PART ONE: Developing for WiiWare, Character Creation

Hi guys! Due to public demand we would like to give you some exclusive insight in the making of Jett Rocket. We will present three ‘making of’ parts, each one going into detail on some specific categories of the development of Jett Rocket.

Developing for WiiWare

When developing for WiiWare you can take full advantage of all the power the Wii has to offer. The only limit is your game has to fit into 40Mb. In comparison, a disc game like Zelda Twilight Princess or Mario Galaxy, has more than 1GB of space available. This means all your games code and assets can only utilize ~4% of the space retail games can use.

At Shin’en we took the challenge and decided to develop a full-featured 3d jump’n’run game for WiiWare. That was something we really desired to do for years. We wanted that game to have many large levels the player can explore. We aimed for very varied and fun gameplay and the best possible graphics on the system. Coming from Nintendo DS development we knew how to put a lot of game into a little space and we were pretty sure we would succeed if we just try hard enough. That was almost two years ago. As soon we worked out the storyline our art department started with character creation.

Character creation

We wanted a very agile look for the main character ‘Jett Rocket’. As the storyline is based on sci-fi motives the character should also look quite futuristic. And of course it should all look great from far away and in close-ups. Our budget for the main character was around 400kb. Most other objects had a budget of around 50-100kb. In the final game we had over 200 moving props and animated characters.

The Wii is quite fast in combining many textures in realtime. We use that ability to create our shaders (or materials) from many ‘layers’ on top of each other like in a graphics application. As some layers only have low frequency information we use much lower resolution textures to save some space here. How those layers are combined can be adjusted in many ways, even in real-time to some degree. Some textures for the layers are also created in real-time. We use that feature of our engine quite a lot to achieve special effects like reflections, refractions and various lighting effects.

The Evolution of Jett Rocket

‘Jett Rocket’ Character setup
Number of Triangles: 2508
Number of Vertices:1362
Number of Bones: 32
Number of Textures: 10
All Textures size: 290kb / 80kb (compressed)
Mesh Size: 50kb (compressed)
Animation: 244kb (compressed)

Watch a 360° video of the finished Jett Rocket model:

Usually we start with a paper and pencil artwork for each character. Then we create the basic mesh,  the color texture and finally add lighting and specular components.

Check out some of the creatures of Planet Yoroppa:

Chopercha enjoy flying around with the rotor on their backs. They get all excited when anyone draws near.

The reckless Snapo only feel strong in groups.


Name: Kaiser Taikai; Domain: Atoll; Attacks: Bombs, Rockets


What’s next?

Be sure to check back for the next post. There you will learn more about actual gameplay, Jett’s special moves, the vehicles he can drive and much more. Stay tuned!


About Shin'en Multimedia
Game developer. Brands include Fun! Fun! Minigolf (WiiWare) and the famous Nanostray (Nintendo DS) and Iridion-Series (Game Boy Advance)

11 Responses to PART ONE: Developing for WiiWare, Character Creation

  1. Jared says:

    Very interesting!

  2. Marmaduke says:

    Awesome, can’t wait for this game to come out.

  3. Johnny Cage says:

    Looks great, but are you guys planning to release this one in Australia? I was pretty gutted when Art of Balance was never made available here.

  4. ankeingo says:

    That’s is great!!!! I love J&R !!!!

  5. denpanosekai says:

    Nanostray III please.

  6. Boerseun says:

    Awesome! I can’t wait for the next update!

  7. Nasowas says:

    @Johnny Cage
    You can temporarily change you system settings to UK as your country. Then you can buy a points card in Australia and still use it for buying Art of Balance from the UK store. After that, you can change you system settings back to Australia and still play Art of Balance.

    Viel Erfolg mit Jett Rocket, wird es erst in den USA oder erst in Europa erscheinen?

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