So you want an introduction...

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Ordaz
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So you want an introduction...

Post by Ordaz »

10

Well hello everyone. Greetings and salutations and chocolates and fireworks. Maybe not fireworks. Yet. We'll see.

I'm Jorge, a humble game developer from Spain. I'm not that fancy super-rock-star kind of guy some have thought of me in the past. Most of the thousands of games I've made you'd flag them as "shovelware". And that's being polite. But those paid the bills just like the good ones did and I didn't get my name on any of them. Also, I don't think you'll be able to find those even if you searched for them: I made them for the magazine cover disks and CDs back in the day, or for J2ME devices when phones had keys and Nokia seemed too big to fail. My first published game loaded from tape and ran on the MSX. And I don't feel troubled talking about this because you love retro. Right? Am I right? You wouldn't call me "old", you'd call me "vintage", "classic". But not "old". Also, I'm not THAT old! Just old enough not to take things for granted. Young enough to keep learning every day; you can call me old the day I don't want to learn new stuff anymore. Deal?

But I haven't just made horrible games. I've made a few nice ones too, and I've also taught others about game development, mostly in private schools and universities here in Spain. I also developed games for the Xbox and Wii, but recently it's been mostly for PC (including VR) and then some Android and iOS. I think most people would be surprised at how much experience you can directly apply from 8 or 16-bit development, or J2ME development, to modern game development. Now, most of the guys I made games with back in the day no longer make games. Well, technically neither do I.

I "give a hand" every now and then as an "offsite consultant" after a load of NDAs. That keeps my cogs spinning. But I spend most of my average day looking after my mother. That means doing a lot of chores, listening to a lot of rants and spending a lot of time sitting by her bed. Which, ultimately, took me here.

Searching for relief for those bedside hours I found two destroyed 3DS XL units. Each was beyond repair but I made a working one from their pieces. It's not bad and it helps, especially during long uneasy nights, but it's not a GBA. I could write obscene amounts of text praising the GBA and also ranting about it. I love it, there's a special place in my heart for the GBA. But nowadays I could really use a bigger screen and a pixel-perfect 2x zoom. Now THAT would be sweet. And then YouTube recommends a video by a guy I've never watched before talking about a handheld I had never heard of. And there mother glances over my shoulder, points at the thumbnail and asks: "Isn't that the *edited* Gameboy (sic) you keep whining about?"

Honestly, I was totally unaware I whined about it. And I was shocked she'd pay attention to my rants, not to mention she could tell a GBA from a GBC (or at least their form factor). So we watched the video; she doesn't speak English but she kept pointing "it IS your Gameboy, it's got ADVANCE written over there". It was, of course, an Odroid Go Advance. And, of course, I was unable to make her think otherwise. So the Odroid Go Advance "is my Gameboy". Or it will be, once I've been able to save enough, taking into account customs duties and such.

Meanwhile, I'll read a lot and I'll give a hand if I can. Maybe I'll write posts or articles about game development. I feel game design is often overlooked nowadays, especially by us techies; perhaps I should write about that. What do you think?

Well, thanks for reading this long. If you haven't... then GOTO 10
Cheers!

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Re: So you want an introduction...

Post by mad_ady »

Welcome aboard. I'm sure your experience will be valuable! Check out Odroid Magazine - you can submit articles and get gifts from HK. Trouble is the Go Advance is out of stock...

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Re: So you want an introduction...

Post by Ordaz »

Thanks a lot!

I've already had a look at The Magazine. It's better than the ones I've got lying around here, I'll be checking previous issues. I saw posts about submitting articles but I'm still too new to these forums to even send PMs. It's not like I'm in a hurry, I'll be glad if I can be helpful. Rewards are a plus but one should not measure a good deed by the reward it implies. Else, it's not a good deed, but a job or a task. Don't consider the contribution if you only think of the retribution!
( -_o)
mad_ady wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:32 am
Trouble is the Go Advance is out of stock...
I wish all troubles would be like that! Lots of sales, lots of "out of stock, we're preparing the next batch", that's good for HK and good for us all.

Back to those articles, do you think game design would be a suitable subject for the ODROID Magazine?
Cheers!

P.S.: Login -> MySQL Error 1040. Either too many connections or not enough free space in the server drive (iirc)

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Re: So you want an introduction...

Post by meveric »

Ordaz wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:00 am
mad_ady wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:32 am
Trouble is the Go Advance is out of stock...
I wish all troubles would be like that! Lots of sales, lots of "out of stock, we're preparing the next batch", that's good for HK and good for us all.
It seems that the ODROID Go Advance will hit the shelves for European distributors (at least here in germany) next month. Since you're in EU as well, could be interesting for you to get one from there, so you don't have to wait too long.
Ordaz wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:00 am
Back to those articles, do you think game design would be a suitable subject for the ODROID Magazine?
I mostly write articles for the magazine that are about gaming. How they run on the different ODROID devices, or what I like best about different systems.
In my earlier days for the magazine I was always saying, that I prefer the GBA over SNES for example. It's overall better hardware and the games looked much nicer. I have some really nice gems that I love for the GBA.
Or lately when I tried to get people to try PC Engine games, as I find the console is very underrated and had tons of potential and very impressive games for it's time.

Overall I think articles about game design, showing what people had to work with, how they overcame limitation of the hardware to make games more interesting or more impressive, how certain design choices were made, either for graphics, or gameplay would be rather interesting.

You mentioned you worked on the MSX, which I find rather interesting. The MSX is (honestly) not very high on my list of favorite consoles/computers. I tried a few games, and I always felt like, it's a really old PC, when PC wasn't really a thing yet.
It uses CPUs, and Basic which others used for word processing and tried to put games on it. Very "basic" (pun intended) games, but from a design point of view it is an interesting device, and it would be very nice to know more about behind the scenes how it all came to, how it worked and how it was designed.

There is a documentary "From Bedroom to Billions - The Amiga Years", it's an in depth background story how the Amiga came to life, it's from hardware developers, software developers, graphics designers.. they explain how they experienced it, how they got started and how everything worked.
I love this documentary and have seen it at least 3 or 4 times already.

So in short, yes I think there would be a place for something like this on the magazine. I personally would love to hear more about this.
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Ordaz (Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:51 am)
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Re: So you want an introduction...

Post by Ordaz »

Thanks for the good news, Meveric! I hope they won't take UK pricings as an example to follow; if they do, I'll buy from Korea as soon as I can.

I mostly agree with you about GBA/SNES and also about the PC Engine. I say "mostly" because the SNES was a tad more forgiving than the GBA regarding developer mishaps, and the PC Engine could (and should) have done way better in units sold and developer involvement... but managed to fail. Like in "Upper Management", I mean. Over here they called it "TurboGrafx" and I got to know about it because of the previous games Hudson had made for the MSX... Don't get me started! ( >_<)
And yes, the MSX was "the PC before the PC". But most people over here had Spectrums, CPC 464 or 6128 by Amstrad. Way less had the Sony HitBit and even less got more obscure MSX models. I still have my Philips VG8235 MSX2, right here, with the original green phosphor monitor and all. And also plenty of tapes you may have never heard of before plus some others which are legendary: BAT II, Nightshade, Bumpy, Moon Rider, The Wall, Los Templos Sagrados, Rastan Saga...
It's taking me ages to reply, too many memories.

I'll search for that documentary, I'll try watching it after "The New 8-bit Heroes" which I hoped I'd be able to watch this week (it's thursday already, yikes!). And regarding those articles, I've started taking notes from a modern perspective because if I told the best 6502 assembly joke only three in ten thousand people would grin (not even laugh, that's not counting myself). I guess I'll take more notes and flesh it out before I can really tell where it takes me. But two thousand words per article makes me think of a series of articles.

So thanks again a couple more times. You've really made my day!
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meveric (Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:25 am)

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Re: So you want an introduction...

Post by meveric »

apparently it's available now: https://www.pollin.de/detail/index/sArticle/83219
Doesn't seem "too expensive".

Thanks for the documentary.. put it on my list :D

I grew up with the C64 (and later the Amiga), other systems were mostly unheard of for me, but I guess I was too small to really interest me in other systems that I did not have.
The more interested I'm now to find out more of them.

Looking forward to read more from you.
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Ordaz (Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:01 am)
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Re: So you want an introduction...

Post by meveric »

I watched the documentary you suggested.
To be honest when it started I found it very disappointing, very bland, few to no emotions towards the project.
If you're hoping to see "how" they developed, or even something essential like actually seeing the working game once they made it, none of this is in this documentary.
I read a comment online that described the documentary rather well:
"It's a movie about how to kickstart a project"
And that's a very accurate description of this documentary. It's less about certain techniques, or the game itself, but it's about what up and downs the main developer went trough, what personal struggles he had to overcome, but it very little about actual game development.
The fact that you see next to nothing in a 2 hrs long documentary about the creation of a game about the actual game that was created is very disappointing in my opinion.
Out of a two hours movie, you see approximately a combined screen time of 1 to 2 minutes of actual game footage in various stages and often the same screen over and over again.
I found this very disappointing, as I was hoping to actually see how the game was made, but instead you just hear them telling you to what guys they talked to, how they experience nostalgia, how they approach a project in generally, etc.
Nothing really related to the game.

I probably wouldn't watch it again, it was not interesting enough for me, but I found the "From bedrooms to billions" series has a couple more movies, not just about the Amiga (which I really love), but also about game development in the UK in general and I found another one about the PSX, so I guess I have more stuff to look out for.
Thanks for suggestion the documentary anyway, it was interesting to see, just not exactly what I was expecting.
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Re: So you want an introduction...

Post by Ordaz »

Man, I LOVE the Amiga. The first time I could actually DRAW 3D shapes it was using Caligari One for the Amiga; before that, I'd had to type in the vertex positions and such (think modern vertex buffer/index buffer). Caligari invented the 3D handler/manipulator we all use nowadays, those R/G/B arrows one drags to move an object around, or scale it or rotate it when changing modes or pressing keys; as far as I know, Roman Ormandy invented that for Caligari One, Amiga. That blew my mind. I still think of it every time I launch Blender and see those colorful arrows.
meveric wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:35 am
I guess I was too small to really interest me in other systems that I did not have.
I was young, other developers called me "the kid" (so much is lost in that poor translation, but I can't really do much about it). I actually started typing in DATAs for other people and asking a lot of questions about everything. So many questions I was once asked: "will you ever ask why the sky is blue?". I casually replied: "no, I already know about that". And I did, I have always been too curious for my own good. Being young, or more precisely looking younger has always been a problem I've had to deal with. Even when I was no longer *technically young*; imagine lecturing or pitching a project in front of serious guys who look well over twice your age. There are those who will never take you seriously no matter what you do. They won't believe you've solved a problem they could not begin to understand. And then when I taught, there was a breach between myself and most of the staff; you know most professors live their lives in and for their universities, I was an outsider. I brought real-world experience so I wouldn't lecture and let my students read books, that's how others "taught". I made my students THINK and DO, with practical, real-life examples. That was blasphemy, a crime. And also, I had to impress students from minute one or they wouldn't take me seriously. Even with all those struggles, I do love teaching. And I don't look that young anymore, so I guess I could do it again without all that hassle.
I digress. Like, a lot.

meveric wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:35 am
apparently it's available now: https://www.pollin.de/detail/index/sArticle/83219
Doesn't seem "too expensive".
It was my ex who studied German. I kind of learned a bit (by osmosis, I guess) so I've tried purchasing one just to see the delivery charges and all. Guess what:
Es befinden sich derzeit Artikel in Ihrem Warenkorb, welche nicht in Ihr angegebenes Lieferland versendet werden können. Bitte löschen Sie diese aus Ihrem Einkaufswagen um Ihre Bestellung fortzusetzen.
And they said they charge 15.95€ when delivering to Spain (which, it seems, they won't do). So I kind of yelled at the error message: "Whom has one to kill to get an Odroid Go Advance in Spain?"
I really appreciate the fact you tried, I shall bow before thee.

meveric wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:51 pm
I watched the documentary you suggested.
To be honest when it started I found it very disappointing, very bland, few to no emotions towards the project.
Last night I was (finally) able to watch... the first 20 minutes or so. I kind of felt bad for having mentioned it, immediately thought "Meveric's not gonna like this". It kind of felt like promotional material. Hence, I need to redeem myself, so here you go: How we fit an NES game into 40 Kilobytes (by Morphcat Games). Even if you've already watched it, I think that's the kind of stuff you're after. Right?

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Re: So you want an introduction...

Post by mad_ady »

I liked Micro Men, though it isn't that technical (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_Men)

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Re: So you want an introduction...

Post by meveric »

Ordaz wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:01 am
Man, I LOVE the Amiga. The first time I could actually DRAW 3D shapes it was using Caligari One for the Amiga; before that, I'd had to type in the vertex positions and such (think modern vertex buffer/index buffer). Caligari invented the 3D handler/manipulator we all use nowadays, those R/G/B arrows one drags to move an object around, or scale it or rotate it when changing modes or pressing keys; as far as I know, Roman Ormandy invented that for Caligari One, Amiga. That blew my mind. I still think of it every time I launch Blender and see those colorful arrows.
The Amiga is very special to me as well.
While the C64 was fun, I was too young to really understand what I was doing.
Amiga on the other hand is what I really grew up with, and which I was proud of that my Amiga (with extension card) was faster than my friends extremely expensive 286 PC, at least for a while.
I don't even know how many hundreds of games I had for the system and I loved it back then. I never missed consoles like the NES, MasterSystem or alike.
An uncle of mine had an NES where I really only enjoyed playing Nintendo World Cup (up to now the only game I "really" like on the NES) and a friend brought a MasterSystem with Alex the Kidd in Miracle world (actually really liked that one) and later Space Harrier with him (not really a fan), but they didn't really compare in my opinion with a C64 or Amiga at the time.
I loved the Amiga, but when I started "retro" on the ODROID (back in 2013) I quickly found, that Amiga, although very nice for it's time, barely had any really impressive selling points.
I found myself actually in a spot where I thought about how to explain someone that never had an Amiga, never played Amiga Games "back in the days" what's so special about it. Or what games are a MUST HAVE, which you don't have anything that compares on an console.
Well there are a lot of games that come into mind when you consider using a mouse and keyboard, Dune 2, Strategy games, and such alike... but someone that is mostly into JRPGs or well known platformers.
There wasn't that much which was REALLY good on the Amiga, and certainly not a "franchise" that were so good that they were ported to other systems.

So my passion kinda died down during that time, finding that many other systems had a lot of other charms that the Amiga couldn't hold up to.

Lately though I starting to come back to some of the Amiga stuff that I like, and I guess that's good enough for me now :)
Ordaz wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:01 am
meveric wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:35 am
apparently it's available now: https://www.pollin.de/detail/index/sArticle/83219
Doesn't seem "too expensive".
It was my ex who studied German. I kind of learned a bit (by osmosis, I guess) so I've tried purchasing one just to see the delivery charges and all. Guess what:
Es befinden sich derzeit Artikel in Ihrem Warenkorb, welche nicht in Ihr angegebenes Lieferland versendet werden können. Bitte löschen Sie diese aus Ihrem Einkaufswagen um Ihre Bestellung fortzusetzen.
And they said they charge 15.95€ when delivering to Spain (which, it seems, they won't do). So I kind of yelled at the error message: "Whom has one to kill to get an Odroid Go Advance in Spain?"
I really appreciate the fact you tried, I shall bow before thee.
That really is a shame :(
But I heard things like this before, apparently pollin, got quite picky with the countries they send stuff to.
Sorry to hear that.
Ordaz wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:01 am
meveric wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:51 pm
I watched the documentary you suggested.
To be honest when it started I found it very disappointing, very bland, few to no emotions towards the project.
Last night I was (finally) able to watch... the first 20 minutes or so. I kind of felt bad for having mentioned it, immediately thought "Meveric's not gonna like this". It kind of felt like promotional material. Hence, I need to redeem myself, so here you go: How we fit an NES game into 40 Kilobytes (by Morphcat Games). Even if you've already watched it, I think that's the kind of stuff you're after. Right?
Yes I have seen this video before and yeah, that one was very informative, and cool to see how they did things.
Although the video is much shorter and the speaker does seem to read of a notebook or something. It's still much more interesting that the other documentary, you can kinda feel how they put their passion behind it and also how they want to share the passion. They also show a lot more of what the actual game looks like and how it works.
The others kinda give the impression they just wanted to make money and fame.

You should really watch the documentary about the Amiga I told you. The speakers are so passionate about the system you can really feel and hear it in the stories they tell from their time.
They tell about all their mistakes and stupid things they did as well, and laugh about it in hindsight. It's a really passionate documentary.
Donate to support my work on the ODROID GameStation Turbo Image for U2/U3 XU3/XU4 X2 X C1 as well as many other releases.
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Re: So you want an introduction...

Post by meveric »

mad_ady wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:15 am
I liked Micro Men, though it isn't that technical (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_Men)
Just finished watching it.. It's actually on YouTube... Not really a documentary, but just a movie with actors.
To quickly sum it up... didn't like it very much.

It exaggerated the two main characters and what they thought would be "the thing" it's how they started their business and things... it's closer to "The Wolf of Wall Street" than a documentary.
Not very informative, and not very entertaining as a movie (at least for me :))
Donate to support my work on the ODROID GameStation Turbo Image for U2/U3 XU3/XU4 X2 X C1 as well as many other releases.
Check out the Games and Emulators section to find some of my work or check the files in my repository to find the software i build for ODROIDs.
If you want to add my repository to your image read my HOWTO integrate my repo into your image.

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