Friday, April 28, 2006

Version v1.2 released

More sugar... same cake! Main improvements from previous version are:

  • Added snowball crash sound
  • Added top screen background
  • Player1/2/npc throws balls in diagonal
  • Npc moves/dodges in diagonal

Download the game (outdated link)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Version v1.1 released

Main improvements from previous version are:

  • Two human players can play in the same DS
  • Game level can be selected in game menu
Download the game (outdated link)

Play with a friend!

First beta release (v1.0)

After solving a particularly annoying bug that chrashed the program everytime a NPC tried to throw a snowball, here comes the first public beta of the game. It features:

  • Snowball battle of one human player versus three DS controlled NPCs
  • Basic game menu
Download the game (outdated link)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Early development screenshots

After some days of development, some basic game milestones have been reached:
  • Human controls of player 1 (and player 2)
  • NDS controls NPC players (player 2, 3 and 4)
  • Snowballs can be thrown by human players, collission detected and score updated
Here come some early screenshots (note: some colors are wrongly displayed in Dualis but work fine in the real console)

My rules to speed this game development

  1. Focus on develop the code
  2. Reuse existing resources (graphics, music)

(I should write it on a post-it and attach it to the computer screen...)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Just for the fun of doing it, i will create my own DS homebrew game and then release the source code to anybody interested. I do not know if it will be of any value or if anyone will play it but it will be an experience to develop it. So, this is the plan:

The constraints
  • Mean and lean: I am not a big game producer, so i do not have great resources to create a game (budget, time, skills). The game therefore will have to remain simple but stand to the main esence: to be fun to play
  • Full game: i do not plan to create a "proof of concept" piece of software but a fully operational game. This includes all game production phases and game elements
  • Original game: I will not deny i could absorb ideas from other games, but the intention is not to create a "clone of game X" or a "port of game X"

The ingredients
  • Development hardware: Nintendo DS game console + M3 adapter
  • Development software: DS LUA language (interpreted programming language: easy to program and to port)
  • Development software: Dualis (PC emulator for Nintendo DS: accelerates a lot the software development and testing. A "must" tool)
The game
  • The idea is to create a snowball fight game

DS homebrew? Why not?

Time ago i bought a Nintendo DS console. Why? Well, honestly i do not why since i do not fullfille at all the typical console game player profile and i am not fanboy at all. Maybe some forgotten memories of the fun i had long time ago with some Nintendo "game & watch" games. Who knowns? Any way, the fact remain that i had played some games, but never went beyond the casual gamer type of person. Somehow i had the feeling that the games i was seeing laying on the shops shelves where not very variated, nothing really fresh or exciting (becoming old? maybe...).

Commercial games are elaborated products, well finished, but i was missing the spawn of ideas of previous times when, for instance, 8-bit machines ruled the home entertainament world. At that time, the easy access to game production produced a huge quantity of games. I admit most of them were poorly implemented or just clones of some well known game formula, but from such big production a few jewels were produced. It is well known that after the game industry moved from hobby to the big industry it currently is, more money is involved in a game creation. That allows to create bigger, most sophisticated games (for bigger, more sophisticated game consoles...) but also lead to reduce investment risk by sticking to success-proof formula. That of course left some corpses (well, barely alive you could say...) behind: experimentation, creativity and orginality. I do not blame them, since they just try to protect their investments as anybody will. I thought then, that somewhere out there were still some hobby programers free from the industry constraints, but i realized current console machines are not meant to be open machines. Once again, the hardware company that created them wants to make money by a tight control of the commercial games since they receive a fee everytime one is sold. End of the road.

Then i discovered the homebrew community

It seem that some people out there with tons of talent have found the way to open the commercial game machines and thus offering everybody interested the possibility to create home made games. A lot of reverse engineering and a great effort! The possibility of creating homebrew games could bring originality back to games since hobby programmers are not tied hands as the commercial game producer companies. I know most of the homebrew software out there follows the "i am able to clone that game i like so much", but this is just one of the possibilities. It is now up to any programmer out there to create new and original games!

PS: If i was a commercial game producer, i would pay attention to the homebrew community. They could find there some talented programers and fresh ideas.