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  "Ukko's Journey" released; the very first "Blu-Play" title!  (Read 4941 times)
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Offline misthalu

Senior Devvie


Medals: 20
Projects: 1



« Posted 2017-02-14 20:32:38 »

"Ukko's Journey" released; the very first "Blu-Play" homebrew game for PS3, PS4 and XB1!



Intro
"Ukko's Journey" was originally developed as a cellphone game back in 2008-2009 by LuBlu Entertainment.
Now here in 2017 the same team has ported the game to Blu-Play, proof-of-concept demonstration to show an example of a what you can do with Blu-Play.
Blu-Play games are "small-scale homebrew games coded with Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J), and which therefore runs on any game-console that comes with a built-in Blu-ray player", which at present time includes PS3, PS4 and XB1. In other words, you don't need a special version of a Blu-Play title in order to run it on your console. One disc runs on all. More about Blu-Play at http://www.blu-play.com

Demonstrated Blu-Play elements
- Performance: The game plays with 50+ fps
- Audio: Plays ingame music + sound-effects
- Persistent storage: Remembers your settings between disc ejects
- Controls: 11 buttons on the gamepad useable
- Internet: Uploads/downloads highscores to/from UkkosJourney.com
- Network: Sends the cellphone version of the game to your Wi-Fi connected JavaME enabled phone via your local network

Download
Ukko's Journey is 100% free.
Download UkkosJourney-BluPlay.ISO here [83 mb]
http://blu-play.com/iso/UkkosJourney-BluPlay.iso

How can I get to play this?
For a stock PS3 / PS4 you need to burn the ISO onto a BD-R or BD-RE disc, which means you need a Blu-ray burner. Luckily Blu-ray burners has become very affordable now, and a BD-R disc only costs about half a euro. If you buy a BD-RE, it can be re-used several thousand times due to the small size of Blu-Play games.
For a jailbroken PS3 you can run the ISO from harddisk by mounting the ISO with webMAN or multiMAN from the BDISO folder.
For Xbox One you can burn the ISO onto a DVD, which means you need a DVD burner. (If you have a Blu-ray burner, BD-R and BD-RE naturally works too).
You can also play the ISO from harddisk on your PC if you have a software media-player that supports BD-J. More about this in FAQ.

Setup
If you wish to use the online highscore-system in the game, make sure your console's Blu-ray settings allows for the disc to go online.
On the PS3 this setting is in Video Settings -> "BD - Internet connection"
On the XB1 it's in Blu-ray settings -> "Enable BD Live to improve Blu-ray playback"

Before starting a game, you may also want to redefine controls in the game settings, and enter your nickname for the highscores.

Preview video
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/1bC5FV-2AY4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;start=" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/1bC5FV-2AY4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;start=</a>

FAQ
Q: Which platforms will this run on?
A: You should always expect Blu-Play games to only run on the gaming consoles that comes with a built-in Blu-ray player. These are the consoles Blu-Play is all about. However, Blu-Play games should theoretically also run on any other Blu-ray player. (Just don't expect any stunning framerates everyhere). Some examples:
- Windows: Get your hands on a software media player that supports BD-J, like e.g. PowerDVD from Cyberlink. Play ISO from harddisk. Tested and works fine with a good frame (depending on your CPU of course).
- Mac: Same deal. Find a software media player that supports BD-J. There's "MacGo Blu-ray Player", but I haven't tested that one.
- Linux: VLC is getting BD-J support implemented these days. You may be able to run Ukko's Journey on one of the nightly builds, Just don't expect all features of the game to run - if it runs at all. (Keep in mind there's no official release of "VLC with BD-J support" yet).
- Samsung Blu-ray players: It seems that Samsung players more frequently accepts Blu-ray content on a DVD than other brands, so you may be able to run Blu-Play games from a DVD on these players.
- Other Blu-ray players: Burn the ISO onto a BD-R or BD-RE.
- Other options: Dune HD Smart D1 / Popcorn Hour C200 / Popcorn Hour C300 lets you play the ISO from harddisk.

Q: The graphics in the game looks very pixelated. Does this represent a Blu-Play limitation?
A: Not at all. "Ukko's Journey" was merely ported from a platform with a resolution of only 240x320 pixels. We made HD versions of the fonts and the backgrounds and the foregrounds, but we had to limit the amount of time spent on this project, due to a combination of having a ton of other things on our ToDo list, while not knowing if anyone will take any interest in this Blu-Play idea at all. So we decided to not spend additional time improving the level-graphics yet.

Q: When I try to upload/download highscores, it just says "No data found"!
A: You have probably accidentally entered a highscore ID in Settings. Go back and type "0" for ID. (Never mind the Password field). The highscore settings allows a group of people to compete with each other on their own personal (hidden) highscore list, but you need a highscore-list ID and a password (from me) to be able to use that feature.

Q: Under "Send to phone" it says "JavaME enabled phones only". What's that?
A: JavaME enabled phones was what everyone was using before the arrival of Android phones and iPhones. Almost all phones ran JavaME back then, because it was either embedded into the firmware, or in the OS. If a stock phone couldn't run JavaME, you could always find an app that would let you run it. again regardless of what OS you were using.
Nowadays this is still true for Android. You can simply install phoneME. However, since the MIDlets on this disc were all created for small resolutions, they aren't very useful on the big Android displays.

Q: Do I have to burn the ISO onto a BD-R, or can I use a DVD?
A: You can burn a Blu-ray ISO file onto a DVD, but sadly it won't play everywhere. Xbox One owners are in luck here. PlayStation owners are not. Testing standard Blu-ray players reveals that about 30%-40% of the players accepts Blu-ray content on a DVD, mostly Samsung players.

Q: What exactly is Blu-Play?
A: The Blu-Play label is an attempt of fixing a few widely accepted misconceptions about Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J), by giving "BD-J homebrew games" a new and "fresh" label. One that sounds a lot better, emphasises that focus is on the gaming-consoles, is much more easily found when searching online, and isn't associated with all the false rumours about the limitations of BD-J. By demonstrating a lot of the functionality here that many people has claimed to be impossible, I'm hoping to breathe new life into BD-J development for the game-consoles.

Q: I wanna buy a disc with this!
A: There's a BUY link at the blu-play.com website. Note: I will not be making any money on this. The price on the disc is the fee EditHouse is charging.
Offline J0
« Reply #1 - Posted 2017-02-15 21:20:50 »

An interesting concept. I'd argue that most people do not want to go through the hassle of burning a game such as this one to play it on their consoles; however if you could make something really interesting, with cool gameplay features, concepts, art style, and lasts longer, I'm sure you'd find buyers Smiley
Offline misthalu

Senior Devvie


Medals: 20
Projects: 1



« Reply #2 - Posted 2017-02-16 10:20:12 »

An interesting concept. I'd argue that most people do not want to go through the hassle of burning a game such as this one to play it on their consoles; however if you could make something really interesting, with cool gameplay features, concepts, art style, and lasts longer, I'm sure you'd find buyers Smiley

Sadly, I think you're right.

The biggest obstacle here are the stock PS3 and PS4 owners, because they need to burn the ISO onto a Blu-ray disc, and very few people have a Blu-ray burner, despite them being extremely cheap nowadays, and a disc only costing half a euro.

It helps a little bit that owners of jailbroken PS3's can play it from harddisk, and Xbox One users can burn the ISO onto a DVD to play. (And then there's of course also the option of playing it on a PC / Windows / Mac / Linux in any software media player that supports BD-J, such as PowerDVD for Windows).

But still, despite of all these options (the game being playable virtually everywhere), it's just too complicated for people. Burning a disc is too complicated for the average gamer today. And opening an ISO file with a media player is too. It's too different from what they're used to.

So what to do? You offer the gamers a way to buy a disc of course. And we've done this too, using EditHouse in London, charging only the fee they are charging, so it's can't get any cheaper than this: 4,70 euro + shipping. http://www.blu-play.com/games
But I agree that the game would have to be somewhat more spectacular before anyone wants to pay that amount for a homebrew game.

And thus, I sadly don't see this going anywhere either, which is a real shame, because there's a lot of potential. Our game here has a top framerate of over 120 fps (on PS3), and most of the time it's around 80 fps. If you utilize the video-options of Blu-ray for backgrounds instead of drawing graphics, you'll get even higher framerates. Some truly awesome stuff could be done with this.

There's still time to be surprised of course. We can see there's definitely some interest. The YouTube video has had 1000 views in a few days. For comparison, the YouTube video of the mobile version of the same game from 2009, has had almost the same amount of views - but that took 7 years.

If more homebrew game-devs create something with the Blu-Play label, it will help of course. I created a thread about it here on java-gaming.org: http://www.java-gaming.org/topics/blu-play-an-introduction-to-developers/38044/view.html
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