The Game Boy of Isaac - Team Kirby Devlog

We are "Team Kirby" from Telecom Paris, and for our end-of-year project, we set out to write a game, inspired by The Binding of Isaac, for the original Game Boy.

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24 June 2020


by yberreby

One of today’s major goals was to get a character moving on the screen with some animations, and we are proud to say that this goal was achieved!

We had a, let’s say, rocky beginning… our color palette and tile offsets were initially all wrong. That made for some pretty funny glitches:

But eventually, these rough edges were smoothened out and we got a decent result (emulated under BGB):

This was done using this project as a starting point (part of the C GB programming blog post series we mentioned in earlier posts). However, it used 16x16 sprites and the way the animations were encoded / handled didn’t quite match what we wanted, so it had to be adapted. But now, we finally have a basic ROM with an appropriate Makefile, so we can start collaborating a little more effectively than we used to.

At this point, this still uses gbdk-n. Moving to gdbk-2020 is high on our list of priorities, since the latter is much more actively maintained. It also offers support for bank switching; we’re not sure yet whether we’ll need it, but that could come in quite handy at some point. We’ll see.

I’d like to remark that writing code in C made it much easier to iterate on the animations. There was quite a bit of back-and-forth between myself and the other members of the team for animating Piney, and I went with a slightly different approach than what the base project used, with per-frame flip information. Doing this in assembly language would have required more time for the initial setup and made it much harder to change things further down the road, so I’m glad we were able to… C the light.

tags: tooling - graphics - gameplay