"I Hate Halloween” Now Available for Android & Kindle Fire Phones and Tablets | Dreams Come True

h8halloween eggzactly-mobileAlmost immediately after release, I was hit with the inevitable question game developers must face in this age of pocket computers: “Can I get it on my phone?” What was to be the start of a much craved respite morphed into yet another crazy code-a-thon as work began on the touchscreen version of “I Hate Halloween”.

I was worth it. Both myself and The Unpaid Intern immediately agreed that the touch version of “I Hate Halloween” was THE version to play. Holding the adorable, cartoon world in your hands on the frantic holiday battle to save your home’s new paint job was true treat!

Check it out now on Google Play for Android phones and tablets running version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later.

Here it is on Amazon's AppStore for all Kindle Fire Phones and Tablets except the original, 1st generation Fire.

Continue past the page jump for more on the formerly secret Project H8Hal saga!

Play My New Game: I Hate Halloween (v1.1 Update)

It’s Halloween and the Trick-or-Treaters are coming! They want candy and are prepared to egg your house if you cannot satisfy their demands. Defend your home on this endless night of arcade mischief!

Done! On time and under budget! Welcome to my second video game release, I Hate Halloween, an arcade adventure all about eggs and candy! No ‘alpha’; No ‘demo’. One and done. Have fun!

Looking for a stand-alone Windows version? Grab it here. I even wrapped it up in a shiny little installer this time as well.

Don’t feel like installing anything? I’ve created a web player version you can crank up right in your browser. This will require the installation of the Unity Web Player if you don’t already have it (the game page has a link to it). If you still see a grey box after the Web Player has been installed, check for an icon at the top of your browser to unblock the plug-in (Chrome is notorious about blocking plugins and only showing a little icon). If you get a black screen after after all that, just reload the page.

A few other caveats about the web version: The resolution options in the setup screen are only applicable once you switch to fullscreen. The quit button doesn’t do anything because you can’t force close a browser tab from Unity. I also had a few crashes when pushing the graphics quality up past “Good”. Might have been a fluke (I’m stupidly using a beta version of Unity right now), but heads up. Still, the web player version is the full game and runs pretty darn well.

Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s a treat!

I Hate Halloween

Download for Windows (EXE)Download for WIndows (ZIP)Run Web Edition

for mobile versions, please visit this post.

Feeling nostalgic enough to go play my first game again? You can grab Break Out Your Dead here.

Update: I Hate Halloween has been updated to version 1.1 on 10/13/2014. All of the above links are still correct and functional. Changes/fixes from the original version include:

  • First time startup black screen fixed
  • Rare chance of double knockdown fixed
  • Score now counts up by 10 rather than 1 due to late game high combos
  • New company name! Welcome GUO’s game publishing arm GrandPopGames!
  • Twitter integration! Tweet your latest scores!

5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Freely Downloadable from Wizards of the Coast

Man, can you believe I almost typed “from TSR". Gettin’ old does stuff like that.

The new 5th edition of the legendary role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (DnD) is here. Curious as to what’s in it without popping $50 on one of those beautiful, new rulebooks? Boy, are you in luck! Publisher Wizards of the Coast has made the basic rules for the new system available to anyone with an internet connection and a case of curiosity.

The free PDF version of DnD 5 weighs in at 115 pages and contains all the goodies you need to get going: 20 levels of advancement, four classes with subclasses, four races, and 120 spells. And that’s before you include the free, basic edition of the Dungeon Master’s guide!

So why has WotC decided to release a free e-book version of their rules for gratis? Julian Murdoch of Gamers With Jobs interviewed lead designer Mike Mearls and came back with the answer in GWJ Conference Call #409. Mearls citied both the video game free-to-play business model and the buying habits of decades-old DnD groups as primary reasons. New players expect to get the first taste on the house. As for existing players, we all know that there’s usually only one or two members of any given gaming group who buys the books for everyone to use anyway. Wizards could either go with the flow or fight the winds of change.

Will this new free-to-play model be as successful for a book publisher as it was for MMO and mobile game developers? I guess we’ll see when the 6th edition of DnD is ready for release. In the meantime, Wizards seems genuine about supporting ‘freepers’. Shortly after the release of the DnD 5’s first major adventure, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, an online supplement was made available to ensure compatible with the free editions of the rulebooks. Additionally, WotC is expecting the PDF basic editions to be continuously updated with more information and player suggested rule changes until December of 2014.

Check out all the latest happenings in the world of Dungeons and Dragons at dnd.wizards.com.

Behind the Blog: October 2, 2014–DNF DfD

Gah! Another B-the-B not posted on the first of the month! At least I got the picture back on it this time. Funny the little things that bother you…

I figured I’d drop another little correspondence here since I said I’d have my new game, Project DfD, done in a couple weeks. Well, that didn’t happen. And it probably won’t be done for a while. Don’t panic! It’s for the best of reasons. The game is coming along well. Here’s a screenshot to prove it:

October is a big month on the homestead. It’s the last gasp of peace before plunging into The Holidays where I am forced to engage in horrific activities such as Moving and Conversing *shudder* Almost as bad are all those blasted decorations that need to be setup, maintained (The Mrs. likes to go BIG on Halloween), packed up, and swapped out for next month’s décor. Adding anger to insanity, we took a nasty lightning strike here last week. Let’s just say I’ve been taking apart a lot more than the dryer (Sadly, our server is still out of commission as I write this).

…And none of this has to do with why DfD is gonna be late. You can have that last tangent, on the houseWinking smile

Besides marking the begining of a season of interruptions, October was also my original, self-imposed deadline for Brick Dead. Obviously, I ended up getting BD out, at least in some form, way ahead of that random due date. Still, I thought about sprucing up the ol’ gal for Halloween. I was kicking ideas about a Halloween themed edition around in my head when it dawned on me that I could just make a new game instead. The problem: Starting from scratch with six weeks to Halloween. I’ve got some chops for this kind of stuff now-a-days, but that’s a tight squeeze for a noob.

So how’s Project Halloween going? I dreamed up a concept and knocked out a prototype in two days. I’ve produced more art in a week than I’ve ever used in a project before. The result? Not done yet, but things look really good. I’m definitely in the home stretch. Of course, this is the point where one little thing can drop the whole Jenga tower of code down on your head, but… I’m optimistic.

And just what is Project Halloween? I’m gonna keep most of that under my hat for now. It’s an arcade style game and its actually about Halloween, as opposed to a scary game. I believe it fits the sarcastic-yet-loving, family-friendly attitude of GUO quite well. Just between you, me, and the NSA, it was nice to get away from the grim scheming of DfD and work on something with a happier theme for a bit.

As for plans past that… I dunno. Definitely need to get caught up with stuff around the homefront. Gonna dust of and update GUO’s annual pumpkin post. Probably take a couple weeks off from coding to let the carpal tunnel settle down (although I feel the overuse of the mousewheel button from Unity and Blender a whole lot more than typing these days). Oh, and Star Trek Online! I think they’ve got a new expansion coming out this month! It’ll be nice to chow down on that slice of comfort gaming for a while.

So that’s me and mine sending our love out to you and yours. Thanks for reading.

So I Took My Clothes Dryer Apart…

Ever wonder what it looks like on the inside of a clothes dryer? Probably not, otherwise you would have dug up some pictures on the ‘Net by now. Anyway, since you came all this way to my little corner of the web, why not sit a spell and check out what I found when I took my LG DLE2514w dryer apart?

photo 2

As you can see, there isn’t much to the average clothes dryer once you get the front panel off and remove the large drum that holds the laundry.

On the left you’ll see the motor that both turns the drum and rotates the exhaust fan. The metal box on the right contains the heater core. Bolted on to the side of the heater is a thermostat to shut off the heater if it gets too hot and an emergency fuse that blows at a designated temperature should the thermostat fail to do its job (Which just happened to be the problem that led me to take this thing apart in the first  place).

So, there ya go. This is one major appliance that is unworthy of its intimidating looks (Or outrageous repair costs!). The whole thing came apart with a philips-head screwdriver and can be tested with even the crappiest of multimeters.

Testing the thermostat was quite amusing. While it initially looked fine, it turned out that it wasn’t switching off at the right temp. This was tested by throwing it on the stove in a frying pan and monitoring it’s temperature with a meat thermometer to see how hot it would get before breaking the circuit. You can monitor the thermostat to see if the connection is open or closed using a multimeter on its terminals, but mine also switched off with a loud “CLACK!” that caused me to jump out of my skin the first time it happened. Under these conditions, my defective thermostat switched off at about 210 degrees, well above the thermal threshold of 125 degrees listed on the wiring diagram sticker posted inside the dryer.

How much did this repair cost? $15 for the thermostat and $10 for a new fuse (+$10 for the first fuse I bought because the thermostat seemed okay and another $8 for a new multimeter ‘cause I couldn’t find mine until the day after I ordered a new one). I used these guys and got the new parts in about three days. Sears Parts Direct is a great place to check for part numbers and diagrams, but once you have that info, there’s usually a better deal to be found elsewhere.

Benny Hill Banjo

GontiiWisdom of teh Internetz: If you find something awesome, it doesn’t matter how you got there. – The Book of WebSurfer, Chapter 1, verse 01.

With this in mind, GUO is proud to present Banjo Hangout’s own Gontii performing Yakety Sax (aka. The Benny Hill Theme).

Note: If the HTML5 embeded music player below doesn’t show for you, try this link. Also note that this track is a bit on the loud side..

Check out more from Gontii and many others, all for free, over at BanjoHangout.org. I mean, they’re having a drawing to win an electric banjo for cryin’ out loud! How could you not visit?

Also, there’s such a thing as an electric banjo!

drawing210prize

Amazon Instant Video Finally Comes to Android Devices

Kirk on another Amazon

For the past few years the charter members of Big Data have been in a war with each other as to which one will own your digital life. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon have been rolling out new hardware and online services with one goal in mind: Trap you in their little kingdom and sell every facet of your unique snowflake to the highest bidding advertiser. Schemes have ranged from globally tracking Like buttons, to iFruit-styled exclusivity, to a Googol of ‘free’ services designed to make you the product, not the consumer.

One sticky wicket in the GUO household has been Amazon Prime’s Instant Video service. While it has been available for some time on personal computers and iOS, Amazon has steadfastly refused to port the service to Android-based devices other than their own Fire series. Until now.

Amazon’s annual subscription service, Amazon Prime, offers members several perks such as two day shipping with no minimum, access to premium e-books, music, and movies. At $100 a year (or $8 a month, if you’re having trouble justifying it), it’s not a half-bad deal. And that deal just got a bit more appealing to those wielding Google’s little information syphoning cell phones.

There is, of course, a catch. the Amazon Instant Video app isn’t available through Android’s stock Google Play store. You will need to install Amazon’s App Store or the latest version of the Amazon app for Android. Upon locating a video inside the Amazon app that is available for Prime Instant Video (I believe most of the Star Trek library should get you there), you’ll be prompted to install the video playing application.

Homemade Rabbit Poop-Powered Flamethrower!

poopthrower

We’re all for reusing and repurposing over here at GUO, and if we can light up the sky doing so… Well, so much the better!

In the beginning, there was the Poop Tank. Today, there’s the flaming poopthrower. National Geographic went out to film Nick as he constructed his latest experiment in home defense. The video below covers everything from concept to explosive result.

*Warning: Video contains mild use of profanity. And crazy people.

The History of the X Button

Twitter’s @drakfyre, host of YouTube’s Cooking with Unity, posted a link to an article I know a few of my fellow geeks here would be just as intrigued with as I was. Columnist Lauren Archer at medium.com went in search of the origins of the now ubiquitous X button used to close windows in GUI (Graphical User Interface) centric operating systems all over the computing world.

While I won’t ruin the story here, I will say that things really get interesting when Daniel Oran, creator of the Start button and Taskbar for Windows 95, jumps into the investigation with some very interesting insights and very old screenshots.

More than a lesson in UI anthropology, this article features a treasure trove of screens from the OSs of yesteryear. Except one. Allow me to rectify this grievous oversight with a brief screenshot. Ladies and gentlemen, Geos: the GUI OS for one of the greatest computer platforms of all time, the Commodore 64.

Alright, now get on over to medium and check out X to Close: The origins of the use of [x] in UI design.

Behind the Blog: September 12, 2014–Still Alive

I__m_not_dead_yet_by_stinkywigfiddleMan, you know I’ve been away for a while when The Intern decides to kick in an article Winking smile

Things have been pretty dramatic of late here on the GUO homefront. The Mrs. has left the lucrative, yet shrinking (i.e. being outsourced), world of server administration for the much less lucrative, yet more rewarding, world of high school math teachers. Fun fact: She couldn’t be happier about the decision.

As for myself, I’ve been spending the time since we last talked engrossed in writing a new video game. I have been making little experiments off and on since putting The Brick Dead Project on hiatus, but this has been the first time that I’ve really run away with a new game idea. Unfortunately, this means that all my free time to create has gone into this little digital toy rather than posting on this here website. I’ve actually had several great ideas and stories for posts, but there just isn’t enough drive left in this ol’ body to pursue both creative outlets at the moment.

Also, the laundry dryer just broke, so I’ve been taking that apart this week. Couldn’t be going worse, thanks for asking Winking smile.

Anyway, GUO certainly isn’t going anywhere. In fact, I just cut our domain registrar yet another check to ensure that fact. Using our Amazon links when you go shopping helps. Thank you! It’s always over there in the sidebar if you need it again.

Speaking of sidebar, we have a variety of subscription options over there in case you don’t feel like checking the site directly just to find out I still haven’t posted anything. Still, I will make more of an effort to get something up here at least once a week.

Just to jump back a bit and make this post more disjointed than a zombie in a taffy factory, let me re-mention my current artistic obsession, Project DfD. It’s an indirect control RTS where you play the arms dealer supplying both sides in a war. I figure I’m still a couple weeks away (At least!) from a full alpha build (minus content and some art). Here’s a screenshot from the work-in-progress taken about a week and a half ago:

Unity 2014-09-02 13-38-14-86

Its definitely fun and playable. I hope. Economy and espionage still need a good bit of number tweaking, with it pretty much works as intended. Balancing strategy games is a b*tch!

If there is any interest in playing incremental builds while I work on it, please let me know in the comments or shoot an email over to anyone@GrowingUpOtaku.com. It wouldn’t take much to put a stand-alone build together and get it posted for download and, goodness knows, any kind of input would probably help.

Well, that pretty much gets us caught up. Always remember that love is cheap and easy to mass produce, so give away as much as possible. We love you!

Thanks for reading.

PS. Seriously, living on a public school teacher’s salary now. So…->Amazon links Winking smile