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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Hello All!

I’m back, once again! I haven’t forgotten about this place, but I just kept pushing back any attempts to write another post until now. I woke up this morning feeling like I had to sit down and at least try to write on blog post and I’ll try to continue doing this at least once a day even if it is a short one.

For today’s post I’ll be getting into some programming and game development I’ve been working on lately. More specifically, I’ve jumped right into Gameboy Advance (GBA) development. The reason I chose this was due to three main things. First, my brother just recently received a GBA for Christmas and with my assistance, bought a flashcart for it. This means that I can test out my programs directly on the actual hardware and not just an emulator (boo!). Second, programming for the GBA is done primarily with C (and touch of ASM for speed), which is my favourite and my primary programming language! And lastly, I know of probably the greatest, and I mean it, the greatest introduction/tutorial/bible of GBA development out there. This awesome GBA development resource is called Tonc and can be found here: http://www.coranac.com/projects/tonc/ . I actually found this site years ago but I was never comfortable enough in C to actually make use of it. So now I’ve been slowly working my way through it taking in as much as I can and spitting out as much code as I can.

I should note that GBA programming isn’t for the faint of heart, this stuff can be a mental struggle, or at least it is for me. This is due to the programming being so low level, way farther than I’ve ever really done. For the GBA I’ve had to re-learn the bitwise operators and force myself into thinking about bits and bytes. In some ways it’s really cool but in others it becomes really daunting as it’s new. So for example, when working in a “bitmap mode” on the GBA, to turn a pixel to a certain colour you need to find it’s location in the video memory array and then turn that group of 16 bits into 15 bits of colour. Again, for those savvy with this low level stuff, they are chuckling right now but it’s a big change for me.

So far I’ve only been playing around in the “bitmap modes” with changing pixels and just getting used to changing and modifying the different registers to get different things on screen and viewable. But it’s still pretty fun and exciting, especially when I was able to get it onto my brother’s GBA to test on the actual hardware! In some ways this reminds me of my university programming course where we played around with a drawing program in Java which was kinda fun at times.

Anyways, I think that’s enough for now, I’ll just leave you with a small showing of my GBA drawings and/or tests that I’ve got working properly.

– Notice the well formed parabola and square 😛

-AlphaRed

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