Philly Game Jam 2013 Entry: Ghost Blasters

Hey people, my game jam team Space Lords have created a game within 43 hours at Philly Game Jam 2013 called Ghost Blasters. We didn’t win any awards at this time, but we enjoyed what we’ve been doing anyway.

Ghost Blasters

Timelapse:

Here are the links to the game according to platform:

Download Windows Version
Download OS X Version

Hope you guys enjoy playing this game!

Experiment: MonoGame for Ouya for First Time

Recently, I ordered Ouya at Amazon.com to try developing for it (and play Towerfall). So far, everything about the hardware and its included software are okay. My main complaint is that it doesn’t have a huge library of worth-playing games. Well, Ouya is still in its infancy. It may take a while before there are more cool games out. I’ll try making games for it after I finish my own research & development for Ouya. Okay, enough about Ouya itself. My main purpose for writing this post is to talk about my experience with developing a test app for Ouya.

Before I started developing for Ouya, I followed the setup instructions in the documentation at Ouya’s developer site. All I had to do was install the necessary packages in Android SDK Manager and manually add Ouya to the list of USB devices in a hidden file. In case if I make updates to the SDK, I would have to manually add Ouya to the list again.

My first attempt at Ouya development is through compiling and testing MonoGame examples. The included examples are In-App Purchases, SetResolutions and VirtualController. I decided to compile them on my Mac partition. My only choice of IDE so far is Xamarin Studio, since I read that the current MonoGame for MonoDevelop template package does not work on MonoDevelop 4.x. Before I can compile them, I needed these following things: ODK Bindings in C#, Xamarin.Android (already included in Xamarin Studio, but I must log in to my account), and MonoGame source code in GitHub (had to compile this into .Net assembly). So far, I encountered minor issues. One particular issue I found out was that KeyEventArgs property is not available in the current (develop) version of MonoGame framework. I encountered a compile-time error when I tried to build SetResolutions application. However, when I tried linking to pre-built MonoGame framework assembly that was included in the In-App Purchases project folder, I compiled the program successfully. It seems the developers of MonoGame have decided to remove KeyEventArgs from the latest version for some reason. I could have gone with the master version in their repository, but that doesn’t contain the framework for Ouya. I might have to suck it up with their latest development version anyway.

My second Ouya development attempt is by writing and compiling my own “first game” from scratch. This project only consists of one phrase using a font I borrowed from one of the examples. When I compiled the program for the first time, I did not encounter any compile-time errors. However, when I ran it, my application threw an exception and terminated itself. So, I spent a long time trying to resolve this issue by tweaking the code multiple times. But, my program still threw the same exception. Sometime around the last minute, I took a peek at my project file’s options. I found that my project was using Android 2.1 SDK, which it shouldn’t. Therefore, I changed it to Android 4.1, the version Ouya runs on. When I recompiled and ran the application, it no longer threw an exception. I realize that MonoGame’s framework for Ouya may be incomplete. The people behind it probably forgot to correctly set the target SDK to version 4.1.

So far, I only touched the surface of MonoGame for Ouya development. I haven’t tried using my own content yet. Since MonoGame’s content pipeline is still under development as of now, I would have to use XNA Game Studio 4.0 to compile my assets to optimized and recognizable formats. I would have to switch to Windows partition in order to use XNA Game Studio.

Since there is going to be a Unity to Ouya tutorial at Cipher Prime Studios this Thursday, I will hold off on MonoGame stuff and jump to Unity for Ouya development as soon as possible to familiarize myself with it. I’ll see other Philly-based developers there. I’ll bring my Ouya too.

List of links to necessary pages for MonoGame for Ouya development:
https://devs.ouya.tv/
http://monogame.codeplex.com/
https://github.com/slygamer/ouya-csharp
http://xamarin.com/monoforandroid
https://github.com/mono/MonoGame
https://github.com/ouya/ouya-sdk-examples

Eleventh Day of My Japan Trip 2013

Okay, I decided to explore every last place I could check in one day. First, I decided to ride the Shinkansen to Yokohama to check out Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum.

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum 1

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum 2

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum 3

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum 4

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum 5

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum 6

After I finished checking the museum and buying some souvenirs, I took the Shinkansen again to get to Osaka.

I took the local train to Namba to find an okonomiyaki restaurant named Fukutarou.

Namba 1

A sign says Fukutarou Main Restaurant

Fukutarou 1

When I got there, so many people were waiting there for hours. When there are so many Japanese people lined up, there is very good food there.

Fukutarou 2

When I finally got called in, I made my order and wondered whether I will be able to catch the Shinkansen back to Tokyo in time.

Fukutarou Okonomiyaki 1

Fukutarou Okonomiyaki 2

When I finished my meal and paid my bill, I immediately took the local train to Shin-Osaka Station. When I got there, I noticed the only Shinkansens left at the time I was there were Nozomi and Kodama. Kodama is the slowest since it stops at every station. So, I decided to buy a ticket for Nozomi train to get to Tokyo faster. Since my JR Pass doesn’t cover Nozomi and Mizuho trains, I had to pay the full fare of 13,240 yen.

Nozomi Ticket

There are so many things in Japan I wanted to check out badly. Unfortunately, my plane leaves on Friday in the afternoon. So, this will be my last Japan trip post until I write another. Until then, later.

My Tenth Day of Japan Trip 2013

When I got to Kyoto, I decided to stop at someplace to eat for lunch. Since Kyoto is in the Kansai area, I thought about trying the okonomiyaki here.

Kyoto Lunch 2

Kyoto Lunch 1

Other images in Kyoto Prefecture:

Kyoto 1

Kyoto 2

Kyoto 11

Kyoto 10

Kyoto 9

Kyoto 8

Kyoto 7

Kyoto 6

Kyoto 5

Kyoto 4

Kyoto 3

I initially planned to go to Osaka next, but I decided to just return to my hotel in Tokyo.

My first ramen dinner in Tokyo:

Tokyo Ramen

Now I need to my laundry.

Ghibli Museum Trip 2013

I visited Ghibli Musuem in Mitaka for the first time.

Here is the entrance:

Ghibli Musuem 1

After that, no picture-taking was permitted inside the museum (unless I’m at outdoor places).

Here are my exceptions:

Ghibli Museum 2

Ghibli Musuem 3

After exploring the museum, eating at the cafe and buying souvenirs, I attended the short film screening of Kujiratori (Whale Hunt). I assure you that the whale isn’t harmed. They change the screening every month. When I have time and money again, I might visit the museum again.

Comiket 84 Day 3

The third day is the day I’ve been waiting for. Even though it was another hot day, I decided to go to Tokyo Big Sight by 8:30 AM anyway.

Here is what it looked like when I lined up outside before opening:

Comiket Day Three 1

I was further behind this time. When my line started entering the building by 10 AM, I immediately lined up for the latest Touhou Project game.

Comiket Day Three 2

Despite the very long line, it moved fast. I eventually got the game for 1000 yen.

After exploring and buying more stuff, I immediately left for the train station. The line for the train station would get extremely crowded and slow around the closing time.

Here are things I bought for the third day:

Comiket Day Three 3

A closer look to the 14th Touhou Project game:

Comiket Day Three 4

That was the end of Comic Market (or Comiket for short) 84. お疲れ様でした!(Otsukaresamadeshita!)

Comiket 84 Day 2

At night of my first Comiket day, I marked a lot of artist circles I wanted to check out on the second day. However, I decided to go back to Comiket after 12 PM. I would potentially miss my chance to get some things from the most popular circles, but I just didn’t think it was worth my time and life to get them. However, I managed to buy more stuff today.

Checked out the west hall for the first time:

Comiket Day Two 1

Cosplayers:

Comiket Day Two 2

Comiket Day Two 3

I also visited the corporate booths as well. I wasn’t sure I was allowed to take pictures there, so I refrained from doing it.

Things I got from the second day so far:

Comiket Day Two 4

Now off to the third day as quickly as possible!

Comiket 84 Day 1

I initially planned to head to Tokyo Big Sight to line up by 6 AM (four hours from 10 AM opening). However, I ended up lining up at 9:30, which I am glad I did. Standing in line for an hour outside in a very hot day (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit) was enough to make me suffer. Also, I lost one of my towels before lining up. However, I had a pack of tissues to wipe up my sweat.

Here is what it looked like when I lined up for about an hour:

Comiket Day One 1

What it looked like inside Tokyo Big Sight’s east hall:

Comiket Day One 2

Things I bought at Comiket 84 on Day One (some are NOT SAFE FOR WORK):

Comiket Day One 3

Since today was mainly yaoi (gay male porn) day, I only acquired few interesting stuff. At first, I lined up for one of the circles where there were many girls in line, usually for yaoi books. When I confirmed that circle’s current work was yaoi, I immediately got out of the line and looked for something else. I eventually lined up for one of the popular circles (not yaoi) for hours to get a set. Also, I bought some more stuff from artists who didn’t have lines.

Around the early afternoon, I got fed up. I was already sweating as hell. Also, I drank at least two big bottles worth of tea that I felt like I needed to throw up. I initially wanted to check out stuff in the west hall, the cosplay section and the corporate booths, but I felt that I needed to get back to the hotel soon. So, I got into a big line for a train. I did hear that most attendees do not stay at Comiket all day long over the Internet. Fortunately, I already bought round-trip tickets in the morning.

Despite I already prepared myself for the event after I got tips over the Internet, I underestimated the brutality of standing in the middle of a very hot day. However, it was a worthy experience. I even learned a Japanese word for the “end of the line”, which was 最後尾 (saikoubi). Long lines are divided into separate, short lines. Unless there are extremely popular artist circles you should definitely line up for before their works sell out, DO NOT get in line before noon. It would be less crowded afternoon. I plan to get in line on the third day for Team Shanghai Alice, the one-man team of the Touhou Project game series. I’m going to have a long time to reconsider my future Comiket trips.

Fifth Day of My Japan Trip 2013

I took a shinkansen and a local train to Uji in Kyoto Prefecture to see Kyoto Animation with my own eyes.

Kyoto Animation 1

Kyoto Animation 2

Kyoto Animation 3

Somebody at Kyoani Shop told me there was going to be hanabi (fireworks) at night. So, I looked for the place. At the same time, I made a friend named Yuka. Since she didn’t have plans for the day, she helped me tour her hometown. After that, she showed me where the hanabi would take place and went back home.

Uji 1

Uji 2

Hanabi

I hope I come back to Kyoto on another day. My day there was too short.