GBA Game Jam 2022 - Devlog #1: Introduction

in Game Development2 months ago

I'm taking part in the GBA Jam for 2022. It's a game development #contest to make original GameBoy Advance Roms in three months. This is my devlog for the Jam.

When I first heard about this Jam while sharing my GBStudio game ”I Look Around" in Retro Discord. I decided to study GBA's development tools. I already knew about Devkit Pro, (even though I didn't make anything with it,) so I looked to find easier tools to use. Reading the resources list in GBADev website, I decided to use the Lua tool by Evan Bowman: BPCore Engine.

Lua is one of the simplest programming languages around. It's a lightweight language used in fantasy consoles like Pico-8 and Tic-80, the latter is the reason I'm familiar with Lua. BPCore-Engine is built for easy transition from Pico-8 as it shares many of the function names with it, that's another reason why I choose it.

The other reason I choose BPCore-Engine are the commented examples on github. I looked at the clean codes of the three example games and analysed them. It allowed me to write my "Hello Sekai" program quickly. I already started with my Jam game, and I got stuck several times coding it, and the commented examples helped me whenever that happened.

VS Codium

I was using Atom for my coding. I learned that atom is discontinued as of next year, so looking for alternatives, I arrived at VS Codium. It's a faster Atom alternative based on the open source code of Visual Studio Code, making it basically VS Code without the Microsoft.

That's the main code editor I use for this game jam. I learned a few things since I started using it, including Version Control from inside the editor itself.

The Project?

I don't have a game yet, but I'm playing with the programming tool. For now, I'm aiming to create with a text-based Higher/Lower game. No

It's based on a Playing Cards game but I made my version with Dice. The rules are simple:

    1. You Roll 2 Dice and add the Results of each roll.
    1. You predict the next Roll if it'll be Higher or Lower than the previous one.
    • You earn a point if you answer right.
    • If it's the same result you re-roll until you get a different one.
    1. Your score is determined by your consecutive correct answers.

I finished my first game loop, but I haven't finished all the details and calculations. I also encountered weird problems like sprites at 32bit BMP files, (instead of 24bit,) screwed up the code's whole compiling process. I'm still re-learning Lua, and I'm using this project to practice Git, so I'm taking my time.


  • First image was made using Carbon.sh. Second is a screenshot of VS Codium. Third is the test project.
  • This article is crossposted on Hive and also Read.cash.
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