Author Topic: I got one!  (Read 4127 times)

Ryvan (OP)

  • Posts: 55
I got one!
« on: September 29, 2015, 06:33:38 pm »
Just received my Zero in the mail (from ThinkGeek) this morning. Pity they couldn't make a slightly nicer finish/look on the box, but it seems in keeping with the level of polish on the device. I.e. pretty good and almost there, but not exactly Nintendo or Apple regardless.

pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/blueeyesjnh/albums/72157658847544140/with/21628719969/

Very happy to see that ThinkGeek had restocked these.

P.S.

Anyone else think the bezel (with the logo) seems to obscure a teensy portion of the top of the screen?

Surkow

  • * Administrator
  • Posts: 662
Re: I got one!
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2015, 08:34:33 pm »
Nice packaging from Thinkgeek. Most stores ship just using a bubblewrap envelope.

Jenova

  • Posts: 1319
Re: I got one!
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2015, 07:32:27 pm »
How are you enjoying it??

toto

  • Posts: 147
Re: I got one!
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2015, 09:51:25 pm »
 ;D Great! Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do!

Ryvan (OP)

  • Posts: 55
Re: I got one!
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2015, 03:01:30 am »
@vetran
Well enough I suppose. I tried out the gbc emulator which was cool. I'll have to "get" some other games so I can try the NES/SNES emulators (born too late for those, my first console was an N64). I also installed some other games and software (OPK) from the repository. Alas the documentation isn't so great on explaining how different software used different keys. It'd be nice if exiting, etc were a little more uniform, but I digress. I did get the fm radio player to work, but that required much fiddling. You need headphones so they can behave as an antenna and to get alsa setup right to do that and listen through them. It didn't even want to engage at all originally (zilch, not even static).

Honestly I'm hoping for a bit more indie/homebrew stuff. Mazezam was fun and UMG is nicely done even if something isn't quite right with the spikes on the first level -- they're very hard to avoid so I think the collision detect/hitbox might need work. Griffin Legend also looks nice, but needs work. An intro tutorial to playing the game would be grand, as would having enemies stay dead rather than re spawning instantly when you load the room among other things. Neverball would not run for me at all.

I played around some with LOVE2D this afternoon. Since the engine/runtime is in the rootfs of the latest firmware I may have a go at making a game in it. Looks like it won't be much harder than using Processing in terms of coding.

TL;DR Pretty cool, plenty of potential. Should be good for a few hour of fun here and there. Still needs work for anything other playing an emulator.

Senor Quack

  • Posts: 223
Re: I got one!
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2015, 11:19:59 am »
Neverball would not run for me at all.

Hi, I am the guy that ported Neverball.  Congrats on getting a GCW0. As for Neverball, you probably are running an older firmware.  This site will show you how to check your version and how to update it:     http://www.gcw-zero.com/updates 

If that doesn't fix it, try downloading a fresh copy and re-upload it to your GCW. It might have gotten corrupted. It's a pretty well-tested game.

If you have further problems, you can usually find me in #gcw on freenode IRC, under the nick 'senquack'.  I dip in and out, so give me up to half an hour to reply on IRC chat. It's a good place to get general help, too.

Being a new user, you should read http://wiki.surkow.com/Quick_Start_Guide paying particular attention to the button-combination section. The most useful combo is PowerSlider+Select, which exits any application, useful if you can't remember how to exit a game. Warning: use only when you must, as it forces an app to quit and it might not save your game properly.  Also useful is PowerSlider+A, which allows you to change scaling modes, useful in emulators.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 11:42:39 am by Senor Quack »

Ryvan (OP)

  • Posts: 55
Re: I got one!
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2015, 04:22:48 pm »
Ah. Looks like I am running the firmware from May (there is a newer one). Thanks for pointing that out. I should have noticed, but I guess I didn't. I imagine that will probably resolve any issues. The game probably was closing b/c the g-sensor support isn't there in the 2014-05-05 firmware afaik.

I did read the quick start guide, but memorizing button combinations is going to take time. I just dislike how some apps exit with start, others with select, and a few even use start+select. I'd rather not use the force quit if I don't have to. It was annoying enough that I needed the reset button a few times already (hang on startup, etc).
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 04:25:33 pm by Ryvan »

thefifthgiant

  • Posts: 108
Re: I got one!
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2015, 06:22:21 pm »
It was annoying enough that I needed the reset button a few times already (hang on startup, etc).

This happened to my unit all of the time up until the most recent firmware. If that is any indication, hangups will hopefully be less frequent for you as well.  ;)

Anyway, enjoy the zero!

zear

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  • Posts: 2381
Re: I got one!
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2015, 06:35:38 pm »
@Ryvan
Hey there. Congratulations on getting your GCW Zero unit!

UMG is nicely done even if something isn't quite right with the spikes on the first level -- they're very hard to avoid so I think the collision detect/hitbox might need work.

I'm one of the developers behind UMG. I am quite curious of your observations. Let me explain how collision detection works in UMG:



A) The top rectangle shows the spikes tile, as seen in-game. The bottom rectangle is the actual collision area of the sprite (red -> damage, white -> no damage). Collision detection is pixel based, that is the player's collision box needs to intersect one of the red pixels.
B) Player standing a pixel away from the damage area.
C) The collision box around the player (taken directly from a debugging build of the game).

As you can see on the above picture, the player's hitbox is smaller than the actual character (in walking animation). Additionally, collision with the scenery is done on per-pixel level (and not per-tile level). The player's collision box *must* intersect the red area for collision to be registered. For player velocities higher than 1px/frame (ie. while falling), the collision calculation is split into smaller steps, to make sure the intersection is registered at the first possible pixel. So I think we can be talking about a very accurate collision detection model.

Now, the game runs natively in a 160x120 resolution and is upscaled by a factor of 2 into GCW Zero's 320x240 resolution. This means that a single in-game pixel equals 4 pixels on the GCW Zero's LCD. This could give an impression that the movement is calculated with inaccurate precision, but there's nothing that can be done about it.

Please also note that UMG is a game with deliberately high level of difficulty (hard, but fair). If there is any unfavourable placement of the spikes, it is probably because the level designer intended so ;)


As for your remark about using the reset button - please keep this as a last resort. Pressing the reset button abruptly cuts power to the device, which might result in data loss or even filesystem damage! If you think that a game froze and you want to kill it, use POWER+SELECT button combination instead. This kills the program and returns to the menu, without destabilizing the operating system.
You mentioned a hang on start-up: both the firmware and all the software present in the official repository (repo.gcw-zero.com) is tested for stability and we make sure there are no situations that prevent you from exiting the given program.
Could you share more details about the hang up problem you had?

And as @Senor Quack above mentioned, feel free to join our IRC channel. I am sure we can help you with all the problems you are facing and answer any questions you have :)

Ryvan (OP)

  • Posts: 55
Re: I got one!
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2015, 09:26:51 pm »
@Senor Quack
I updated the firmware and re-downloaded it and it works now. I guess it could have been either, but thanks for the help. I'm not sure why it wasn't working before, so maybe it just got corrupted in the transfer.

@zear
It only required some cash and the willingness to part with it. :P Well, that and for there to be a US retailer with stock, which thankfully came out that way. Adding shipping, etc on top of the Euro-USD rate meant that ordering from overseas was not a pleasant proposition.  I was a little concerned that Thinkgeek's response (they sent out a sort of 'we're sorry, but no likelihood of more stock' message to those watching a while ago) meant that they'd given up on the Zero and weren't going to try again. Thankfully ThinkGeek did end up restocking and the base shipping (i.e. least expensive) is FREE rather than the $7 it would be otherwise (ThinkGeek offers free shipping on orders of $75+, although it's the slowest).

Regarding UMG, it  may just be that I am not used to the level of difficulty , but it feels like it's difficult to land between the spikes without brushing them on the back end. It may be that the scaling is a contributing factor. I did manage to do it successfully once just now, so perhaps I just need more practice. I'm sure it would be a bit of work and I really don't know if it would be an improvement, but have you tried pixel collision on both ends (I.e. a mapping like the red spikes, but for the monkey too).

The hangs were with the previous firmware, so it remains to be seen if the CURRENT firmware experiences any of those problems (I though it would be the latest, given that it came out in August and I ordered my device in late September, but I wasn't really thinking about the supply logistics). I'll be sure to let you know if it happens again.

P.S.
Thanks for the response, I really wasn't expecting an immediate reply. :) Why would you program a game with a screen res of 160 by 120?

zear

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Re: I got one!
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2015, 09:33:06 pm »
Regarding UMG, it  may just be that I am not used to the level of difficulty , but it feels like it's difficult to land between the spikes without brushing them on the back end.
That was an intentional level design :D
This section of the "tutorial" level is supposed to teach you about modifying the monkey's speed in mid-air and that's what the spike placement is for :)

Quote
I'm sure it would be a bit of work and I really don't know if it would be an improvement, but have you tried pixel collision on both ends (I.e. a mapping like the red spikes, but for the monkey too).
That wouldn't work, because:
1) the pixel area of the player sprite changes with every frame, of every animation set (idling, walking, jumping, swimming, etc.)
2) the hit box is intentionally smaller than the player sprite

Quote
Why would you program a game with a screen res of 160 by 120?
Because it imitates the GameBoy's resolution (which was actually 160x144, but 160x120 scales better for 4:3 aspect ratio).

Ziz

  • Posts: 284
    • http://ziz.gp2x.de
Re: I got one!
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2015, 10:34:21 pm »
Oh new user? Doing shameless self-advertisment for own games/projects? I am in!  :P

Give the OPK Manager a go! With this you can download OPKs from the repository on your gcw and move them between your sd card and the internal space. Unfortunately it can't be found on the official repository, because it doesn't satisfies all rules for it and is on the third page of the GCW Release subboard instead now. :\ However Hase, my most recent game, is on the official repository!

Greetings, Ziz
I am a leaf on the wind - watch how I soar. Wash

thefifthgiant

  • Posts: 108
Re: I got one!
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2015, 12:06:34 am »
Hey Zear, speaking of UMG, I just saw the blog post on the game's site from a few weeks ago. It's good to see that the game is still being developed, I had begun to fear the worst after all the silence...

Do you have any more news on the matter? It's a fun game and I'm excited for release  :)

zear

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  • Posts: 2381
Re: I got one!
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2015, 11:03:59 pm »
Do you have any more news on the matter? It's a fun game and I'm excited for release  :)
@thefifthgiant
My focus is currently on the snow world level design:


Quote
I had begun to fear the worst after all the silence...
Silence is good. It means we are actually focusing on development rather than writing updates (you won't believe how much time and effort PR takes).

thefifthgiant

  • Posts: 108
Re: I got one!
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2015, 03:15:48 am »
Silence is good. It means we are actually focusing on development rather than writing updates (you won't believe how much time and effort PR takes).

Yeah, I can imagine it is quite a hassle and would distract from work. Well good luck, and I can't wait to see the final product. The screens are looking nice!

Hope that means that silence on other updates and releases is just as good  ;)

Eliwood_san

  • Posts: 252
Re: I got one!
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2015, 11:47:18 pm »
@zear Any news about Flare development ?

zear

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  • Posts: 2381
Re: I got one!
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2015, 10:22:00 am »
@zear Any news about Flare development ?
There is a physical limit to how much I can do in my free time.
I have a list of projects that I am actively working on at the moment. Flare is currently not on that list, although I still have high interest in finishing the port.

BTW, this thread is getting more offtopic with every new post ;)

 

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