BigRedPimp no GameDev


Mii need love too

Posted by bigredpimp on April 10, 2007

I was pondering on some ideas for how Nintendo can use the Mii system for something other than using them in their own games. It seems a bit silly to me that the Mii aren’t used for much else right now. I propose some sort of new channel (I’d even pay for it if this became a reality) that would give the Mii a bit more personality. Now this may come with whatever they decide to do with Animal Crossing but its at least letting me get my ideas out there.

Online support

Yes, this will continue to come up until something is done about it but it needs to be said. The network infrastructure is there thanks to Nintendo partnering with Gamespy again so it can be done.

The way I see it working is that upon joining the channel, you are brought into a world login screen where you choose from a Mii residing on your Wii. It could work the same way it does in Wii Sports, for example. Upon using a Mii for the first time, you’re asked if you want to make a profile for it. It is then tied to your Wii Number as a profile specific to that Wii. This then allows people to have similar Mii running around but not exactly being your Mii on the lower level.

On one hand, I’m thinking this channel model should be limited to only those on your friends list. This saves you from dealing with people outside of your circle. However, this also stops you from dealing with people outside your circle. On the other hand, doing a global world via this channel is a bit much. An idea to solve this comes from the Mii Parade.

Your Mii Parade consists of, at least my understanding of it, “friend of a friend” or “six degrees” links. Pretty much every Mii you see in your parade comes from someone you have in your friends list, which, in turn, comes from someone on theirs & so on. This channel could benefit from that in that the channel is limited only to those you know or someone they know.

Now, using this info, we need to build the channel itself. I think it’d could be some sort of virtual world where the only thing Nintendo needs to do is add content. We already have the user base installed via our friends list. The only thing that needs to really be managed is the content of the world and our interaction with it. I don’t want to see this become some There, Playstation Home or Second Life variant but given the nature of the Mii system, its something that needs to be considered. Considered very deeply, seeing the success of Animal Crossing.

Now let’s delve deeper into this virtual world idea. Like I had stated, Nintendo would only need to maintain content. As nice as user-created content can be, it tends to make ideas like this bigger than they should be. We need to start off small here. First, your Mii need a place to call home. A home, in this case, says to me we need an apartment complex idea. The reason this makes sense is that it allows each Mii residing on your Wii to have their own living space as well as a shared space. I’ll describe what could be done with each part of the apartment complex first.

Apartment Suite

The living space for your Mii. You furnish this place as you would your own home. It doesn’t have to be a full blown apartment suite, just a space that your Mii can personalize to their own desires. We can also use this for personal accomplishments via rewards & such received from the games. For instance, say Wii Sports 2 has basketball. Along with getting a message in your message board, you are given a trophy in the shape of a basketball for your accomplishment to put in your apartment. This opens a lot of potential for in-game rewards. Catch a fish in a fishing game, get a fish tank. Get a high score in a racing game, get a stack of racing magazines with your Mii’s picture on it. The possibilities are endless.

Shared Space (Recreation Room/Meeting Room)

The shared space idea allows for a place that all Mii in your apartment can share. First, you have a recreation room. This is where you can hold the records of apartment accomplishments. Something along the lines of a top 10 list or just apartment-wide record keeping. This is also a room that can be customized based on rewards you get or things you buy. I say things you buy because this becomes the perfect medium for small online games, such as those that can be purchased from the Wii Shop. Even Virtual Console games can be updated to allow for this. Let’s say you have a few VC games you bought with your Wii Points. You could then be given an object for your rec room related to this game. For example, buy a NES VC game for the first time, get an interactive NES (which could be activated to pull up a list of your NES VC games). Then you can choose whom you want to play from any of your other friends who happened to be logged in.

The Meeting Room (or should that be Miiting Room? I kid) could be used as a sort of place where you can communicate with your online friends. This becomes a smart idea for those parents who want to limit their kids usage of the PC. Parent on the PC? Load up your Wii, find one of your friends online and talk to them there. With the Parental Controls feature of the Wii, you can set this room to be locked to only those whom you allow in. With an updated Parental Controls tool, you can even set user levels here. This is good if you want to lock child A from talking at all, child B from talking to people outside of the immediate friends list and parent A to talk to everyone. You can even use the Meeting Room to setup challenge games for the Recreation Room.

Wii Shop

The Wii Ware area of the shop lends itself to being a perfect spot for customization of your Wiipartment (sorry, coining lame terms here). Want to buy a couch for your suite? A new wallpaper? Get it here. You can already buy games here, so why not expand it?


An achievement system needs to be put in place as well. With XBL & Playstation Home, you have ways of showing off what you’ve accomplished in games. Going back to the apartment suite idea, game achievements can give you world rewards such as trophies and other furnishings but why not expand on that? How about if you complete a game, you can then be rewarded Wii Points or something. This can give the players an incentive to go out and buy a new game to see what new things it will give them.

Traversal of the World

The only thing I haven’t really touched on here is how to visit your friends. For this, I suggest making only the apartments able to be navigated. You activate the lobby door to your apartment to leave and it’ll ask you where you’d like to go. Then you are transported to your friend’s apartment building and can navigate it. The way I see it is by being only a lobby that you can visit. From there, you can navigate the lobby. Go to the meeting room and you’re able to communicate with people you have in common with whom you’re visiting on your friends list. Go to the rec room and you can check out apartment complex achievements. Head to the elevator and you’re prompted with a menu of residents of that apartment to which you can check out their living spaces.

Mii Customization

Something that could be overhauled here is the looks to your Mii itself. Clothes, accessories, etc. This is something a lot of people have pushed for but with the current system, it’s not possible without a major revamp.

Mii In-Game Usage

An idea I was toying with for using Mii in some games was using just the Mii information and not the Mii itself. Some games could take the data for the Mii you choose to use and use different features to map to in-game character creation. Wearing a blue shirt? Choose from a selection of blue shirt textures in the game. Face shapes and everything could be mapped to certain in-game features without actually using the Mii itself. Give a player a specific color item based on their favorite color. Give your player hat options if they have no hair on the Mii. Endless.

I think that sums up a lot of the ideas I’ve had recently on changes to the Wii which could draw a lot more people to it. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated, just give the users a better means of interacting with each other by using their Mii. Wii love Mii and it’s time for our Mii to love Wii.


2 Responses to “Mii need love too”

  1. […] the Wii’s online capabilities and to allow it to run with the PS3 & XBOX360…”read more | digg story Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can […]

  2. […] still have a lot of the same complaints. There’s also the complaints I have in my analysis of Mii usage However, a lot of stuff has been addressed from my last […]

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