Tags: homebrew


palib is dead


Well, shit.

I knew the Nintendo DS homebrew scene was already beginning to slow down (DSi hacking notwithstanding), but...yeah, it might be time to move on to something else. I could just move over to pure libnds, but...life's too short. I'll continue working on Lasers! Pew! Pew! but the future of the project is now unclear.

$99 a year for an iPhone SDK, and a couple more Benjamins for an actual iPhone, might be a practical investment right around now.

(edit) $200 for a development iPhone (which becomes locked in "test" mode and can no longer be used as a normal iPhone), plus another $700 for a Mac Mini since (doy) Apple's development suite only runs on OS X...wow, this got real expensive fast. Good thing I already have a DVI monitor, a USB mouse, and a PS2-to-USB keyboard adapter. DREAMS ARE MADE OF DEBT

ride on shooting star

SVN shmup project revision log, revision 31: Project "Lasers! Pew! Pew!" finally lives up to name.

The ammo counters on each side of the screen are for the ship's left and right missile bays. After you fire six missiles from either tube, the ammo count goes to =HEAT= as the missile bay locks to prevent overheating. About a second later the missile bay cools down, the ammo counter displays RELOAD in green, and you can fire again. With two of these on the same ship, some appropriate sound effects, and the din of enemy ships firing dozens of little glowy energy balls, the audio of this game is going to be absolute bedlam. GLEE. :D

I am not done with this game yet. The sprite art is bare-bones, there are no backgrounds, there are no sound effects or music. So why is blowing stuff up already this much fun?

You know you're doing something right when you're losing productivity playing the game you're making.


this is what homebrewers talk about

(8:58:53 PM) erf_: i vaguely remember a formal definition of a game being that it has at least one player, an objective, a winning condition, and a losing condition
(8:59:11 PM) erf_: by that standard, all i have to implement is lives and score, and i technically have a game.
(8:59:16 PM) erf_: but of course i'm not stopping there.
(8:59:26 PM) erf_: once you're halfway to shmupland you don't stop until you're there
(8:59:39 PM) BassAceGold: my app is a game too
(8:59:47 PM) erf_: your paint program?
(8:59:50 PM) BassAceGold: theres an objective to draw whats on your mind
(8:59:55 PM) BassAceGold: the winning condition is finishing
(9:00:04 PM) BassAceGold: the losing condition is accidently shutting the DS off
(9:00:10 PM) BassAceGold: and theres lives (undos)

(9:02:17 PM) erf_: I wonder what your paint app would look like with achievements
(9:02:26 PM) BassAceGold: heh
(9:02:27 PM) erf_: it would be the most hilariously annoying paint program ever
(9:02:32 PM) BassAceGold: XD
(9:02:34 PM) erf_: "10,000 pixels drawn!!"
(9:02:47 PM) BassAceGold: 99 penises drawn!
(9:03:03 PM) erf_: "SUICIDAL: 48 hours, NO UNDO"

late to vblank, late to life

Bad: I missed the meetup. My collision detection slowed down my game loop so much that it'd occasionally miss vblank, go off sync, and produce dual White Screens of Death. By the time I identified the problem and worked out a fix (thanks to saberslashalpha for his keen eyes!), the meetup had already been over for hours. This marks the second time in my life that a serious technical problem, discovered at the last minute, has made me a no-show for a potential Big Moment event. There will be future NY game industry meetups but this one was the first with a theme relevant to what I was doing--Mobile Gaming--and it may be a while before such an opportunity comes again.

Good: In retrospect, showing an audience of mostly artists and businesspeople a half-finished pre-alpha of a shmup, with no music, very little art, just one weapon, and one enemy type, as a demonstration of my coding abilities was probably not the smartest idea to begin with. Given that my contract with Emily terminated just five days ago, and that I hadn't touched the code for this project since I started working for her (code that pays the bills or code that doesn't, hmmmmm), what I expected to finish in just five days was perhaps a bit too ambitious. It would have been doable in that timeframe had I been working in Flash; perhaps I could have just barely slipped under the wire with Java. But doing it in C++, after porting all my code from C, and then having to worry about garbage collection, collision detection, pointer hockey, linking order, virtual tables, all that stuff I'm not used to dealing with--in retrospect, it's surprising that I managed to accomplish as much as I did. (Player input, collision detection, garbage collection, and the base classes for projectiles and enemies are all done...all that's left to do, engine-wise, is a level format, some new player weapons, and new enemy and projectile types. And backgrounds, sound effects, and music, once I actually have some.)

Now maybe the next time someone other than me wants to see my work, I will have something closer to the fun, original, fast-paced shmup I envisioned, and not a bare-bones Space Invaders clone with no backgrounds or sound effects. (Which is what I was shooting to deliver, given the time constraints.)

Very good: STUFFS IS EXPLODINGS WHEEEEEEEEEEEE PEW PEW PEW BOOOOOOM public ~Enemy::Enemy() {explode();} *pelvis thrust*

I am still looking for art! If you would like to draw some pixel art for me, or know someone who would, drop me a line.

chatting with the golden goose

Finally doing some cool stuff with the Nintendo DS now. I have a demo rom called "stylus_molest.nds" (don't ask) and it makes me giddy every time I discover something new about the hardware. As my previous entry would suggest I am coming very close to implementing weapons of miniature destruction. Lasers, pew pew!

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I'm really starting to enjoy writing software for my DS Lite--its hardware is cheap but its dreams are big. It, like its grandfather the Game Boy, is the little handheld that could.

explosions in the sky

Tired of combing the Net for sprites--going to put out a call.

Folks! Artists and non-artists alike! Want to spend half an hour doing something fun and creative for one of my future Nintendo DS projects? Draw me spaceships! Lots of them! Like the ones you used to doodle during class in high school! Or asteroids, missiles, lasers, cargo containers, debris, explosions, astronaut hippies urging the player to Give Space Peace A Chance--anything you'd find floating or zooming or whirring about in a space battle. The more the better!

Images should:

  • not be copyrighted
  • be, due to Nintendo DS hardware limitations, a maximum 64 pixels wide and 64 pixels high, with 16 pixels by 32 pixels being roughly the size of a starfighter (if you want to do a huge mothership or something, though, shoot me an email or LJ message and we'll talk)
  • be 256-color color depth, with a maximum of 16 different colors per picture (you can check this when you save the file in photoshop or mspaint...alas, this means no cool gradients or shiny effects, unless you're really creative)
  • look good against a black background (anything pure black will show up as transparent)
  • be saved to BMP, JPG, PNG, or GIF format
  • be awesome ("ugly and thrown together in MS Paint" can still be "awesome")

Include any notes you would like to add, like "the big tube down the back is a railgun, pew pew!," "the aerodynamics let it move in a zigzag," or "the cargo bay is full of cows." I can't promise I'll incorporate them if I use your spaceship in a game, but I'll definitely consider all of them.

The more drawings you send me, the more likely I am to use them! And of course you can send me frames for animated pictures, with each frame being a maximum of 64 x 64 pixels in size, but that's a lot more work than I'm expecting anyone to do for a frivolous little thing like this. That would be worth, like, me buying you lunch at the very least.

Don't worry, I'll credit you if I use your art, and I won't sell anything that uses it without your permission. This is just a for-fun, for free thing--I've always wanted to put together a freeware schmup game and the biggest obstacle so far is that I don't have the talent or inclination to draw dozens of sprites.