Sunday, May 31, 2015

Anguna New Level

Ok, I promised I'd share, so here you go.

For the upcoming cartridge release of Anguna by Piko Interactive, we decided to add an additional dungeon level to Anguna, to sweeten the deal for anyone who might buy one. So the past couple weeks I've working like mad to try to add the new content before production of the physical carts starts.

Today, I finished the first draft of the Ice Dungeon, with slippery ice on the ground, a new Golem boss, and a new inventory item (a ring of teleportation):

Fighting the fearsome Ice Golem

For now, this dungeon is going to be exclusive to the physical carts you'll soon be able to purchase from Piko Interactive, to try to help them sell these things.

The process has been interesting -- first I had to just get the silly thing to build properly on a modern development environment, then I had to go through and fix a bunch of bugs that originally existed in the game, but somehow never manifested themselves on the older versions of the compiler/toolchain.  Once that was finished, it was a pretty straightforward process to start adding content. It definitely brought back memories of 10 years ago when I started this project!

In other Anguna news, if you have a windows phone, check out My Boy, a gba emulator that features and bundles Anguna.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Anguna Teaser

I've been quiet recently, but working hard. Working on some stuff related to the original Gameboy Advance version of Anguna.  I'll go into more detail later.

The fun part has been re-installing all the tools needed to build and edit Anguna, and realizing that there were a number of bugs that "worked by coincidence" with the older versions of devkitPro, but don't work anymore.  I spent longer than I anticipated just getting everything working again.  It brings back weird memories, looking at this old code. And geez, I don't know how I ever got this game finished, with how difficult it is to debug code on the GBA.  Fun times.

Ok, enough being mysterious for one night.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Playfield editor and Green Toady

Today was an Atari Anguna day.

First, I was working on some new room layouts, and got a little frustrated with the room editor I had been using (Kirk Israel has an incredible 2600 Sprite Editor on his website but his playfield editor leaves a bit to be desired. (mainly, that I couldn't drag to paint, instead had to click each cell, also that I couldn't paste my code into the tool to modify already-existing rooms).

So I decided to rewrite it. The end result isn't perfect, but seemed worth the time. (about an hour and a half). It fixes those issues and a few other minor niggles from Kirk's editor. It's posted at and the code is fully contained in that one page, (other than pulling in dependencies from google) in case anyone wants to take it and improve upon it.

I also started on the next enemy, the Green Toady (the first difficult enemy from the first dungeon in GBA Anguna). I've got him working, but now realized that I don't have a mechanism for enemies sprites to flip horizontally depending on their direction. It didn't look too strange for the slimes, but it looks dumb for this guy to always face the same direction.

The 2600 has a register to flip sprites horizontally, but because I'm reusing the player-2 sprite for all the enemies on the screen, I have to update that register in the display kernel. In other words, it has to be fast, and fit somewhere in the kernel where I have unused cycles. So that's the next challenge waiting for me....

Those are supposed to be pillars, but I've been told it looks more like "The Illini Room"

Looking at that screenshot, I really need to go back and rework the top header bar. It's a mess of brokenness right now.