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Can I make Nintendo DS/Gameboy Advance games?

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Not really sure where to put this, so put it in relevant sections Hi, I'm still in school (13), and I really love to make computer games (built in C++/C#). Now, I would like to eventually get a job in the industry, and go to a school for game design as well. My question, however is this, can I legally make games for the Nintendo DS? Not to sell, yet at least,(maybe when I have left university) but more for a demo/portfolio base. If I can do this, what are the laws surrounding it? What software do I need, what hardware do I need, what licences do I need, and where do I buy it? Also, what about for the PS2/3 and the Xbox 360? Thank you for reading my question, Sophie

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Yes you can :) It's called homebrew :p

Xbox 360 - XNA
DS & GameBoy - http://forum.gbadev.org/ (DS development at the bottom, look at sticky)
PSP - www.psp-programming.com
PS2 - www.ps2dev.org (also is pspdev.org)

The world of homebrew is unlimited! Great place to program (I'm a PSP homebrew dev).

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gameboy advance is a simple and nice platform to work with.
once you're comfortable with gba,it is very easy to move on to ds.
i would recommend gba over ds,coz ds is a bit more complex to begin from scratch.(2 cpu's,2 screens etc..)
you can start programming straight away:
HAM DevKit http://www.ngine.de/index.jsp?pageid=3504
SGADE http://www.suddenpresence.com/sgade/

and this link here is full of hardware specs,which wont mean anything when you first begin,but will make sense when you decide dropping your libraries,and write your own headers
always keep it as a reference on your desktop (some header files 'WILL' be broken,fix them referencing this)

also you will need an emulator to run your programs.
VisualBoyAdvance so far should be the best one around.

if your using the above devkits,they will help you make .gba files which can be executed by the gba,so you'll be running your first 'helloworld' program in 5 minutes.

i played around with gba for a while,for the love of hardware.
which meant i never used those devkits,and i wrote all my headers,i even started learning arm assembly for the cause.which was a huge experience for me.
im not sure what languages those libraries support,but i did my programming mostly in C and arm assembly.(i never wrote any games though,coz my main interest was the hardware,i would recommend using the libraries if you really want to make games,not because you cant rewrite them but:
1-spend your time on the game rather than glueing and holding your library together
2-devkits are orderly and structured.people have spent 'time' developing those libraries,so they will help you organize yourself )

if you're serious,
you'd better go
-> devkits
-> your custom library (once you're good at those libraries,wanna know how stuff happens,and want to expand,requires C and assembly in many cases)
-> devkits+your own lib to develop games

to go deeper,try inspecting gba.h files scattered all over the net.
some wont work right away,so grab bunch of those,and rewrite yours,until it is solidly working.
in the end,even if you dont have a complete game,or stop developing for gba/ds,
you'll have much better understanding of how consoles work.and many many elementary but important concepts that are related to game development,either on the hardware or software side.
you can immediatelly start with this "perfect tutorial" and have a working game.
start doing it,probably wont make sense at first,but when complete,you'll be ready to take whatever's thrown at you,by referencing the code you wrote following this tutorial.(it covers many topics related to gba dev)

when it comes to using making your own sprites and backgrounds,these tools will help:

i might be able to help with your basic questions,or at least the basic theory,so dont hesitate to ask,im sure there are many serious gba developers in this forum who can answer your advanced questions,find them.and dont forget,your best friend is google.

good luck

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