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mr_lou

"Ukko's Journey" released; the very first "Blu-Play" title!

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mr_lou    37

"Ukko's Journey" released; the very first "Blu-Play" homebrew game for PS3, PS4 and XB1!

 

UkkosJourney-DiscLabel-Small.png

 

Intro

"Ukko's Journey" was originally developed as a cellphone game back in 2008-2009 by LuBlu Entertainment.

Now here in 2017 the same team has ported the game to Blu-Play, proof-of-concept demonstration to show an example of a what you can do with Blu-Play.

Blu-Play games are "small-scale homebrew games coded with Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J), and which therefore runs on any game-console that comes with a built-in Blu-ray player", which at present time includes PS3, PS4 and XB1. In other words, you don't need a special version of a Blu-Play title in order to run it on your console. One disc runs on all. More about Blu-Play here.

 

Demonstrated Blu-Play elements

- Performance: The game plays with 50+ fps

- Audio: Plays ingame music + sound-effects

- Persistent storage: Remembers your settings between disc ejects

- Controls: 11 buttons on the gamepad useable

- Internet: Uploads/downloads highscores to/from UkkosJourney.com

- Network: Sends the cellphone version of the game to your Wi-Fi connected JavaME enabled phone via your local network

 

Download

Ukko's Journey is 100% free.

Download UkkosJourney-BluPlay.ISO here [83 mb]

 

How can I get to play this?

For a stock PS3 / PS4 you need to burn the ISO onto a BD-R or BD-RE disc, which means you need a Blu-ray burner. Luckily Blu-ray burners has become very affordable now, and a BD-R disc only costs about half a euro. If you buy a BD-RE, it can be re-used several thousand times due to the small size of Blu-Play games.

For a jailbroken PS3 you can run the ISO from harddisk by mounting the ISO with webMAN or multiMAN from the BDISO folder.

For Xbox One you can burn the ISO onto a DVD, which means you need a DVD burner. (If you have a Blu-ray burner, BD-R and BD-RE naturally works too).

You can also play the ISO from harddisk on your PC if you have a software media-player that supports BD-J. More about this in FAQ.

 

Setup

If you wish to use the online highscore-system in the game, make sure your console's Blu-ray settings allows for the disc to go online.

On the PS3 this setting is in Video Settings -> "BD - Internet connection"

On the XB1 it's in Blu-ray settings -> "Enable BD Live to improve Blu-ray playback"

 

Before starting a game, you may also want to redefine controls in the game settings, and enter your nickname for the highscores.

 

Preview video

 

 

FAQ

Q: Which platforms will this run on?

A: You should always expect Blu-Play games to only run on the gaming consoles that comes with a built-in Blu-ray player. These are the consoles Blu-Play is all about. However, Blu-Play games should theoretically also run on any other Blu-ray player. (Just don't expect any stunning framerates everyhere). Some examples:

- Windows: Get your hands on a software media player that supports BD-J, like e.g. PowerDVD from Cyberlink. Play ISO from harddisk. Tested and works fine with a good frame (depending on your CPU of course).

- Mac: Same deal. Find a software media player that supports BD-J. There's "MacGo Blu-ray Player", but I haven't tested that one.

- Linux: VLC is getting BD-J support implemented these days. You may be able to run Ukko's Journey on one of the nightly builds, Just don't expect all features of the game to run - if it runs at all. (Keep in mind there's no official release of "VLC with BD-J support" yet).

- Samsung Blu-ray players: It seems that Samsung players more frequently accepts Blu-ray content on a DVD than other brands, so you may be able to run Blu-Play games from a DVD on these players.

- Other Blu-ray players: Burn the ISO onto a BD-R or BD-RE.

- Other options: Dune HD Smart D1 / Popcorn Hour C200 / Popcorn Hour C300 lets you play the ISO from harddisk.

 

Q: The graphics in the game looks very pixelated. Does this represent a Blu-Play limitation?

A: Not at all. "Ukko's Journey" was merely ported from a platform with a resolution of only 240x320 pixels. We made HD versions of the fonts and the backgrounds and the foregrounds, but we had to limit the amount of time spent on this project, due to a combination of having a ton of other things on our ToDo list, while not knowing if anyone will take any interest in this Blu-Play idea at all. So we decided to not spend additional time improving the level-graphics yet.

 

Q: When I try to upload/download highscores, it just says "No data found"!

A: You have probably accidentally entered a highscore ID in Settings. Go back and type "0" for ID. (Never mind the Password field). The highscore settings allows a group of people to compete with each other on their own personal (hidden) highscore list, but you need a highscore-list ID and a password (from me) to be able to use that feature.

 

Q: Under "Send to phone" it says "JavaME enabled phones only". What's that?

A: JavaME enabled phones was what everyone was using before the arrival of Android phones and iPhones. Almost all phones ran JavaME back then, because it was either embedded into the firmware, or in the OS. If a stock phone couldn't run JavaME, you could always find an app that would let you run it. again regardless of what OS you were using.

Nowadays this is still true for Android. You can simply install phoneME. However, since the MIDlets on this disc were all created for small resolutions, they aren't very useful on the big Android displays.

 

Q: Do I have to burn the ISO onto a BD-R, or can I use a DVD?

A: You can burn a Blu-ray ISO file onto a DVD, but sadly it won't play everywhere. Xbox One owners are in luck here. PlayStation owners are not. Testing standard Blu-ray players reveals that about 30%-40% of the players accepts Blu-ray content on a DVD, mostly Samsung players.

 

Q: What exactly is Blu-Play?

A: The Blu-Play label is an attempt of fixing a few widely accepted misconceptions about Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J), by giving "BD-J homebrew games" a new and "fresh" label. One that sounds a lot better, emphasises that focus is on the gaming-consoles, is much more easily found when searching online, and isn't associated with all the false rumours about the limitations of BD-J. By demonstrating a lot of the functionality here that many people has claimed to be impossible, I'm hoping to breathe new life into BD-J development for the game-consoles.

Read more about Blu-Play here.

 

Q: I wanna buy a disc with this!

A: There's a BUY link at blu-play.com. Note: I will not be making any money on this. The price on the disc is the fee EditHouse is charging.

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mr_lou    37

One week after release, the YouTube video has had over 1400 views.

For comparison, the video showing the cellphone version of the same game has had 800 views - during a timespan of 7 years!

 

So I think it's safe to say that there's a lot of interest in Java homebrew games for the gaming consoles.

 

But interest alone isn't enough. The main obstacle with the whole idea, are the stock PS3 and PS4 owners, who needs a Blu-ray burner in order to play the games. Despite both burners and discs being rather cheap nowadays, they still struggle with the dogma that they are expensive. That's how the world is unfortunately. It runs on perceptions, not actual facts.

 

One thing left to examine in this regard: Try different brands of recordable DVD's to check if there is one that the PS3/PS4 accepts. Personally I've only tested with Verbatim.

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mr_lou    37

Interesting:

https://gigaom.com/2010/04/26/burn-blu-ray-disks-on-regular-dvds-with-x264/

 

"x264 uses advanced compression to fit Blu-ray movies on much cheaper DVD-Rs “with a reasonable level of quality”. Most players will treat these discs like a regular Blu-ray disc."

 

Most players? Hm, not according to my tests. It's more like 30-40 %

In any case, we're only interested in the PS3 and PS4 to be among those "most players"....

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mr_lou    37

So.... it's been a while.

Just reporting a new discovery of mine, in case anyone out there is interested.

 

Turns out I've been using a silly way of drawing graphics. There's a much faster way of doing it.

In other words: The framerate for Ukko's Journey that I've reported here (50+ fps), could have been much higher.

Just wanted to mention that.

I might make an improved version later, and report the new framerate. Currently way too busy with other stuff.

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mr_lou    37

Alright, so I went ahead and made changes to the code to use a faster way of drawing graphics. Then had a quick play to see the difference:


Old average FPS: 50-60 fps

New average FPS: 80-90 fps

(The actual framerate of the game is a lot higher though. Ironically, the framerate drops when displaying the framerate. So 80-90 is when the fps display is on. When it's off, the game plays with about 110-120 fps).

 

Old highest FPS: 101 fps

New highest FPS: 178 fps

 

I admit I had expected a bit more, like maybe a doubling of the framerate. But I'm not disappointed either. I think there's definitely room for some awesome homebrew games on this platform.

 

The new version has been uploaded to Blu-Play.com

 

EDIT: I should add, that I'm using a PS3 for testing. I expect you'll find higher numbers on PS4.

 

Edited by mr_lou
Missing test-device
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