Backup Loaders comparison chart

Discussion in 'Wii - Backup Loaders' started by AbdallahTerro, Aug 27, 2012.

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  1. WiiFlow 4+

    98 vote(s)
    31.9%
  2. USBLoader GX 3+

    137 vote(s)
    44.6%
  3. CFG USBL Mod 45+

    60 vote(s)
    19.5%
  4. PostLoader 4+

    12 vote(s)
    3.9%
  1. dishe

    dishe Member

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    That's good to know, but sadly not helpful for this installation. I have 4 standard wiimotes for each passenger in a vehicle, which can be used to play games (specifically ones that don't need pointing) and que up media (wiimc). One of the many reasons I chose a Wii for this setup is how neat and convenient (and plentiful) wii remotes are. It seems silly to buy additional controllers just to be able to navigate the UI, especially since they aren't needed for anything else after that. I mean, I guess the classic controller would be cool for some SNES games, but then there's a wire and dispute over which seat gets it (unless I buy 4, which is even more ridiculous). I'm trying to keep this as simple and wire-free as possible. Ideally, I'd want it to be simple and intuitive enough that a guest passenger can step into my car and instantly know out what to do. It is totally possible to have an easily navigated UI with the D-pad and A buttons, and its a shame that USBLoaderGX simply isn't it.

    What I've settled on for now is using WiiFlow. It allows a very simple visual flow and a press of A to select, and another A again to launch. Very intuitive visually and self explanatory. Its not perfect, but it is as close as I can get without delving into source code and probably making a bigger mess out of this.

    My setup for now, if interested (this might get a little off topic):
    I removed all sources from the wiiflo config files other than NAND and Wii, and made channel shortcuts to any homebrew we'd want to reach via channel forwarders- this way most of everything I want shows up in the NAND flow (the only thing I can't do is get the Wii backup titles to appear there too).
    Then I used the favorites feature in wiiflo to hide any channels which aren't relevant (mii, homebrew, internet, etc- things I don't want to delete, but aren't needed when in this UI).
    I turned on "press B for source menu" and enabled Source Flow so sources are navigated in a cover-flow style UI too- even though there are only 2 now, this is the easiest way to jump between them using only buttons.
    I then renamed "NAND" to "Main Menu" in the config text, and created a new cover graphic that looks like the blue on white Wii channel menu icon. Then I set it to start on source menu.
    The end result is that the user turns on the wii in the car, and is greeted with a cover flow style UI with two choices: Main Menu and Wii Games.
    Main Menu has some retro VC games like bomberman (excellent 4-player road trip game) and some NES titles, as well as full blown emulators like Snes9x, and WiiMC for watching movies. Or, one can choose the other menu with Wii games like Mario kart, Mario Sports, DKC, Rayman Origins etc. Pressing B can swap between the two modes, but the options are presented at launch so you don't need to.

    What I wish I could do:
    Like I said initially, I wish I could put these two on a single menu so that you wouldn't need to switch (makes it less confusing and more intuitive). If not that, at the very least I wish I could turn off the infinite loop of cover-flow in wiiflow. Like, have an end instead of repeating from the beginning. This way the initial source flow menu won't look so strange, as right now it is only 2 choices (main menu and Wii games), but repeated infinitely in both directions! It just looks weird. This would be less of an issue if I didn't need the source menu at all, but if I can't do that, I'd settle for that. Also a feature I wasn't able to find is how to make it start at the same menu each time instead of remembering what was used last. For example, if I play a Wii game, next time I launch WiiFlow, it will default starting on the Wii Games source. If I pick something from the NAND/Main Menu, it will start up again there. I set Source Menu to show at start, but even then, it "starts" on the last selected source. This isn't as big of an issue, however some of the younger users of my setup (perhaps ones who can't read yet) might try to recall how to launch a game from muscle memory (press left, A, right two times, A again). But if there's no guarantee that WiiFlo will start in the same place everytime, it obviously won't work.

    Other than those nagging things, I think this is about as close to perfect as my wii car project is going to get. :)

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    One more thing to add- I actually find this way of launching titles to be much faster than the stock wii channel system with the sensor-bar pointer, even in my OTHER wii in the living room, where I actually have a sensor bar. I liked it so much I decided to use it inside too.
    The autoboot from priiloader loads much faster than the stock menu (no warning screen at start, no awkward pause while it loads the wii menu with the faint grey boxes that do "the wave" before the menu shows up... you know the one). Its loaded and ready to take input from the user seconds after the power button is pressed, and that input also seems faster than scrolling the cursor around with hand movements to get it positioned where you want it. Really makes me wonder why Nintendo didn't make this a more standard way to navigate the menu. I guess they wanted the user to get used to how the sensor bar worked and/or how sensitive it is before launching a game? I don't know.

    All I know is that I originally only wanted to do this for my car project because of the sensor bar issue, and I was fine with how my home Wii worked for the last decade or so. But once I realized what a pleasure it is to navigate with buttons again, I can't go back!
     
    Last edited by dishe, Apr 17, 2018
  2. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    I didn't read everything yet, but .. what ?
    did you try what I quoted? because it works fine, just hold the wiimote horizontally (not pointing to the screen) and dPad +A/B work fine.
    you can even point the screen and use Dpad while the wiimote is hold vertically pointing to the screen.
    you can even use nunchuck.

    Looks like you didn't even try.
     
  3. dishe

    dishe Member

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    LOL- My apologies, I've been having this discussion on many corners of the internet and apparently have lost track. There are a few threads in which I explained WHY I wanted my wii to work without a sensor bar the way I do, but apparently this isn't one of them. Oops! That whole explanation and break down came out of a very tangential and off-topic left field!

    Ok, in case it isn't clear from context, my goal is to create an entertainment system for my minivan. I was originally experimenting with a Raspberry Pi concept for videos and retro gaming, but after realizing that a sudden power loss (such as turning off the ignition) have a tendency to corrupt the Pi's storage, and then the headache of dealing with wireless remotes, etc, I decided a Wii would be a better option. And cheaper, too, as I managed to pick up a second one to dedicate to the car + wiimotes for $40. It does all the things I wanted the Pi to do, plus has better and more modern games- not to mention already has a robust wireless controller system. The only hang up appears to be that the UI is designed around being able to point and click using the sensor bar, which I'm trying to work around.

    Hopefully my comments will make more sense now that I've given some background. :)

    To be fair, I actually thought your comment previously was saying I could get around the sensor bar limitation by using a GC or classic controller, which would make sense as you can do that on the default system menu as well. You never said it would work with the dpad + A/B, look at what you wrote:

    But besides, it still doesn't work- and YES I DID try it. In fact, USBLoaderGX was actually my go-to backup loader before this project. Naturally it was the first thing I tried. You are correct in that I can use the arrow keys to change which title is selected, and A will bring up the banner, but I can't actually launch the title without pointing to the screen and getting the little hand to click the button to go. All I can do is select it. Try it, I'd be happy to be wrong about this, but on my wii (and I just did it again to be sure), I can't actually launch anything without a sensor bar.

    No matter, on a small screen like the minivan's, the big cover flow over a black background that wiiflow uses by default is the easiest to see and navigate. For my home installation, I'd very strongly consider giving ULGX another try if I could get over that bump to click with the pointer.
     
    Last edited by dishe, Apr 17, 2018
  4. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    I never stated it was ONLY compatible with listed input, just talking about input you could use to move the pointers manually if you didn't want to use a sensor method (analog stick from Gamecube, nunchuck or a Classic controller).
    But the loader also have the "no pointer at all" support, just use dpad to navigate without analog stick controlling the pointer.

    I feel you don't know about all loaders' possibilities and settings, I'm almost sure you can do what you want without thinking about source code and compiling a private version.


    If there's no way to "click Start" without a pointer cursor (though, I'll have to check, and it's maybe only an issue in some layouts, not all), then you can set the loader to launch the game when you press A (no need to point at all) :
    GUI setting > Autoboot : enabled
    it will boot the game right away, no other "disc" or "animated banner" prompt will be displayed that you need to confirm to launch the game.

    USBLoaderGX allows you to list all sources at once, but Wiiflow has the plugin system to list/launch ROMs directly.
    There's a USBLoaderGX mod with plugin system too, if you'd want it.

    USBLoaderGX might have a bug in launching channels installed to NAND, maybe you need to edit a setting and set the loader's IOS correctly to fix it.

    USBLoaderGX has a flow layout too, the "wall layout" can display covers on a single line to be easilly seen on a small screen. press dPad up/down to change how many rows you want to display.
    Though, I don't think there's an option to prevent auto-loop. this option will need a source edition.


    You know the sensor bar is nothing less than a light source, which is NOT required to be connected to the console.
    you can use any lightsource, being a candle, sun light, or anything else (infrared or not)
    Why don't you create artificial light sources in your van ? again, no need to plug anything into the console's sensor port to let games read the wiimote's data.

    You could just use sunlight area in your van if you want. or roof's light, etc.
    any light source works.

    You said you don't want to point at all, and talked about wii backup, but how do you expect to play Wii games without pointers? most games are relying on that input method.
    I really think you should create your own lightsource inserted into your van's furnitures.
     
    Last edited by Cyan, Apr 17, 2018
  5. dishe

    dishe Member

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    Right, but that's not what you SAID. You only mentioned the other ways to move with additional hardware, then sort of implied that I didn't pay your post any heed or try your suggestions. I was pointing out that the alternative input methods aren't what I wanted to do, and that's all you said initially! No reason to get defensive or think I'm not open to suggestions and/or dismissing your posts- quite the opposite, I came here precisely because I DON'T know everything and want to explore more options! Like you, I also believe this should be possible and not terribly difficult. But in reality, it hasn't been so simple, and really appreciate your replies.

    See, now THIS IS USEFUL INFORMATION! Thank you for sharing that, I would likely NEVER have found that or thought to try it. WiiFlo lets me see the banner and then press A to launch it, which is cool I guess (I think the animated banners are cool in theory), but in reality its just another step before you can launch the game. So if this works with ULGX, it would be that much faster to start a title, and worth a shot IMO. I'll go try it later when I get back.

    That's cool, I'm open to trying anything. Where can I find this modded version?

    I did find WiiFlow also had trouble with channels in NAND, I had to edit a setting I think called "custom" to ON in order for it to work.

    Can the other view options be disabled though? I'm imagining someone holding the controller in the wrong orientation and accidentally changing the view display (up/down) instead of scrolling titles (left/right).

    Yes, I know this. About 9 years ago when I got my first Wii and wanted to use it with a projector, I used tea lights. Then when I decided I didn't want to accidentally burn down the cloth screen, I bought some LED IR diodes off ebay which could be powered off a AAA battery. Later on I even used the diodes to make a light pen when I was experimenting with the idea of using Johnny Chung Lee's wii-based smartboard as a digital paint wall for a party. But that's another story. :)

    Its not practical because of line of sight- remember, the layout of seats in a van is different from a living room couch. I tried this. Sort of. Ok, so another thing I neglected to share before: MY MINIVAN ACTUALLY HAS A SENSOR BAR. Sort of. :)
    This is part of what also made me think of using the Wii instead of a raspberry pi or old laptop embedded under the seat. See, the display for the rear entertainment system has a wireless headphones option- the headphones work with IR emitters, which exist on the left and right of the display. So basically, there's already an IR bar built into the screen housing that is on as long as the screen is on! But the first time we took it out for a drive with people in the car, we realized how impractical a sensor bar in the car is due to the angle of the seat to what is in front of you. Most of the seats don't get a good line of sight at the screen for pointing at a comfortable holding position. There is one seat (the middle of the back row) that can pretty consistently see it at a normal position with your hand, but if the car is full and there are people in the seat in front of you? You end up having to hold the wiimote over the head of the passenger in front to see the IR points. You basically have to do everything with your hands raised in the air, which is funny to watch but totally impractical. I could add a sensor bar for each row behind the seat in front of them, but now we're just getting silly. It isn't at all necessary, as I'll explain below.

    Also, I wired up a secondary screen in the front dashboard for the passenger to watch whatever they are watching in back (originally for when I thought it would be used for mostly video playback). If we don't use a sensor bar for anything, someone in the front can technically play games too with one of the controllers.

    Nope! I noticed a pattern in Wii games- motion based games use the sensor bar (obviously), but adventure/side scrolling/racing/etc games almost always make you hold the controller horizontally, and never EVER use the bar for anything. Motion based games like Wii Sports aren't exactly good for playing in a moving vehicle anyway. But a racing game like Mario Kart? Amazing (especially with 4 players)! Donkey Kong Country, Rayman Origins, Mario Sports, etc. are all great games to play on a road trip and don't require any sort of pointing. I haven't tried Brawl yet (so far I only use backup for titles I own legally and haven't bought brawl), but I'd think that's a good multiplayer game that don't require a bar either. And there is still that one seat which can see the IR bar in the back in case of emergencies (stuck in a menu accidentally somehow).
    Its actually a pretty great setup so far, even with the loader kinks the way they are now. But if I can make it better, it'd be danged near perfect!
     
    Last edited by dishe, Apr 17, 2018
  6. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    Sorry if I was not nice in my replies.
    I took the conversations in the middle, and sometime think things should be obvious to know (like looking in the settings to know what's available before asking if something is available)

    I added a link in the first post of the official USBLoaderGX thread. There are links to download latest release, and links to modded versions.
    I don't provide help for the plugin modded version as it's not mine, and you might have to do some search in the loader's thread to see what the author said about his version, how to setup, where to put emulators Etc.
    but it should work the same way than Wiiflow's addons as it's based on its sources.

    I don't know wiiflow that well, but I guess USBLoaderGX has the same option, just not the same name.
    Settings > loader settings > Channel mode : Boot dol <-> normal
    I suppose "normal" means it's using the official Channel loading method of the Wii by calling its titleID (letting the Wii loads the channel and loads the needed IOS, etc.)
    the "boot dol" is the loader loading the .dol in the channel's folder on NAND and putting it in executable memory before launching it.
    You'll have to try which one is working best.

    By using Parental Control menu, you can hide or disable almost every menu and buttons.
    if not hidden, it will just prompt "loader is locked, please unlock to use that option".

    by using parental control, you can also lock games based on their rating level (ESRB, etc.)
    or set a user's lock (if you want a specific game to not be displayed when the loader is locked), or change each game's level one by one (but just use Wiitdb to get all the game's official rating levels).
    Only NAND channels might have a bug in getting the rating level from wiitdb.xml file, you'll have to set a value yourself if you set a parental level too low.
    play with it to learn and see the result.

    To lock :
    settings > parental control > password : not needed, you can lock without a password, but anybody will be able to unlock if you don't.
    Settings > parental control > parental level : set the rating level (I never understood how it works, hahah) either set "everyone" to see only games that "everyone" can see (which is kid can see AND adult can see, limiting to kid games), or if "everyone" means "show games that everyone see, kids and adults" ? yeah, see, even my explanation is not understandable. Nintendo uses a strange rating method. just test and see...
    Settings > parental control > choose all features or buttons what you want to disable when locked
    main screen > top menu > lock icon to lock/unlock



    Note : the last added parental option (lock the loader's layout) has been added AFTER the plugin mod version. so you can't have both at the same time.
     
    Last edited by Cyan, Apr 17, 2018
  7. dishe

    dishe Member

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    Oh, well that's not fair. OF COURSE I looked in the settings. Not just me, but other forums and corners of the internet (friends who worked on homebrew apps way back when, the wiimod section of Reddit, etc), and most people I spoke with to get ideas just sort of assumed that there wasn't an option to make GX load without a sensor bar. Because honestly, who would need to in a normal setup?
    GUI setting > Autoboot : enabled wouldn't have struck me as the option I needed. For all I knew, I thought that was a setting that had to do with how it handled automatically booting up with priiloader or bootmii. For example, I think one of the other launchers has a setting that sounds like that which tries to automatically relaunch back into the app instead of the channel menu when you exit a game or app. This is why I had to come here and find people like you who would know a heckuva lot more than a tinkerer poking around settings.

    Thanks for all the tips re: the parental settings. I'll poke around when I find some time. Thanks for all the help!
     
  8. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    I agree a lot of setting names are just wrong and not properly explaining what they do. a lot of developers worked on that project at the beginning, and everyone used the word they thought best.
    I feel a lot of them need to be changed, but it will require too much work/time to do now. (not even counting it would break a lot of language files, most translators are not updating their files now)
     
    Last edited by Cyan, Apr 17, 2018
  9. dishe

    dishe Member

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    Such is the case with community driven open source. No one overseeing the whole product to make sure things are consistent and intuitive. I'm just appreciative that these options exist and are as great as they are.
     
  10. dishe

    dishe Member

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    I poked around in GX for a bit and sure enough, I can make it autoboot. BTW, the menu option isn't called autoboot, its called fast boot or something else entirely. There's no way I would have known what that does! Even looking for it I had to take a guess to find out if it was even what I was looking for or not.
    In the end, it looks like it is possible to make a setup similar to what I wanted, but I need to figure out a lot more first. There are a lot of view options but they don't seem as snappy as WiiFlow's... its possible I just need to play with it more to understand how to tweak it to my liking, and I'm definitely going to need to learn more about how to hide options with parental settings and what not.
    In the mean time, my custom wiiflow setup is working well enough for now. I'll revisit this down the road and try to wrap my brain around GX's options when I have time. For now, here is a quick video demo of what I did:


    BTW, it occurred to me that for the price of one of these used + the power requirements (something like 13 watts?) + the power of homebrew apps like FTP servers, there could be a life for the Wii beyond aging console game usage. I could see an easily navigated sensor-bar less UI useful for all kinds of things as an alternative to a Raspberry Pi.
     
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