Author Topic: Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J) game "Ukko's Journey" preview video  (Read 1708 times)

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Offline mr_lou

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As you may or may not know, for the past 5 years I've been working on "8-bit Memoirs"; a Blu-ray Discmag'ish eBook about my childhood CPC days (and other computers).

The past 3 days I've taken a break from that project, to create this proof-of-concept project: Our old JavaME MIDP cellphone game "Ukko's Journey" (www.UkkosJourney.com) ported to JavaME BD-J to demonstrate that you can do homebrew games with Java - and run it on Playstation 3 + Playstation 4 + Xbox One from the same disc.

Here is a YouTube preview video of the game running on Playstation 3.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duZHBhJu-CA

Offline Skunkfish

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Re: Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J) game "Ukko's Journey" preview video
« Reply #1 on: 11:59, 02 February 17 »
Wow, that's really cool. I had no idea such things were possible!
Nothing to say for now

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J) game "Ukko's Journey" preview video
« Reply #2 on: 16:22, 02 February 17 »
This is interesting indeed :)


Is it my idea, or is the target box rather large?

Offline mr_lou

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Re: Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J) game "Ukko's Journey" preview video
« Reply #3 on: 17:37, 02 February 17 »
Is it my idea, or is the target box rather large?

I'm not sure what you're referring to here. You it's too easy to hit the birds? Probably. But the game is actually quite difficult. :-)

Offline ||C|-|E||

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Re: Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J) game "Ukko's Journey" preview video
« Reply #4 on: 18:09, 02 February 17 »
Very cool indeed! particularly because it is not so easy to get the rights to develop for these machines. However, with this approach it should be very feasible to create quite a lot of classic 2D games that could even have a common physical edition for all the consoles. Moreover, since you are not installing anything or messing with the operating system, it should be perfectly legal to distribute and run the software  :)

Offline mr_lou

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Re: Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J) game "Ukko's Journey" preview video
« Reply #5 on: 18:30, 02 February 17 »
Very cool indeed! particularly because it is not so easy to get the rights to develop for these machines. However, with this approach it should be very feasible to create quite a lot of classic 2D games that could even have a common physical edition for all the consoles. Moreover, since you are not installing anything or messing with the operating system, it should be perfectly legal to distribute and run the software  :)

That's exactly what I'm thinking myself.
It's perfect for retro-game homebrew development - and you get to target a lot of platforms with one ISO file:
  • Playstation 3 (getting 50 fps)
  • Playstation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Even standard blu-ray players (my Sony BDP-S1100 gives me 25 fps, and is surprisingly easy to control with a remote control. I did not expect this).
  • Any other device with a software media player that supports BD-J, meaning practically any PC. Runs great with PowerDVD, and partially with one of the VLC 3.0.0 nightly builds.
So yea, there's a big target-group of platforms. I don't understand why this isn't trending like crazy.  :)

And yes, I'm not doing anything the consoles weren't built for. Any Blu-ray player must run Java, as part of the specification. So I'm using it for precisely what it was made for. One can only wonder why no one else has ever explored this before.
EDIT: Well actually a lot of people has explored BD-J. It was trending a lot around 2007-2009, but for some reason the interest died. I don't get why.

And although there are of course limitation with JavaME, it's not like you can't do anything. Here's a list of things I'm currently doing with the BD-J version of Ukko's Journey:
  • Audio: Plays ingame music + sound-effects (you can find posts online claiming you can't have audio. That's not true).
  • Persistent storage: Remembers your settings between disc ejects
  • Controls: 11 buttons on the PS3/PS4 gamepad useable (haven't tested Xbox One yet)
  • Controls: Registers multiple buttons at the same time
  • WAN: Uploads/downloads highscores to/from UkkosJourney.com
  • LAN: Sends MIDP version to your phone via Wi-fi (yes, the disc turns into a small webserver)
I honestly can't spot anything I'm missing.
My only struggle at the moment is that I can't get network working on the PS3. It works fine on the PS4, and all other players I've tested on. So it's weird. But maybe I'll figure it out.
« Last Edit: 18:35, 02 February 17 by mr_lou »

Offline andycadley

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Re: Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J) game "Ukko's Journey" preview video
« Reply #6 on: 01:11, 03 February 17 »

BD-J basically died as any kind of platform for games for pretty much the same reason CDO etc did. To hit maximum market share, you have to assume the controller is an IR remote, which means clunky controls with no real "hold" functionality and epic amounts of lag. It might sort-of work for a games console, but then you're targeting really low-end games at high end consoles and the level of control still tends towards unpleasantly laggy for all but the simplest of games.

Offline mr_lou

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Re: Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J) game "Ukko's Journey" preview video
« Reply #7 on: 07:29, 03 February 17 »
BD-J basically died as any kind of platform for games for pretty much the same reason CDO etc did. To hit maximum market share, you have to assume the controller is an IR remote, which means clunky controls with no real "hold" functionality and epic amounts of lag. It might sort-of work for a games console, but then you're targeting really low-end games at high end consoles and the level of control still tends towards unpleasantly laggy for all but the simplest of games.

When I began this BD-J version of Ukko's Journey, I also did not expect it to be playable on a normal blu-ray player, partly because of speed and partly because I assumed it wouldn't be playable using a remote control.
I was wrong though. I'm getting 25 fps on my Sony BDP-S1100 and there is "hold" functionality with the remote control. It is true though, that when using a remote control, I can (obviously) only receive one button at a time. But this is also ok in the case of this particular game (where you need to either repeatedly press a key to pedal, or else hold down a key to auto-pedal).
My daughter constantly wants to play the game these days, and she always picks the remote control rather than the PS3 controller. Go figure.
But: I can definitely understand why people has no interest in targeting standard blu-ray players, and that's not what I'm doing either. I'm focusing on the homebrew communities on the modern gaming consoles for this proof-of-concept project. The success with standard blu-ray players was just an unexpected bonus.

Yes, it is kind of ironic (and also a bit funny) that my geeky interest for limited platforms leads me to the biggest gaming consoles on the market.  :)
But like our retro-computers, these modern consoles also have a community of homebrew developers. So far, these homebrew devs on the PS3 has gone through the trouble of jailbreaking their console in order to be able to put their own homebrew games on it. Surely someone willing to go through that much trouble, to be able to develop homebrew games for such a small target-group (only people with a jailbroken PS3), would also be interested in being able to target PS3 + PS4 + Xbox One + any PC + any future gaming console that features a blu-ray player. or UltraHD blu-ray player. All without needing to hack anything, and everything running everywhere using the exact same source / executable / disc.
Those are the advantages, and me like.
Yes, there are obvious limitations with BD-J compared with native code, but when looking at the Funky Fresh BD-J demo, it definitely seems capable enough for me to be able to do more than just "low-end games". My bar for defining low-end may be.... well... low though.

I've never liked how people declare a platform dead just because it stops evolving. By that definition, the CPC was stillborn, and never lived. All the 8-bit computers were declared dead too, but all I see is a rising interest in them.
Is the CPC dead now? I doubt anyone in here would think so.

"Dead platforms" is just a plus in my book. I love developing for "dead platforms" - because they never change. Whatever you make for any retro-computer will work forever. And whatever you make for BD-J will also work forever. But make something for Android or iOS or web... and it will stop working one day.

BD-J will be around for many many years to come. The new gaming consoles will feature Ultra HD blu-ray drives, which will be backward compatible with standard blu-ray players. So you're looking at a platform that'll stick around, and only get faster and faster. Dead or alive, doesn't matter. It'll stick around.

Logically, BD-J homebrew should be embraced by indie devs from all over.
« Last Edit: 09:18, 03 February 17 by mr_lou »

Offline PulkoMandy

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Re: Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J) game "Ukko's Journey" preview video
« Reply #8 on: 09:56, 03 February 17 »
Where de we buy the disk for this?  :D
Or can I just burn an ISO to a CD-R and it will work in by blueray player?

Offline mr_lou

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Re: Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J) game "Ukko's Journey" preview video
« Reply #9 on: 14:17, 03 February 17 »
Where do we buy the disk for this?  :D
Or can I just burn an ISO to a CD-R and it will work in my blu-ray player?

Well, it's not ready yet. Still working on it.

If there was an unexpected huge interest, I could use a socalled Disc on Demand service from where people could buy a copy. But I seriously doubt there'll be an interest big enough to go that way.

No we're just going to put the ISO up on UkkosJourney.com for free download.

To play the game you will then either need a software media player that supports BD-J, such as PowerDVD from Cyberlink. (I also got it running on one of the VLC 3.0.0. nightly builds from half a year ago, but it won't play on a newer version).
Or else you will need to burn the ISO onto a disc and play in your blu-ray player.

I have not tested if it works from a CD-R, but I doubt it.
A while back I did test if a blu-ray folder structure worked from a DVD though, and it actually did - but only on a very few players. My very old Sony BDV-E300 accepts a DVD as a blu-ray media, but my Sony BDP-S1100 does not. Most players requires a BD-R disc  and some are even picky about what brand. I've experienced a few players that refused to play Verbatim for example, but accepted discs from Prodye just fine. Rare cases though, but still.
I have recently ordered 3 other brands of discs just to do further testing.

I'm mostly testing BD-R discs though. But if anyone feels like testing on different kinds of CD's and DVD's, that could be cool too. Please post your test-results here. :-) Which brand and mediacode did you try, and on what player, and what were the result?  :)
(Of course you'll have to wait till we release it. Hopefully some time this month).
« Last Edit: 14:18, 03 February 17 by mr_lou »

Offline mr_lou

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Re: Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J) game "Ukko's Journey" preview video
« Reply #10 on: 21:22, 11 February 17 »
The game is in betatest now.

New preview video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bC5FV-2AY4

Offline mr_lou

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