IGW Games

modern code, retro games


Interview with 8bit-ninja

I was recently interviewed about Retro Puzzle Maker by 8bit-ninja.de! You can find the interview here. The interview is in German, so if you can’t read German, I’ve reproduced the interview in the read more section.

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Retro Puzzle Maker has been overhauled!


I forgot to post here until now, but I updated my Retro Puzzle Maker with a bunch of new features a couple weeks ago. Some of the new features include:


  • Up to 64 bigger levels
  • User-friendly level designer
  • Gameplay animation
  • Intro/story screen
  • Customizeable title screen + credits
  • Customizeable graphics + music
  • Smaller rom size (nrom, just like Micro Mages!)
  • Per-level gameplay styles

I hope this helps you make something awesome!

Try it out at puzzle.nes.science


2Bit Tile Generator

It’s been a while since the last update, but I have something new to share. I spent some time building up a little tool to make simple custom tiles, usable in NES and Gameboy games. (Or any modern engine) This might be useful to prototype your next game, or to quickly generate assets during a game jam.

Check it out here!

PS: This was heavily inspired by 0x72’s 2BitCharactersGenerator – you should try that out too!


Winding down the Gameboy Game Builder

It’s been a good 5 years, but it is time to wind down the Gameboy Game Builder project. In around 1 month, on or around July 10th 2021, the application and all data will be taken down. Please be sure to grab your rom and any data you’d like before then.

If you see this message past that date, please feel free to reach out to me personally to recover your data. I can’t promise that I’ll be able to do it, but I’ll try my best!

The reason for this is that some of the tooling I used to create the website has moved on. With very little use of the site, it doesn’t make sense to continue updating it, especially since as far as I can tell, the site hasn’t seen much of any use in the past year.

Thank you to everyone who gave it a shot! This likely won’t be the last game development tool I attempt to make. nes-starter-kit is still alive and well supported! (I haven’t made a lot of changes, but I respond to any github issues promptly, and am open to ideas!)


Retro Puzzle Maker

Ever want to make your own NES game? Want to make it on an NES too? Check out Retro Puzzle Maker – a quirky little toy I made over my winter break. 


Check it out here!


New Ludum Dare Game: Closing In

Just a quick update: I released another NES game for Ludum Dare. For those unfamiliar, Ludum Dare is a 48/72 hour coding competition. It features a dog trying to escape a collapsing world.

It was built using nes-starter-kit, and served as a bit of a first full-fledged test of it. As a result of making it, I also have a number of improvements for the tool lined up.

Overall I am quite pleased with how it came out.

Check it out on the game’s page!

Closing In: Barney’s Daring Escape


New Code Thing: cruddie-mock

My big focus in personal projects is obviously retro gaming, but sometimes I run into an annoying problem that hasn’t really been solved the way I want to, and have to dig in.

I do web-based stuff sometimes, and to get started it often helps to have some dummy data to work with – when I looked recently I found two useful modules: Faker, which let me create fake data, and JSON Server which would create a server with real data based entirely off a json object. These both helped, but there was quite a bit of work to fit together a json object with all of the fake data. So, I put the two together!

cruddie-mock is a globally-installed nodejs command that will spin up a RESTFul server based on a bunch of json files describing your models – complete with randomized-but-believable data. If the results aren’t clear, check out the application example, which can be run locally.

If this sounds useful, check it out on Github!


nes-starter-kit: C starter kit for NES games

I’ve been pretty quiet about game dev for a while, but that doesn’t mean it was forgotten. Since I went to MAGFest this year, I’ve been kind of obsessed with the idea of making retro development easier. The people I met made me realize that a lot of people want to get started, but aren’t sure how. While there are a lot of good options out there already, I realized there just might be a space for a code-based starter kit.

So, I made one!

nes starter kit

nes-starter-kit is an attempt to make NES homebrew more accessible. It is presented as an intentionally short zelda-esque NES game, combined with a guide to update/change/replace every part of it. (Click above to play the game!) All changes can be done in C – no lower-level coding is required.
* The game uses neslib and some custom extensions written in 6502 assembly, which should cover your needs without modification. If you want to tweak these or write some code in assembly, there is some guidance in the 5th section for this. 

This is still very much a work-in-progress. The game is functional – it has collisions, enemies, and a way to win/lose. There are plenty of features that could be added, and I have a couple queued up, but I want to leave a lot up to creators. I do have some concerns about performance – I am preferring readability and easy editing over everything else. So far I haven’t run into any major issues, but I am worried other developers might. I am also not sure how useful it is with NESMaker on the horizon.

The guide is broken into 5 sections, and is about 25% complete. My current plan is to focus on this for a while, sneaking in some new code changes when I get tired of writing.

Anyway, everything’s available on github: click here!

There’s also a thread about it on NesDev here, if you’d like to discuss!

Let me know what you think if you decide to check it out! Is this something you would use?
Github PRs/issues/etc also always welcome.

Have fun!


Squishy the Turtle on display at MAGFest!

Squishy the Turtle is on display in the Indie Arcade at MAGFest this year! Thanks to the wonderful people at Babycastles, it is being showcased on a Super Gameboy, in a cozy turtle tent! If you’re here, check it out!

Of course, this warranted giving the game a little extra love – I released a special MAGFest edition featuring a high score table for fastest completion times! It also features some minor graphical/movement fixes, as well as some level tweaks to be more fair. The new version is not available on the site yet! I plan to do that after the dust settles post-MAGFest.

Anyway, that’s it; I hope some folks get to play it and enjoy it!


Fluffy Space Escape/Ludum Dare 40 Postmortem

Results just came out for Ludum Dare 40, and I did the best I’ve done so far. I won’t go into numbers here, but you can check them out on the Ludum Dare page if you’re interested. I’m quite happy with the game I created, and it’s definitely reassuring to see others scored it well.

I thought I’d post a postmortem before I forget anything more about it. I might try to do this more with game jams; will see how it goes. It’s a bit long and rambly, so click in if you’re interested.

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