AuthorTopic: NDS specs for 2D platformer  (Read 11217 times)

Offline M. Kiwi Blanc-Jaune

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Le Blog Bicolore

NDS specs for 2D platformer

on: September 14, 2009, 02:30:37 pm
Hi everyone  ;D

Some friends and I have decided to make an oldschool 2D game for the NDS. I'll do most of the graphics. Does anyone know what are the technical limitations we'll have to keep in mind ? Color palettes, number of sprites on screen, etc...
Well what I'm asking here is simply everything I have to know about that... I'm new to 2D for games so I'll have to learn and experiment a lot.

Please be prepared to stupid questions... :lol:

MKBJ.

"The art of character animation is to catch lightning in a bottle, one volt at a time."
- Brad Bird -

Offline infinity+1

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 166
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • the real deal
    • View Profile

Re: NDS specs for 2D platformer

Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 03:00:21 pm

Offline M. Kiwi Blanc-Jaune

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Le Blog Bicolore

Re: NDS specs for 2D platformer

Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 06:40:57 pm
Thanks Infinity+1 but Game Maker makes PC games.
In my title, NDS stands for Nintendo DS.  :)
"The art of character animation is to catch lightning in a bottle, one volt at a time."
- Brad Bird -

Offline Quake

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 182
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: NDS specs for 2D platformer

Reply #3 on: September 14, 2009, 06:45:36 pm
http://www.palib.info/wiki/doku.php?id=day1

It'll say there, webiste on how to code with palib. A NDS homebrew programmer.

Offline Kren

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 194
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: NDS specs for 2D platformer

Reply #4 on: September 15, 2009, 05:04:25 am
I think he is asking more for spriting limitations not programming limitations, anyways, I really don't know the limitations but it is really flexible to pixelart.. It is really up to you.

Offline M. Kiwi Blanc-Jaune

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Le Blog Bicolore

Re: NDS specs for 2D platformer

Reply #5 on: September 15, 2009, 08:31:05 am
http://www.palib.info/wiki/doku.php?id=day1

It'll say there, webiste on how to code with palib. A NDS homebrew programmer.
Thanks Quake. :) Our main coder already knows this one and he says it's very useful to him.

I think he is asking more for spriting limitations not programming limitations
YES ! Precisely, Kren  ;D

As I said, I'll do most of the sprites and graphical stuff in this project, but I'm totally new to 2D game making. I'll need to know all the DS's limitations if there are any, and other stuff about 2D games in general.

For example : tiles ! [this is one of the stupid questions I warned you about :crazy: ]
I know that most of 2D games are divided in tiles and I guess it's related to technical limitations but I don't understand how it works. How do I know the right size for tiles ? How many colors can I use ? And how many different tiles can I use in a background ? Why can't I make a whole level background in a single image full of various, non-repeating details and colors ? Or can I ?

MKBJ.
"The art of character animation is to catch lightning in a bottle, one volt at a time."
- Brad Bird -

Offline Souly

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 957
  • Karma: +0/-1
  • Killer of threads.
    • View Profile
    • Punkys Portfolio

Re: NDS specs for 2D platformer

Reply #6 on: September 15, 2009, 10:06:19 pm
Well usually 2D platformers work with tiles.
By deciding upon a resolution in this case the DS has two LCD screens of 256 x 192 resolution.
I believe you also need a licensing and all that just release on the DS, unless your going the Home Brew way with it,

Tiles allow for easy level making, and also an easy way to make sure size and proportion of objects remains the same.
With the DS, I'm not sure if there is much of a palette restriction at all as they are LCD screens and should be able to display every color.

Tiles work usually in powers of 2.
8x8, 16x16, 32x32, 64x64
With such a small resolution I wouldn't suggest going over 32x32 in tile size.
When deciding on a tile size you usually want to stick with this size for basically everything.
Most the time, your sprites will usually be the same size as your tiles, to keep proportions easy and such
But as for the DS I'm not sure there is a tile restriction either, tiles are usually a good way to work with collision.
As you could draw each level by hand as supposed to tiling it all out.

Hopefully my post is of some help.

Offline M. Kiwi Blanc-Jaune

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Le Blog Bicolore

Re: NDS specs for 2D platformer

Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 09:15:17 am
Hopefully my post is of some help.
Sure is :)

So it sounds like the DS has not too much restrictions exept for the screen resolution.

I guess Nintendo licensing isn't free, right ? Must be quite expensive actually...

MKBJ.
"The art of character animation is to catch lightning in a bottle, one volt at a time."
- Brad Bird -

Offline Zerath

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: NDS specs for 2D platformer

Reply #8 on: September 18, 2009, 10:31:17 am
Actually all the info you need is in the palib link, just look here:
http://www.palib.info/wiki/doku.php?id=day4
And you actually are limited with colors, as DS has pretty limited amount of VRAM. That site suggests with sticking with 256 colors mostly.
When it comes to developing for DS, the devkit costs around 2000$ if you don't want any fancypants stuff. That includes that magical red box of weirdness and panda developer DSi, I think. You have to be a Nintendo's approved developer before you can even order the devkit, and unless you have a company it might prove little difficult.
I'd say stick to homebrew. If you want to go retail, you will need a publisher. Convince a publisher with a homebrew game. Also it's not THAT painful to port a game from homebrew to actual nintendo DS stuff, especially if you only have a demo.

Also, developing on homebrew is alot easier than with real devkit. I even heard some wild rumours that really big companies use homebrew stuff for testing purposes as it's so much cheaper and easier. By easier I mean adding content you can just drag&drop files, while real devkits require compiling everything into that cartridge.
Hope this answered some of your questions

Offline PypeBros

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1220
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Pixel Padawan
    • PypeBros
    • View Profile
    • Bilou Homebrew's Blog.

Re: NDS specs for 2D platformer

Reply #9 on: September 18, 2009, 11:51:06 am
* the DS can display a still, R5G5B5 (15-bit) bitmap picture. I wouldn't rely on this for the core game, but any "extra material" can be drawn without worrying about tiles, colour counts, etc.
* you have got 128K ram, for sprites, and up to 64K (1024 tiles) per layer in tiled mode. You can decide to "freeze" the VRAM content at the level, but technically, the device has the guts to update most of those data through the game. That means you could have 128 different 32x32 sprites on screen and keep updating them from main memory. Same for tiles: a game such as Harry Potter just use VRAM as a cache of a larger tileset. Since the screen never shows 1024 tiles, you can always reprogram those off-screen tiles as the scrolling goes (unless you're aiming at a Sonic-paced game).
* oh, and you've got both 16-colour, 256 colours and 15-bit sprites. With up to 16 different palettes for tiles and 16 different palettes for sprites.

So as far as 2D is concerned, the DS can handle virtually anything you can throw at it with 256x192 and only 31 levels per color channel. I cannot contribute to a description of its 3D specs ... yet.

Offline M. Kiwi Blanc-Jaune

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Le Blog Bicolore

Re: NDS specs for 2D platformer

Reply #10 on: September 18, 2009, 12:22:43 pm
Wow ! Thank you guys.  :)

I think I'll need some time to assimilate all this stuff. I'll show your answers to the coder. Maybe he'll understand faster than I do.
And I think we'll go homebrew then...

Thanks again. Stay tuned, I'll probably come back later with some new stupid questions for you. ;D
MKBJ.
"The art of character animation is to catch lightning in a bottle, one volt at a time."
- Brad Bird -