Indie Developers, The OUYA Has Arrived!

The OUYA has arrived! After hearing how easy it has been for other devs to get their game up on the big screen, I’m very excited to give it a go.

Now, it’s no secret that I’ve been slipping a little with Townsend development. I really want to get something at least playable out for the OUYA launch, even if it’s something more like beta material. However, given the burndown chart and the upcoming release date of, well, sometime in March (read: end of March)… it’s looking like unless I get a fire under my derriere, I’m going to miss the release date¬†like Palmer Luckey (too soon? Perhaps. But seriously, I’m super exited to get my Oculus dev kit!)

With that said, even the development kit version of the OUYA looks pretty spiffy. As you can see, the dev kit has transparent casing and comes with two controllers. Overall, it’s very light in the hand (I think too light), and the actual box has a loose fan that rattles around a bit when you move it, but I think this was intended for the dev kit’s modability. Also, can I just say that putting the batteries into my controller was kind of terrifying? You have to literally pull off the top faceplate of the controller to get to the battery receptacle. It makes an audible cracking noise as you’re doing so. So, yea, terrifying.

Oh, and did I mention how freaking small the box is? That thing is TINY! It so small that a plugged in hdmi cord will force it on its side. I’m not sure how¬†Julie and the other creators are going to deal with this and other issues that come with such a small form factor in the consumer version, but I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do with it for less that $100 a pop!

After getting past the hardware, the software looks like it’s going to be very consumable. It looks good, has some very nice eye candy already, and makes pretty good use of native android components. While there is definitely a whole lot of room to improve on with the interface, I’m confident that it will be as polished as any other modern console UI if not a little more due to its scope simplicity.

Now, integrating Townsend with the OUYA will be interesting. As you may have read earlier, I’m designing Townsend around interactions with the touchscreen interface. While the OUYA controller awesomely does have a touchpad on it, it’s quite a bit smaller than any mobile phone’s surface and therefore I’ll need to figure out how to scale things down effectively. In the end, I may just make the interactions joystick friendly.

I have other things on the timeline before I’m planning on trying Townsend out on the OUYA, but maaaybe I might deviate from the plan a bit in the near future ;-)

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2 Comments

  1. Posted May 9, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    are you still working on Townsend these days? the reason i liked Harvest Moon is basically just because i became strangely attached to it when i was a kid, don’t know why, but i just loved it:) wouldn’t play anything else. i can feel the inspiration from some of your demos

    • Brent Grossman
      Posted May 9, 2014 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      Well, for now I’ve put Townsend aside while I further develop myself professionally. As much as I wish it wasn’t, it’s hard to come home to a big project. After a couple months of not working on it I decided to take a break.

      That said, recently I’ve been feeling the urge to get back into game development. I want to focus on making super small, simple, unpolished game prototypes that only take a day or two to make. Integration with the Oculus Rift that I have would also be super interesting to do. I’m hoping that this will give me the momentum I need to pick Townsend up again!

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