AuthorTopic: Brain Damage  (Read 4368 times)

Offline sigvatr

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Brain Damage

on: October 06, 2012, 03:20:17 pm
(this post can also be found on Pixel Joint)



I have been developing a video game development framework and engine over the past three and a half years in C++. It is called the Brain Damage API, or simply BDAPI. My intentions for the BDAPI are twofold: to provide an effective and transparent interface between low-level procedural generation technology and the developer (mastering chaos, as I like to say) and to implement a cross-platform, virtual 16-bit console aesthetically styled according to the Sharp X68000, MSX Turbo-R and Neo Geo MVS systems.


Game development based on the BDAPI, and in particular the creation of in-game assets, is intentionally limited according to the constraints of typical 16-bit consoles. Twofold again, this allows the developer to rapidly create in-game assets during both the development of the game and during runtime, and also because 16-bit consoles such as the SNES and Sega Genesis are f**king badass.


I am working on a game in parallel with the BDAPI, but I will elaborate in heavy detail on that at another time. It suffices to say that the BDAPI was designed and developed specifically according to the needs and requirements of this game, and apropos, the framework was eventually fleshed out to support many more projects in the future. Once the projected and necessary specifications of version one of framework have been implemented (three and a half years of full-time development and counting, currently refactored down to a tidy 45,000 lines of code), I will ideally be able to rapidly create expansive gaming experiences far into the future.


  • Hardware accelerated software rendering emulation, which visually presents you with the quintessential low resolution, palette restrictions and sprite graphics of pre-32-bit systems, optionally filtered through a variety of legacy analog display emulations (CRT, NTSC, PAL), while making full use of the GPU in the procedural generation of graphics assets behind the scenes.
  • Audio synthesis based upon a heavily modified Yamaha YM2151 sound chip, supporting common and useful audio processing filters such as low-pass, reverb and equalization. Speech synthesis functionality is extended from and modulated through the FM synthesis system, launching the Yamaha OP family of sound chips far into the 21st century.
  • Powerful, developer-friendly and real-time capable procedural generation of 2d and 3d graphical data, sound effects, music, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
  • Reactive and dynamic music generation responsive to the game world and player's actions; in combination with the audio synthesis system, reponsiveness is essentially instantaneous.
  • A rich toolkit suite supporting the game development process and Brain Damage file formats.


I am never releasing the source code or dynamic link libraries because I am a selfish republican asshole. But I just wanted to let everyone know about the great tools I have to work with! You'll just have to wait until the first mystery game based on the BDAPI comes out to play with it (hint). To add insult to the injury, what little third-party code I make use of in the BDAPI is licensed under MIT, BSD and zlib licenses.

Unfortunately, a realistic projection of completion and release taking into consideration my current working habits, stamina and progress so far is sometime before the end of 2016 at the earliest. That's not just a number I pulled out of my ass; I still have a great deal of work to do.


Hold your horses, mister! I have for you here a sneak peak of the BDAPI's audio synthesis system; a video of it in use (with sound, of course).



Although the BDAPI currently features some rudimentary texture generation capabilities, I still have not made much progress in the field of sprite or animation generation. In fact, I think it is quite a long way off. Suffice to say, the game engine component of the BDAPI is nearing completion and I as of yet have no sprites to make a game with. What I am looking for is someone with pixel art experience to create, for the moment, a base humanoid character sprite and animations so that I can begin to make progress in the game development side of things. The game being worked on in parallel with the BDAPI is a platformer with a loose fantasy theme that has not yet been fully fleshed out, so I am quite open to suggestion regarding the evolution of the game theme and setting. Once we have a base humanoid character sprite and animations implemented in the game, we can move on to whatever catches our fancy. And of course, you will be allowed an encouraged to tinker with the tools I have developed as part of this project.


If you are interested in helping out, please contact me at . Unfortunately, my website is currently down, which is a shame because it is a very fancy site with lots of information.

Any feedback will be gratefully accepted!

- Sigvatr
« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 05:42:07 pm by Crow »

Offline Crow

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Re: Brain Damage

Reply #1 on: October 06, 2012, 05:42:35 pm
I've taken the freedom and edited your post to actually include the video you mentioned, instead of only showing a screenshot of it :)
Discord: Ennea#9999

Offline sigvatr

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Re: Brain Damage

Reply #2 on: October 06, 2012, 10:37:28 pm
Hey, that's pretty neat.