ouyadrak

Kingdom of Drakkar on the Ouya

Kingdom of Drakkar on the Ouya.

First off, what is the Ouya?

A little history: Ouya was crowfunded on Kickstarter.  It was looking for a funding of $950,000.00 USD.  It had that and then some within it’s 1st week.  By the end of the campaign it had raised over $8 Million.  They recently procured an additional $15 Million.

The system: The Ouya was touted to be the next big home gaming console system.  According to the makers it is going to replace the PlayStations and the Xboxes.  What it offers is an Android based gaming system (much like your cell phones).  It can attach to your television and let’s you play games.

Yeah, there is much more to it; and I’ll do an in depth post a bit later, but that above is the Ouya at it’s very basic.  Now on to the point of this article…

 

Kingdom of Drakkar on the Ouya

Can it be done?  YES!

You are not going to find the game on the Ouya’s app store.  Well.. not yet.  Right now this is considered a 3rd party app.  Please read this article first before you go to the link I’m about to provide.  I’ll step you through how it’s done and how to set it up to play.

The download can be found here:

http://www.drakkarzone.com/downloads/DrakkarLobbyAirCaptive.apk

Since the Android does not utilize flash all that well; the designer added the necessary component into the build itself.

One you have your Ouya set up and connected; navigate from the Home screen like this:

Home – Make > Software > Browser

Once at the browser hit the url I provided above.

It will begin to download automatically.  This is the part that will make you think it’s not working, but trust me it is..  There is nothing that indicates a status bar that it’s actually downloading.  When it begins to download it flashes up so fast that if you blink you will miss it.

However, you can go back to the Home screen and do this:

Home – Manage > System > Advanced toggle down to Storage and click on Downloads, it will be in Blue.  Once in there you will see that the Drakkar apk is downloading.  Walk away for a moment, go pee, grab a drink, whatever.  When it’s done, click it and it will begin to unpack itself and install.

Once installed, just click Open.

installedAlso, once it has been installed any time you want to play Kingdom of Drakkar you will need to navigate:

Home – Make > Software > Kingdom of Drakkar

Okay, now you have it installed, and you have started it up.  It’s going to auto update new graphics and then you’ll be ready to log in, except the Ouya controller won’t work.  I mean the controller works, but not with Drakkar (at least not yet that I can figure out).  Well.. actually, that’s a lie.  Sortav.  The controller sortav works with Drakkar.  The controller has a “scroll” area just below the lights that will allow you to scroll a mouse pointer around, but so far I’ve been unable to “trigger” the controller to bring up a keyboard box.  That’s what I’ve opted to use a usb keyboard and mouse.

updatingGrab your USB keyboard and plug it in.  For existing players enter in your Username and Password, using the Tab key to move between fields.  I could not get the enter button to actually get the Login button to go so..

Grab your USB mouse and unplug the keyboard and plug in the mouse (the Ouya only has 1 USB port – but I’m going to grab a multi USB port adapter and see if that works – I’ll update this once I’ve verified this either way).  I also discovered that you can click a text field with the mouse and from there you can use the Ouya to enter text via the mini-keyboard that pops up.  (as an aside, you can actually use your mouse to control almost every aspect of the Ouya).  **EDIT** I grabbed a multi-usb (actually has 4 usb ports) and plugged in both the mouse and keyboard and they both work flawlessly.

enterinfoClick Login and you should now find yourself in the lobby.

For new users it may be better initially to go to http://www.kingdomofdrakkar.com ; downloading the game onto your PC and creating a new account that way first.

Here’s the cool part of Kingdom of Drakkar:  You can play the SAME account on both your PC as well as on your Android (in our case it’s the Ouya).  Yes, the PC version has more features than the Android, but it still logs into the same servers with your same account and characters.

inlobbyOkay, back to the lobby.  Once there you can click on the text field (next to the SEND button) and a mini-keyboard will pop up allowing you to enter text in.  I used the mouse to enter some test text, clicked Send and it showed up in the main lobby chat, no problem.

I then clicked on Play and created a new character  (you can choose an existing character if you have one).  Once the character is created just click it to enter the game and play.

The only issue I’ve found is that Drakkar seems to be just a touch larger than the screen itself displays.  There could be a setting somewhere to toggle the screen size, but I’ve not found it yet.**SEE EDIT BELOW FOR SOLUTION**

ingameThat’s it, you should now be able to play Kingdom of Drakkar on your Ouya!

A couple of things explained:

I’ve found a couple of things help make Drakkar a bit easier to navigate.

On the login screen, click the box that says: Remember Password.  That will make it so that you don’t have to enter your password in each and every time.

Once in the lobby open your Options button.

Click on the Auto Login box.  This will make it so that when you click on the Drakkar icon in the Software tab, it will automatically log you into the lobby.

Run in Background is more used for the Android Phone; let’s say you are playing the game and you get a call; this would prevent the program from closing as it would, well, run in the background.

Small Creature Boxes simply makes the creature boxes in the game itself smaller.

Sound Enabled turns on sound.  Some people like the sound effects and music, others don’t.  I like it, so mine is one.

Note: You will need to click your selections and click Close then exit the game and log back in for these to take effect.

And that’s the basics folks on how to get your Ouya to run Kingdom of Drakkar.

 

**EDIT ON SCREEN SIZE SOLUTION**  After doing some research, I discovered that it was the television itself that was causing the overscan.  I had it set to a 16:9 ratio; and a quick change to Fit Screen in my menu settings (on the tv itself) made everything fit perfectly.

Check out the photos:

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Photo above shows the lobby at full screen.  Everything is crisp and sharp.  Look at those players, now forever embedded in this photo!

resize2

This one shows an in game screen-shot.  Just like the lobby, this one is fitting in the screen and everything is sharp and crisp.

resize3

Another shot of the lobby; this time with the character select panel open.  The newest problem is that it appears that the bottom of the text is cut off a little.  I don’t think this is an issue of the Ouya itself; it may be how the actual text is displayed for mobile devices (and let’s face it.. that is what the Ouya is).  I have a feeling it’s a simple fix on the developer end; perhaps just nudging the text up by about 7 pixels or so.

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Now You See Me – A Review

Magic.  That’s not exactly what this movie is all about, but yet, it is.  It’s all about misdirection.  It’s a mystery; a real whodunit.

I realize that Now You See Me has been out for a couple of week, but it’s one that I’ve been meaning to watch.  I went to visit my friends up at my local movie box and plopped down to be entertained.

Another part of why it took me so long to get in to see it was the basic question that I had about it.  Was it “real magic” (like what you would see in a Harry Potter movie) or was it “sleight of hand / illusion magic” (like what you would see at a Las Vegas show).

I’ll go ahead and spoil that for you now; it’s sleight of hand and illusion.  Oh hey, don’t get me wrong, I love watching magic shows just like the next guy.  I’m the kind of person who likes to figure out how they do those tricks.  But yeah, that’s why I hesitated to see Now You See Me.  I just didn’t know what kind of movie to expect.  Sounds strange I know.

Overall I did have fun watching it.  It was clever, witty, fun, and didn’t leave me walking out feeling like I just wasted my time.  I am convinced that I should have seen this one when it first came out.

The only element that I could complain about was the use of CGI in the magic tricks.  I understand why they did; but it would have given the movie a much more real feel (not to mention it would have made the magic that much more impactful) if the special effects were shot practically.  I’m going to spoil one scene where this is a prime example; they flip a large purple sheet and it swirls all around the stage as if it is whipping in the wind, then it drops and a large stage prop appears under where the sheet was swirling.  The sheet was entirely CGI.  They really could have executed that better by using a real sheet with real movements.  Stuff like that; the CGI wasn’t over-used by any means, but when it was, I just felt they could have shot it practically to pull off a more convincing spot of magic.

The prevailing theme is; The closer you look, the less you see.  And that certainly rings true.  As I mentioned above, this is a whodunit film.  It’s a great mystery movie on its own merit.  They harder you try to figure it out, the harder it will be for you to see what’s actually going on.

Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Melanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Michael Kelly top off this all star cast; and it delivers fun, mystery, and more fun.  Go see it this weekend on the big screen.  You’ll be glad you did.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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World War Z – A Review

Hi.  My name is Brian and I like zombies.

I also run some of the biggest zombie websites in the world.  Well, okay, maybe not the biggest, but they do have their place on the web.  You may have heard of a couple of them; www.ZombieMall.com and www.ZombieUniversity.net ?  No?  Well.. crap.  That’s okay, I’m still trying to work on infecting the world with their presence.  I digress..

When a movie about zombies hits the theaters, it is simply my obligation to go watch.

World War Z is based on the Max Brooks book of the same name.  Yeah, I’ve read that too.  When I first heard that the book was being turned into a movie, my first thought was “huh?  how??!”

Those that have read the book know that it is more of an interview, a diary or journal if you will, of people who have survived the zombie apocalypse and are getting their story set down (for the record).

The movie was going to star Brad Pitt.  The book didn’t really have a main character, and Pitt is such a big name.  He reportedly paid $1million to Brooks for the rights to make it into a movie.  Pitt was also a producer of the movie, and of course is the main star as well.  So yeah, he’s kindav a big deal.   Surely he is not going to limit himself to just one segment?

Ahhh.. I was starting to be one of the “Oh Ye of Little Faith”.

The movie changes things up a fair amount from the book.  And that’s where a lot of reviews are going to get all negative.  I’m not.  I’m not even going to throw a fit like others have about Damon Lindelof being brought in to “fix” the ending.  I still can’t believe that people continue to give him grief over Prometheus (I for one loved it, but I digress).  He had a hand in the script for Star Trek Into Darkness as well. Though I will certainly admit that there is a very coherent change of pace about 2/3rds of the way into the film.  It is action, action, slow-down.   Which is not necessarily a bad thing.  It allows for the story to catch up with itself.  Let’s also not forget that Drew Goddard also helped with this movie’s script.

While World War Z moves a good ways away from the book, there are several Easter Eggs from the book for you to find, but blink and you will certainly miss some of them.

The zombies are actually referred to as.. well.. “zombies”.  I think that awesome!  So many zombie flicks shy away from that word, but this one embraces it.  Though I will admit that it did not appear that too many people had much zombie training.  Many people get munched, mountains of undead are made and they run fast.  Wait, let me rephrase.. they are Speed Demons!

Their origin …….  Oh, no, I’m not going to spoil that for you (that’s the McGuffin of the film).

The reviews on this movie are VERY mixed.  I’m among the ones that liked it.  It was fun, and if anything it certainly satisfied my itch for zombies until The Walking Dead returns this October.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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BIG D&D News: NeverWinter MMORPG and more!

Do you like to play WoW?  That’s World of Warcraft (just in case you’re a gamer that’s been trapped in a dragon’s lair for the past several years).

Did you enjoy the hell out of NeverWinter Nights or it’s sequel?  I for one spent countless hours in their tool creations making up all kinds of quests.

Well.. Today Wizards of the Coast has released NeverWinter the MMORPG.  The graphics are AMAZING and the game play is phenomenal!  The best part… it’s totally FREE to play!  Yep, FR to the quadruple EEEE!  FREEEEEEEEEEE!

You can register for an account here:  NeverWinter MMORPG .  There is a video you can watch (it’s not very cinematic, but it does show off the graphics).

In other D&D News…

Wizards of the Coast also released earlier this week, for the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC a download for Dungeons and Dragons called Chronicles of Mystara.  It’s from Capcom and allows up to four players to battle against various denizens from the Dungeons and Dragons universe.

The Press release is listed here:

Wizards of the Coast is celebrating two new digital releases this week: Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara, which released on June 18th, and today’s launch of the critically-acclaimed Neverwinter MMORPG.  These releases are just two of several exciting Dungeons & Dragons digital games scheduled for release in 2013.

Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara from Capcom features up to four players battling against mythical beasts from the D&D universe with a mix of melee, range and magic attacks. The game is available as a digital download on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC.

Neverwinter is an action RPG set in an immersive massively multiplayer world that lets players explore and defend one of the most beloved cities in the Forgotten Realms. The MMORPG is free-to-play and can be downloaded at http://nw.perfectworld.com/.

The release of Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara and Neverwinter join many other partnerships and digital releases in the works, establishing D&D as a major force in the digital space. Other upcoming releases include Arena of War, a mobile game for Android, iPhone and iPad devices from DeNA available later this year; Shadowfell Conspiracy, the second expansion pack to the Dungeons & Dragons Online MMORPG releasing on August 19; the upcoming release of Baldur’s Gate on Android followed by Baldur’s Gate II Enhanced Edition; and a yet-to-be-announced game from Playdek.

Be on the lookout for additional announcements highlighting D&D’s expressions across the digital space!

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Sup.. er.. Man Of Steel – My Private Thoughts

Does Man of Steel really need a review?  Nah, so I’m not going to bore you with how good it is; just go see it.

Instead, I want to blather on for a moment about Hope, I want to share with you a couple of my private thoughts (if you care).

I would think that most boys hope to grow up to be strong men, I know I had those hopes.

I would think that most men hope to be strong leaders, I know I continue to strive for that quality.

I would also like to think that most men hope to be a hero to at least one person.

For me, when growing up, Superman was always my favorite comic-book hero.  As I went from kid to adult, as childish as it may sound, I always wanted to be Superman.  I’ve owned the familiar blue shirt with the ‘S’ logo on it in since I was small.  While the shirt never altered my physical form, when I put it on it did change (if ever so slight) how I view things.  I wanted to be the bigger person, I wanted to be the one that could save the day.

As a father, I always had hope that my son would see me as his Superman.

But that hope has been misplaced and I only realize that now for the first time.  Instead of my desire for my son to see me as his Superman, I hold hope that he will become his own Superman.  It is my job to provide to him that hope, to encourage him, to lift him up so he can indeed be a super man.

 

That is the meat of what I took from watching Man of Steel.  It’s about fathers doing what they can to provide for their children.  It’s about the sacrifice a father MUST make in order to provide strength to their children.  It’s about providing hope.

The movie touched me on a very personal level.  Sure you might could see me as a weak person for getting all gushy about a silly movie, but sometimes we all need reminders of who we are and what we are here to do.  Sometimes it takes something like a silly movie to remind us.

I could nit-pick a few elements of this movie; but I won’t.  I had a fun time watching it.  I had a great time absorbing the personal message that I got out of it.

This Father’s Day weekend, let your kids know that they are your super hero.  Hug them, love them, and provide to them hope.

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