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I know of Wario Ware DIY but is this the only option?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Nintendo supports developers with their DSiWare and WiiWare for people wanting to make a game downloadable through the console or handheld.

The first step is to contact Nintendo to become a licensed developer (http://warioworld.com/). After you've made this important first step then Nintendo will be able to answer all of your questions.

Be prepared that they will want you to demonstrate your ability to make a fully playable game for the platform, as well as information about your company for approval.

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You can write your own games from scratch for many of the Nintendo platforms. devkitPro provides devkitARM, which can compile for the Gameboy Advance and the Nintendo DS, as well as devkitPPC, which can compile for the GameCube and the Wii. There are also utility libraries to help you access the hardware.

Running your games is very simple on the GBA and NDS, you simply buy an adapter that will load the compiled games off of a microSD card. It takes a little more work for GameCube and Wii, but it's not too bad.

(Unfortunately as of this post, the devkitpro.org site seems to be in the middle of rebuilding? All the usual download links and info pages seem to be missing, it's just a plain forum.)

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The devkitPro SDK files are still hosted on sourceforge, you can always download them there: sourceforge.net/projects/devkitpro –  kvance Jul 14 '10 at 19:48
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devkitPro is great. It should be noted though that there is no path from devkitPro homebrew to legitimate release through nintendo. At least not that I know of. So you can't make a game with devkitPro and expect that someday you'll get to release that game commercially. –  Keyframe Jul 14 '10 at 23:40
    
I don't know about DS, but there were a small number of commercial games released for GBA that used devkitARM. It may be that they are more strict with DS licensing though. –  davr Jul 16 '10 at 19:30
    
The R4 card (one such adapter that loads DS games from an SD card) was unfortunately recently declared officially illegal (to sell) here in the Netherlands. –  Bart van Heukelom Jul 28 '10 at 12:14
    
Just the R4? Luckily there are a dozen different ones that all work about the same. It's a shame that the Netherlands court system was able to be influenced in such a way by a corporation. –  davr Jul 28 '10 at 16:33
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There is also Wiiware & You -could- run a homebrew game, but I really don't know much about it.

To develop for Wiiware you have to be approved as a licensed developer for Nintendo. Information on the process can be found here: http://www.warioworld.com/

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There's nothing ethically wrong with building a homebrew game. Even legally you are mostly in the clear, the only problem is that the devices for running homebrew game are often also capable of running pirated games, but you don't have to use it for that. –  davr Jul 15 '10 at 19:23
    
@Davr Doesn't Nintendo try for a blanket ban on all modifications of their consoles whatsoever? I know they are 100% against emulation for any reason what-so-ever. –  Noctrine Jul 15 '10 at 20:14
    
Whatever Nintendo wants, does not change ethics or laws. –  davr Jul 16 '10 at 19:29
    
@davr, Good point. Fixed. –  Noctrine Jul 16 '10 at 20:36
    
@Davr While I still agree that there is nothing wrong with building a homebrew game, atleast in the USA the DMCA makes changing your system to run one illegal doesn't it? –  Noctrine Jul 17 '10 at 15:11
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Unity provides Wii and Wiiware licenses but, I'd imagine they come at a hefty price. Still if you have the cash, it is a great environment to work in.

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