Mike MGarcia's Games Development Blog

A hobbyist Mobile/PC/Android/Console game development blog

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The Mad Catz M.O.J.O is a high end micro-console
with a “MOGA PRO” like controller
which can also be used on a Desktop
plus more!


Update: 2014-03-02 Mad catz MOJO Final thoughts
Below is not maintained and out of date.

M.O.J.O & C.T.R.L.R

For the impatient, The M.O.J.O is a small Android gaming console with PC capacities.
Made up of two completely separate, high-end mobile devices.
But when put together it’s pure genius and revolutionary!

1. Target audience

  • People without a console
    Who don’t want to play touch games but high-end games with controller support. ie GTA3/4, FPS etc.
  • PC/MAC gamers
    Who will want to use the controller on their Desktop games.
  • Mobile phone gamers
    Who want to use a real, full size, controller with the Travel clip aka the ‘MOGA PRO’ attachment.
  • Always on PC on TV
    Who want a PC like experience on the TV.
    Web(email,chat,facebook,twitter, etc), office(word,excel,powerpoint,etc), media(video,music) and other apps, irc, torrents

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Beginners guide into game development using the
Gameplay3D game engine framework

Gameplay3D is an open-source, cross-platform, 3D engine that is aimed at supporting indie game developers who want to develop desktop and mobile games.
Gameplay currently supports:
    BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0
    Apple iOS 5.1 for iPhone and iPad
    Google Android 2.3+
    Apple Mac OS X
    Microsoft Windows

Unofficially it also supports more because it’s open sourced.
IE: linux ARM devices like openpandora, the Linux single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi, beagleboard, Arduino etc and phones like the Nokia N9 & N900
Windows phone support has been done by somebody in the community.

Gameplay3D is mainly targeted at mobile devices and this is the lowest common denominator.
This means no advanced GPU features like dynamic shadowing, geometry shaders etc.

On the up side, Gameplay3D has a flexible interface for mobiles/tablets already built in!
This includes virtual gamepad (joysticks and buttons), gestures and basic User Interface (forms/tick boxs/radio buttons/buttons/sliders etc) - see all the features on their site.
Some game engines which target mobile do not implement these, leaving the developer to reinvent the wheel!

Below are some images from Gameplay3D samples:

Not in the samples:
Click to enlarge.

The engine is led by Sean Paul Taylor, sgrenier and dgough from RIM’s Blackberry.
With contributions from the community.
Obviously, the benefit for RIM is that they will hopefully get your game on it’s Blackberry devices too!
There is no requirement for the game developer to be on BB devices nor to advertise their engine.
However, there are minor parts of Gameplay3D which haven’t been completed for iOS nor Android while BB’s implementation is there.
For example gamepad support, here is the open issue listing.
I guess this is fair enough, as they don’t work for iOS nor Android so the community can step in and submit these.

The source code is hosted on RIM’s github
With two branches, master(Current release) and next(Future release).

It doesn’t have all the flashy bells and whistles of more larger game engines.
It currently has no editor (like Unity 3D), instead adopting the philosophy that the 3d creation tool is the game editor.
This means, you are relying on your asset creation package for assets but also scene (level) design/layout etc.
This is actually very intuitive and closer to how larger game companies create their levels using Maya (bigger companies develop their own tools & formats).

If you interested in Gameplay3D, here is a good video intro:

And also watch this GDC presentation by the creators for a lower level understanding.

Let’s start by looking at 3D asset creation.
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The Elk Show

14 Oct 2013 In: Friends

The Elk Show is one eccentric guy making really unique and crazy game dev video games!

The Elk show is a raw glimpse into indie game development.
He’s a master of Fragmotion, deleD and Coopercube & Esenthel game engines.
His videos are an entertaining mix of tutorial, funny banter and full of personality!

The Elk Show playlist.

He’s up and coming title Exciled Dimensions,is a larger, group effort using the tech advanced Esenthel game engine.
It is a Free To Play, online Role-Playing game with the beta release due soon.

The graphics are really psychedelic!

Click here for more info on Exciled Dimensions

Follow him https://twitter.com/elksterkei
The Elk’s homepage www.kurschnerent.com
Check out The Elk’s other games on the IndieDB page.

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Developing for Mad Catz’s Mojo microconsole?
Just add controller support!

Mad Catz’s have announced it’s pre-order for it’s microconsole.
Available in Decemeber at $250USD ( was $350AUD now $300AUD )

It’s expensive but not when you look at the hardware, it’s well worth the money:

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Shade 3D for Unity!
A free Blender alternative for FBX & Y-Up users!

Update: 5th Feb 2014 added a Shade3D tutorial: 3D Modeling, Bone, Skin and Animating.

Game assets are a very important part of any game development!
The easier you can make it the better right?
Well, that means good modeling features and a scriptable pipeline/workflow!
Shade 3D for Unity, has these and does the basics very well and for free!

Why is FBX important?
FBX has been a GameDev industry standard since Maya/AutoDesk bought it and developed it further.
The format includes everything! simple (relatively) and the SDK is free.
Unfortunately for Blender users, the FBX exporter isn’t 100% and some game engines (like gameplay3D) have tight coupling to FBX.

Above is a screen shot of the racer demo from gameplay3D, it’s has 631 objects (117K polygons!).
Click the image to see it larger.
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Indie Game Development has a lot of hardships!

Not just the technical and creative aspects but also the financial side!
When living of savings or part-time income, it’s important to watch were your money goes!
Here are my tips on how I made my ‘Cut backs’

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Sony Playstation: Net Yaroze.
Official Playstation Hobbyist Development Kit

The Sony Net Yaroze (Playstation) is a hobbyist development PS1. It is a cut-down library of the official development libraries which required serial data communication (no executable running of the cdrom). Yarōze means "Let's do it!". I’ve uploaded my old net yaroze stuff.. which wasn’t much.
I’m trying to find the source files for this project.
But I’ve gone through a few hard drives since 2001, but I still got them.
I remember doing it in a few weeks, (mostly on jolt cola,creaming soda and the purple one) but I can’t remember how I did it! Garrgg!

Good thing I’ve got these notes!

Looking at the sense today, it still looks active:
http://www.psxdev.net/ has annual comps!

Nice write up on the past major members and what they are doing now.

I had the newsgroup archived… somewhere :(

Here you will find my programming notes, screenshots and photos of my Net Yaroze.

Most of my low-res B/W textures were taken on the gameboy camera! This is/was me!

Here’s a good video explaining what it was, remember this is back in 1997, the peak of the Playstation’s life!


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Ouya vs Gamestick

14 Sep 2013 In: GameDev, Android

Comparing Ouya’s SDK (ODK) versus gamestick’s SDK.

Gamestick’s SDK looks more mature to me.
It’s better documented and supports native C++ (via JNI wrapper classes), ODK not officially! and has support for generic blue tooth controllers support.. while BT on Ouya (from others experiences) looks hacky at best.

Also gamestick SDK has social (leaderboard/Achievements) & analytics in it’s framework, which to my knowledge ouya does not. That alone is great for devs!

Another plus for gamestick, the controller has start and select buttons!!
(Ouya being an emulation device really miss-stepped there!)

What worried me was XMBC support on gamestick, but there are reports it will be supported.

And finally, free the funds fiasco:

“…we’ll understand if the game you can’t afford to make isn’t on OUYA.”
Can most indie devs afford to make games in general??
We do it in our spear time and live on savings to do it.. so this is a huge slap in the face for me!
Whoever wrote that, needs to be fired ASAP!
UPDATE Sept 19, Ouya has now changed ‘Free the games’ Fund.

So, all in all.. sadly, I’m not interested in ouya anymore.
Mostly due to the lack of C++ native and limited API.

Gamestick’s SDK
Ouya’s SDK

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