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Cid’s Aerial Tours Updated to 1.03

Cid’s Aerial Tours Updated to 1.03

Posted by on Jun 29, 2014 in Gaming, Mobile, News, Software | 0 comments

Cid’s Aerial Tours has been updated to 1.03! Similar to the 1.03 update for Dragon Geo, this update for Cid’s Aerial Tours does not contain many major external changes, as most of the changes are internal. Here is the full list of changes in 1.03:

- Fixed a visual bug with the LANGUAGE settings in OPTIONS that was present for Android 2.3 – 4.0 users.
- A few performance optimizations were added.

The CREDITS no longer runs as a separate activity and is now a fragment that runs within the main title screen. Also, a minor visual layout bug in OPTIONS was corrected for Android 2.3 – 4.0 users. Some minor performance optimizations were also added to the code.

The latest update to Cid’s Aerial Tours can be found on the Google Play Store:

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Dragon Geo Updated to 1.03

Dragon Geo Updated to 1.03

Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in Gaming, Mobile, News, Software | 0 comments

DRAGON GEO has been updated to 1.03. Unlike the last version, there are no significant external changes, as most of changes are internal and mostly affect how OPTIONS and CREDITS are displayed. Here are the changes with the new version:

* OPTIONS is now displayed over world maps.
* Several minor layout changes made.

OPTIONS and CREDITS no longer run as separate activities and are now fragments. In summary, OPTIONS now appears to float above the map that’s currently in focus.

Other than that, there are no significant changes. The new version of DRAGON GEO can be found here:

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Cid’s Aerial Tours Updated to 1.02

Cid’s Aerial Tours Updated to 1.02

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Gaming, Mobile, News, Software | 0 comments

The latest update (1.02) for Cid’s Aerial Tours has been published onto Google Play! CAT now has  Japanese and Korean language support; Cid is multi-lingual! The worlds of Final Fantasy IV can now be viewed with Japanese and Korean location labels.

Here is the full list of changes in 1.02.

- Added missing Overworld map locations.
- Added Japanese and Korean language support. Cid is now multi-lingual!
- Main screen background now alternates between a sky and underworld background.

The latest update to Cid’s Aerial Tours can be found on the Google Play Store:

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Dragon Geo: 1.02 Update Released!

Dragon Geo: 1.02 Update Released!

Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Gaming, Mobile, News, Software | 0 comments

I just posted an update (1.02) for DRAGON GEO on the Google Play Store! There are some rather large changes with this version, as it features many new maps, including the Dragon Warrior VII map that King Zenith from Dragon’s Den recently made. Here are the changes with the new version:

* Fixed a few audio-related crash bugs.
* Fixed a memory issue for LOW RESOLUTION mode.
* Added several new maps for Dragon Warrior III:
- Cave of Enticement
- Romaly Castle
- Noaniels
- Cave West of Noaniels
- Eginbear Castle
- Portoga
- Isis
- Isis Castle
- Cave of Jipang
- Port Town
- Haukness
- Shrine of Holy
- Shrine of the Poison Swamp.

* Added Gwaelin’s Cave for Dragon Warrior II.
* Added the Dragon Warrior VII PS1 map by King Zenith.

Many thanks goes out again to King Zenith and x_loto! DRAGON GEO can be found here:

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Launch of CAT: Cid’s Aerial Tours

Launch of CAT: Cid’s Aerial Tours

Posted by on Apr 8, 2014 in Gaming, Mobile, News, Software | 0 comments

Today marks the launch of CAT, also known as Cid’s Aerial Tours!

CAT is an interactive map guide app for the Google Android platform, akin to Google Maps but for viewing world maps from Squaresoft’s classic 16-BIT RPG, Final Fantasy IV (aka Final Fantasy II for the U.S.).  Like Dragon Geo, users can zoom in and out on the map using buttons and pinch/tap gestures. Users can view the three world maps (overworld, underworld, and the moon) from Final Fantasy IV. Unlike Dragon Geo, CAT is a much smaller app and will focus solely on world maps, rather than castle/town/dungeon maps.

CAT is the second Google Android app that I have launched onto the Google Android Store.

Many thanks goes out to my friends who helped beta test CAT, as well as these sites that provided the sprites, maps, and music/sound effects for Final Fantasy IV:

BETA TESTERS:
* Steve Chou
* Joey Dorpat
* Ashwin Kamath
* King Zenith
* James Spencer
* Dan Smoliak
* Jesse Thomas

RESOURCES:
* Videogamesprites.com
* Ian-Albert.com
* Zophar’s Domain


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Cid’s Aerial Tours is available for free on the Google Play Store. If you have an Android device, be sure to check it out! Read More

Sakurai Reveals All About Smash Bros. Wii U & 3DS: Slated for Release in Summer/Winter 2014

Sakurai Reveals All About Smash Bros. Wii U & 3DS: Slated for Release in Summer/Winter 2014

Posted by on Apr 8, 2014 in Gaming, News | 0 comments

Today, Nintendo has unveiled a large amount of information on the status of Super Smash Bros. Wii U & 3DS, in a 39 minute video documentatary.

According to Sakurai, the 3DS version will be released in Summer 2014 release, while the Wii U version will come out in Winter 2014. Along with release dates, Sakurai went in full depth about the gameplay, stages, items, characterrs, and online mode. Out of all the features covered, the online mode seemed to be the most exciting tidbit, as it’s a huge overhaul over Brawl’s (pathetic) online mode. The new “For Glory” online mode is definitely aimed at hardcore competitive Smash players, with restrictions like Final Destination-like only stages and no items.

Although I’m not sure I will purchase a Wii U for Smash, I will definitely be getting the 3DS version when it comes out later this summer!

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/04/08/super-smash-bros-3ds-launches-this-summer-wii-u-version-due-in

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Game Developers Conference 2014 (GDC 2014) – Wrap Up

Game Developers Conference 2014 (GDC 2014) – Wrap Up

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Gaming, General, Hardware, Mobile, News, Software | 0 comments

GDC '14 - Bustling with activity at the Career Center.

GDC ’14 – Bustling with activity at the Career Center.


This past week, I had a chance to attend the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, a huge annual conference for game producers & developers. As this was my first GDC, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet professionals in the gaming industry, attend seminars on game development, as well as seeing the latest games and technology on display. 

GDC '14 - GDC attendees getting an opportunity to try out Oculus Rift.

GDC ’14 – GDC attendees getting an opportunity to try out Oculus Rift.

GDC ' 14 - Unity promoting the Unity gaming engine to game developers.

GDC ‘ 14 – Unity promoting the Unity gaming engine to game developers.


While the first two days of GDC came and gone with little fanfare, things became a bit more interesting when the Career Center and the Expo Floor opened up on Wednesday. Companies like Oculus and Unity were in full force on the floor. Oculus, riding on the growing interest into virtual reality technology, were demonstrating the full capabilities of what the Oculus Rift VR headset had to offer for the next generation of games. As for Unity, they were heavily touting it’s capabilities as a versatile gaming engine that supports most (if not all) current gaming platforms, as well as high-profile games that were developed with Unity.

GDC '14 - The Sony PlayStation exhibit at GDC.

GDC ’14 – The Sony PlayStation exhibit at GDC.

GDC '14 - Valve's exhibit at the GDC.

GDC ’14 – Valve’s exhibit at the GDC.

GDC '14 - Valve's SteamBox, a PC running SteamOS.

GDC ’14 – Valve’s SteamBox, a PC running SteamOS.

GDC '14 - The controversial SteamOS controller.

GDC ’14 – The controversial SteamOS controller.


Some of the biggest announcements at GDC included Sony’s Project Morpheus, a VR headset similar to the Oculus’ Rift headset.  Another large announcement was Valve’s unveiling of the latest version of the SteamOS controller, considered to be controversial due to it’s unorthodox game controller layout. Along with the new controller, Valve was also demonstrating the SteamOS and the SteamBox PCs over at it’s booth.

GDC '14 - Intel at GDC, promoting it's Iris Pro GPU's abilities.

GDC ’14 – Intel at GDC, promoting it’s Iris Pro GPU’s abilities.


Hardware companies like Intel, AMD, and nVIDIA were also at GDC, demonstrating what their hardware can do for game developers. With Intel, they were promoting Iris Pro (Haswell’s integrated GPU) and it’s gaming performance. The message that they wanted to deliver was that the Iris Pro was capable of running the latest games (albeit at lower settings compared to nVIDIA & AMD’s GPU solutions).

GDC '14 - AMD demonstrating EyeInfinity with Battlefield 4.

GDC ’14 – AMD demonstrating EyeInfinity with Battlefield 4.

As for AMD, they were focused on promoting EyeInfinity, their triple monitor solution for gaming, as well as Mantle, an AMD API that allows developers greater access to AMD’s GPU capabilities on a lower level.

GDC '14 - nVIDIA's exhibit at GDC.

GDC ’14 – nVIDIA’s exhibit at GDC.

GDC '14 - nVIDIA's GRID rack server on display.

GDC ’14 – nVIDIA’s GRID rack server on display.


Over at nVIDIA’s booth, they were promoting their latest Tegra 4 SOC solution, as well as nVIDIA GRID, a cloud game streaming service that nVIDIA is currently promoting.

GDC '14 - A GDC attendee playing Crypt of the Necrodancer with a DDR mat.

GDC ’14 – A GDC attendee playing Crypt of the Necrodancer with a DDR mat.

GDC '14 - Bit Bros., a 2D fighting game that plays similarly to Nintendo's Smash Bros. series.

GDC ’14 – Bit Bros., a 2D fighting game that plays similarly to Nintendo’s Smash Bros. series.

de with the large game & hardware companies, part of the Expo Floor was dedicated to Independent Game Developers, where the latest and greatest indie games like “Papers, Please”, “Crypt of the Necrodancer”, “The Stanley Parable”, and many others were on display. GDC has always had a large focus on independent game developers, but this year, indie game developers were definitely in force, as many of the indie games on display were quite intuitive and most importantly, fun to play.

GDC '14 - The Videogame History Museum Exhibit at GDC.

GDC ’14 – The Videogame History Museum Exhibit at GDC.


Outside of the Expo Floor, I encountered an interesting exhibit, the Videogames History Museum. It was an exhibit dedicated to the history of arcade and console gaming, with classic consoles like the NES, SNES, Atari, N64, Genesis, GameCube, Game Boy, Virtual Boy, etc. on display. There were several stations where gamers could reminisce and play these classic consoles; I was able to get a chance to play E.T.: Phone Home (a game that was largely responsible for the 1983 video game crash), as well as a few rounds of Super Smash Bros. Melee. The exhibit was definitely a trip down nostalgic road for me.

GDC '14 - Game Developer's Choice Awards

GDC ’14 – Game Developer’s Choice Awards


On Wednesday night, the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2014 was held. It’s similar to the People’s Choice Awards, except that the winners here are games and their developers. A significant portion of the GDC Awards were dedicated to indie games, showcasing how far indie games have come in recent years. What I found surprising is that a large amount of the awards were given to the indie game “Papers, Please”, winning five awards for categories such as Best Narrative, Visual Art, etc. Another big winner was Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us”, a great game that rocked the gaming world last year.

With GDC ’14 concluded, I am still in awe over all the announcements, games/tech that were on display, and more importantly, the advice I received from game designers and professionals. As I have started the journey back into software development in the past year, I was initially overwhelmed, as I felt at times if I could ever get back to speed with what game companies are looking for in developers these days. However, I also gained insight and a better direction of where I should focus my software development skills on.

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Project Geo Unveiled! Introducing Dragon Geo

Project Geo Unveiled! Introducing Dragon Geo

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Gaming, Mobile, News, Software | 0 comments

Project Geo, now unveiled as DRAGON GEO today, is an interactive map app akin to Google Maps, but displays maps from Square-Enix’s lesser known RPG series, Dragon Quest. Those of you that have been playing RPGs since the early days of the original NES will better recognize this series as Dragon Warrior. DRAGON GEO allows for viewing world, region, castle, town, dungeon, and shrine maps from Dragon Warrior / Quest I-VI. It also includes maps from the remake versions that later appeared on the Super Famicom, Game Boy Color, and Nintendo DS. As an added nostalgic touch, the entire interface uses the old Dragon Warrior command window style, complete with music and sound effects from the original Dragon Warrior / Quest games. If you’re a Dragon Warrior / Quest fan, you’re in for a big treat!

More about the origin of DRAGON GEO: Project Geo was originally used as a way for me to get familiar with Android development, roughly four months ago from today. During development, I’ve learned quite a bit about developing on the Android platform, such as programming gestures, loading and playing media files, displaying large images, UX design  handling memory optimization issues, and much more. Although I still have far to go in terms of Android development (and mobile development in general), I’m proud to have been able to put out a quality first app that I quite enjoyed working on in the available spare time I had. I’d like to thank the sites & people that have made these maps and sprites available online.  Without them, DRAGON GEO would not be possible:

  • D-Navi
  • Dragon’s Den
  • FlyingArmor
  • King Zenith
  • NES Maps
  • NES SNES Sprites
  • Realm of Darkness
  • RPG Legion
  • Sprite Database
  • x_loto
  • Zophar’s Domain

Also, many thanks goes out to my friends who have dedicated their time to beta testing out DRAGON GEO:

  • Ashwin Kamath
  • Steve Chou
  • Joey Dorpat
  • King Zenith
  • James Spencer
  • Dan Smoliak
  • Jesse Thomas

DRAGON GEO is now available for download on the Google Play Store. If you have an Android device, be sure to check it out! I’ll be making improvements to the app from time to time.
 
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Animal Crossing: The Uncensored Edition

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in Gaming | 0 comments

Chewbot over at Let’s Play Archive wrote about his experience with Animal Crossing, documenting the woeful adventures of Billy.

Let’s Play Archive – Animal Crossing By Chewbot

Although I have never played Animal Crossing, I found Chewbot’s commentary and experience to be quite amusing. Be warned, there is much profanity in his review, and with good reason. Who knew that Animal Crossing was promoting child labor and slave contracts?

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A Tribute to Hiroshi Yamauchi

Posted by on Sep 19, 2013 in Gaming, News | 0 comments

Today is a sad day, as Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man who led Nintendo from 1949 to 2002 and transformed Nintendo from a small card company into a mega videogame giant, has passed away from Pneumonia at the age of 85.

During his time at Nintendo, popular gaming consoles such as the NES, Super NES, Game Boy, Nintendo 64, and GameCube were released, along with the creation of beloved Nintendo characters like Mario, Link, Samus, Donkey Kong, etc. that we have come to know well and love today.

Rest in peace, Hiroshi Yamauchi. Read More