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phil05

What do I need to learn to get into hand-held game programming?

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phil05    100
I've been into old-school games that really focused on content other than graphics. Then a friend of mine just threw the thought at me on programming for Gameboy Advanced, and the like. I never thought of it until now. I've been programming in C++ and Win32, so I was wondering what languages you prefer learning for it? Should I spend more time making DOS/Console games on the computer? Is ARM processor the best assembly language to learn? Should I toss out Windows programming? Thanks.

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choffstein    1090
Programming on the gameboy advance is a lot of fun. Get yourself an MVB2 cable, DevKitAdv gcc Compiler, and start learning at gbadev.org. Most gameboy advance programming is done in C, but I think there is now a g++ compiler out there.

Think of it as a learning experience if nothing else. No high level constructs and libraries to do things for you. Makes you appreciate those low level programmers.

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wyrzy    430
I've done a little GBA programming, and I thought HAM (clicky) it's a compiler/IDE for the GBA made it easy to get going. There's a free and paid version of the IDE. Both are the same, with the exception of the free version displays a Splash screen on all compiled programs and you can't sell your games.

Also, take a look at Harbour's Programming the Nintendo Gameboy Advance http://www.jharbour.com/gameboy/. It was going to be a Premier press book until it got caught up in a legal battle with Nintendo.

All the programming is done on your PC, and if you want to spend $100-300 to get all the accessories you need to create a real GBA cart, then you could play it on your actual GBA (assuming you have one).

For those of you who like screenshots, here's a pic from Harbour's book

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Nik02    4348
Cell phones are also a good choice for game development nowadays - Nokia, for example, has relatively powerful processors in their current mid- to high range models, and some phones (like n-gage) are even designed primarily as game devices.

Furthermore, official support is available, ranging from free to moderately priced devkits.

But yes, GBA programming seems like fun also; couple of my friends are very excited about it and have a really nice game project going for it.

-Nik

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hplus0603    11356
Nintendo and Sony have developer programs. However, they have very limited time and resources to spend on developers, so they prefer to know that you have a chance of succeeding before they'll actually talk to you. Thus, you have to show that you have reasonable funding, and that you can afford the dev kits (i e, if you don't have at least 50k to blow on equipment and salaries over the next 6 months, don't even try talking to them).

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