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Showing posts from September, 2009

More on the asset pipeline

So I'm still trying to figure out what my asset pipeline is going to be like.  What makes it particularly interesting is this:  the GBA doesn't support files (there are hacks out there to simulate it, but I'd prefer not to use them).  Everything gets packed as data into the single game rom, and run.  The DS, on the other hand (at least for homebrew) has a usable filesystem.  Now you can ignore the filesystem and pack things into the rom like I did for the DS release of Anguna, but working with files can sometimes be a lot nicer -- it sure makes the edit/build/test cycle a lot easier, as you don't have to go through a separate compile step.

The tricky part is thinking about how I might implement both of these.  The core of my existing engine assumes everything exists as structs in C, and references to other data is just via pointers.  (Which is easy when the compiler does all the work for you).  But if I use files, I'll basically need to write a file parser, which w…

Review: Super Pitfall

Super Pitfall for the nes is TERRIBLE.  Completely awful.  Interestingly enough, it's given me quite a bit of thought about game design for my next project.

I've spent the past 22 years trying really hard to like this game. I mean, this game had the potential to be awesome.  It was a huge world that you could explore freely.  Dungeons and spikes and non-linearity and ladders and treasure.  What could go wrong?  Well, everything.  No matter how much I tried, I always came to the same conclusion:  this game was no fun. So, to be productive, I'll try to think about why it wasn't fun, and what could be done about it. First, the challenge level was way off.  There are numerous frustrating cheap kills near the beginning of the game.  And there's a ridiculously long time you have to wait between dying and when you get to play's something like 10 seconds of waiting.  Considering your first life may only last about 4 or 5 seconds, it's really annoying to hav…

Overhauling the Anguna engine

The nice thing about doing another GBA/DS game is that I already have a working game engine.  There's plenty that I want to change, and a lot that I'd like to clean up (see the previous postmordem posts), but it's nice to have working code that takes care of a lot of the grunt work.

So the past few weeks I've been giving some needed love to the code that drove Anguna.  The first goal was to merge the gba and ds codebases into a single source tree, and just have different make files for the different platforms.  Not for Anguna's sake, but to reuse for the next game.  Of course, some of the stuff (hud, menus, all the code for the DS's second screen) will have to be a bit different for the two platforms, but the majority will be the same.

The next task has been pulling out stuff bit by bit and reorganizing it, reducing coupling when needed, and generally making things less "icky".  Unfortunately, this also means breaking things, so I'm back to that c…