Play Scumm games with the Wiimote!

General chat related to ScummVM, adventure gaming, and so on.

Moderator: ScummVM Team

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:53 pm

Play Scumm games with the Wiimote!

Post by TomFrost »

I was bored last weekend, so I had a goal: I wanted Curse of Monkey Island, on my TV, fully playable with the Wii controller. And none of that "roll the controller left and right and tip it up and down to move the pointer" that you see in so many youtube demos -- I wanted point-and-click just like it is when you're actually playing a Wii.

So I did it. And holy cripes, I don't think I will ever play a Scumm game with a mouse ever again. This. Is. *Awesome.*

Unfortunately I don't have pictures or video yet, but I wanted to share this because this is by far the most awesome way you can possibly play with ScummVM. If you're dying for Scumm on your Wii, this is just as good.

Step 1: Get a computer hooked to your TV.
None of this matters if you can't get video-out from a computer to your TV. Laptops are awesome for this -- I'm running on a circa-2004 Mac Powerbook G4. It has S-Video out, a headphone jack, and bluetooth, which is all I need. Grab a quick S-Video to RCA converter along with a 1/8" Stereo plug to RCA converter, and everything plugs right into my TV. (Actually, VCR, since that's what runs through my surround sound ... but I didn't want to admit I still had a VCR)

You do need bluetooth for this, though. If your computer has it built-in, awesome. If not, you can grab a quick Bluetooth USB key for between $40 and $60 in the states -- not sure what prices are like elsewhere.

Step 2: Get a Wiimote and hook it up
That's right: You don't actually need a Wii for this to work. Just buy a Wiimote at your local electronics/game shop for.. I think $30, and you're set. You don't need the nunchuk or anything like that. If you already have a Wii and controller, that's awesome too -- syncing the wiimote with your computer will not hinder its ability to connect to your Wii again.

What you need is a Wiimote driver for your computer. There's a good listing here. I use DarwiinRemote on my Mac and it's great, but I want to experiment with some other options because it has some quirks that I'll address later. Follow the instructions that come with your driver for getting the Wiimote connected.

Step 3: The sensor bar.
As I said above, using the accelerometer in the controller to control the mouse pointer is bunk and not at all enjoyable. So forget that: we need an infrared sensor bar. And truth be told, the name "sensor bar" is incredibly inaccurate because the bar doesn't sense anything. All it does is emits two blobs of infrared light. The controller has what amounts to an infrared-only webcam in it, and detects where it's pointed based on the location of those two dots. So now that we know that you don't need something else attached to your computer for this, this becomes hella easy:
  • If you have a Wii, this is a no-brainer. Just turn on your Wii so the sensor bar comes on, and you're done.
  • If you don't have a Wii, you have three options.
    • Get two candles. Votives are best. Sit them on a flat surface in front of your TV, about 5-9 inches apart (experiment -- proper width depends on what distance the Wiimote is at). Ta-da, you're done. This method isn't so great, though, because the flickering flames will shake your pointer. That gets annoying.
    • Buy a wireless sensor bar. I've only seen one out, it's way overpriced.. but hey, it's quick, easy, and works. I think Best Buy had it for like $30.
    • Build your own. This is what I did, and it works like a dream. It's also cheap ;-). Run to radio shack and pick up a circuit board (or breadboard if you don't feel like soldering or don't have a soldering iron), a couple infrared LEDs, a holder for two AAA batteries, a tiny 3mm LED (color doesn't matter, as long as it produces visible light) to use as a power indicator, a small on/off switch, and some 10 Ohm resistors. You can throw your own bar together lickety split if you know anything about electronics. If not, ask here and I'd be happy to give you a quick crash course in Ohm's law. Or you could google it. Or google for an LED resistance calculator.

Step 4: The Set-Up
This is when it all comes together! Open your Wiimote driver program and map your buttons. I have my A button set to left-click, B set to right-click, Home is F5, Minus is ESC, Plus is spacebar, 1 changes depending on what game I'm playing, and 2 toggles mouse mode on and off. (Quirk: Some of those don't work in DarwiinRemote on my non-Intel mac -- like F5, for example. Hmmph. I'll try other alternatives later on)

Hook the TV up to the computer and turn on "Clone" mode -- the display mode that sets your computer resolution to the same resolution as your TV, and shows the same thing on both screens.

Run ScummVM, load a game, and hit Alt+Enter to fullscreen it.

Listen as the heavens open up and angels sing as you enter ScummVM on Wiimote bliss! COMI is fantastic with this setup because you don't need to click things like "Use" or "Pick up" or anything of that that we'd normally use keyboard shortcuts for, so I recommend that and any other game with a similar format.

User avatar
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 4:06 pm
Location: Innsbruck, Austria

Post by chrisis »

Sounds great, must try that out, I have both a Wii and a Bluetooth USB-Stick (but are you sure about $40-60? I got mine off the shelf for about 12€ in my local electronics store, and it works, at least on Windows).
Still, I hope there will sometime soon be a ScummVM Port to the Wii, with the new "Twilight Hack" (look at At the moment those geniuses are still trying to figure out how to use the Wiimote (and also how to use the front SD), but if the development speed keeps being at the same rate as at the moment, I'm sure, we're not very far ahead of both, and some more :).
And as there is already an (unofficial) Gamecube Port, and programming for Wii is VERY similiar, a rough port, at least with the same features as Gamecube, should be pretty straightforward :-)

Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:11 pm

Post by luigihann »

You should be able to get a USB Bluetooth adapter for $20. The "Datel Mii Manager," which I've seen at Best Buy, is only 20 dollars and it includes one of those adapters. I've been meaning to pick one up for a long time now, but it's never high enough on my priority list to be the best thing I can get for 20 bucks at any given time :P

I do hope the homebrew guys can come up with a way to get ScummVM to work on the machine itself, but this does seem like a great alternative. I've actually been using a gyroscopic "air-mouse" that I got off eBay a while back, but this sounds even better. :D

User avatar
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:53 pm

Post by TomFrost »

luigihann wrote:I've actually been using a gyroscopic "air-mouse" that I got off eBay a while back, but this sounds even better. :D
That's a cool experience :) It plays right into the same deal of using the accelerometer in the wiimote to control the pointer, though... Fun for about 10 minutes, then it just gets frustrating ;-). Being able to absolutely point at the screen is very, very smooth. I'm counting down the minutes until my shift ends at work so I can go home and screw around with it some more ;-)

The Mii-manager is a great suggestion, though! I had no idea bluetooth adapters were getting so cheap. Not bad!

Post Reply