Two nights ago, I made what I consider the most wonderful discovery in my lifetime. But before I get into it, I want to take a short trip to the past. The year is somewhere in the very early 1990’s and we get the original Nintendo Gameboy. It had only just been released in 1989. My world was flipped upside down, metaphorically speaking. Sure, the early games weren’t that great but just to see some of my favorite Nintendo franchises go portable was extremely exciting. Fast forward to somewhere around the year 2000 or 2001, a little before the release of the Gameboy Advance, the Gameboy Color was king. I was teaching myself how to program in C and C++ and thought it would be neat to develop video games. I reached out to the developer channels for Nintendo (more than once) about getting a Gameboy development kit BUT all I received was silence. I was more than willing to pay the price but again, crickets. This response stuck with me. All I wanted was to develop my own Castlevania clones (one of my favorite video game franchises).
And here we are, two nights ago. I am not entirely sure how I stumbled onto this open source project. It all seems like a blur. The project name is GB Studio and it is a more user-friendly IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that allows game creators to create Gameboy and Gameboy Color games that can be exported into a ROM (to load into an emulator), flashed onto a game cartridge (with the write tools), or to HTML5 (to work on mobile devices). This is an amazing project!
My dreams of 20+ years ago can now come to fruition. The only challenge being: adult life. As I find the time to tinker around with this development kit, I will post more. So far, I have gotten as far as making a title screen and an opening scene using the default sprites doing a whole lot of nothing. I successfully exported my simple program to a ROM and loaded it into a Gameboy emulator without issues. 🙂
Published by Petros
Petros Koutoupis is the self appointed BDFL of the RapidDisk project. Most of his career has been in software development in the data storage industry. He is deeply involved in open source software development and for years has written code for the Linux kernel, various open source device drivers and applications in both the embedded and server spaces.
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