Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Oh look silence, let's break it with an OUYA!

I don't have much to say, but I wanted to post something so you all know I'm still around.

It looks like the last blog post was way back in January. That gives me a lot to catch you up on. With the timescale, I feel most of the events will be water under the bridge, so to speak. So I'll just hit the highlights.

I got an OUYA!

I know you all expect me to have lots of game reviews and such for it, but in truth, I've been so busy developing my own game for it that I haven't really played much.

Yes, I'm developing a new Smiley Gems. A very upgraded version, running in Unity 3D, which in turn means running on OUYA, PC, and probably Android as well. A new blog will be coming that is about the project, as I'd like to keep all the news about it in one source.

I'm currently coding the game engine to adapt to all the devices, so it's taking a bit longer then usual to actually write all the gameplay elements. In particular, the controls and gameplay elements currently scale and adapt to all three devices. Mouse on PC(with controller support overwrite), controller only for consoles, and tilt on Android devices. It's all a bit rusty and lacking in polish, but I do have it working.

As for OUYA itself:

I feel any list of recommendations for OUYA games I give is going to be a very slanted view of what's on the market. But yes, OUYA is a thing. It's only $99, the controllers are expensive but with some quick use of the internet you can get PS3 or X-box wireless working on it too.

It's not perfect, a lot of things still need some work or could be improved. But it's very developer friendly and open, and really impressive considering the company behind it didn't even exist as more then a dream a year ago.

Our new standard for things we try on OUYA is how they compare to playing "The Amazing Frog?". We might have been a bit biased when we played that one due to it being 2 AM, but it managed to entertain us for at least a few hours, and is still fun to play later on. I do recommend getting that game, it's free, and features free-form no goal ragdoll gameplay with frogs, explosions, and two player support. It's definitely experimental and open minded.

I told you OUYA was a thing.

Perhaps the biggest flaw, and feature, is that OUYA is currently suffering an identity crisis of sorts. My impressions from the store have been that the console has a lot of potential, but like a new Nintendo DS, no one really knows what to do with it just yet. Hopefully once the free market and more developers hop on board, it will become more clear what OUYA's eco system has to offer in terms of gameplay style and audience.

I was sure there were some other things to talk about, but as it turns out, none of it seems that important. So I guess this post will mostly just be OUYA first impressions and a small teaser that I'm cooking up something new in regards to Smiley Gems.

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