Tag Archives: android
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DIY Android Game Console

18 Oct

While everybody is waiting for the ouya to arrive -you know the kickstarter funded project for a top notch Android  gaming console – just make one yourself.

What are the ingredients, well easy an Olimex OLinuxIno board (45 euro, with Android ICS image), an ordinary pc USB gamepad (10 euro), monitor or TV screen VGA and audio input.

As already mentioned in a previous post the Olimex board features a 1Ghz A13 Allwinner CPU and a Mali400 GPU plenty of power for an Android gaming console.

See https://www.olimex.com/Products/OLinuXino/A13/A13-OLinuXino/

You don’t need to install special software to use usb gamepads or joysticks. Since 3.1 Android offers out of the box support for game controllers. The app you see running on the video is the ApiDemos app you can find in the Android devs examples. Click on the Views -> Game Controller Input  in the ApiDemos example.

See http://android-developers.blogspot.be/2011/05/android-31-platform-new-sdk-tools.html

 

If you want to create Android games I suggest you’ll give AndEngine a try, see www.andengine.org

While there’s no real documentation, you can buy a book written by Rick Rogers that explains AndEngine in detail plus the beginning of writing games. ‘Learning Android Game Programming’ published by Addison-Wesley and available on Amazon,com where else ?

There are a few branches of AndEngine out there, I created my own version in the beginning of AndEngine one that still runs on 1.5 devices, yes I have a phone and tablet that run 1.5…yes that old…

On thing still missing is a plastic case for your console, I’m working on that, so keep en eye on my blog, when it’s ready I’ll publish the 3D files here so you can print one…

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My new playboard the Olimex Olinuxino A13 dev board running Android 4.0.3

11 Sep

The Olimex board delivers what’s promised an ARM A8 cortex running at 1Ghz with 512MB ram, 4 GB Nand(flash) memory with wifi and VGA connection.

The board is a lot more powerful as the the Raspberry Pi I have lying around, Android is by default installed but you can power it with a linux distro.

I connected it to my LG TV/monitor without problems, you see the Nexus wallpaper running in the background…

The power supply I used is a 6V 1,65 Amps,the same I  used for my Arduino projects. Keyboard and mouse are standard usb devices.

Next step is to 3D print a  box to hold the board, I recently build a Felix 3D printer which uses PLA (corn plastic) to print it’s objects. Probably going to use openscad to make the model. I’ll hope to make the box VESA mountable so I can attach it to the back of a monitor.

When that’s done I can start to make some ‘retro’ games for it and  attach cabinet style joysticks  with usb or using the available GPIO pins. Or make some cool open source games console with it, the board has a lot of possibilities and is very open.

For those  who have a rev B board they can fix the VGA problem with the solution described in the Olimex document here , my LG monitor accepts fine the original signal so I didn’t need the fix.

Oh, I forgot to mention it’s price 55 euro’s excl tax and shipping, that’s for the dev boards, the price will change when the board goes in production. You can still order it online https://www.olimex.com/dev/index.html

 

Retro style HTML5 games with Akihabara framework

25 Apr

When you do a Google search on javascript game frameworks a massive list is spawn on your screen. Luckily I quickly came on the Akihabara framework site. Akihabara is not based upon an existing javascript toolkit such as JQuery or Mootools. So you can use your normal javascript skills to develop a game.

The Akihabara site has a few demo games ranging from shooting-up to RPG style games. Since Akihabara uses the latest state of the art Html5 functions, it’s best to use the latest Firefox or Chrome browsers and disable the audio functions if you get into trouble running the examples. Yes, audio support in Html5 is disappointing …

If you want to play the games with usb  gamepad in your browser use XPadder, you can find the freeware version on softpedia.com or buy the new version on http://www.xpadder.com.  Map your directional buttons to up/down/left/right keys and map 3 buttons to  x, z, c keys.

Akihabara also supports the Wii controller on you Wii console, you’ll need to install the Wii browser from the shop to visit webpages on your Wii, in Belgium it costs 500 Wii points.

If your lucky to have a tablet or phone (Android & Apple) Akihabara will switch to mobile mode and  displays a touch keypad on the bottom of your device. It did not fully function on my Android 1.5 based  Archos 7 HT tablet. I’ll try it later on my Android phone with keyboard…

Like the games ? want to start developing ? Check out these tutorials from the Boston Gaming Jams , they also created an experimental Level editor for Akihabara,visit it with FF as Chrome had some serious problems with it.

And yes I switched to English for this blog, I hope to reach more like minded people with this language switch, sorry for those who liked it in Dutch.

Game on…

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