Sep 19

Friday Post: Maker Faire and Kano Unboxing!

Hey All,

What a week.  Maker Faire was amazing but exhausting!  So many kids playing Street Fighter 2, and so many adults loving the nostalgia.  It was a great time.  Tons of 3D printers, awesome products, and great people all around.  I hope you enjoy the gallery!

I also received my Kano computing kit today.  I haven’t had the chance to boot it up, but I have made a short unboxing video.  The packaging is spectacular, and the custom keyboard is great to hold and use (tested it on my desktop).

 

The next release of PiPlay is coming together, I hope to release it this weekend.

Small list of changes:

  • modified romlist layout to include area for game descriptions
  • added 2 player controller config support
  • added “button combo” support for PiPlay Menu actions
  • optimization, screen updates only happen on controlled events
  • removed horizontal romlist option in theme support
  • Loading time speed up
  • Wifi Configuration Tool

Have a great weekend all!

-Shea

Sep 12

Friday Post: Tiny Vacation, Maker Faire Orlando, PiPlay

Hey All,

I apologize for not posting last week, I just needed to take a small break.  Brain has been pretty fried.

This weekend is the Orlando Maker Faire.  This year marks the beginning of us being a full fledged Maker Faire, rather than just a Mini Maker Faire.  It’s kinda cool.  I will be showing off PiPlay and Pimoroni’s Picade inside of FamiLAB’s booth.  The Maker Faire is at the Orlando Science Center.  If anyone is in the Central Florida region, you should stop by!

The next update of PiPlay is coming along nicely.  2 player control setup is in, a wireless config utility has been added, the rom listing menu has been heavily optimized for much faster scrolling, and some other general bug fixes.  I’m hoping to release this over the weekend after Maker Faire.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Aug 29

Friday Post: Updates, Winner, and shipping things

Hey All,

Happy Friday!  To my fellow Americans, have a wonderful labor day weekend and enjoy the 3 day weekend.  I should be relaxing! My team launched a very cool new program at the university after a year in development, and it’s being used and we are getting results.  It’s so cool!  I’m not relaxing though, because I’m up to my ears in Kickstarter rewards that need to be shipped.

I’m dealing with the USPS right now because a bunch of the SD cards I sent out never arrived with their envelope.  Shipping things really needs to be brought into the 21st century. I feel like I need a degree in advanced logistics just to figure out the zone and rate charts.  I feel like I did something wrong by putting an envelope in the mailbox.  Oh well,  I hope I’m stressing out over nothing.

On a brighter note,  updates to PiPlay are happening :)  Connor made a neat little WiFI setup tool, and I’m working on some small bug fixes at the moment.

Congratulations to R. B. for winning the joystick contest!  I have sent you an email and I hope you send me your address soon so I can send it out.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Aug 22

Friday Post: Joystick Contest

Hey All,

This week has been rough.  Fall semester startup is always crazy, but this one was just over the top.  Pushed a brand new application to production, and promptly discovered a slew of bugs that hadn’t cropped up during testing.  So many little fires being put out.  As exhausting as it is, it’s such a fun environment, I don’t even care.  I can’t wait to push the second release next week and go through this all over again!

During the PiPlay Kickstarter, I ended up buying a bunch of different joysticks to test.  I’m going to hold a contest.  All you have to do is enter your name and email, and I will randomly select a name and the winner gets a free joystick shipped to them.  I will be accepting entries until next Friday!

I have a few different styles like this:

09e8a7da6a159c5e6515d204c5430276_large

 

On another note,  a LOT of emails from my blog were going to my spam folder (but not all of them).  I’m going through the folder and trying to respond, so I’m sorry if I didn’t get back to you.

Have a great weekend!

-Shea

Aug 15

Friday Post: Kickstarter shipments

Hey All,

As I’m sure you’re aware, I’ve been spending most of my time working on the PiPlay Kickstarter.  This has involved ordering samples, getting materials, designing hardware, and all sorts of fun things that goes along with PiPlay the application.

I’m really thankful to all the backers (and other supporters) who were able to make this a reality.

0cfaeeacd077645e6addbb6d231575f8_large 036b4257a8b09d0660981b47eef8806c_large350 SD Cards have been made with the PiPlay software, and above that is my living room filled with boxes of joysticks.

I’m going to have fun this weekend sending out shipments.

Now it’s time to work on the next release.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

 

Aug 08

Friday Post: PiPlay 0.8 Beta 5

Hey All,

Happy Friday.  One more week of break before the Fall semester starts up.  It’s going to be a busy month!

I’m happy to announce that PiPlay 0.8 Beta 5 is being released.  It should be available on SourceForge in a few hours.

Fixes / Improvements:

  • Smoother animations and framerate
  • More optimizations
  • Memory leak fix
  • Control Pad setup is now under the popup menu (press tab or the second button on your joystick)
  • This is the master image for the PiPLAY Kickstarter

Work is already being done on the next release, which will include 2 player controller setup support, thanks to Mark.

Have a good weekend everyone!

-Shea

Aug 01

Friday Post: Book Review

Hey All,

So, this week K and I went on a last minute cruise to relax and get energized for the upcoming school year.  It was a much needed vacation.

During the cruise I ended up reading (and eating) a lot.  Here are some of the things I read which I thought were great:

Seconds

Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley, who is probably best known for the Scott Pilgrim series, is a standalone graphic novel about a girl, her restaurant, and how life happens.  Don’t go into it thinking it’s going to be another Scott Pilgrim with video game and pop references.  It’s about life, and dealing with all the things that come with it, and how we all sometimes wish for a second chance at events.  I read the entire thing in one sitting.  I could not put it down.  I highly recommend it.

Mega Man Gigamix

I bought this on a whim when I was going to a conference and ended up not having time to read it.  I finally opened it up and even though it says Vol. 1, it’s actually a sequel to Mega Man Megamix.  With that being said, Gigamix works on it’s own, and has two fun stories.

Wizzywig

Wizzywig is the story of Kevin “Boingthump” Phenicle Jr. as he grows up during the early days of the computer revolution, where his curiosity runs faster than the law can keep up.  The story is a very loose adaptation of what happened to Kevin Mitnick.  At times it can be a little pushy on it’s message of corruption and redemption, and the art style can be a bit too over the top sometimes, but all in all, it works.

Super Scratch Programming Adventure

I reviewed this last year, but I decided to reread it as I have been wanting to work more with Scratch.  It’s a graphic novel that teaches you how to program by following the adventures of Scratchy the cat and his friends.  It’s a little hokey, but it does its job well, and by the end, you will have learned how to make a bunch of different types of games.  The version I have is for 1.4, but they have recently updated it to cover version 2.0.  There are also a bunch of demos available at http://scratch.mit.edu

Like I said, it has been a relaxing week, and I’m ready to get back to my projects!

Have a great weekend everyone!

-Shea

Jul 25

Friday Post: Small and Large Updates

Hey All,

A few good updates this week :)

The PiPlay 0.8 Beta4 got a very small update (0.8b4.1)  You can get it by selecting the update option.

It fixes a few small config items, like the finalburn alpha emulator not looking for the proper config file, and Dgen missing the proper binary files.

A bigger update is coming later this week with 0.8 beta 5.  Mark figured out how to speed up the menu by at least 50%.  A lot of optimizations were made, and it will be incorporated into the code ASAP.

Have a great weekend all!

-Shea

Jul 18

Friday Post: Space Madness!

Hey All,

For the first time in a long time I feel rested.  I did a sleep study to find out why I was so fatigued all the time even though I was getting around 8 hours of sleep. ( I’m not counting that my other waking hours have been spent on the Kickstarter, PiPlay, and Work with no breaks ;) )

The study people hooked me up to a machine that essentially blows air at you, and holy crap, it helped me sleep through the night like a log.  I was up at 5am, didn’t need any caffeinated drinks in the morning (but force of habit…) and I’ve been going strong all day.  If I feel this good and energized after one night,  I’m excited to see what will happen after a few weeks!

PiPlay

PiPlay 0.8 Beta 4 has so far been really good.  Only a few relatively minor bugs to fix.  I am going to push the update this weekend and a new image as well.  Be on the lookout for that.

Raspberry Pi Model B+

Last Monday the Raspberry Pi Foundation released the latest Pi board, the Model B+.  While the core hardware stays the same, the board includes 4 USB Ports, more GPIO pins, improved board layout, and a switch from SD Cards to Micro SD cards.  My board came in today, so I took some pictures of it.

IMG_4088 IMG_4089 IMG_4090 IMG_4091 IMG_4092

 

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Jul 12

Friday Post: PiPlay 0.8 Beta 4 Released!

Hello Everyone!!!!

The latest version of PiPlay is available to download!

Download - The image requires an 8GB SD Card

This release has been a huge amount of work, from multiple people whom I consider friends.  Artists, Testers, Family, Programmers, Designers.  I appreciate all the help that went into this.

From the Github stats: Excluding merges, 4 authors have pushed 46 commits to master and 47 commits to all branches. On master, there have been 221,966 additions and 54,318 deletions to the code.

New artwork was created just for this release.  The web frontend was overhauled. So much has been put into this.

Now the fun part.

Testing.  I’ve spent a lot of time testing this release, on as many joysticks, tvs, monitors, and devices I have available to me.  It looks good to me, but I expect there to be bugs.  I would appreciate any and all feedback about this release.  If you have any issues, comments, or suggestions, please tell me.

Updates:

  • Theme Support
  • DISPMANX
  • Cave Story reimplemented
  • Joystick Support
  • Latest version of Raspbian with Xin-Mo support
  • ZX Spectrum, Sega Master System, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Turbo Grafx 16, and Game Gear emulation have been added.
  • Tips & Tricks
    • MAME is not installed by default.  There is a tool in the menu to install MAME.
    • Press the K + S button on your keyboard at the same time for a listing of all backers.
    • To setup your controllers, keyboards, and joysticks, use the Controller Setup app.
    • Press tab (or the 2nd button on your joystick) to bring up the settings popup menu.
    • There are multiple themes available from the settings popup menu.
    • If you access the IP address of your Raspberry Pi from another computer, you will have see the Web Frontend which allows you to upload games files and manage your Pi.
  • Known Issues
    • Menu Speed – i know it can sometimes feel slow or sluggish.  We are working hard to optimize it.
    • Dual Shock Support – Limited dual shock support.  I had numerous issues with finicky controllers.  I am hoping to put official dual shock support in the next release.

Tips & Tricks

  • MAME is not installed by default.  There is a tool in the menu to install MAME.
  • Press the K + S button on your keyboard at the same time for a listing of all backers.
  • To setup your controllers, keyboards, and joysticks, use the Controller Setup app.
  • Press tab (or the 2nd button on your joystick) to bring up the settings popup menu.
  • There are multiple themes available from the settings popup menu.
  • If you access the IP address of your Raspberry Pi from another computer, you will have see the Web Frontend which allows you to upload games files and manage your Pi.

Known Issues

  • Menu Speed – i know it can sometimes feel slow or sluggish.  We are working hard to optimize it.
  • Dual Shock Support – Limited dual shock support.  I had numerous issues with finicky controllers.  I am hoping to put official dual shock support in the next release.

I am looking forward to all your feedback!

Have a great weekend!

-Shea