Sunday, December 31

A fifth of New Yorkers poor

I don't usually talk about social matters here, but this article from Reuters caught my attention:


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Food or rent? That is the daily choice faced by about 1.2 million of New York's 8.2 million people.

Faced with that choice, mostly they pay rent and rely on emergency or charity food to survive, poverty activists say.

...

"It's a struggle," said 53-year-old Pierre Simmons, who has a part-time job, as he wrapped up a bagel from his soup kitchen lunch for later. "I have a job, but the cost of living is so high it makes it hard to buy food."

...

But, of all places in the United States, New York has perhaps the most visible income gap.

While the city's Wall Street bankers are due to collect nearly $24 billion in bonuses this year, more than one-fifth of New Yorkers are battling to make ends meet below the national poverty line of $10,000 a year for an individual.
Meanwhile, the rest of the (U.S.) online press talks about Saddam, terrorists, sports and the random 'policeman-gets-shot'. Getting ontopic with this blog, I don't know if I'd like to live in that country yet, even if they offer the higher-average salary for game programmers.

The same article can be read in Spanish here.

Saturday, December 30

Inquisitor - Spotlight for Safari


This plug-in is so cool I feel I must blog about it :)

Inquisitor is a Safari plug-in that displays realtime search results as you type in the searchbar. Once installed, it can be customized via Safari preferences dialog.

On one had, it gives some hints autocompleting the typed word
or phrase. On the other, displays the first results from Google or Yahoo.

Oh, yes. It's still a 'BETA'. But which software isn't today? :-\

Saturday, December 23

Song intro

Song intro sequence is now complete. I'm not an artist but I think I managed to capture the "Ouendan" spirit:



Wednesday, December 13

Christmas Compo WIP

Despues del 'spam' de Jove en el planet stratos ;) , aquí van algunas capturas work-in-progress de mi entrada para la Christmas Compo de Drunkencoders. He decido apuntarme para así tener un juego -aunque sea pequeño- hecho en Nintendo DS antes de comenzar con la implementación de Kana DS. Mirando las fotos no es difícil adivinar el juego que voy a malclonar xD. Como el límite de las ROMs caseras(sin meterse en sistemas de ficheros) es de 4MB, sólo meteré una canción.

Despues de un intensivo de dos dias el puente pasado, ya he sido capaz de dejar los planos del modo de video como yo queria, cargar imágenes, programarme un blitblt básico, un fundido a negro de paletas, y algunas rutinas esenciales más que necesitaba. Es lo bueno y malo de la libnds, que viene pelada. Pero así al menos sabes lo que haces en todo momento y aprovechas los recursos al máximo.







Lo próximo serán algunas animaciones de las ardillas y el pintado de círculos por Bresenham.

Saturday, December 9

This would never work in Spain

You are supposed to take the newspaper from the bag and leave the coins in the box. It probably exists in many other 'civilized' countries besides Austria, yet still a shocking concept for the average Paquito.

Thursday, December 7

Water trough for 1st class citizens

I like the way dogs were sometimes considered 1st class citizens in Vienna.

It was very common to find them on the bus, metro, and even restaurants and bars. No more excuses not to take your dog for a walk when you go out with friends for a bier. I laughed when I found a water trough for dogs in the queue for a rollercoaster in the Prater:

Cool, isn't it!? I will publish some other 'bizarro' posts about Vienna this month. It's funny I'm actually missing the cold... Alicante is way too hot :-/

Friday, November 24

Super-Tirititran en Mac OS X

Los chicos de Canino Studios lanzan hoy finalmente la versión para Mac OS X de Super-Tirititran:
Super-Tirititran es un video-juego en 2D Open Source con licencia Creative Commons al estilo de los clásicos juegos de naves. El juego está ambientado en Cádiz, ciudad donde nacieron los 3 integrantes de caninoStudios. Los escenarios, personajes y ambientación del juego son parte de esta ciudad.



Si la ciudad ficticia de Metrópolis tenía a Superman, ahora nace un nuevo superhéroe: "Super-Tirititran" que salvará a Cádiz de la tiranía del Profesor Bizcone.


En septiembre ví que el juego no tenia versión Mac, así que me puse en contacto con Javier Perez-programador de Canino Studios- para asesorarle en el proceso de portado a Mac OS X. A partir de hoy está disponible el resultado de todos los e-mails y consultas intercambiados : )

Non-spanish speakers: Game is only available in Spanish, but since the installation process and the dialogs are straightforward you should be able to give it a try as well. Game can be downloaded here, and is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X platforms.

Wednesday, November 15

Bizarre Adventures

Recommended anime of the month: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. Instead of trying to explain what the manga/anime is about, I will just post some stills from the second OAV series(which precedes the first one according to the story timeline), and say it rocks. Talking about the story, the characters and their powers would just make the story sound retarded-as with most manga- so just watch it :)




Finally: What happens when you watch too much of this? You start behaving like these otakus. They cry: "Ora! Ora! Ora!.... shineeee! (die!)". Next post will be related to Japanese culture as well.

Monday, November 13

Dylo 1.21

After 5 months of its original release, a new version of Dylo's Adventures is available. New features:

  • Improved graphics.
  • Save points during stages.
  • Easier control and tweaked overall difficulty.
  • Fully localized into English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Finnish and Italian.
  • And you know.. bugfixes, performance improvements, etc..

Available for Windows and Mac OS X (runs on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs). Ah, and let me say again that I just ported the game to Mac OS X, so all the credits should go to Juan Pablo Ferreyra from SouthWindsGames, Argentina.

Tuesday, October 31

Impresiones sobre el ArtFutura 2006

He aquí un brevísimo resumen sobre mis impresiones del ArtFutura 2006:

Moló:

  • La inauguración: visionado de A Scanner Darkly y aperitivo
  • La carpa de Sony
  • Los PC's de HP para probar los finalistas del Concurso de Videojuegos
  • El experimental arcade
  • El nivel de las conferencias y conferenciantes
  • La performance de UltimateVisualArtists en el Espacio Movistar
  • Y sobre todo, la gente : )
No moló:
  • Conexión inalámbrica a Internet algo inestable
  • El troll al final de la charla Games In Spain.. XD
  • La chica que no sabía japonés... y casi ni español
  • Los stands de Guitar Hero(PS2) estaban a un volumen demasiado alto
  • Las entregas de premios son muy tarde(de 19:00 a 20:00), y apenas dejan tiempo para ir a cenar luego y celebrarlo, ya que la mayoría de asistentes deben viajar muy temprano al día siguiente. Creo que un horario matutino para los premios sería lo suyo, no sé. Tendría menos glamour pero sería más práctico para los ganadores.
En la carpa de Sony se podía jugar a juegos de corte alternativo como Guitar Hero, Okami, Parappa the Rapper, Vib Ribbon, Shadow of the Colossus y Loco Roco entre otros


Ama de casa jugando al Popochi(Devilish Games)


Tambien era posible jugar a pasados ganadores
del IGF como Gish o Darwinia



Monday, October 30

Barcelona

Some pictures from my trip to Barcelona. This time I played around with the color tint slidebar in iPhoto for several shots. I will also upload more pics to Flicker soon.

PD: I will comment on ArtFutura '06 later tonight, or maybe tomorrow.. but to sum it up: It was great ;)







Monday, October 23

ArtFutura 2006

¡Me voy al ArtFutura! Tengo una de las codiciadas entradas para la inauguración :), con lo cual podré ver en primicia primiciosa la película A Scanner Darkly.


Estaré por Barcelona de míercoles por la noche a lunes por la mañana, así que habrá tiempo para reuniones, fiestas, turismo y quizá el Salón del Manga. Últimamente no paro, así que esta pausa me va a venir genial.. Adeu siau!

Sunday, October 15

Imperial Glory to be released for the Mac

I'm glad to discover that Imperial Glory, created by the spanish developer Pyro Studios (the one behind the Commandos series) is being ported and published for the Mac by Feral Interactive. Ther is a preview article on InsideMacGames. Release date and min. requirements have yet to be published.


click above to open the gallery

Feral Interactive offers a QuickTime trailer in both standard and iPod formats.

Saturday, October 7

V for Vendetta

Me compro el DVD de V de Vendetta por Amazon.co.uk(versión original), lo pongo a reproducir, y lo primero que me encuentro tras el logo de la Warner Bros. es un spot argumentando que "piratear películas" es igual que robar, que va en contra de la ley y que además está castigado. Todo en un tono bastante agresivo. Hace tiempo que ponen spots similares cuando vas al cine, y no sólo en España. Para una de las pocas veces que me gasto casi 10 euros en un jodido DVD, van y me vienen con esto..

Por cierto, he tenido que usar VLC para capturar las imágenes del comienzo del DVD, porque Apple deshabilita la captura cuando usas su visor de DVDs(otra colleja para ellos).

Ah, la película bien.

Wednesday, October 4

Flickr MiniCards by Moo

Today I received my 100 pack of Flickr MiniCards : ). It works like this:

1) Select pictures from your Flickr account
2) Type your contact info or whatever you want to be displayed on the back
3) Purchase. The 100 pack costs 19$ with free shipping 'til the 15th October


The minicards are nice because they are small, taking so little space in your wallet.

Sunday, October 1

Games I've been playing

When you develop games, it's always important to keep playing and trying out new titles. I recently played these games:

Fren-ze, by Hermit Games. Originally relased for the PlayStation 2 "Yaroze", this retro-styled vertical shoot'em up has only 4 levels, but at a 5$ tag, it's a good deal. So I bought it, and contacted the developer some weeks ago to discuss the possibility of a Mac port. I already sent a follow-up e-mail but still no answer..

fren-ze fren-ze


Defcon, by Introversion Software. It's a real-time strategy game in a thermonuclear war scenario, similar to those represented in films such as WarGames. The demo for Windows is already out, and the Mac and Linux versions are planned to come out sometime next month. I like the game but I won't buy it since it's a multiplayer-only game and I am already playing CS:Source and Warcraft III online. Anyways, Kudos to Introversion software for another fresh game.

Monday, September 25

Progress on Alpha One

Two screenshots showing the progress on Alpha One -my entry for the Shmup-dev contest. There are already 33 registered entries for the competition, and some of the early screenshots and concept art look amazing so I will keep my hopes down about winning anything :P



Friday, September 22

XBLA no es para nosotros

Tras el anuncio de Microsoft de que abriría las puertas del desarrollo amateur en XBox 360, muchos indies empezaron a hacerse pajas mentales sobre la posibilidad de publicar sus juegos en el Xbox Live! Arcade. Olvidáos de ello. Hace falta (mucho)dinero, recursos y contactos para colocar un juego en el portal de juegos casuales de Microsoft.

Joe Lieberman ya compartió su punto de vista al respecto hace tiempo desde su blog. Ahora, el presidente de Garage Games asegura que incluso un presupuesto de 100.000 dólares se queda corto para afrontar el desarrollo de un juego para XBLA. Por cierto, a ver cuando terminan el Torque Shader Engine.. que no sé cuantos años llevan ya en "beta".

A lo que íbamos. El dinero ahora está en el mercado "casual", y los grandes de la industria ya se han dado cuenta de ello. Sin embargo, eso sólo significa que cada vez será más difícil que juegos *realmente* independientes copen las listas de ventas de los grandes portales. Por ejemplo, PopCap Games. No tengo nada en contra de ellos, pero ahora mismo ya puedes jugar a Zuma en un PC, Mac, móvil, PDA o incluso en un iPod! Tienen un puesto bien visible en muchos portales, y ahora tambien en Steam y en la iTunes Music Store. Por fortuna, la gente de Valve parece estar dando un trato más equitativo a estudios independientes y a grandes desarrolladores. La entrada de Apple en el mercado casual ha pillado a los desarrolladores para Mac por sorpresa, y no están(estamos) nada contentos con la total desinformación al respecto.

En fin, desarrolladores indies, no os desaniméis, pero tened en cuenta siempre vuestros límites. Y el XBLA está, por ahora, fuera de alcance.

Thursday, September 21

Contests

Shmup-Dev, a site dedicated to "shoot 'em up" development, is now running their third competition labeled "Autofire 2007". I am planning to enter the compo with an horizontal shooter, using the PTK library, that will allow me to quickly port the game to Windows when I finished. I have started designing the player's jet fighter with Fireworks MX:


Are you a developer? Then you might be interested to enter the "1st University Open Source Contest", hosted by the University of Sevilla. Developers are encouraged to build open source applications belonging to any of the four categories proposed. The sign up process will end on the 13th October.

Monday, September 11

4 seasons in Vienna

So, it's been a whole year here in Vienna, and here is how my street looked like during the 4 seasons:


I will probably set up a gallery next week with what I may consider the best pictures of this year, including a high-resolution version of this one.

Bears

You can find the explanation to the following pictures here. I am not displaying the one for Austria because it was... ugly!






BTW, iPowerPod G5 tomorrow?

Wednesday, September 6

24" inches of love

OMG! OMFG! Ponies apart, Apple today released the biggest ever desktop machine, the 24" iMac. All the models now sport 1GB of RAM across the board, and the higher-end model lets you customize the graphics card as well. For Apple to introduce such a great product today, it only means that we can expect big things for the press event of next tuesday..

Unless the MacBook Pro gets a huge-and unlikely- price cut this month, I will be buying a 17 or 20 incher next month :P. Did I mention that a maxed-out 17" is now dirty cheap? Check out your national Education Store for discounts.

What's next

With only one week left to end my current job and resume my student life in Spain, I find myself dreaming about all the cool projects I could start now ^^. In the previous post I said I would go Linux soon, but that won't be the case anymore. My order for a Nokia 770 was cancelled because it turned out that the stated priced on the website of the seller "was wrong". At 220€, I just could not resist getting one. But now I don't think I'm paying the official price of 359€, especially when I am in the market for a new desktop and Apple is releasing new products next tuesday... yay!

So.. back to development, I'd like to make a "simple" game on my own, since the last projects were about "working for others". Looking at the revenue figures of some close independent games, I would not discard releasing my next game exclusively for the Mac... just to cut some development time and have fun reading angry comments of my PC-centric friends :). Chances are that I will end up working on some kind of 2D shooter..


Friday, August 25

3 semanas

Tres semanitas me quedan por aquí, ya que el dia 15 de Septiembre vuelvo a Alacant. La verdad es que ya hay ganas de volver a ver a la familia y amigos.

Por otro lado, finalmente me he decidido a aprender algo de japonés, motivado sobretodo por mi afición al manga/anime y los juegos. El blog de Kirai tambien tiene parte de culpa, ya que muestra que es posible vivir y trabajar en Japón si uno se lo propone. Esta entrada en concreto contiene multitud de enlaces interesantes sobre el país y el idioma. Por ahora ya he aprendido el silabario Hiragana, el Katakana, y una veintena de Kanjis.. sólo quedan 1900 más :P.

Por último, una sorpresa: me paso a Linux ;) . Bueno, sólo parcialmente en realidad ^^. Ya comentaré algo más la semana que viene.

Tuesday, August 1

Visit to Graz

The last weekend I visited a friend in Graz. It's the second biggest city in Austria and has a long tradition as a student city. Some firms related to the motor industry have offices and development centers in the city, such as DaimlerChrysler or Magna Steyr. Siemens and Infineon have also presence in Graz. As a result, most of the students are able to enrole in internships on some of these companies in the latest stages of their studies, such as my friend.

Now, as usual, some pictures taken during my trip:





Thursday, July 27

Interview with SouthWindsGames + Gizmo Project

Hace poco, Nae entrevistó a Juan Pablo Ferreyra(o Pogacha en los foros de Stratos) acerca de Dylo's Adventure, el juego que porté a Mac OS X. Por cierto, hay un pequeño comentario sobre Lemon Team :). Aprovecho para agradecer a Nae por invitarnos a la entrega de premios Desarrollador_es, aunque por desgracia no podremos asistir, debido a cuestiones de trabajo y/o lejanía.

Últimamente con los certámenes de ArtFutura, CampusParty y Desarrollador_es, a uno le dan ganas de ponerse a trabajar en algun proyecto propio. Aunque tengo algunas ideas en mente, por ahora tendrán que esperar :P

Sorry for not translating the information above, but it mainly links spanish sites. By the way, I recently discover Gizmo Project thanks to a friend(hi JoseLuís!). It's just another VoIP client. What makes it different?
  1. There are Win/Mac/Linux versions
  2. You can call landlines in some countries(such as Spain) for free!
Gizmo Project

Tuesday, July 25

Fresh!

I can't think of anything to say, so just enjoy some fresh pictures of Vienna:


Railway next to the Danube

Nightlife in Donauinsel

Museums Quartier

Friedensbrücke

Square in 2nd district