h1

Explanation of Wiimote for Age of Conan

September 2, 2008

With the innovative combat system used in the popular MMORPG “Age of Conan” I thought it would be interesting to try to play the game using a Wiimote from the Nintendo Wii, combined with a Bokken. The purpose of doing this would be to combine the amount of time required to play a combat based MMORPG with the exercise used in Aikido, Kendo, and several other sword-based martial arts workouts. In this way one could have fun playing a game, but also receive a healthy workout.

 

Obviously this seems a little ridiculous to set up all this for one game, but I intend to port this to other systems when I get a working copy running. Currently I am toying around with GlovePIE to write a script that will not only employ a Wiimote, but also a Dance Pad controller, or Wii Fit (once I purchase one). The goal is to provide a comprehensive workout that would last an hour or longer (say, tanking in a raid).

 

Here are some links to similar projects I have found mixing gaming and exercising:

 

PC Gamer Bike

 

Gamercize

 

Of course, Wii Fit could be considered as an additional form of ‘gaming exercise’ as well.

 

Oh yes, there is also a guy putting together a GlovePIE script for Age of Conan, but it’s currently pretty buggy, and I’m not sure if he will finish it anytime soon. Here is the link for WiimoteYourConan in google groups.

 

So here are the basic components needed for the setup I will be using:

 

1.) 2 Wiimotes (one for left & right hands)

2.) One Dance Pad (or Balance Board)

3.) BlueTooth USB plug

4.) Wii IR bar (USB)

 

As far as the program that I want to use. I would like to use Glovepie since it is easy to use (I have no coding background) and works with the DancePad/BalanceBoard. Unfortunately, it does not have a gesture recognition library, and I don’t think it’s capable of doing that. Therefore I am researching a number of programs, APIs, and libraries that I could use to use or create a simple program like WiinRemote. Basically I want the functionality of WiinRemote but also a fairly accurate Gesture Recognition library such as WiiGee so my computer would recognize specific kinds of swings. Plus Java would be a good code to use since it works on so many different Operating Systems.

 

My idea has gotten a little bit of recognition (if not ridicule) from a MMORPG Blog NotAddicted when I countered their review of AoC with how the game could be made more interesting using this set up. The blogger even joked about making a loincloth to wear while playing. Ok, while I won’t be doing that, I will probably be wearing some workout pants and a t-shirt so I have free range of movement. Eventually, one could start wearing weights around arms or legs to make this workout even more challenging.

 

Here are some pitfalls I see that potentially create inherent flaws in this design:

 

1.) Lack of a keyboard = can’t type in chat. (Could be solved by a Ventrilo voice-chat channel)

2.) Basic functions, looting, mouse-usage via point-and-click, targetting, etc might be difficult if the Wiimote does not work accurately as an IR mouse.

3.) This type of idea would mainly apply to any melee class. I play a Guardian, so I would be setting it up for that class. How could this be set up for a Healer class?

 

So this is my first post in the Blog, I will post up some GlovePIE code soon, and exactly what the key setup would be to get this running on anyone’s computer. If you have similar interest in this, and some coding ability in any language, feel free to post comments or contact me.

 

Thanks!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: