, going out for meals, hanging out with friends, and more, while gradually building your friendship levels with them so you can eventually call on them on later maps to move into later towns and help solve problems there. There's a bunch of real Japanese licensed businesses in the second game and onward in Japan as well, some of which remained in the western release, like UNIQLO, MOS Burger, Yoshinoya, and others. Pizza Hut, KFC, Toys R Us, and some other western brands are in the Japanese games, but had to be turned into generic versions of their respective places for the western release. You feel like you're really connected to the cities you're building, and the world feels alive, while it's easy to get attached to the NPCs through your little Engrishy conversations with them, each person having their own name, appearance, and distinct characteristics. This kind of personalized world building would be perfect for social Mii experiences on the Wii U and beyond. And both the MetropolisMania series and its gameplay style/aesthetics are perfect for Nintendo platforms and Miis.
In your Wii U system's MiiTropolis - there would be some kind of similar function or connected offshoot on the 3DS - you would either live in an apartment building or hotel (Like in Wii no Ma) or have some kind of house with a certain amount of space to worth with and potentially increase. You could possibly opt to share space and live together with family members with profiles/accounts on the same system or live separately, but still designate your Miis' relationship when setting their personality and relationships info (Like in Tomodachi Collection) to family, so your Miis would visit each other more regularly and during the holidays. Similarly, family and friend designations could be given to Miis from such people with presences in your city via the passive internet connection (Such as WiiConnect24). You build up your personal space with a variety of furniture and items earned, found, and acquired through meta-games and minigames, through playing games (Unlocked through achievements or game completion), and otherwise purchased with a meta-currency like the 3DS's Play Coins, which would have some kind of Wii U variation to encourage further social interaction and interconnectedness with friends and family. Unlike Playstation Home, you wouldn't be spending real money on digital clothing and furniture. Likewise, you could spend Play Coins on new types of buildings and places to do activities alone and with friends, and for Miis to congregate, building parks, the aforementioned pools and skating rinks, statues of characters from games you've played or beaten, and all other sorts of things you could imagine to personalize your own city.
Your personal home building would be sent to friends online via WiiConnect24 passively, and likewise their living spaces with furniture layouts, profile info, and personality, etc. information for their Miis would be sent to your Wii U, and you'd get to choose to place where in your city they'd live. Their Miis would have daily lives and routines like yours does in their cities, controlled by the AI based on the personality and hobby information they input for their Miis. You'd find them running around town going to various buildings, hanging out at the park, perhaps dropping by the beach or arcade, stopping for lunch at a burger joint, and so forth. As their Miis' outfits and accessories change, as do their living spaces, you could see what games they were playing and the progress made reflected directly in them and have some minor interaction with their AI-controlled NPC Miis. But you could also connect with each other directly - like in Animal Crossing - to take over your respective Miis and visit each others' cities, see how your layouts and decorations and such differ, and do various little social activities together in parks and other places, like games of tag, squirt gun battles, snowball fights, laser tag, sledding, scavenger hunts, air hockey, and more, with up to a certain number of friends visiting each host's city at any given time. Text and voice chat would be natural inclusions here. There would be little rewards for each of the possible social activities, like collectible content, clothing, and additional decorations and furniture for your home living space or city as well. Like with the StreetPass games, lots of little forms of encouragement for social interaction between Nintendo gamers online.
The goal would be for, in contrast to Sony's Home, for Nintendo and the Miis to have a warm, friendly, pleasant, and all-around inviting place for Nintendo gamers of all sorts to hang out, from the more traditional and addicted to the more 'casual,' with a nice way for families and friends to potentially keep in touch and connected in a personal way over longer distances.
Various companies could have specialized buildings as well, which you could choose whether or not to invite into your Miitropolis. You could keep it smaller and cozier with just family and friends, or build it up to something with hundreds to thousands of Miis in time through a larger friend list full of people you only know online and various company buildings. Nintendo could have their own building with perhaps Reggie, Miyamoto, Iwata, Mario, Link, and so on Miis, the latest Nintendo news available there, and little activities and mini/metagames to do involving Nintendo characters, games, and worlds for little rewards for that, and other companies could do the same. All sorts of game developers and publishers could make buildings that you could choose to bring to your city to explore and interact with, marketing their games while giving you free content incentives in your town to bring their building in and check it out, and it could even possibly be an effective way for smaller developers and publishers to have a chance at reaching a wider player audience and speaking to them directly. Non-gaming companies could potentially pay Nintendo to set up their own spaces as well, like with their Wii no Ma parade of sponsors with their own small spaces set around tables that you could visit. A Burger King building could feature the King in Mii form and be an eating establishment the Miis in your city might visit daily to eat, Adult Swim would undoubtedly set up a cool building with posters and images advertising their current schedule and latest shows (Perhaps a big Meatwad on top of the building, posters along the sides for Childrens Hospital, Delocated, and so on.) with cool music playing inside and some neat things to do, Netflix could have a virtual theater of sorts to advertise the service, and the possibilities are practically endless. This sort of in-social-network marketing could be effective for the companies pursuing it and a great way for game developers and publishers to advertise upcoming games very directly to fans, but it would be entirely optional, as a user could choose not to bring any of these buildings in at all, or simply bring them in, earn any extra content there, then get rid of them again.
Iwata also recently talked about intellectually stimulating gaming with the example of their discussing letting you visit what sounds like virtual recreations of real world international museums, perhaps roaming through them with your Miis. Something like this could be a perfect addition to the Miitropolis concept - one or more museum buildings with access to one or all the international museums they'd offer, and you could have fun exploring these museums and checking out their exhibits either alone or with friends, maybe dropping by the museum gift shop and dropping a few play coins on some souvenirs like famous paintings (a la Animal Crossing) to hang on the wall or some other interesting things like a variety of knickknacks or paraphernalia to stash and collect in your apartment or home.
To build on the Wii no Ma shopping section, Nintendo could perhaps look into a partnership with Amazon so users could duck into a shopping mall or shopping arcade in-town and pop into a shopping area to potentially order real things online, or use a phone in the apartment or drop by the food court - where NPC Miis might also go for lunch at times - and set up a Delivery Channel frontend there after the Delivery Channel on the Wii never made it out of Japan, and perhaps make it possible to order pizza and other things from any local restaurants (Based on the channel knowing the region you live in) right from the comfort of the TV screen or controller screen from your couch.
If they wanted to take things even further, they could create a sort of Foursquare/digital Foursquare-esque metagame both within the virtual city, online spaces, and on the 3DS in an update when linking up to various locations' WiFi hotspots on SpotPass to encourage people to get out with their 3DS and link up to more hotspots and otherwise explore the virtual Mii city and online spaces as much as possible with rewards for that too.
New content would ideally be regularly available and unlockable from Nintendo and companies releasing their own buildings to add to your city with a few Miis and activities of their own, adding more 'real world' color and flavor without the sterile 'realism' of Playstation Home, better fitting into the inviting world of the Miis. When the holidays roll around, they could release all sorts of decorations and different buildings could have their own ways of celebrating, with plenty of things to spend Play Coins on to fully decorate your city for any holidays you celebrate or want to celebrate, putting up lights and more, with perhaps regional content for different holidays, as well as universal things like fireworks. Getting together with friends in the summer to shoot off digital fireworks while chatting could be a fun way to spend an evening.
Rain and snow would fall, seasons would pass, the options for activities would change as certain places were either available or unavailable at certain times of the year, and mood would be paramount. You could wander through the park - perhaps one with a design based on the 3DS's StreetPass Mii Plaza park - and watch the falling leaves. Or stroll through the lit up city at night during the dead of winter as snow falls and Miis' breath is visible, watching the Miis stroll down the sidewalks while putting up decorations. This would be a personal, cozy world to sink into and relax. Someplace to feel at home digitally. A real living, breathing social network world embodying fully the social nature and spirit of the 'Cafe' namesake for the Wii U project, and could at least in part be extended to the 3DS as well.
You'd go from a small neighborhood or city block populated by a few Miis and little service buildings to explore and interact with, where the Miis would live their lives and go for meals and recreation. In time, you'd have a bustling Mii metropolis with lots of towering skyscrapers that look beautiful lit up at night. Perhaps a hotel with celebrity concierge Miis like the Wii no Ma channel in Japan. And all ideally done within a reasonable amount of storage space, doable between the Wii U's powerful hardware and the building and world visual designs intended to fit the Miis more, rather than extremely realistic graphics with massive texture files. Something for the 'We'/'Wii' and 'You'/'U.' Everything connected - family, friends, and any companies chosen by the users. It just seems like a natural evolution for the StreetPass Mii Plaza and Mii Plazas in general. To finally give these Miis lives to live without trapping them in little plazas, while acting fully as user avatars. A concept like this could fully realize the full potential of both Miis and passive online connections in the vein of WiiConnect24 and SpotPass, none of these things having come close to their full potential just yet. And like Wii no Ma, a virtual Mii world - perhaps set to a mode where the camera randomly pans around the city to look at different scenes going on in their lives - there could be a sort of Fireplacing-esque appeal to something like this. The kind of software you could leave running on your TV the background as a source of relaxation. And as Nintendo has shown with their previous Vitality Sensor plans and 'Wii Relax' software, as well as games like Pilotwings, Endless Ocean, and the Wii no Ma channel itself, chilled out relaxation software is on their radar.
Mii dogs and cats have become more common in games featuring Miis too - allowing them to appear more often at the user's volition seems like it would be an appealing little addition too, for their Mii to have a little virtual Mii pet or two in their home and environment. They'd make a welcome addition to a Mii city too.
We've seen relaxing avatar-filled - and even Mii-compatible! - open world games on the Wii before too, in Namco Bandai's We Ski series and the same team's upcoming Go Vacation this fall. This sort of wonderful atmosphere is very doable on the Wii - at times a little reminiscent of the likes of Elebits, Shenmue, and NiGHTS in how welcoming and magical it can be - and should be even more so on the 3DS and Wii U. The sort of feel and atmosphere more games and virtual life software could use. These few games in particular are all set in very ambitious living, breathing avatar-based worlds that even outdo Nintendo's own open world Mii game efforts so far, with far more exploration. And even they're not full adventure games or anything like that, and you can't really explore inside all the buildings or anything like that. But games like this, as inviting and fun as they are, should be a challenge to Nintendo to step everything up with their Miis and outdo them in amazing ways. To fully seek out the full potential of the Miis. In the meantime, I can't wait to see what else this Namco Bandai team in particular ends up bringing to the 3DS and Wii U in the future.
No, my thoughts aren't done yet. There's just one last section to go, and then you're free!
Social Online Spaces
Finally, we've probably all heard about things like Google+'s online hangouts now, encouraging friends and family to casually get together in group webcam chats. It's hard to say whether something exactly like that would be viable on the Wii U, given that the video chat footage we've seen so far just had a single other person's webcam going to the tablet controller. That said, on top of being able to visit friends' cities and invite them to hang out in your own, in the 'Cafe' spirit of further openness, you could get buildings for your city that would take you to public moderated online spaces where people not on each others' friend lists could meet and chat. These spaces would naturally be parental control locked to keep children out, and there would be very specific social guidelines and report and ignore/mute functions to deal with inappropriate behavior and ultimately maintain more of a warm, friendly environment for older gamers to meet up and chat in.
I like to envision these as online virtual nightclubs, karaoke places, lodges with perhaps snowy scenery outside, and of course the obvious, virtual cafes. It's one of the first things that sprang to mind upon the official reveal of the Project Cafe codename earlier this year, and Nintendo could undoubtedly moderate such text and voice chat rooms well enough to keep them a clean, pleasant place to be. I can easily imagine friends meeting up in online virtual spaces and using various chat methods to converse, then using things like that and the system's internal mail system, IM, etc. to plan out gaming sessions and jump into games of all sorts together, along with a simpler menu-based alternative for those who don't want to get into the open virtual world and enjoy its atmosphere as much. That would keep these kinds of online social features accessible to everyone while creating a warm, friendly, inviting place that encourages you to get addicted and come back regularly and explore and do everything you can, with an addiction and ever growing and changing world to reflect a Facebook-like experience, while tapping into the kinds of appeals that made Wii no Ma and Tomodachi Collection huge hits in Japan and still makes The Sims absolutely massive here. A central online hub and cornerstone to our online experience and identity, more than just a text and icon loaded stat-covered profile.
They could tap into the kind of base that's made the likes of Farmville so insanely huge on Facebook through it, maybe let you share snapshots of your Miitropolis directly on Facebook (As Nintendo's getting into that kind of integration now too) and encourage people to really get into building their worlds together.
If Nintendo approached this right and fully evolved the world of the Miis into the central hub of our online experience on their platforms across the Wii U, 3DS, and future consoles and portables, they could legitimately revolutionize the online gaming and social experiences and fully bring to the mainstream the idea of a virtual avatar world and chat system around the whole 'Cafe' concept where others have failed. It'd make for a great marketing hook, too - to check out and build your city at your own leisure for fun, get hooked on socializing and keeping up with friends on it (Perhaps even directly linking it with Facebook via an app), then come in to the cafe and meet up with your friends, chat for a while, then maybe jump into a Wii U bowling game online together, take some digital photos with your 3DS camera or Wii U pad camera, post them online and remember the fun you had, etc. That kind of thing could be killer and key to getting the audience online like a gaming audience has never been online before.
Nintendo seems to at least be somewhat headed in a direction like this, as my examples have attested. Whether they'd ever fully do something as ambitious and amazing as this is hard to say, but knowing Nintendo, probably unlikely at this point. Still, with how serious they're getting about online now and the third party element in pushing them into modernity with their online and all the interest they've shown in things like this, the sky's the limit, and we could definitely be pleasantly surprised.
Alternatives to Please Everyone
As just a final note, obviously, not everyone wants to spend all their time running around on foot or playing around with virtual worlds like this. And for those people, there should still always be a very intuitive menu system much like the Wii's channels menu to ensure that all these features can be ignored by the Wii U player who can't stand virtual world content and doesn't like the Miis - though they still probably wouldn't be able to avoid a Mii being their overall online profile avatar. Simple, intuitive alternatives will keep things user-friendly for everybody.
But like Animal Crossing, in a sense, this whole concept is all about the growing, living organic world experience based on players connecting, which will only continue to undoubtedly grow and develop in time.
Anyway, that's it. This was insanely long. Good luck getting through it. If you survive, pat yourself on the back and feel free to respond. Perhaps in a less long-winded fashion manner. My internet message board posting quota has just been met for the next decade or so.
Posted by Lord Pickleton on 10 August 2012 - 11:00 PM
Tell me what you guys think about the design and what you think I should change. Don't take this too serious I did this for fun and practice.
Old Version [8-10-2012]
Updated Version [8-11-2012]
Latest Version [8-22-2012]
Since you are down here I might as well tell you I'm not making a Pony version. Sorry if I broke your heart.
Posted by Lord Pickleton on 08 September 2012 - 03:48 PM
No more Support, for now....
Hey guys, this is something I've been holding off for some time. Since my Forum mock-up is just that, a mock-up and nothing more, I decided to use it's design to make signatures. I've made one for most confirmed Wii U games and working on the other games right now. Tell me what you guys think and what others I should make.
I do have some Alternates, but I can only show 10 per post.
Which games I've made Signatures for
I included links next to them to take you to the post where each signature is at.
Wii U Signatures
Assassin's Creed 3 x3 - Ver. 1, Ver. 2, Ver. 3
Batman Arkham City Armored Edition x3 - Ver. 1, Ver. 2&3
Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013 - Here
Call of Duty Black OPS 2 - Here
Chasing Aurora - Here
Darksiders 2 x2 - Ver. 1, Ver. 2
Epic Mickey 2 The Power Of Two - Here
Injustice Gods Among Us x4 - Ver. 1, Ver. 2-4
Lego City Undercover x3 - Here, Lego Iwata
Mass Effect 3 x3 - Ver. 1, Ver. 2&3
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate x8 - All Here
Need for Speed Most Wanted x10 - All Here
New Super Mario Bros. U x3 - Ver. 1, Ver. 2, Ver. 3
Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor's Edge - Here, Momiji & Kazumi
Pikmin 3 - Here
Project C.A.R.S. x8 - All Here
Rayman Legends - Here
Scribblenauts Unlimited - Here
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed - Here
TANK! TANK! TANK! - Here
Toki Tori 2 Here
Trine 2 Director's Cut x2 - Both Here
Wind Waker HD - Here
ZombiU - Ver. 1, Ver. 2
Code of Princess - Here
Crashmo - Here
Farming Simulator 2013 - Here
Fire Emblem Awakening - Here
Liberation Maiden - Here
Mario Kart 7 - Here
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate - Here
Monster Hunter 4 - Here
New Super Mario Bros. 2 - Here
Star Fox 64 3D - Here
Super Mario 3D Land - Here
The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D x2 - Both Here
Assassin's Creed 3
Batman Arkham City Armored Edition
Injustice Gods Among Us
Mass Effect 3
New Super Mario Bros. U
Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor's Edge
Posted by Xiombarg on 03 April 2013 - 02:14 PM
It appears I am chatbanned for advertising which is legitimate but garbage at the same time. another didnt get banned for promoting his XAT which goes to show how biased the rules here are. When is my ban up and why didnt the other advertiser get banned.
The other user didn't get banned because he contacted me for permission to advertise his site once or twice (As far as I could check, he didn't advertise in the chat). I deleted two of your advertisements because you didn't contact an admin, and past that, I was told that you were already warned about it by anther user.
I've given you plenty of chances, Saturn, more chances than the typical user here... I am a person hesitant to give out punishments, but I can only give so many chances before I can take action or lose the reason why I am a mod/admin.
Posted by Feld0 on 27 March 2013 - 08:50 PM
The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed a new blue name joining our ranks.
That's right, Mournblade is our newly promoted community admin! Give him a nice handshake
before he flees in horror from 14,500 pages of chat logs.
The recent issues with inconsistent staffing called for some changes, and Mournblade has proven himself more than capable of managing a community at a higher level than merely cleaning up after the messes as a moderator. As an administrator, he'll now work alongside me in appointing new staff, adapting the forums' layout to the needs of the community, maintaining rulesets, and simpler things like changing up the banner from time to time, in addition to his previous duties.
With new forces in TheWiiU.com's administration, we're now in a good position to roll out a number of changes we've been planning for a while to make this community a better place for everyone.
Posted by Xiombarg on 31 March 2013 - 12:32 PM
Mourn is clearly power tripping
And to address this topic, I do not have permission to change the chat rules, I had to contact several people while I was writing them up before sending them to feldo. I feel as if they are fair rules.
First and foremost, this site is about the WiiU. This site is meant to be family friendly and users who are under the age of 18, should not be coming across posts regarding porn or posts regarding sexual activity.
With the most recent incidents in chat, it has become apparent that there are major issues caused in chat and it shouldn't be just a place where obscene conversations should take place or a place for users to troll other users. Many situations have risen up where specific users have been targeting other users due to their sexual preferences or the way they act. The chat has changed from harmless conversations about regular things and gaming, into a hotbed of drama, spam, and trolling. I wanted to do my best to keep chat alive for as long as I can, as it won't stick around for forever.
Posted by Lupaie on 11 June 2013 - 02:26 PM
'Dad, we just saw a game where we can battle with Mario and Donkey Kong' and 'also, a Mario Kart, but we don't need that because we have that Sonic whats it called racing game', where my son replied 'duh, but that one doesn't have MARIO'. 'But dad, please come watch, we saw a Mario game like on mom's 3ds and it's that same game but we can play together'. 'Yeah, and a game with adorable animals which you can take care of and there is a boy and girl version'.....(pokemon x/y).
.....well, at least they liked it and it seems that I know where my gaming budget will be spend on. Only thing I love more than gaming, is watching them play, learn and cooperate. Well Nintendo, good job. Maybe I was looking at this from a wrong point of view, and is it not you who went wrong, but did I outgrow you. At least the kids will have a safe gaming invironment to start learning the how games, internet and communication works.
Posted by Zinix on 23 May 2013 - 03:20 PM
The Xbox One’s disappointing reveal has shot up sales of the Wii U on Amazon.com. The system was at #390 before the conference, but now has shot up to #40 due to Microsoft’s glorified TV box.
This momentum should carry Nintendo right into the summer as they have big plans for the Wii U at E3 and this fall. The console race has just begun but it’s good to see gamers are picking up a system that’s dedicated to gaming first, and multimedia second.
Posted by Kiki Neko-Chan on 10 January 2013 - 05:32 AM
If someone can make some more of these icons I'll be happy to add them to the ranks. I would make them, but Paint is the only image programme I know how to use, so they'd probably look rubbish. If any of you are prepared to make these, then please post some sample images, and if they're good enough, I'll add them. Please don't be offended if you make any and I don't use them though.
Here's a sample, AMAC. They might have a little bit of fixing up to do before they are final, but this is what it would look like.
I'll re-make all of the rank badges so that it fits our new theme.
Le older versions
Le last and final version:(This is what you'll be seeing under your names soon enough ;D)