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mr_lou

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Everything posted by mr_lou

  1. The team behind the Blu-Play homebrew game "Ukko's Journey" is back: LuBlu Entertainment is creating their 2nd Blu-Play game these days, titled "The UFO Game!" An Asteriod-like game "The UFO Game!" is strongly inspired by a 38 year old game for the 2nd generation game console Philips Videopac G7000, named "Satellite Attack". (The Philips Videopac G7000 was the european version of the Magnavox Odessey2 in the states, and the same game for the Odessey2 was called "UFO!". In this article we'll use the names of the european model). You can consider "The UFO Game!" to be a kind of modern version of "Satellite Attack". At least that was the thought behind the project. When looking at "Satellite Attack" (which you will in a minute), it is clear to see that it was heavily inspired by the even older game "Asteroids", but as with all Videopac G7000 clones of various games, it adds a few twists and changes compared to the original game, often resulting in a very different gameplay, which you will either love or hate. I could attempt to explain the gameplay of "Satellite Attack" here, but it would be much easier for everyone if you'd just watch this video from Classic Game Room instead. For more videos and stories about Videopac G7000 games, you can check out 8-bit Memoirs. As you can see in the video from Classic Game Room, the firing mechanism is somewhat out of the ordinary. And this is something you'll either find hilarious, or else utterly hate. "The UFO Game!" is obviously only for those who'll find it hilarious. A dedicated Blu-Play game While LuBlu's first Blu-Play game was "just" a port of an old JavaME cellphone game of theirs, ("Ukko's Journey" is actually 10 years old today), "The UFO Game!" can be categorised as a dedicated Blu-Play game: It is written specifically for the platform and therefor tailored to fit the characteristics of Blu-ray. One example of this is the use of videos: "The UFO Game!" makes heavy use of videos for backgrounds, rather than having the game engine draw a lot of graphics. This basically means that any CPU hungry background graphics rendering has been moved away from the graphics engine of the game, to the video player of the console. And this results in less work for the game engine, effectively giving the game a higher framerate, and a more impressive look. Not that we're in need of higher framerates for Blu-Play games. (At least not on the gaming consoles). "Ukko's Journey", which does not use videos for backgrounds, still runs with about 170 fps on PlayStation 3. It's another matter for standard Blu-ray players though. (Yes, you can play these games on a standard Blu-ray player too! See a comprehensive list of platforms here). So as you can see, there's plenty of CPU power for any average homebrew game with the Blu-Play platform. Interested in developing your own Blu-Play game? See the Blu-Play developer pages here. Online highscores Like "Ukko's Journey", "The UFO Game!" is planned to offer online highscores, for the PSX homebrew community to compete against each other - something LuBlu Entertainment feels ought to be a part of far more homebrew games. Release date "The UFO Game!" is strictly a sparetime hobby project, which generally means that development is slow. It's a few minutes here and there, in between job and family and other obligations. It is therefor impossible to say anything specific about a release date, but it should be some time within 2-4 months. Follow this thread for news about the development. Feel free to post comments or questions.
  2. mr_lou

    It's been a while

    I did notice some noise in the background of some of the podcasts. But that could be easily solved simply by recording in another room, with your phone for example. Or another microphone.
  3. mr_lou

    It's been a while

    So I heard all the podcasts now. Nice bit about Blu-Play in Podcast 11!
  4. We may be headed towards a future where the major game consoles doesn't feature an optical disc drive, but it's not in the near future. The new Xbox Scarlet and the PlayStation 5 will both feature an optical disc drive, and offer 4k UHD Blu-ray. So Blu-Play will remain alive for a while yet. https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/10/18659800/microsoft-xbox-project-scarlett-optical-drive-console-e3-2019
  5. The PlayStation 4 is currently the ultimate Blu-Play platform, simply because it offers a simple little feature: You can press and hold multiple buttons on the gamepad. For comparison, the Blu-ray app on the Xbox One only lets you press (and hold) a single button on the gamepad at a time, making it no better than a standard remote control. This makes the Xbox One the worst of the consoles in regards of Blu-Play / BD-J games. And that's a shame when all it takes to change that is such a simple fix. For this reason I went to the "Xbox Ideas" site, and first posted a comment in the Blu-ray app idea box - which apparently was rejected then posted another suggestion box - which was apparently also rejected then another one and another one, both apparently also rejected If anyone here has a "bigger voice" in the Microsoft / Xbox community, please consider helping out by posting this suggestion. Something along the lines of: "Make it possible to press and hold multiple buttons on the gamepad in the Blu-ray app. This will provide a better experience when playing games that comes as part of the bonus material on movies." VLC currently also have poor key input in this regard, but unlike Microsucks, the developers has listened to me, and a fix will be included in a future version. This is great news for Blu-Play devs on Linux, because it turns VLC into a much better testing app than it was before. For Windows users there's still nothing better than PowerDVD, but VLC is a great alternative if you want something free.
  6. mr_lou

    It's been a while

    Well, as you know, I'm mostly/all about Blu-Play.... And I was working on a new game actually, when I ran into limitations with VLC that made it impossible for me to continue development: Basically KEY_PRESSED and KEY_RELEASED was called at the same time whenever a key is pressed, meaning there was no way to detect if a key/button was being held down. So I created an issue in the tracker for libbluray and waited. It took 4 months for the devs to decide it was a good idea to add my suggestion. I could have use my Blu-Pad idea as a workaround if only VLC allowed me to, but no. But then recently I found out I could use my workaround with VLC - if I changed it a bit. And the workaround is the "Blu-Pad". Blu-Pad is what I'm calling a simple Client/Server solution that simply transmits all input from whatever device to the Blu-ray player. Originally I implemented the server part in the Blu-Play game, and the client on whatever device (computer/tablet/phone - could be done in plain HTML5 actually) - but VLC doesn't allow me to create a server. Then somewhat recently I learned that VLC does allow me to create a client though, so I simply reversed the roles, and now the game project is progressing again. Hence why I'm back snooping around again.
  7. This is interesting to me because I'm making something similar (which I would have posted about long ago, but then the project got delayed). I call my project "The Blu-Pad"; which (according to the plan) will exist in two versions: A wired adapter version that lets you connect old Amiga/C64 joysticks to the Blu-ray player (and hence also the PS3, PS4, XB1) A WiFi version that lets you use your computer or phone or tablet as an input device, Seems it's the latter variant you've done here. The idea is mostly to add controllers / joysticks / input devices to Blu-Play games running on standard Blu-ray players, because Blu-ray players doesn't really have other options in regards of controllers, except a few models that actually lets you connect a DualShock 4 v1. But since the consoles also feature a Blu-ray player, this will also work for PS3, PS4 and XB1. Blu-Play developers will have to add support for Blu-Pads in each game though.
  8. I've been away for a while. How are things? Nice idea with the podcasts. I had a listen to some of them. Download and copy to my phone. Very useful when riding the bus, which I do on a daily basis. So I copied all of them to my phone. I think I've heard about half of them at this point. Ever thought about expanding to videos? Talk while showing images and/or video of what you're talking about? (Doesn't have to show video of yourself). Are there still no new IRC channel anywhere? I hang out a bit on Freenode, where there are two PlayStation related channels: #psugnd and #psxugnd EDIT: And on EFNet there's #psx and #psxdev and #ps4dev Very nice to see so much new homebrew emerging! Especially games. I may have something new in the distant future too; a new Blu-Play game I'm creating on/off. It's an interesting project, and it's going well. But sadly time is scarce, so development is slow. (How does everyone else find the time?) If anyone else is interested in Blu-Play gamedev, join #blu-play on Freenode and/or visit www.blu-play.com That site is slowly growing with useful info and links. See ya! P.S.: The "Free Free Palestine" link popup isn't working.
  9. Very nice! I've been away for a few months. Seems this forum is where all the homebrew gets covered.
  10. It's great to see all these homebrew releases lately. Especially when so nicely executed. The only thing that could make them better, would be to include online highscores, to have the scene compete.
  11. While chatting about BD-J development on IRC, someone gave me this link: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=bu-nyan.m.to%2FBD-J%2Fbdj.htm Contains a lot of older BD-J homebrew, along with the NES emulator we saw on YouTube videos many years ago.
  12. So I got my hands on a Sony BDP-S3700 blu-ray player, and borrowed a DualShock 4 v1 from a mate. Yup, it works fine. I can use the DualShock 4 v1 to control Blu-Play games. BUT: Only one button at a time. So not a whole lot more useful than a remote control. That doesn't mean it's useless. Just means it has to be a certain type of game, like Ukko's Journey; one that requires you to press buttons many times, rather than holding multiple buttons at the same time.
  13. It's been 2 years already since Blu-Play was born. I can't believe how fast time flies. (Standard opening to all of my posts). The whole idea with the Blu-Play label was to make more homebrew game developers interested in Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J), so we'd see more BD-J homebrew. I ported "Ukko's Journey" to BD-J to disprove a lot of false claims seen here and there online, and to show everyone that BD-J is perfectly capable as a homebrew gamedev platform. And it had an effect. During the past 2 years, I saw a LOT of interest from developers, curiously asking lots of questions about the possibilities, first doubting that it was really true that you could target all 3 consoles simply by using Java. But once I got them convinced, they eagerly expressed a lot of interest. To help out developers interested in BD-J homebrew games, I have now created some developer pages on Blu-Play.com On these pages you can find information on how to get started, various tips'n'tricks and other useful info. It's still a work in progress but I thought I'd let you know it's there now. (It's assumed you know basic Java - you won't find a Java tutorial there). Developers are also much welcome at channel #blu-play on Freenode for a chat. The more the merrier, as they say. See ya there!
  14. Nice! That's some grade A homebrew right there! Are there any website anywhere that lists PS4 homebrew like this? Similar to what the Vita users have here: http://devdavisnunez.x10.mx/wikihb/?home
  15. It has come to my attention that a large group of people are walking around with a wrong idea about what the word "homebrew" means. There seems to be a wide misconception that the word is exclusively related to hacking activities, and that it only applies to platforms that doesn't normally "allow" you to create your own software. This perception is completely wrong. Let me start out small and simple: When a company makes a game, it is called "a commercial game". When a consumer makes a game (thus in his sparetime as a hobby), then it is called "a homebrew game". The platform doesn't matter. The technique doesn't matter. The language doesn't matter. The only thing that determines that it is "homebrew", is the fact that it is made by an individual (or a small group of hobbyists) rather than a company, and that it was done at home in his sparetime. And that's it. Plain'n'simple. That's how you define a homebrew game. Nothing illegal about it whatsoever. I'm an old geezer. I grew up with the Amstrad CPC 8-bit computer in the 80s. This computer too had a lot of commercial titles that you could buy. And it also had a lot of homebrew games. People were encouraged to make these homebrew games back then - so a lot of people did! It was easy back in those days, because most of the 8-bit computers came with a built-in programming language called BASIC. As soon as you turned on the computer, it was ready to receive your BASIC instructions. We didn't have the Internet back then, so a lot of these homebrew games were instead spread via magazines. Pages full of BASIC lines that you would then sit and type in yourself. Ah yes, those were the days. The next generation of computers, such as the Amiga, didn't come with a built-in programming language. On these computers you had to load a programming language yourself if you wanted to code anything. But the result was still called a homebrew game. And then we have all the game consoles that doesn't give you any immediate way of loading a programming language onto the machine itself. So you naturally can't develop anything on those consoles. But that simply means you develop it on another platform. It's called cross platform development, and it's done on a lot of platforms. That's all. It is still a homebrew game - and there's still nothing illegal about it. But I understand where the confusion comes from here in the PSX communities. One of the reasons people are confused is probably because you need to jailbreak your PlayStation in order to run (native) homebrew on it. Jailbreaking your console isn't illegal though. But you probably think it is because the majority of people who jailbreaks their console, does it not to run homebrew games, but rather to run pirated software - and THAT is indeed illegal yes. Another cause of the confusion is probably emulators. If you code (or port) an emulator, then it also qualifies as homebrew. It is still you sitting at home coding some software - and it still isn't illegal. The illegal part in relation to developing an emulator, only comes if you include pirated copies of games and/or ROM files with it. THAT is what makes it illegal. But you're absolutely allowed to code and distribute the emulator itself, as long as your users have to supply the ROM files and games for themselves. (Supplying the ROM files and games themselves is also normally perfectly legal - as long as they own the original game(s) as well). It's easy to see how all of this may have confused you and lead you to believe that homebrew is all about (illegal) hacking. But now you at least know better. To summarize: Homebrew is no more illegal than a car: You can use a car to break the law if you absolutely want to - but no one will ever blame any aspect of the car for that.
  16. Working on anything? Yesterday I recorded "Bolt's Be-Awesome Mission" and put it on YouTube. Another fine example of what you can do with this limited technology.
  17. That's funny. I had the opposite experience just a few days ago. I found out that my ancient Sony Bravia TV handles DLNA surprisingly well. I had no idea! All these years we've had this TV without knowing it could do these things. I was also surprised to find out it could play the FullHD M2TS video files from a Blu-ray Disc straight from USB! This was especially a surprise because I remember struggling earlier to make it play a lot of other formats without luck. Also - this ancient TV lets me control Kodi on a Rasberry Pi with the TV's remote control. (That's CEC protocol). So unless new TV's have stripped away such functionality, which I seriously doubt manufacturers would do (but then again, who knows anymore), I bet it's absolutely possible to do what I have in mind. The only potential problem could be lag, because it takes time to send the signal from the TV onto the Blu-ray player. But time will tell. As usual I'm gonna follow up on it and do some tests. For now I'm bidding on a Blu-ray player on eBay which should let me connect a DualShock4. And of course the gaming consoles are best for gaming. This is nothing but geeking around for the giggles.
  18. Not a bad idea. I'd like to get more people interested first though. I while back I finally ran into another dude who seems just as passionate about BD-J as me. He's created a Github site and is building a wiki on there too. https://github.com/lemtom/bluray-java/wiki Maybe that can be opened for other contributors too. We'll see.
  19. I'm trying to make an overview of all possible platforms that can be used for Blu-Play games. Looks like this: http://www.blu-play.com/platforms Have anything to add?
  20. I can't figure out if newer Blu-ray players also allows connecting a gamepad. The list above applies to DualShock 4 (CUH-ZCT1Uxx). There's also a long list of Sony Bravia TV's that you can connect a DualShock 4 (CUH-ZCT1Uxx) to. All newer TV's from all manufactorers lets you connect a gamepad of some sort. And there are many to choose from. But I don't know if the same applies to all newer Blu-ray players. Probably not. Would probably depend on whether or not it has Smart-TV functionality. Another option that I have to test somehow is this: Connect a gamepad to a newer Smart-TV. Any TV, any gamepad. Then use the built-in CEC protocol (that is built into all newer devices) to control the Blu-ray player via HDMI with the gamepad. Possible? If yes, then Blu-Play games are suddenly playable on A LOT of devices.
  21. After some extensive searching and a phonecall to Sony, I can answer some of my own questions: The number of devices that could do this was fairly impressive. 12 Sony Blu-ray players and a lot more of their Bravia TV's apparently offered this feature! Stream PS3 games, and play with your DualShock4 controller. What a brilliant idea. Sadly, Sony decided to kill this feature back in August 15th 2017 for some silly reason, leaving PS4 and PC as the only devices capable of streaming from PlayStation Now. The Blu-ray players, the Bravia TV's, and even the Vita was abandoned in regards of this service. So now there's a bunch of Bravia TV's and Blu-ray players that lets you connect a DualShock4 for no reason - except of course you can play Blu-Play games on the Blu-ray players. Continue here if that has any interest to you.
  22. This is rather interesting. Apparently there is a small list of normal standard Sony Blu-ray players that allows you connect a DualShock4 controller: BDP-BX350 BDP-BX370 BDP-BX650 BDP-S1500 BDP-S1700 BDP-S2500 BDP-S3500 BDP-S3700 BDP-S5500 BDP-S6500 BDP-S6700 UHP-H1 While this isn't interesting to anyone who owns a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 (or Xbox One), it is interesting in relation to Blu-Play. Because it means that Blu-Play games should be playable on these normal Blu-ray players too! Blu-ray players nowadays are fairly fast, and very capable of running homebrew BD-J games. The only thing preventing a good experience, is the remote control. Because it is fiddly to use, and only allows one button to be pressed at a time. But with a DualShock4 controller that problem is gone. Naturally I gotta try to dig up one of these players and put it to the test. Then, when/if I manage to do that, I will come back and update this thread. (You're welcome to do so too of course, if you happen to have one of these players handy). Note: Only the CUH-ZCT1Uxx version of the DualShock4 controller works with these players. The CUH-ZCT2Uxx version does not work. Originally, the purpose of connecting a DualShock4 controller to these Blu-ray players (along with a long list of Sony Bravia TV's too) was to play PlayStation 3 games via PlayStation Now streaming service. But Sony decided to close this service on all devices except PS4 and PC back in August 15th 2017. Silly decision if you ask me - but it means that we (theoretically) now have these Blu-ray players suitable for Blu-Play games. (Of course, certain genres of games will also be fully playable using a plain remote control. But I'm of course talking about games that require more controls). To be continued!
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