Gameboy Development Forum

Discussion about software development for the old-school Gameboys, ranging from the "Gray brick" to Gameboy Color
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#1 2019-08-23 17:50:44

ioixd
New member
Registered: 2019-08-23
Posts: 1

Where do I start and finish?

Apologies for the cryptic title, I can't think of another way to title this dilemma.

I've been wanting to make Gameboy games for a little while. After dipping my toes in modding Pokemon Crystal, I was given a tutorial on how to code Gameboy games in assembly using rgbds. It was a very good tutorial, and it helped me learn the basics of assembly and debugging. And then it stopped: I talked to the person making the tutorial in Discord DMs and they told me they wouldn't be finishing it soon due to "obligations". Two months have passed and the tutorial is still the same. So graphics and sound in assembly is beyond my expertise. In the midst of Google searching for answers on how to code further in assembly, I found that there were more tutorials on GBDK then rgbds. So I learned C and GBDK-N, and after about a day I got much further then I had previously; I had a sprite moving around on the screen with the d-pad. Then I run into two more problems:

- Quite a few important tutorials on the wiki are completely blank. They were appearently supposed to be updated, but some of them haven't been updated since 2016 so I doubt they will soon.

- Going to tutorials from further back, I got the idea to read the GBDK documentation, which was last updated in 1998. Fine, I'll bite. I go down to the part I haven't learned about Gameboy yet and-

Full screen graphics - drawing.h
Blah

Joypad and Buttons - joypad.s
Blah

Sprites - xxx
Blah

Tiles - xxx
Blah

Hardware registers - hardware.h
Blah

...that's not finished either.

So to sum the question up and make the title make sense: I've started to learn Gameboy coding, now where do I finish? What's the most complete tutorial and/or documentation on learning GBDK? What is the best way to learn to code on the Gameboy?

Last edited by ioixd (2019-08-23 17:51:05)

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#2 2019-08-23 19:13:07

Tauwasser
Member
Registered: 2010-10-23
Posts: 107

Re: Where do I start and finish?

I think this is more of an issue with how old all the tools are etc.

Personally, I'd look at other people's source code. For stuff that only uses asm (using rgbasm https://github.com/rednex/rgbds) you can look at the popular Pokémon or Telefang disassemblies or Libbet and the Magic Floor (http://gbdev.gg8.se/forums/viewtopic.php?id=576).
For GBDK stuff, there are great games right here in the forums: Pluto's Corner (http://gbdev.gg8.se/forums/viewtopic.php?id=616), Dots (http://gbdev.gg8.se/forums/viewtopic.php?id=611)

I think there are lots of options but the best thing is to just keep going as GBDK is pretty quirky. I personally enjoy rgbds more.

cYa,

Tauwasser

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#3 2019-08-23 19:56:57

h0tp3ngu1n
Member
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 14

Re: Where do I start and finish?

I'm just getting into Game Boy development myself, so I guess I'm in the same boat. Though I'm trying to learn ASM rather than work with C. I've found that there are a decent amount of ASM tutorials out there. Some are incomplete, but there's enough to cover the basics. I've just finished all of David Pello's ASM tutorials (took about a few weeks... the hardest part was deciphering some of the poorly-translated Spanish) and now I think I'm ready to start experimenting with some small projects.

Last edited by h0tp3ngu1n (2019-08-23 20:03:56)

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#4 2019-08-25 11:37:57

bbbbbr
Member
Registered: 2019-03-04
Posts: 23

Re: Where do I start and finish?

If you don't mind working with C, then using ZGB on top of gbdk is a an easy way to start writing a gameboy game. Since most of the game engine mechanics are implemented for you, you can focus more on building the game and without having to digest as much of the hardware up-front.  It is beginner friendly, though having some understanding of both the C language and software development will make the process easier.

There is a good tutorial on the wiki:
https://github.com/Zal0/ZGB/wiki

And a lot of source examples of fully working games:
https://github.com/Zal0/ZGB/wiki/Made-with-ZGB

It looks like there are also video tutorials out there:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHaRJcfxYCQ


Lastly, if you don't mind a lot of abstraction between you and the hardware, and are interested in making an rpg, GB Studio seems to be building a noticeable following.
https://www.reddit.com/r/gbstudio/

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#5 2019-08-25 16:54:51

h0tp3ngu1n
Member
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 14

Re: Where do I start and finish?

bbbbbr wrote:

Lastly, if you don't mind a lot of abstraction between you and the hardware, and are interested in making an rpg, GB Studio seems to be building a noticeable following.
https://www.reddit.com/r/gbstudio/

I've tried GB Studio but would not recommend it. It's a fun toy if you just want to play around, or if you need to quickly throw something together for a game jam (as the indies do these days). But you really can't do much. (Part of this might just be because it's new and its developers are still adding features... but the greater part is probably just the nature of the beast.)

Last edited by h0tp3ngu1n (2019-08-25 16:55:53)

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#6 2019-08-29 10:42:20

bbbbbr
Member
Registered: 2019-03-04
Posts: 23

Re: Where do I start and finish?

This is a little off topic- but speaking of GBStudio, has anyone checked out Deadeus? It was released about a week ago and is well made. I enjoyed it.

https://itch.io/t/538485/deadeus-an-aut … oy-out-now

Deadeus is an authentic horror Gameboy game  developed using Chris Maltby’s GB Studio engine, Featuring music by Stuart Busby.

The game centers around a small boy who has a prophetic nightmare telling him everyone will die in 3 days and that he has to investigate his village to see how he can save them, if at all.

The game has 11 endings and no direct path leaving it up to the player to decide which is the best course of action.

https://img.itch.zone/aW1hZ2UvNDY0MjU0LzIzNjE4MTQucG5n/original/A5jH68.png

https://img.itch.zone/aW1hZ2UvNDY0MjU0LzIzNjE4MTUucG5n/347x500/PmiUVE.png

Last edited by bbbbbr (2019-08-29 10:58:11)

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