The CAVE Database

Sorry for the recent quietness here. I’ve joined the CAVE Database initiative and have spent most of my free time working on gathering material for the new site.

CAVEdb

The CAVE db hopes to fill the hole left after the CAVE-STG forum was closed down. We’ve been working hard on digging out reviews and strategy guides from the dusty Intertube archives and collecting information on releases, merchandise and other oddities.

Thanks to a whole lot of people stepping up, sharing their collections we’re a good bit on the way. But we still have a long way to go. If you’ve got something CAVE related you’re willing to share please drop us a line over at CAVEdb.com. We’re interested in hearing from you whether it’s a review, pictures of PCB’s, kits or other releases, photos from a Matsuri event or from your latest visit at the CAVE HQ.

Stay in touch and let us know if you see something you like or what you think is missing.

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Japanese New Year’s Cards 2013

2013 年賀状 – NEW YEAR’S CARDS FROM AROUND THE JAPANESE GAMING INDUSTRY

In a post from a month back 8-4 Ltd. shared this year’s round up of “nengajou” (Christmas cards) from the Japanese gaming industry. A whole lot of awesomeness themed around the new year’s Chinese zodiac – the Snake!

The year of the snake nengajou from 8-4 Ltd.
The year of the snake nengajou from 8-4 Ltd.

Enjoy all the Christmas cards in their full glory here.

Thank you 8-4 for sharing!

About 8-4 Ltd.

8-4 is a video game localization company based in Shibuya, Tokyo. When they’re not lovingly translating your favorite RPG or junior-high ballet trainer/dating sim, they enjoy hunting monsters, recording podcasts, and making their interns perform live re-enactments of scenes from Chaos Wars.

Happy 2013 to y’all!

We’d like to wish each and everyone a blessed 2013!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for us. So here’s some (more or less) interesting facts about our first stumbling year:

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Introducing Monouchi

I’m pleased to welcome Monouchi as a contributor to the blog.

EIIIf you’ve been browsing the arcade forums lately you might know him from his meticulous candy cab restorations or crazy endeavors like designing a rotation mechanism for pure flat monitors in Egret II’s and he’s kicked off in the same manner here with a project equipping an Atomiswave SD cab with a wide screen HD LCD panel. If not you’re in for a treat 😉

I hope you’ll enjoy following his projects. I know I will!

Happy Programmers’ Day

Happy Programmers' Day
Happy Programmers’ Day by masone_trash on Flickr

Have you shown your local programmer some love lately? If not, then today’s a good day for repentance for today is Programmer’s Day.

You didn’t think Microsoft launching Visual Studio 2012 today’s a coincidence, now did you?

The 100’th (hexadecimal for 256’th) day of the year is declared Programmers’ Day, a professional holiday in Russia and observed in a number of countries. It’s time for the rest of the world to join in and give some appreciation to all the coders out there that make everything from watches to the Curiosity on Mars tick. And yes, of course, your arcade games as well 😉

Source: Wikipedia

Live2D brings smooth 3D animation of 2D images

Traditionally the uniqueness of 2D art and comics has been difficult – if not impossible – to render properly in 3D. The Japanese company Cybernoids wants to change all that with Live2D.

Why 2D and comics don’t work in 3D

Suneo type hairThe typical style of comics and traditional hand drawn 2D animations are generally very hard to accomplish in the 3D animation packages of today. Especially within Japanese anime but also in western style animations such as Mickey Mouse’s ears (no matter which way Mickey looks the ears are flat towards the viewer). The “suneo” hairstyle common in anime is another example that would be near impossible to recreate correctly in a normal 3D animation.

Live2D AnimationThe technique is still evolving and currently lends itself mainly to dialog type of games where movement is limited. But the goal for Cybernoids of course is to get to a point where characters can be rendered fully in a 3D space for more advanced games and animated movies.

Video of Shizuku from Shizuku Talk, one of many dialog style apps created with Live2D available for the iPhone and Android phones.

Live2D consists of tools for both content creation and animation; Live2D Modeler and Live2D Animator.

Live2D Modeler

Live 2D ModelerWith Live2D Modeler you create data models that you later bring to life in Live2D Animator. Modeler allows you to work with 2D illustrations as you would in for example Adobe Illustrator. The goal is not to create 3D models and render them in a way to mimic traditional 2D cel style animations as you would in a 3D tool like Autodesk’s Maya or Maxon’s Cinema4D but in fact to draw in 2D and be able to animate your characters in as easily as you would in real 3D animation tool.

Live2D ModelerWhat differs Live2D Modeler from a normal drawing tool is the addition of parameters that define how objects and vectors belong together and deform. Much like a rig when modelling in 3D. The parameters can control how lines and objects deform, bend, grow or shrink when moved or comes to life. You can control things like eye and lip movement and other facial expressions.

Live2D Animator

Live2D AnimatorLive2D Animator is where you bring your models to life with tools that resemble their a likes in 3D animation packages. Working on the timeline with the models created in Live2D Modeler it’s easy to accomplish authentic 2D animations that would take much longer if done by hand in a traditional frame-by-frame manner. And since Live2D uses vectorized graphics there’s no degradation when exporting your work.

Related links

  • Live2D – Info about Live2D. You can register and download free versions of both Live2D Modeler and Animator here.
  • Cybernoids Co. – Cybernoids company site. Some info available in English.
  • Apps and games – List of currently available games and smart phone apps (mainly iPhone and Android).
  • Shizuku Talk – Chat style app available for the iPhone and Android

Sources