NewoZero - A futuristic, retro-synthwave homebrew racing game for Wii

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Welcome back to GBAtemp Project Spotlight, where we shine the light on the incredible creations and projects from around and within the GBAtemp community!

In our fourth issue we're taking a look at NewoZero by GBAtemp member @newo who has taken the time to answer some questions about the game.

NewoZero

Features
  • A futuristic retro-synthwave racing game
  • 3d graphics
  • 5 Championships
  • 60 tracks
  • Online Leaderboard
How to play
The game very simple and is fast but not so fast that you cannot take the corners. All you have to do is avoid crashing into the walls and other cars. If you crash too many times then the game over. There is a purple bar at the bottom of the screen indicates your energy.

Controller Support
All controls work for first player only. Wiimote, Gamecube controller, Classic, and Nunchuck can be used. When motion controls is enabled the wiimote held sideways with face buttons up is used to steer the ship. Other controllers use the dpad and/or the left analog stick.

Credits
Owen - game code written in C
Additional assets, cars, fonts and sfx from kenney.nl assets
Featuring background music from 2 Hour Synthwave MIX - L.A. Sunset by White Bat Audio
Trailer by DJ D-CEPTICON
Testers: Eyeliner, @shockdesign, Mr. Reaper, DJ D-CEPTICON, RenDev, @iyenal222

Tools Used
GRRLIB
Moment of Inspiration 3d modeling tool
http-parser
DevkitPPC

Inspiration & Thanx
Games: FZero, FZeroGX

What is NewoZero?

NewoZero is a 3D, 60fps futuristic racing game for the Wii in which you race over and below NewoTokyo. Use your piloting skills to race through 30 levels and compete in the online leaderboards. The game can be played with most Wii controllers and also includes support for motion controls.


NewoZero v1 trailer

Newo-Zero-Scrot-4.png Newo-Zero-Scrot-8.png Newo-Zero-Scrot-10.png
Screenshots (click to enlarge)

You can follow development progress on NewoZero in the official discussion thread here.

Q&A with newo

What is NewoZero in a nutshell?

NewoZero is a simple yet challenging racing/driving game developed for homebrewed Wii consoles.​

What motivated you to work on the game?

I like working on homebrew, primarily Wii homebrew and at the time I longed to work on something new.​
What were your inspirations for NewoZero if any?

I like science fiction and Cyberpunk 2077 release was near release, but I always wanted to create some kind of fast racing game similar to F-Zero.​

When did you begin working on the game?

I started around November 2020 and live blogged most of the development with screenshots in a GBAtemp thread.​
What was your biggest hurdle when working on the game? Were there any particular quirks or limitations to the Wii that you had to accommodate or work around?

Getting the ship to follow the track smoothly was the biggest hurdle for me personally. As I had never coded a game that had "real 3D" movement before. This required weeks of research and several hacks. Online tutorials did not really help as they were bloated.
In terms of the limitations of the Wii hardware; it is what it is - you just have to suck it up and dive in. This is one of the reasons I like limits - they either kill you or make you stronger. With the Wii you know what you are getting into - you learn to live within the limitations and wrap them around you like a blanket. So I think the limitations mostly come from my own lack of knowledge and experience. Not so much the hardware. Nintendo has done some magical stuff on the Wii.​

How complete is the project now? Do you plan to continue working on it or are you at a state where you feel it's mostly complete?

I recently released version 2 of the project on 1st Dec 2021, which is 6 months since v1 and a full year after I started working on the game. The project is pretty complete as far as homebrew games are - however, my games never really done. There are always things I could add like split screen multiplayer or multiple playable ships.​
But in the homebrew scene you don't want to burn yourself out adding features that most players might never appreciate. Racing games on a whole are very niche. I might come back to it in a year or work on something totally different.​

What got you into coding/game design?

I have always been into video games ever since I was a child from as far back as the NES days. My first console was a SNES with Super Metroid. I kinda stumbled into programming business apps after high school. I never write games for PC - too many distractions/APIs but around 2010 or thereabouts when the Wii homebrew scene started. I thought "hey, why not give game dev on this Wii thing a try?". I looked around for a simple project I could tackle at the time and a Starfox clone seemed to be manageable. I have been doing little projects ever since then.​

Any advice for wannabe coders?

Find the simplest game you can make and stick with it. It doesn't matter how the game looks or popularity. Work on something you like and do it because you want to do it and not because you think other people will like.​
It is not all about coding, some people are artists, musicians, testers, story writers etc. Everyone contributes in some way. Find the thing that you like to do. Don't get into tech just because. Yes someone has to write some code at some point but it's not all about the code/graphics/popularity. It is about you and developing your skills. Seek help and advice - there are a lot of hacks that are not obvious to new coders. Simple projects have a better chance of being released but homebrew is never finished.​

Do you have anything else you'd like to say to the GBAtemp / homebrew community?

Long live the Wii.​

Getting started with NewoZero

You can find out more about NewoZero and follow @newo progress in the official GBAtemp thread . Check it out if you are interested in finding out more about this homebrew project.

For further reading check out the NewoZero Postmortem (programming) in which @newo went into further details following the release of version 1 back in May 2021.

Thanks to @newo for taking their time out to share their project with us!


Previous Project Spotlight issues

Issue #1 - MediCat USB by Jayro
Issue #2 - TWiLight Menu++ by Robz8
Issue #3 - Project Spotlight Universal-Updater by SuperSaiyajinVoltZ, Pk11, maorninja and others

View all issues of Project Spotlight here.

GBAtemp's Project Spotlight Are you the author or team member of a homebrew project or do you know of one that should receive the GBAtemp Project Spotlight treatment? Then please get in touch to discuss getting it featured right here and expand your audience.
 

Wiimpathy

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People don't realize how hard it is to develop a game from scratch like this, especially on a limited platform.
No Unity or similar here. Not much easy documentations, tutorials regarding Wii specifics. No room for very inefficient code like on PC/android.
Pure C/C++ with some graphics library. GRRLIB maybe @newo ?
Edit: GRRLIB indeed. Amazing!
 

Edgarska

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not want to be a downer but saying its 3d its a bit well very low 3d, star fox had more 3d on the snes than this, not saying the game is bad or anything but calling it 3d graphics is doesn't fell right imo.
How is a 3D rendered game not 3D?
 

newo

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People don't realize how hard it is to develop a game from scratch like this, especially on a limited platform.
No Unity or similar here. Not much easy documentations, tutorials regarding Wii specifics. No room for very inefficient code like on PC/android.
Pure C/C++ with some graphics library. GRRLIB maybe @newo ?
Edit: GRRLIB indeed. Amazing!

It took a month just to get the ship to stay on the track. I could have made a flat game like FZero SNES but what would be the point? And its another 5 months to get to version 1. 6 months of polish to get it to version 2 (with help and suggestions from testers). Yeah making a game for scratch is hard but most would rather go down into the console war rabbit hole. Ports are cool but how many platforms do we need play doom on? I find working on new stuff a relaxing experience and it gives inspiration and enjoyment to the scene.
 

Wiimpathy

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It took a month just to get the ship to stay on the track. I could have made a flat game like FZero SNES but what would be the point? And its another 5 months to get to version 1. 6 months of polish to get it to version 2 (with help and suggestions from testers). Yeah making a game for scratch is hard but most would rather go down into the console war rabbit hole. Ports are cool but how many platforms do we need play doom on? I find working on new stuff a relaxing experience and it gives inspiration and enjoyment to the scene.
Developing alone is a huge investment of time indeed. Ports of games or emulators are less creative but it's also a big challenge sometimes.

Will you publish your code or at least part of it?
At the moment your repository seems down.
Having real good code examples is always helpful for potential wii developers.
 
Last edited by Wiimpathy,
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newo

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Guy release it to android with joystick and chromecasr support... it seems amazing

No

@Wiimpathy remove that link from your post. there is no such folder. I tried open sourcing projects before but they never got any traction. People dont realize that projects like doom and quake are designed to be open source. It takes extra time to make something open source friendly and modable. I gave up on the whole open source thing so that i can code quickly for specific hardware and not worry about portability. Without enough interested, capable programmers open source becomes a time sink for people dho just want to build something quickly.
 

SaulFabre

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No

@Wiimpathy remove that link from your post. there is no such folder. I tried open sourcing projects before but they never got any traction. People dont realize that projects like doom and quake are designed to be open source. It takes extra time to make something open source friendly and modable. I gave up on the whole open source thing so that i can code quickly for specific hardware and not worry about portability. Without enough interested, capable programmers open source becomes a time sink for people dho just want to build something quickly.
@newo

Where I can find the source code of NewoZero?
EDIT: If isn't anywhere, maybe you could upload all the source code to GitHub, Bitbucket, or anything else?
 
Last edited by SaulFabre,

newo

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@SaulFabre Its not open source. But if anyone is intersted in wii homebrew dev i am always willing to help and share ideas on here or on twitter. if you've every ported a game before then this would be 2x harder to port. Its made for the wii hardware.
 
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SaulFabre

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@SaulFabre Its not open source. But if anyone is intersted in wii homebrew dev i am always willing to help and share ideas on here or on twitter. if you've every ported a game before then this would be 2x harder to port. Its made for the wii hardware.
oh ok that's too bad
 

newo

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oh ok that's too bad
I did try a few os projects but no one was really interested in making "new" stuff on the old wii.
Citydemo was a move to create a wii engine from scratch - got no interest from that. I eventually stopped working on that because as i said before making engines and open source stuff is a whole additional challenge. however It did inspire the the city pricedural generation in newozero. Nz is running on top of grrlib.

https://wiibrew.org/wiki/CityDemo
 
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SaulFabre

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I did try a few os projects but no one was really interested in making "new" stuff on the old wii.
Citydemo was a move to create a wii engine from scratch - got no interest from that. I eventually stopped working on that because as i said before making engines and open source stuff is a whole additional challenge. however It did inspire the the city pricedural generation in newozero. Nz is running on top of grrlib.

https://wiibrew.org/wiki/CityDemo
Oh ok but i will enjoy a lot your NewoZero... it basically beaten all your old WIi homebrew games because of its controls, graphics (even when they're a bit "poor") and levels... It's like playing F-ZERO but with Wii motion controls or analog sticks such the Nunchuk and the polygonal graphics are very impressive... at least for me :)
 
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Wiimpathy

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I understand the extra effort about open sourcing : cleaning, uploading etc.
But the benefit is so essential. At least one aspect : learning. Reading tutorials, books or 'academic' examples is good but reading others projects is so intructive.
 

newo

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I understand the extra effort about open sourcing : cleaning, uploading etc.
But the benefit is so essential. At least one aspect : learning. Reading tutorials, books or 'academic' examples is good but reading others projects is so intructive.
I find that new programmers get caught up in a tonne of tutorials and stuff. The doom/quake source is bloated to the point where you either clone the entire thing or nothing. For example newozero doesnt work like any normal physics based driving game - i searched all over the internet and realised that tutorials dont help. You really need to find the simplest algorithm to write your game instead of looking for the "best" way.

Newozero is really really simple.
 
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