woensdag 26 maart 2014

Gomba early preview

It has been awhile since I last wrote about indi3DS. I get asked pretty frequently about the status of the project, and today I decided to shed some light onto it. The project is basically canceled and turned into a different project. When I started indi3DS it was just a compiler for my own scripting language. I made the compiler because I wanted to be able to rapidly test my 3DS prototypes.

Over time it turned into a huge project. Offering a debugger, simulator, level editor and asset editor. Each of those could be a big project on their own. Making games is my main priority and all focus recently has been going to Tappingo, so development of indi3DS has always been slow. 

With the recent rumors of Unity coming to 3DS, I do not really see a point in putting all this effort into making such a complete tool from scratch.  After seeing Puzzle script something just clicked and I decided to transform the project into why I was building it in the first place; making rapid prototypes for my games!

So today I want to announce the project indi3DS transformed into; Gomba!

Gomba is a rapid prototype game creation tool for Nintendo 3DS. It offers a game engine, level editor, simulator and C-like scripting language and debugger. It’s super easy in use. Non-programmers can probably create a simple game in just a hour. While advanced programmers can go nuts with the C-like script.

Right now I’m building it for Windows. I have plans to transform it into a online tool, probably made in Flash, so that you will only need a browser to run it.

Here is a screenshot showing a overview of the Gomba toolset (fun fact; that’s actually I prototype  I’m working on together with pixel artists Danny Flexner):


(Click on the image for full size)

Game engine
 I’ve chosen for a tile-based logic engine, which means that if the player moves forward for example, he will move one tile forward (not one pixel).

I know this is not ideal for all game types. Actually, it works mostly for puzzle games and adventure games. This allows, however, for really easy and fast prototyping and this is something I really wanted.

The engine has a lot of functionality (like collision detection) build in. You also have standard movement controls.

Gomba features it’s very own C-like scripting language. With this script you can add events to the engine. Combined with the Game Engine already build in features, scripting is really easy and fast.

Helps you debug your script. All errors are processed into a error report list with all the details (type of error, hint to solve and line number). When you double click on a error, it will highlight the specific line in the script editor for easy spotting.

Will let you run the game on your PC. You can quickly check if your scripts and levels are working correctly before putting it on the Nintendo 3DS.

The future
I hope to convert the project to Adobe Flash soon, and release a beta somewhere early in the summer.