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Discussion about software development for the old-school Gameboys, ranging from the "Gray brick" to Gameboy Color
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#1 2018-01-14 01:58:58

esotericsean
New member
From: Buena Park, CA
Registered: 2018-01-14
Posts: 6
Website

Suzy's Diary

Hello!

So happy to have found these forums. My name is Sean. I recently discovered GBDK and started creating a game. It's an action/adventure/exploration game called Suzy's Diary— it'll be reminiscent of Link's Awakening but you'll play a teenage girl named Suzy and it's set in our world in modern times.

I'm doing everything myself. Story, artwork, sound/music, development, promotion, and distribution. I plan on having a custom circuit board printed as well as a custom cartridge shell, manual, and box.

https://i.imgur.com/gdAHUQY.jpg https://i.imgur.com/KO7jyh0.gif

So far, I've been able to create sprites, set them as background tiles, and move a character around the screen. I'm having to learn a lot about how the GameBoy actually functions, but coding in C is a nostalgia trip— I'm having so much fun with it.

What I've found to be the most challenging is that every bit of resource online seems to be incomplete or doesn't exist anymore. Compiling in 4 color (DMG) mode seems to be working perfectly, but I'm having a few issues figuring out how to use color palettes and compile for CGB. I want my game to run on both Color and DMG/Pocket systems (as well as Advance/SP), but incorporating at least a bit of color makes a pretty big difference.

Anyway, I'll be hanging around here and posting updates on my game's progress. I'll probably be asking lots of questions and I'll also try and answer questions that other people have that I may be able to help with.

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#2 2018-01-14 08:39:08

Mills
Member
Registered: 2012-12-21
Posts: 114

Re: Suzy's Diary

This looks promising.

How do you get a game boy cartridge and everything?

I'm interested in getting one or two to have my games in a real cart just for fun!.

Thanks.

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#3 2018-01-14 15:25:27

esotericsean
New member
From: Buena Park, CA
Registered: 2018-01-14
Posts: 6
Website

Re: Suzy's Diary

Mills wrote:

This looks promising.

How do you get a game boy cartridge and everything?

I'm interested in getting one or two to have my games in a real cart just for fun!

Thanks! There are a few different ways. You can get a flashcart and put games on it yourself. The Everdrive would support multiple games (potentially all the games). Or something like this would let you put one game on it.

All games are a bit different. They have different ROM sizes, battery requirements. Pokémon Silver/Gold have a real-time clock that keeps track of the time of day IRL so they need a large battery, whereas Zelda DX only needs a basic battery for storing your save files. And older games like Tetris were super tiny while later games

I'm planning on ordering a custom circuit board from China. There are lots of places online (you can check Alibaba) that make them to any specification you want. They'll even flash a ROM on it for you.

Last edited by esotericsean (2018-01-14 15:25:44)

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#4 Yesterday 08:05:02

Mills
Member
Registered: 2012-12-21
Posts: 114

Re: Suzy's Diary

esotericsean wrote:

I'm planning on ordering a custom circuit board from China. There are lots of places online (you can check Alibaba) that make them to any specification you want. They'll even flash a ROM on it for you.

But, do you have to send them the schematic of a pcb board ? or do they have preconfigured ones?

I have a flasheable cart but i wanted to make a read only cart for two or three games with the box and everyting smile. My games will only use the mbc1 because they have no ram or sram to save.

Last edited by Mills (Yesterday 08:17:45)

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#5 Yesterday 09:51:57

Hell_666
Member
Registered: 2017-12-13
Posts: 11

Re: Suzy's Diary

Sounds nice, but a litle ambitious ^^
Don't hesitate to post about the game progress, it's always nice to see other people projects smile

@Mills: You must flash the cart, but I don"t know how it works. Otherwise you can go here: https://catskullelectronics.com/32kcart
No tried yet but soon, I will give you my feedback if you are interested. If I'm right, you buy a cartridge to catskull and you send him your ROM. He will flash the cartridge and send it to you. So you buy a cartridge already flashed with your ROM.

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#6 Yesterday 10:31:51

Mills
Member
Registered: 2012-12-21
Posts: 114

Re: Suzy's Diary

Hell_666 wrote:

@Mills: You must flash the cart, but I don"t know how it works. Otherwise you can go here: https://catskullelectronics.com/32kcart
No tried yet but soon, I will give you my feedback if you are interested. If I'm right, you buy a cartridge to catskull and you send him your ROM. He will flash the cartridge and send it to you. So you buy a cartridge already flashed with your ROM.

That's just what I want, but that cart has only 32k, my roms are 256 and 512, well I should open another thread about this, and not use this one wink.

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#7 Yesterday 12:33:18

Hell_666
Member
Registered: 2017-12-13
Posts: 11

Re: Suzy's Diary

MBC on gb cartridge are not generic hardware, so it is no more in production nowaday hmm
The only method I know to have Memory Bank Controllers on a cartridge is to modify a game cartridge, so you need to destroy an original GB game using MBC to put your game on it. But I have no idea on how to do it, I just know its is more complicated than just falshin a cartridge, you need welding skills too.

But the link esotericsean gave seems to be good yor you: "Custom ROM's can be flashed at customers request.". If I understand you can ask them to flash it with your custom ROM for you.

Yes I think we should start a new thread before we start to really flood this one.

@esotericsean : thanks forBennVenn's Shop link, I didn't know it wink

Last edited by Hell_666 (Yesterday 12:33:38)

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#8 Yesterday 15:16:29

esotericsean
New member
From: Buena Park, CA
Registered: 2018-01-14
Posts: 6
Website

Re: Suzy's Diary

Thanks guys! I've been researching MBCs and it seems there are definitely companies in China that at least claim to make whatever you could possibly imagine on a circuit board. If not, it's definitely possible to modify old cartridges fairly inexpensively.

For now, I'm going to focus more on the actual game rather than the hardware. Will update you guys when I've made some good progress!

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#9 Yesterday 16:28:22

Jonas
Member
From: Frankfurt, Germany
Registered: 2016-06-06
Posts: 65
Website

Re: Suzy's Diary

Hell_666 wrote:

MBC on gb cartridge are not generic hardware, so it is no more in production nowaday hmm
The only method I know to have Memory Bank Controllers on a cartridge is to modify a game cartridge, so you need to destroy an original GB game using MBC to put your game on it. But I have no idea on how to do it, I just know its is more complicated than just falshin a cartridge, you need welding skills too.

Well, that's not the only way. You can replace the MBC chip by parts that are available (and inexpensive) today. It depends on the PCB layout you use. But maybe it's indeed a topic for a thread of its own.

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#10 Yesterday 16:41:53

tobiasvl
Member
From: Norway
Registered: 2017-10-19
Posts: 12

Re: Suzy's Diary

Welcome! Looks like you have a solid game planned here, but yes, you will have to learn a lot about how the Game Boy works before you can make it work wink

Depending on your level of ambition here, I would suggest looking into doing it in assembler instead of C.

There's another Link's Awakening-like RPG in the making, called Aevilia: https://github.com/ISSOtm/Aevilia-GB/

Regarding resources, check this out: https://github.com/avivace/awesome-gbdev

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#11 Yesterday 17:49:49

esotericsean
New member
From: Buena Park, CA
Registered: 2018-01-14
Posts: 6
Website

Re: Suzy's Diary

tobiasvl wrote:

Welcome! Looks like you have a solid game planned here, but yes, you will have to learn a lot about how the Game Boy works before you can make it work wink

Depending on your level of ambition here, I would suggest looking into doing it in assembler instead of C.

There's another Link's Awakening-like RPG in the making, called Aevilia: https://github.com/ISSOtm/Aevilia-GB/

Regarding resources, check this out: https://github.com/avivace/awesome-gbdev

Thanks for the info Tobias! I'll definitely be checking out Aevillia.

Any reason for suggesting Assembler instead of C? I have a ton of experience in C, C++, and C# and I couldn't even tell you what Assembler looks like, heh. I'm sure I could learn, but with GBDK and ZGB, it seemed like making a game was somewhat feasible.

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#12 Yesterday 17:59:44

Jonas
Member
From: Frankfurt, Germany
Registered: 2016-06-06
Posts: 65
Website

Re: Suzy's Diary

esotericsean wrote:

Any reason for suggesting Assembler instead of C?

It's faster. And you can be sure that all the glitches in your game are your own fault and not caused by the compiler.

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