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Archive for January 17th, 2009

Wacom and Wii

I use a Wacom tablet at work.  I’ve used one for several years now, and have acclimated to the way the things operate.  Sometimes, it’s even easier to use than the much-ballyhooed Cintiq, since my hand isn’t in the way.  I’ve helped other people learn how to use them, and every time, dedicated computer users start with Mouse mode.

Why?  It’s literally like using a mouse, and the whole reason of using a tablet is to work more naturally, as if you’re drawing or painting on paper.  The Pen mode treats the tablet like a piece of paper, mapped to the same scaled “piece of paper” as your computer monitor’s “desktop”.  Mouse mode treats the expensive tablet and pen like just another mouse, albeit pressure sensitive.  Don’t bother with a tablet if you’re going to use Mouse mode.

So what about the Wii?  I’ve had occasion to ponder games like Bejeweled or Peggle on the Wii.  We can play these on the computer with a mouse and have a high degree of precision in our control.  On the Wii, the wiimote makes for a much less precise tool.  This is also true in the comparison between the Nintendo DS and the Wii.  My wife likes the Trauma Center games for the DS, but we won’t even bother with the Wii version; it’s way too much work trying to do precision surgery with a lightsaber.

Short story long, cursor control with the wiimote can be a pain in the neck for precision work, especially with smaller TVs and when sitting farther from the screen.  What if it worked more like a mouse?  Say, the cursor moves based on the motion sensing of the wiimote, rather than the “laser pointer” mode, and only moves when the “mouse” is in contact with the “mouse pad”, say, the trigger being held down?  I’m not much of a Wii veteran, so I’m not sure if that would be more trouble than it’s worth… but it’s one of those things that I’ve pondered here in my little game designing world.

Any thoughts?

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Political: Kudzu

This is obviously a political post, so feel free to ignore it if that’s not your interest around here.  This is also a reference for me, as I’ll be linking to an article that I may want to have access to in the future.

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