Finally received my Kickstarter Ouya in the mail. Since I ordered multiple controllers, it was one of the very last to ship from the factory. (I’m certainly not bitter about this fact.) I set the system up and played around with it a bit before looking into how the development process works with the console.
A quick glance around the internet sent me to devs.ouya.tv, and I started the process of converting my regular Ouya account into a dev account, which was pretty straightforward. The dev account allows the user to do things like publish games and take advantage of in-app purchases. I didn’t think everything would work out quite that easily. The only issue is that they store your bank account/routing number to so the user can take advantage of the paid features. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet, but we’ll see how it goes.
Tall documentation is a concern. After pounding away at trying to make things work for longer than I would like to reveal, I headed over to the Ouya Dev Forums to see how others solved this problem. Thankfully, I found this post by AlexiHusky that holds your hand the entire way until your dev environment works. Of course, I was one of the few users for which this process didn’t work and had to further search through threads looking for slight tweaks that will make the system work as planned. This process took so long that I had to come back the next day and finish it up. The next step was to install the ODK (Ouya Development Kit) and get a base app example running. Downloading the ODK is simple, and holy crap, they even have documentation that is supposed to help a user get their environment setup. If you’re using a Mac the instructions are fantastic and really helpful, but Windows users on the other hand get the short end of the stick as far as good instructions go.
The good news is that I finally got the Ouya to talk to my dev machine and run a sample program from Eclipse. The bad news is that the system is not listed in set of devices hooked up to the system when you check adb, and it’s listed in my device manager as a Samsung phone. Clearly, the system works very well and there are no problems. (Oh sorry, did I let my sarcasm run rampant again?)
Overall, the process for getting my stuff setup is far far from perfect. The Ouya team needs to get serious about supporting Windows development easily if they want make waves in the game industry. Even with the colossal hassle that this setup process has been I still have a lot of hope that Ouya will take off and be the little console that could. The only real thing holding them back is the lack of truly AAA content for their device. I’m glad it launched with a crap ton of titles, 136 as of the writing of this article, but many leave much to be desired in terms of game play or even bug count for that matter. Here’s hoping they will garner some attention from bigger name developers (and have better developer support).
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Just wanted to provide a quick snippet on a development that occurred on literally the same day that the post was originally written (6/11). Ouya updated their ODK to version 1.0.5 and, arguably more important, they updated the install docs on their website. Everything is much more detailed and hand-holdy for Windows peeps looking to get started with Ouya development. I only ended up noticing this when my other dev friend asked me to help him set up his system, and the process was just about effortless. I’m glad that the Ouya devs are actively trying to get their tools up to snuff. Go Ouya!
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