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gargoyle7
11-19-2002, 11:05 PM
I've been thinking on this, & would like to hear from the experts (not NGF, dont waste my time), especially Jeff Kurtz, Trey, MouseMaster & others who are developing home brew titles.

How doable is it guys? Is the technology out there outside of a Neo dev kit? Will we ever see it? In MVS or emu form? If enough people pitch in (artists & such), do you ever think it will be feasible to produce original titles, especially original fighters? Say along the same graphical quality as FFS? I've been hand drawing an original sprite for MUGEN (DAMN hard, makes u appreciate the beauty of 2D dev all the more), just dreaming I guess.

Lee (garg7)
<a href="http://www.neogeotemple.com" target="_blank">http://www.neogeotemple.com</a>

Mouse_Master
11-19-2002, 11:14 PM
Well, a true fighter is questionable. Jeff can better answer this, but I think that with the tools currently available, that making a decent fighter would not work out too well because we would be unable to push the limits of the Neo using a programming language such as C. It would need to be almost pure 68K ASM.

As far as making a real game, yes, most of the pieces are out there, and I am sure there is much more now, although I have not really spoken to the others about it in a month. Games can be created for the cart systems, or for CD. CD would be the best testing and distribution media (besides the EMU), any cartridge would still require to kill another game though.

Whats a major factor for game development on the Neo? Once you get past the learning curve, its the time involved. Unfortunately, I have none these days, until life normalizes again. And I have no clue when that will happen. I know Jeff is still doing some work, making tools and other goodies. Hopefully he can reply tomorrow and give you some more info.

Keith

RabbitTroop
11-19-2002, 11:14 PM
Some very good questions, and some I would love to hear answered as well. As for my input, I don't think we will see any fighters... atleast I doubt it. It would be to hard to get everything to even a Fight Fever level (I would be impressed if they could do that good) and the truth is, you have to make something really good these days in the fighter dept to even warrant continuing... We have all played crappy fighters, and even they had tons and tons of time and coding spent on them.

What I do think is totally realistic is puzzle games, and simple action games. One title in particular... Neo Pac-Man. If Kurtz never release the psuedo Pac-Mania clone on the Neo, I will personally go over there and kill him :) I would love that game, especially since Pac-Mania is my favorite Pac game! I think a lot of simplier games can be done very well on the Neo, and can really bring excitiment into the community. Just think if someone creates the next tetris like puzzler for new... It doesn't have to look or sound fancy, but it is addicitive as all hell... WELL it could happen.

Anyway, just my thoughts on it,

-Nick

Diavle18
11-20-2002, 12:02 AM
I can draw and would love to pitch in.

Gamefan
11-20-2002, 12:15 AM
Making an SNK NEO GEO game would be awesome. I have 3D animation experience and can also lend a hand if need be Gargoyle7. LMK

GAMEFAN

JMKurtz
11-20-2002, 08:33 AM
Sure, homebrew on the Neo is very doable. There are some links floating around that point you to basic tools to get you started.

You could do a fighter if you wanted. I just choose not to because I'm not a fighting game fan. I like adventures and puzzlers -- something that makes you think.

I've been expanding a library of routines to make development on the Neo easier. Along with that, I've written tools to make working with sprites and sounds easier too.

Someday I'll get around to putting something out there. I've thought about starting up a neo homebrew site/forum for this very reason.

My only problem when it comes to making a game to release is the artwork. Nobody wants to see a main character that looks like a block. I could release the Pac clone that I wrote, but it uses ripped gfx from another game, so I really can't put it out.

I've worked with a few people here & there and they usually give me a couple frames of annimation or something, but then their interest dies out and I don't hear from them for months.

Good artwork for a video game is a lot of work, and a lot of people just don't feel like making that type of commitment, especially when you have some hardware rules that you must follow in order for the sprites to work right, which makes it even harder.

Anymore, artists are used to using 32bit palettes, 3D animation tools, and then when I tell them they must limit the image(s) to 15 colors per 16x16 pixel area, they get stuck :/ It requires a lot of work for the artist, or a specialized set of tools, which we just don't have in the homebrew community.

I have found a decent paint program that is geared towards game developers (GBC and GBA) which you can set palette restrictions, etc. It does help with Neo requirements, but a lot of good it does someone that isn't an artist.

It would be nice to have the tools that SNK used.

I have a dozen game ideas that I would love to do on the Neo, some of them pretty simple and I think people would enjoy them, but putting together a team of people to work on a game from a very narrow group (the Neo community) cuts back on the talent pool.

Jeff

ForeverSublime
11-20-2002, 08:39 AM
If there are tools out there for the Neo, how about the Hyper? That would create a lot less restrictions on the developer.

Clear Paper
11-20-2002, 08:40 AM
Coming from a different direction, wouldn't it be more feasible to get an existing Neo Geo rom and tweaking it more and more until the final result is fairly different from the original? For starters, a simpler game like Blue's Journey being changed to a game like Super Mario Bros.

kernow
11-20-2002, 08:44 AM
<img src="graemlins/eye.gif" border="0" alt="[Eye]" />

I'm up for it

Makismo
11-20-2002, 08:45 AM
Maybe you could get some of the tools that Playmore gives its programmers. They have third party developers so maybe you could sign up on their payroll. Naturally you would need about 20 other people to complete your job. Why don't you tell them that you would finish the Magician Lord 2 proto? You would have some of the work already done for you and that might make things easier.

neobuyer
11-20-2002, 11:33 AM
Whoa whoa-

I'm a semi-pro artist, and aspiring character designer/production designer and I would love to do some character artwork/animation-

It wouldn't be hard to do like 10 or 12 frame characters for adventure or puzzle games.

Fuuma-chan
11-20-2002, 11:45 AM
&lt;twocents&gt;
Hmmm... I'd like to see a traditional RPG on the Neo (SSRPG doesn't count, because it wasn't a cart, and KoF Kyo doesn't count either because it wasn't on the Neo... not to say that I don't love those games, tho' ^^)...
&lt;/twocents&gt;

RabbitTroop
11-20-2002, 12:42 PM
[quote]Originally posted by JMKurtz:
<strong>I've worked with a few people here & there and they usually give me a couple frames of annimation or something, but then their interest dies out and I don't hear from them for months.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

Oh man... This is exactly what happened to me in college. I had the engine done for a pretty decent Dating game for the Macintosh. We were going to do a mockery type worst date simulator... It was pretty funny, I found great artists all who were excited about the project, but none ever completed more than a few hand drawn sketches of characters. After a while I got discouraged and tried to find more artists, same thing happened. Currently I am working on my web site, I asked an artist friend of mine to come up with a cutesy type mascot (something Parappaish)... 6 months still nothing more then a half sketch of a panda. LAME! What is with artist being the laziest sons of bitches this earth has ever seen <img src="graemlins/makeface.gif" border="0" alt="[Make Face]" />

Man I wish I could draw, I envy you all with that talent. I would do so much with it... or maybe I would be lazy too... who knows. Anyway, Jeff, I can definitely relate to that,

-Nick

Makismo
11-20-2002, 12:47 PM
Damn artsey guys never like to do any work. They are big talkers but don't do shit in the end. If I had talent in this field I would love to lend a helping hand. However, I don't know how I would start even taking on a project. IS there anyway for you to contact Playmore and ask them for the tools to make a game for the Neo Geo Home System? Even if you do program the game, how are you going to produce it? Perhaps you will use the same methods as your production of ZinTrick. Just a thought. :)

Diavle18
11-20-2002, 01:13 PM
[quote]Originally posted by nruva:
<strong>

Oh man... This is exactly what happened to me in college. I had the engine done for a pretty decent Dating game for the Macintosh. We were going to do a mockery type worst date simulator... It was pretty funny, I found great artists all who were excited about the project, but none ever completed more than a few hand drawn sketches of characters. After a while I got discouraged and tried to find more artists, same thing happened. Currently I am working on my web site, I asked an artist friend of mine to come up with a cutesy type mascot (something Parappaish)... 6 months still nothing more then a half sketch of a panda. LAME! What is with artist being the laziest sons of bitches this earth has ever seen <img src="graemlins/makeface.gif" border="0" alt="[Make Face]" />

Man I wish I could draw, I envy you all with that talent. I would do so much with it... or maybe I would be lazy too... who knows. Anyway, Jeff, I can definitely relate to that,

-Nick</strong><hr></blockquote>

Do you have anything specific in mind in terms of the mascot you want for your site?

I might be able to help you...

m_bish0p
11-20-2002, 01:29 PM
yeah, I am working on a MUD that also has some basic 2D graphics and I do a weekly comic at <a href="http://www.coredumpcomic.org" target="_blank">www.coredumpcomic.org</a>

I've tried many times to get some help with these, and other, projects. I know I'm not the greatest artist, but it sucks whent he comic is about half as good as it could be, because I don't have the time I need to draw it. I'm doing one tonight, and I'll be lucky if I have an hour to put the whole thing together and post it.

Anyway, I know all about frustrations with help. I have people offering me to help on my projects all the time. Fans of the comic and people who want to play the MUD, but they never *DO* anything. That's how I end up sleeping three hours a night at least twice a week.

Well, I'd offer my help, but I'm too busy right now as it is, and I refuse to promise something and then not deliver. If you have the time kurtz, I'd still love to see a site dedicated to programming the neo. I did a little GB work, and loved it.

CheapNeoGeo
11-20-2002, 01:43 PM
I think it would be cool to see some home brews for the neo and I certainly would give my services for the development of any games eps. fighters even though they would be the hardest to develop.

BIG BEAR
11-20-2002, 07:10 PM
ARTWORK. I am a mouse plotter,working with 256 colors and below... residency here 1990-current(will reside here until the end and beyond)
Ready to help take this to the next level..
-BB
BUMP

The Chief
11-20-2002, 08:47 PM
Jeff, I'd be interested in knowing more about designing animations to be used in a Neo game. Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated. If you could, send me a PM or email with info and what programs you would recommend I use.

Thanks,
The Chief

JMKurtz
11-21-2002, 07:19 PM
I'm always open to discussing the tech info of programming on the Neo (at least what I know, there's more to learn). Drop me a line at jmkurtz@columbus.rr.com and I'll glady describe how sprites need to be drawn/created to be used on the Neo.

I'm thinking of opening a site for Neo homebrew development where we can have discussions of projects, etc. I also have an idea for a "community" game that I would love for people to participate in.

This would also allow us to discuss tool design, compiling code, etc.

What's everyone's opinion on a site dedicated to Neo homebrew?

For any of the artists that are serious about putting a little time and effort into a project, feel free to drop me a line at any time.

Jeff

Daisuke Jigen
11-21-2002, 07:30 PM
After playing Animal Crossing, and working with the 16 color palette restriction, I spent a week doing nothing but making restricted sprites on my PC.

I'd love to do some work for you.

kernow
11-21-2002, 07:33 PM
site dedicated to neo homebrew?

woah, whats the URL? :) I cant wait to learn more about one of my favourite systems.

gargoyle7
11-21-2002, 08:23 PM
If development as a group ever started, I agree we should start SIMPLE, going with simple yet addictive gameplay. Something like a simple 'Ghouls n' Ghosts' platformer with levels.

I'd LOVE a homebrew site, & would contribute all I could.

Lee (garg7)
<a href="http://www.neogeotemple.com" target="_blank">http://www.neogeotemple.com</a>

Liquid Snake
11-21-2002, 09:55 PM
[quote]Originally posted by JMKurtz:
<strong>
Anymore, artists are used to using 32bit palettes, 3D animation tools, and then when I tell them they must limit the image(s) to 15 colors per 16x16 pixel area, they get stuck :/ It requires a lot of work for the artist, or a specialized set of tools, which we just don't have in the homebrew community.

</strong><hr></blockquote>

Sounds difficult to me.......
I know nothing about video game programming but how can SNK artists manage to use limited colors in Neo game?

Tom
11-21-2002, 10:21 PM
I'm going to be taking a video game design course at my college and would like to help in making home brew game.

Gamefan
11-21-2002, 11:42 PM
Jeff,

I think a NEO GEO Homebrew creation site would be very nice. I would like to see this happen. I am an animator/graphic artist and would love nothing more than a site that goes into detail on how NEO GEO sprites are created and all the technical info possible. I will drop you an email this weekend on this subject.

I have been playing around with the idea of creating a shareware game for neo using an emulator, but using an actual system would be even better.

GAMEFAN

Robert
11-21-2002, 11:52 PM
I don't understand why so much people want to develop homebrew games on the neo. I don't want that my fav support become like the jaguar, on which only homebrew games are released now.
The proud of the neo is that it has always succes more than 10 years after it release.
Let this old lady die properly and enjoy that last moments instead of trying to make her live in artificial and useless life.

Blaine
11-22-2002, 12:27 AM
Why are the artists flakes...?

hmm. Honestly, for many it's their nature. You have a lot of traditionally trained and experienced artists who either can't or won't limit themselves by size or pallete color.

You have many of the new-wave artists who are all about the computer, but a big problem with many of them is they're to reliant on filters and effects. Also you'll find that many of them lack basic design and work skill that you need...essentially Photoshop Abstract Trendwhores.

Need a fleshy sphere with steel claws, tentacles and oodles of sharp-edged glowing shapes. No problem. Ask them to draw you a tree and you're screwed.

Out of all the things I've ever done or tried to do, the single hardest thing was rolling up my sleaves and attempting to do GameBoy graphics.

For many people, drawing a character in a 32x32 square is like asking a writer to make you a short story without using adjectives and articles.

They just can't do it. They can't visualize it and they can't actualize it (I sound like a fucking motivational speaker).

And to get it to look GOOD, hell that's another thing all together.

So from my experience a lot of people just can't do the small, low color graphics...for whatever reason. A lot of people can't focus on a project that occurs over the Internet (they need someone in their face all the time). And a lot of people just can't draw or animate as well as you think (or they think) they can.

Hell, I'm one! My character drawing skills are sad to boderline pathetic...I'm working on them though. My animation chops have dropped through the floor as well, but again...working on it.

I've had a lot of experience in game-mods and homebrew projects, usually I'm on the art team, sometimes the lead. If I were to offer advice, it'd probably be:

1) Be an asshole early.:

When things are fresh and new and easy going, people love to work. When things get old and stagnant and annoying...people magically disappear. Coincidentally, that period happens at the most difficult portion of the development cycle.

Try to weed out the weak by making the first few days a little hectic. Ask for short development cycles, be critical of the work if it warrants criticism. If they stick with you, give them a little more leash and let them enjoy. You'll know that your chances of them sticking around for the duration are much better than average.

Set deadlines for art submission, if they fail to meet it, let them hear about it. Don't go off the deep end, no one likes being chewed out by someone who is paying them nothing, but set the tone for the project. Let them know that they volunteered to do the work. Try to appear concerned, ask them if they can really spare the time to work on the project. If they say 'yes' then let them know that you appreciate them giving you their time, but the deadlines serve an important purpose of keeping everyone working. He wouldn't like it if the game was 80% done and the programer disappeared. If they say 'no', thank them for the time they put in. Remember that person, never let him work on your team again.

While some people may thing it's unnecessary or taking away the fun from something that supposed to be fun...it's just a test. You wouldn't let someone join up on thier word that they can animate characters, would you? Of course not, you'd ask to see some samples. Same premise. Of course it's all in fun and everyone should have a good time, but it will eventually become a hassle. I promise you that. You need to have a team that will stick it out to the very end. Better to find out early than much later on.

2) Don't be afraid of being professional:

There's a reason people act the way they do in a buisness environment. Contrary to popular belief, it's not always because of some old stodgy white dude's rules. Many times it's because it makes the work more productive, makes the final product better and makes the work easier.

That's right, beleive it or not, having a regularly scheduled meeting that everyone is expected to attend save so much time and hassle it's amazing. One day a week, everyone figure out what is good for them. Anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour. Every one tells everyone else where they are and what they've been doing. Keeps everyone on the same page and the flow of information going. Everyone in IRC for a few.

Emails are great too. If possible, daily. At the bare minimum of twice a week not counting the IRC meeting.

And with all that, my grand rule. BE HONEST. If you didn't do anything, don't lie about it. Say you didn't do anything and tell them why. Hopefully if working on the project is something you really want to do, the excuse will be more than adequate. If it isn't, then maybe you really don't want to work on it.

One of the single most damaging pieces of information to any project like a homebrew game is the "Assumed Level Of Completetion" where everyone gets together and says 'Okay, Blaine says he has all the characters except Drunken Shaolin Briggs and Dr. DIY Von McDoogle. Dave has half the code done, Bob has about a quarter of the sounds done and Eric is about done tweaking the animation. That makes us about 60% done!!!'...when in reality Blaine only has one character done and doesn't even have sketches for the other ones, Dave spent the week building a Supergun and the code is still at 30%, Bob has no idea how to convert the audio to a raw format and Eric moved to Guam and no longer has a computer.

So when that house of cards falls, and it will fall, that 'yay we're half done' mode quickly turns to 'what the fuck!! we're no where near done'. The death of the project will soon follow.

and

3) No one here is Miyamoto:

Essentially, people are not ALLOWED to wear many hats. If one person is really good at coding, let him code. It doesn't matter if he can draw too. Whatever he does best, have him do that. PERIOD.

Having one dude doing three people's job will either produce shoddy work, drive that person to insanity, or just make him hate the project and quit (a fourth option is he succeeds at it with flying colors, immediately realizes what he's doing, and gets a job working at Planet Moon on the sequal to GIANTS.). In all scenarios not only is a member lost, but quite possibly all the work he has done up to that point.

So get someone to do the programing, maybe more if you need more. But that's it...they program.

Now, if you do have someone with killer Kung Fu at several things, don't neglect to use him, BUT, DO IT AFTER HE'S FINISHED HIS MAIN JOB. Remember that, maybe write it down somewhere. CTRL+C and then CTRL+V. Got it? Good. If your artist can do music, whenever the art is TOTALLY DONE, then see if he wants to help out the musician. Don't set aside the music for him, find someone else to do it until he can help. You never know what may happen, he may just reach his fill of everyone and doesn't want to do anything else. That's fine.

When you're not paying the personelle, don't be afraid to minimize thier work load. The man already contributed. If he does the sound as well, he'll be doing twice as much as everyone else. If he chooses that later on...fine, but don't let people accept it first thing.

Hopefully that's a little helpful for anyone who's gonna try to get something together.

If I come off sounding preachy or anything...sorry, but I've dealt with so many different games/mods/websites/magazines etc. that have never seen completion it makes me fucking sick.

These are just tips I have from personal experience, maybe I'm right maybe I'm not. But just keep it in mind, either way.

Diavle18
11-22-2002, 01:37 AM
[quote]You wouldn't let someone join up on thier word that they can animate characters, would you? Of course not, you'd ask to see some samples. <hr></blockquote>

I have tried it a little but know almost everything there is about traditional animation. Heck just today I saw an animation book on my teachers desk (its considered by some as an animator's "bible") and decided to buy it off of her.

She said she didn't feel like selling it because she'd still have to buy another one and told me to go and buy it myself. So I sat down and started flipping through. And guess what? After flipping thorugh it in about 20min I realized that I already knew practically everything in there! And to think I was gonna flush $30 on something I already knew. So you see after reading on animation endlessly I know almost everything about it HOWEVER haven't really done a serious piece yet so I would need a lil time to come up with something (ie sample (s)).

As for coloring & effects, I hate'em. Its not like I don't know how to use photoshop, I just hate using computers. A pencil and eraser are my best friends when it comes to art.


Thanks for reading,

[ November 22, 2002: Message edited by: Diavle18 ]

[ November 22, 2002: Message edited by: Diavle18 ]</p>

sha-v
11-22-2002, 02:25 AM
For painting palletelized pixel graphics i would suggest you using ProMotion4. I think that is the only commercial available software especially designed for 2D graphics nowadays. Only in-house applications offer better quality :)

@JK
I have no time joining a NG project. But I just want to know if you already developed some kind of VRAM managing technique for your library?

NeoSneth
11-24-2002, 01:39 PM
i have some simple art and code knowledge. I used to fool with some PD stuff back in the amiga days. AMOS and Dpaint . I would really like to see some more info, and maybe i can pump out some more demo sprites with my good ol amiga.