I love the Neo Geo Pocket Color (NGPC), but was bereft when official support for the system ended, and doubly so when it became the go-to system for the lunatic collecting fraternity, so what’s a boy to do in those circumstances? Start writing your own games, that’s what…

A collection of tutorials, game deep dives and general musings from the mind of an occasional game developer.

Vectors. Vectors Everywhere.

Defenderoids, nothing more than a name really. But lets see where that goes… So, last time, we left our little bitmap engine creating a glorified star field, to not especially great effect. Time to add some pizazz. Vectors are great, but they are very mathematically intense, especially on a system without functional floating points like…

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Some things come from nothing

There’s something rather absurd about coding games on obsolete platforms. They’re limited in weird ways – number of colours, sprites, controls, speed, you name it, it comes with limitations. Life would be much easier with a copy of Unity of whatever, I could bring my ideas to life in moments rather than the weeks it…

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Seven Day Robotron+

Robotron is one of the finest videogames ever produced. I’ll accept no argument on that score. So of course, back when we did the Eugenius issue of Way of the Rodent (we’re not dead, we’re just sleeping) celebrating the highs and very highs of the career of Eugene Jarvis, I foolishly thought it would be…

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Sounds like Teen Spirit

If you have been playing along with this tutorial-of-sorts you will now be in a position to display backgrounds, create and manipulate sprites, deal with input and create your own graphics. You’re now more than halfway to having all the tools you need to write your own games. But it’s a bit quiet isn’t it?…

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I’ll get you my pretty

So far, we have kept things pretty simple in terms of graphics. Text and ASCII graphics can get you quite a long way if you’re writing an old-school Rogue-like, but if you’re a Neo-Geo fan, you probably appreciate the pixels. We’ve skirted around discussions of Tiles in the NGPC, concentrating instead on Palettes and Sprites…

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Time to take control

So far, we have concentrated on output – so you should now be comfortable with controlling the screen and creating and moving sprites around on the display. Fine for demos or exposition, but we’re not writing a presentation here, this is a game console. And what use is a game console without being able to…

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And so it moves…

We all know what a sprite is don’t we? It’s kind of built-in as part of our base language – a bit like asking what is a cloud, or what is love? A sprite is our window into the world of the game the player, the enemies, little incidental touches in the background. In short, things…

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A Splash of Colour

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, we can now start diving into something a bit more interesting. It helps at this point if you have basic understanding of the way that the NGPC graphics system works. The screen is divided into three distinct layers like so: As you can see, the…

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Baby steps…

The story so far… I now have a compiler, emulator, tile editor and the NGPC Framework. If you want to play along then I have saved the versions of these that I am using here. So, where to start… There are a few bits of admin you need before you can start actually doing something…

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Pocket Adventures – Starting over…

If you’ll remember, it was something of a revelation when I realised that, thanks to the work of various shadowy figures on the internet (who had done all the hard work) that I could write my own software for my beloved NGPC. Now, none of my creations was ever likely to set the world on…

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