You want your game to be perfect ?

To be an examples to the others? To have the official "Seal of Quality"? Then follow these simple guidelines.

Note: It's a draft. Don't hesitate to suggest additions/modifications.

Things in bold are mandatory. Other things are optional, you might not need them. It's just so you know where they go.

File structure

Have the game with the source + the binaries on Github (or other repos) with the following structure.

Let's say your game is named MyGame:

  • Binaries to copy/paste on the microSD card
    • binaries/MyGame/MYGAME.BIN
    • binaries/MyGame/TITLESCREEN.BMP (80x64px BMP RGB 24 bit)
    • binaries/MyGame/ICON.BMP (32x32px BMP RGB 24 bit)
    • binaries/MyGame/TITLESCREEN.GMV (see note below)
    • binaries/MyGame/ICON.GMV (see note below)
    • binaries/MyGame/assets/track.wav (44.1Khz 8-bit uncompressed WAV)
    • binaries/MyGame/assets/tileset.bmp
  • Source code
    • MyGame/MyGame.ino
    • MyGame/OtherSource.h
    • MyGame/OtherSource.cpp
  • Asset sources (the files you use to create your assets, eg. photoshop psd)
    • Assets/tileset.psd
    • Assets/track.mp3

Note: *.GMV files are automatically generated when you display the *.BMP for the first time on the Gamebuino META. It's better to include them so people don't have to wait for them to be generated. Include GMV if you have animated *.BMP as conversion times can be long.

Creation

Make a Creation so that in appears in the Creations page. Please include the following.

  • Github link (or other repository)
  • Cover picture
  • Game description
  • Screen recording or screenshots of gameplay
  • Credits (if any)

User experience

  • The main goal is consistency across games and ease of use.
  • People don't have to RTMF if you need no manual. Use intuitive controls.
  • TEST, TEST, TEST. User experience is based on what the user thinks, not on what you think they think.
  • Use as little text as possible. Replace it with pictograms. This way a kid that don't read, or someone that don't speak English could still enjoy your game. Plus, people are lazy and often don't read what's written (trust me on this one).
  • Use the default titlescreen and home menu for a consistent behavior.
  • Make simple and easy to use menus.
  • Use the default 80x64px resolution and use the Official Gamebuino Palette (follow the link to see why).
  • Use the lights. This makes a nice, immersive effect. But be gentle, don't go disco-ball!
  • Buttons usage. See 
    • A : OK/validate/enter/start/shoot/main action
    • B : cancel/return/discard/jump/secondary action
    • Menu: item list/pause menu/map
    • Home: Don't touch this. Do not attempt to adjust system settings like volume or light intensity through your game. The Home Menu is there for that.
    • Arrows: well do you need an explanation for that?
    • If you need key combinations, think twice about it. If you still need them, introduce them in the tutorial so people don't have to guess (or read the manual, because they won't).

Variable naming conventions

Check out the Arduino Style Guide for easy-to-read, beginner-friendly code.

Last comments

PanStyle

NEW 1 month ago

Use the default 80x64px resolution and use the Official Gamebuino Palette (follow the link to see why).

Wait what ?
I actually thought the 160*128 with 16 indexed color (which is the Gamebuino Palette, no ?) would be the "norm" ?

And that 80*64 would be the "other norm". Is this why i only see 80*64 in the mockup thread ?

Even if i see plenty of awesome things there i'm more locking forward to 160*128 games. Don't you think this would make people only do 80*64 games ? (even if it's not bolded and not mandatory this seems heavily suggested).

I already feel that the 160*128 is really underused and i fear that it would become worst with that.

Other than that it's an awesome idea. Games will be clean and looks more polished like this and it'll help a lot to have the same "structure" when you add a game to your Gambuino.

Also the "seal of quality" reminds me a lot of the NES area. And that's not a bad thing !

Rodot

NEW 1 month ago

Well yes we prefer the 80*64px resolution over 160*128px because:

  • It's close to the Gamebuino Classic resolution (84*48px)
  • It's enough to fit plenty of things now that we have a color screen, cf the mockup thread
  • It forces people to draw "big" stuff so it's readable even with old eyes (the screen is 1.8", not huge)
  • It enforces actual pixel art (I'm not saying you can't do pixel art with 160*128px, but the more pixel people have the more lazy they get on the pixel art)
  • It makes pixels more visible on the 1.8" screen, so even old eyes can rejoice on good pixel art
  • It's 4x faster. Don't get me wrong. Sending the buffer to the screen is always the same time because we convert it to 160*128 while sending. But when drawing to the RAM buffer, it's 4 times less pixels to refresh.

But you are free to go off-palette and off-resolution ;)

And yes "Seal Of Quality" is pretty retro, but doesn't seem to be trademarked by Nintendo so I thought it was a cool name. Kudos to @Valden for the suggestion!

STUDIOCRAFTapps

NEW 1 month ago

I knew you were about to include something like this!

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