Most of my posts on this site end up being about something I’ve built, but I think it’s time to try something new. I recently participated in Ludum Dare for the 3rd or 4th time, and I realized that I had played a lot of really impressive games. Game jams are a fun test of skill, where you challenge yourself to go from nothing to a functional (and more importantly fun) game in a very short period of time. Success relies on having a commanding knowledge of your tools, and usually a strong engine to build off of.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or energy to go through all of the games I’ve played, but I thought it might be nice to highlight some of the cool games made for older consoles such as the NES and Gameboy. Details and screenshot and more beyond the fold!
It’s been a little while since I posted an update, so here’s one! I participated in my third (successful) Ludum Dare this weekend, and created another NES game.
This one is a bit of a puzzle game- you’re a rabbit trapped in space, trying to find his way back to earth. It’s a quirky little game, but I think it came out pretty well.
There was a theme of “the more you have, the worse it is”, which led me to make gems that slow you down as you collect them. You have to get them all to exit, so plan your escape carefully.
On a more technical note, this is one of the first times I’ve successfully used ppu scrolling in a NES game. I managed to do that in the last 2 hours of the contest. The scrolling is a little quirky – the hud tears a little. I could have sorted it out, but ran out of time.
This past weekend I built another game for Ludum Dare. For those unfamiliar, Ludum Dare is a contest where you have 48 hours to build a game from scratch. The theme this time was “A Small World”. I targeted the NES using my C Boilerplate library for the NES. As usual, it is tested and works on real hardware.
It’s a top-down action game featuring a frog in world with missing pieces. Your goal: to collect the missing pieces and restore your world.
Those who follow me on social media or elsewhere may already know, however I recently released a brand new game for the NES. (Yes, the Nintendo Entertainment System from the 1980s) It is free to play online, and also an entrant into the 2016 NESDev Coding Competition.
It’s a typical sidescroller, with a very obvious nod to the game Eversion. (Which is fantastic, and worth trying if you’ve never played!) You play as a duck, who was tragically removed from his own timeline, and needs to find his way home.
If you like retro gaming at all, give it a try! Games in the competition will also (eventually) be available on a multicart, playable on a real NES, too! Source code will be on Github once I have a little time to document some of the messier stuff. I’m hoping this will be a helpful reference to future NES developers.
Having just finished, I’ve also taken some time to reflect on how the game went, so for those who want to know more, click the full post.
If you grew up with the Gameboy, you might have wanted to make games for it when you were a kid. Thanks to the power of the modern internet, this is now something you can really do!
ClassicGB is a simple game maker that allows you to use your own assets (or some readily available under Creative Commons) to design a simple top-down adventure game.
The games built will be very simple in nature, however full source code of games is available, so you can expand these yourself. This could be a great starting point for a personal project, or a Game Jam entry. (Make sure the rules of the jam allow for source code generators, though!)
This past weekend I spent some time writing a game! Squishy the Turtle is a Nintendo Game Boy game written for Ludum Dare 34 over the course of 48 hours. It follows the adventures of Squishy the Turtle, who must collect eggs to advance through the world. Squishy can grow and shrink in order to better navigate the world.
Quick update on the NES game. It’s still in very heavy development. I’ve branched off a first pre-alpha release of it – mainly because I plan on making major changes to the graphics as well as a switch to chr-ram in the next couple of days.
New features since last time:
A third (mostly empty… it has one screen) map representing a town
New text engine – there are two distinct entities you can talk to right now. (One is a sign. Find the other!)
The sword does something now.
There are two other weapons, one of which you can find in a new short dungeon (Both need some serious polish)
Two types of monster, which may drop one of two kinds of item.
I’ve set up the NES game page to let you load both this version and the latest, and also added download links for anyone who wants to try it in a better emulator.
A post on the arcade machine I’ve brought back to life is now available. I’ve got some details about the basic setup, but if you’ve got any questions about it, feel free to ask. I wasn’t really sure what else to put down.
I’ve also found a little time to re-upload an old mod I made for Garry’s Mod back in the days of the toybox. It’s a silly weapon that fires baby dolls at people. For whatever reason it got some huge fanfare back when I made it in college. It seems to have found a small following again, as well. If you want it, here it is.