Turn a Tesla Into a Pokémon Go Machine

What happens when you pair up the most buzz-worthy car with the most viral game? You get a giant Pokémon Go car that looks awesome and will help you catch them all.

Pokémon  Go Tesla
Pokémon Go Tesla

A guy named Jeff, an editor for Pink Java Media enjoys playing Pokémon Go so much that he threw a little caution to the wind and poked around with his Tesla until he got it to install the popular game, making the most creative use I’ve seen out of the Tesla’s 14 inch display with GPS and a camera built in. “It’s not perfect,” Jeff said. “The Tesla’s display cuts off some of the game; I haven’t been able to fix that.” Probably more challenging is that the built-in camera the Tesla provides is a back-up camera, intended for assisting with, well, backing up. This, of course, means that Jeff must put the car in reverse in order to catch Pokémon.

How Did He Do It?
According to Pink Java, Jeff completed this feat with “a little bit of luck, some old-fashioned ingenuity, and an ethernet cable”, but that’s all the detail provided. I guess we’ll have to wait for him to document the process and just catch Pokémon with our phones like regular folk.

What is Pokémon Go?
Pink Java does a great job of summarising the game in their own article about Jeff’s adventure:

Pokemon GO is a smartphone game in which players chase and capture virtual creatures using geolocation. The phone’s camera makes it seem like these fanciful beasts are right there with the player in the real world, with different creatures appearing in different places.

When asked what Jeff had in mind next for his Tesla, he responded, “Tinder,” he said with a smile. “Going to see if I can swipe right with my turn signal.” I’d like to see how that works out. What would you like to see Jeff hack into his Tesla?

The Hottest Mobile Gaming Trends of 2013

Mobile gaming started off with humble beginnings, much like the original video game industry. For awhile, many people were stuck with nothing but Snake, which found its way onto Nokia cellphones for years, starting in 1998, according to CNN.

As smartphones took off, and app developers discovered how to get the most out of the hardware, many games started rearing their heads. The iPhone and iOS were particularly instrumental in helping the mobile gaming industry. After all, the homogenized hardware and operating system was a much easier pill for developers to swallow, compared to the disparate equipment offered by Android phones. Today, the mobile gaming industry is seeing games that would look right at home on the console, a game development app to help create your own mobile games, and even a 64-bit process to make everything run smoother.

64-Bit Processing

Apple’s recently released iPhone 5s features a 64-bit processor, the first of any consumer smartphone to do so. This hardware advancement opens up the way for higher-end gaming, due to better and more efficient processing on the CPU’s part. The Verge reports a 64-bit processor allows the smartphone to use more than 4 gigs of RAM, as well as improved operations handling. While most developers have not yet created games that take advantage of 64-bit architecture, it’s in the works.

Create Your Own Games

Over a gamer’s life, there comes a time when they think to themselves, “I could make a better game than this pile of garbage.” Now, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is. Geek Gamerz reports Napkin Game Studios is a game development app that facilitates the generation of mobile games in a few minutes, working off of templates, wizards and other tools. It’s an object editor that allows you to work with every item in your game, letting you tweak physics settings, and add in your own graphics. The level editor is also easy to use, with a drag-and-drop interface for creating challenging levels.

Battlefield 4-Integrated Second Screen

Many video game companies are beginning to see the benefits of second screen technology, but none are more useful than the techniques used by the Battlefield 4 download game uploading. Your smartphone or tablet is used as an essential part of the Commander mode feature, a game mode that allows you to have a complete overview of the battle map. You can look for enemies and attacks and track your squad through the app. This gives you an entirely new way to experience Battlefield 4 and gain domination over the map.

Infinity Blade

The Infinity Blade series is the pinnacle of mobile games that push the hardware’s limits. It looks right at home on an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, but it’s on your iPhone chugging along happily. The latest game in the series, Infinity Blade III, is one of the first games that utilizes the 64-bit iPhone 5S chip, and it shows. The graphics are gorgeous, the gameplay continues to be solid, and the story finally concludes with the end of this trilogy.

Hands On With The OUYA Open Source Gaming Console

At the risk of losing some of my geek cred, I must admit that I’m not a big gamer. I love to code and, well, there’s just not enough hours in the day. Still, I couldn’t help but get excited about the possibility of a sleek, small, open-sourced gaming console that runs on Android when I saw OUYA on Kickstarter. My pre-retail OUYA arrived on Friday, just in time for a weekend of testing.

OUYA Console

A Console For The People

Starting at $99 for the system and one controller, OUYA promised many things:
– Open Source
– Sleek, user-guided console and controller design
– Lots of games
– Developer support
– Change the gaming industry

Before my console arrived, some of the delivery was obvious. The OUYA team dedicated time to answering questions and working on valuable partnerships. Additionally, the controller design was guided, in part, by suggestions from the community. While the console was being built, OUYA held a contest in which developers submitted game prototypes and the community voted on their favorites. Though they were just prototypes, my review of the submitted games was the first time by excitement for this new console ebbed. Most of the games were not console-worthy and only a few stood out as ones I thought showed some promise. I reminded myself that these were prototypes from indie developers who had a short time frame to develop in and bottled up some of my apprehension.

As a funder in the Kickstarter campaign, one of the perks was getting the console before it hits store shelves in June. The closer June got, the more I wondered if it would ever arrive. Of course, I was in the last batch to be shipped, but it eventually turned up on my doorstep.

Unboxing And Setup

The unboxing of my OUYA has been bitter-sweet. The recipe for the worlds first open source gaming console seems to consist of excitement, anticipation, caution, a bit of doubt, disappointment, and frustration. Below is the unboxing video which includes some game play.

After getting everything out of the box, I headed for the setup instructions. A few simple instructions covered the basic – and I mean BASIC – setup: Plug things in, turn on, follow on-screen instructions. Great. Easy peezy, I thought, but then I looked at the controller. I had two AA batteries per controller, but no obvious battery panel, no screws to unscrew, and mostly no instructions. I took a chance and lightly tried to pry the top cover off of a controller. Sure enough, the left side popped off and there was a battery slot – for one battery. A quick check revealed the right side hiding a battery compartment as well. Where everything else was designed to be so simple and intuitive, I wondered by the battery installation had to be a puzzle.

Once I had everything plugged in and booted up, getting connected to the internet was just awful. The first time I tried, it connected and even downloaded updates. Then it immediately dropped my wireless connection. After several attempts to reconnect, I looked to the support site for help where I found that many others were experiencing the same connection problems. After trying suggestions to remove the case, factory reset, reboot my router, etc., I finally gave in and dragged a monitor and my OUYA upstairs to the wireless router and plugged it directly in. With just a little more prodding, the wireless magically started working again and has been fine throughout the house. Waiting months to play with this thing only to have to battle another hour or two to get it to work is certainly not ideal.

Features And Game Play

Let’s talk a little more about the features. For starters, this is a $99 console. I think the last time I spent this little on a console was when I got my Nintendo. More diminutive than the price is the console, itself. OUYA stands at 3x3x3 inches and packs in a Tegra3 quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8GB of internal flash storage, ethernet and wifi 802.11 b/g/n, and Bluetooth LE 4.0. It connects to your TV via HDMI with up to 1080p support, and also has a USB 2.0 and micro-USB port (for development). The controller is wireless and includes the familiar four surface buttons, two analog sticks, one d-pad, and two left and two right trigger buttons. At the top center of the controller is a touch pad to control an on-screen cursor.

Game play feels good and the controller is comfortable. The OUYA console is equipped with an internal fan but can still warm up some when in use. OUYA carries about 135 games, but I’ve only tried a handful based on what was featured or a “Staff Pick”. If the four games I’ve spent time with thus far, Final Fantasy III was my least favorite. After all the bragging about bringing a recognized title to this console, the game left me bored. Conversely, Chrono Blade – whose developers can also brag about their work on Grand Theft Auto – has been a non-stop action game with smooth play and combo moves that take me back to the first time I played Street Fighter. Honorable mentions go out to Beast Boxing Turbo and Flashout 3D for providing engaging game play and notable quality.

While I’m on the topic of quality, even Chrono Blade’s graphics – while the most impressive I saw on OUYA – couldn’t stop me from wondering if this $99 console will ever show signs of the level of graphics found on an XBOX 360 or PS3. While open source means virtually no barrier to entry for developers, it also means that most of the games currently available lack the production quality found in other consoles. Hopefully time will cure this. In the meantime, the silver lining to this cloud is that OUYA embraces share-ware style gaming. You can download any game (or a demo in some cases) and if you like it, you can buy it right from your system. If you don’t like it, simply delete it and try the next one. While other consoles offer an option to get games online, OUYA’s games are all online.

Open Source And The ODK

The OUYA runs on Android, which makes it easy to fulfill one of its key goals, to be open source. Typically, a game developer would need to spend five or six figures to develop for a Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo console. The cost to get started developing an OUYA game is $0. This is a double-edged sword for developers. On one hand, it means a ton of games and no walls keeping creative new developers out. On the other hand, there will be a lot of junk games to sift through to find the good ones.

I’m no game developer, but I have been wanting to take a stab at some Android development. Even though OUYA is designed as a game console, it has the potential for a lot more with the ability to create all forms of apps for it. Sadly, I’ll have to wait until OUYA fixes their ODK (OUYA Developer Kit) link so I can download it.

Early Conclusions

It’s still a bit early to be sure, but I think OUYA has a promising future, providing they can work out the kinks. The wireless connection problems were especially concerning. I