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DS Homebrew Thread: Still Alive

DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
edited September 2009 in Games and Technology
Last updated: June 26th, 2008: StillAliveDS. The thread is also still alive.
Okay, so this got brought up in the other DS thread and I think it deserves its own place. Now [strike]I'm[/strike] I was kind of new to this whole homebrew thing; I got my flash card [strike]earlier today[/strike] almost a year ago.

Anyway, without further ado:

What is it?
Homemade software running on your DS.

Is it legal?
I don't see why not. We're not talking about piracy here (note: we are not talking about piracy here, or the mods will rightfully ban you forever), we're just talking about people writing code for a particular platform.

What do I need?
A homebrew device, which is basically a cartridge that you can write stuff to. These come in two types, slot-1 devices and slot-2 devices.

Slot-2 devices plug into the GBA slot and have either internal memory or a space for a CF or SD card. To run DS homebrew off of them, you also need a special card called a NoPass in the DS slot, because otherwise the DS would just boot into GBA mode, which is not nearly as cool. Slot-2 devices are basically obsolete. I don't even know if you can find them anywhere anymore. They still work for new homebrew stuff, though, so if you can find one cheap it might be worth it.

Slot-1 devices plug into the DS slot and usually have a MicroSD card slot on them, although a few exist that run with built-in memory and a mini-USB jack or something. You can't run old GBA homebrew off of these, but you don't need to screw around with NoPasses, either. These are basically the only kind of devices that you can find anywhere anymore.

As of today I am the proud new owner of an [strike]EZFlash V[/strike], which is a slot 1 device, but this particular model comes with this nifty expansion pack that I can write GBA homebrew to. This expansion pack also claims to function as a Rumble Pak (for rumble-enabled games) or Memory Pack (for the DS Browser and homebrew stuff that needs the extra RAM) but [strike]I have nothing to test that with so I can't vouch for that.[/strike] it seems those functions only work for homebrew or pirated games, unfortunately. Still, the RAM sure is useful for Quake II (see below)

Update: Turns out that the EZFlash V is a piece of shit and it just decided to stop working entirely for no reason. I now own a DSTT, which is the cheapest flash card that isn't a Datel-made piece of crap. If you also own a DSTT, you may have noticed that whoever wrote the card menu was smoking crack. Get a replacement named YSMENU here: http://home.usay.jp/pc/etc/nds/ (the site is in Japanese, search it for the word "YSMENU").

What's this DLDI crap I keep hearing about?
Well, in the old days, homebrew that created files would need to be written specifically for each different device, and for the most part, everything that didn't use a gigantic CF card was unsupported. A guy called Chism wrote a something called DLDI to solve this. Basically, you get a DLDI library for whatever card you have and run the homebrew through a patcher, which patches it so it can use the filesystem on your card. Lots of stuff supports this now, so you don't need to worry that you won't be able to use homebrew if you don't get an M3 or Supercard, like everyone was worried in the last thread.

What can I do with it?
Good question. Here are some programs, and if you guys find any other interesting ones out there, post them in this thread.

Applications:
MoonShell: A basic file browser, music player, and movie viewer for your DS. Plays damn near any kind of non-DRMed music and plays specially encoded DPG video. Includes an encoder but a better encoder can be found here. Works with nearly any flash card and it's probably the most widely used piece of DS homebrew. Many flash cards (including mine) have a modified version of it built-in.

DSOrganize: DSOrganize is a really cool PDA suite for the DS. You can draw pictures (but Colors! is much better, see below), keep a calendar and address book, it has a scientific calculator, etc. It has a file browser that can function as a music player, too. And an IRC client. And an online homebrew database that will let you download nifty programs right to your DS, although the database isn't always kept up to date. Also, as of a couple months ago, it includes a web browser that doesn't require a RAM expansion pack. One that can store six Wi-Fi connection entries instead of Nintendo's usual three. Nice!

DS Linux: As with pretty much every Turing-complete device, the Linux geeks have ported Linux to it. It's command-line only, so outside of Linux geeks like myself I don't think many would find it useful. Still, it's pretty interesting: it can use the microphone and Wi-Fi and everything.

Colors!: Colors! is an amazing paint program for the DS. It lets you use the DS as if it were a drawing tablet, and actually detects how much pressure you're using. It's the best paint program on the DS; if you still have Phidas installed (or if you're using DSOrganize to draw things) get this instead. I've heard that the official Nintendo devkit (that Nintendo gives out to real game companies) can't even do pressure-sensitive touchscreen stuff, so that's really impressive.

DSAim: As the name would imply, this is an AOL Instant Messenger client for the DS. I'm using it now and it works perfectly (edit: well, semi-perfectly. It can choke if someone IMs you a huge block of text, but then it's only a beta), although typing out IMs with the keyboard on the touch screen could be better. Still, handwriting recognition is difficult, so this is more than forgivable. In any case, it works great. It even imports your buddy lists, aliases, etc. I find that the latest version can be a bit sketchy on some cards, so if it doesn't work, try tracking down and downloading version 0.02 instead.

DSLiveWeather: Check the weather.com forecast anywhere you have WiFi access. Can store up to 20 locations so you don't need to type in your ZIP code every time you use it. Quite useful.

DSFTP: This is an FTP server for the DS. "Wait, what?" I can hear you ask. "Why would I want my DS to be a fileserver?" Well, this way you can transfer files to it wirelessly instead of moving a tiny, fingernail-sized MicroSD card to your computer and back all the time. It's kind of slow, however, but once you get it set up, it works well enough. The newest version uses DLDI, so it will work with most flash cards.

FlashMe: This is a customized firmware for the DS. Originally, in the days before the NoPass existed, this was the only way to run homebrew without having a giant Gameshark-like PassMe sticking out of your DS. Now the only purpose of it is to remove the "Health and Safety Warning" that pops up whenever you start your DS, but that's still really damn useful in my opinion. It also has a recovery mode to fix your DS if something goes wrong, and the newest version even supports recovery from slot-1 devices (disclaimer: I have not had to test this). EDIT: Proper link posted, now that the guy's site is up. The current version is FlashmeV8. It supports the DS Lite, don't worry. For a walkthrough, see the next post.


Games:
QuakeDS: Okay, this one's [strike]not done yet, but it's progressing really well[/strike] basically finished, and it's completely awesome. It runs every level (except one single level that has a weird edicts bug) with a decent framerate. It has working netplay! (Currently it requires an access point in the vicinity, unfortunately.) I, personally, love it; as soon as I picked up Metroid Prime Hunters, my first thought was "damn, iD should really put Quake on here," and it looks like the homebrew community (or, specifically, Simon J. Hall) has picked up the slack.

Quake2DS: Ho-lee shit. I didn't even think that this was even possible, but the guy who got Quake working on the DS also got Quake 2 working, using some kind of strange voodoo magic programming skill. I mean, there was a YouTube video of his early attempts a year or two ago, and it was at like one frame per minute. Now it's at about thirty frames per second. Playable, definitely. The catch? This requires 16 MiB of RAM in the GBA slot. If you bought the Opera DS Browser, you're shit outta luck, as it only has 8 MiB. You need the EZ-Flash Expansion Pak or a Supercard or something.

ScummVM DS: A DS port of the SCUMM Virtual Machine, allowing you to play old LucasArts adventure games. If, like me, you never really got into those games back in the day and don't own any, you can download Beneath a Steel Sky or Flight of the Amazon Queen for free, legally, from here. It runs everything up to and including Day Of The Tentacle, which I played through entirely on my DS. It does not run The Curse of Monkey Island, The Dig, or Full Throttle. There just isn't enough memory in the DS to do it. The author is working on using a RAM expansion cartridge to get those games to work, but estimated time of arrival is "not soon".

(NEW!) StillAliveDS: What's this? A 2D, Portal-type game? Hell yes! It's a bit heavy on the references and in-jokes, but it's fucking Portal, man! And to make things better, there's a map editor (that you use on your PC) so you can make custom levels for on your DS. Maybe we'll swap a few in this thread, if anyone has anything interesting.

Lemmings DS! Okay, so Sony owns Psygnosis and therefore the Lemmings license, and so Lemmings ends up on the handheld least suitable for it. All is not lost, however, as a completely goddamn perfect port of the Amiga original appears on the DS for cheap as free! The controls work great and it's really a joy to play. Get it.

Pocket Physics: You draw stuff on the screen and it moves and interacts with other drawn objects. Simple concept. Completely addicting gameplay. Get it. Get it now.

DSDoom: Absolutely perfect port of Doom, Doom 2, Final Doom, etc. to the DS. You need to provide your own .wad, of course, but if you don't own Doom you can use id's free shareware one.

DScent: A port of Descent to the Nintendo DS. Alpha 3 actually works, so yay. You need the original PC version of Descent to play (or rather, you need the descent.pig and descent.hog files from the original PC version, patched up to version 1.4a). Descent is possibly the best game of the DOS era, so if you don't have your disks anymore, track it down somewhere. I'm serious, this thing is better than Starfox.

POWDER: Awesome rougelike with controls much more streamlined for the DS/GBA than, say, Nethack. Really much easier to get into. Very addictive.

AmplituDS: DS game that works much like Harmonix's Amplitude. I never played Amplitude, myself, but this is a pretty fun rhythm game. Now with a remixed version of the Super Mario theme.

Word Up!: Blocks with letters on them drop; form words before they fill the screen and make you lose. Pretty straightforward and damn fun; this thing could be a commercial game and people would buy it, I'm sure.

DS Chess is a chess program for the DS. Either the AI is really quite competent or I suck. In any case, the controls work really well with the stylus and even if you get beat it's an enjoyable game of chess.

LOCKJAW: Tetris-clone by an absolute obsessive compulsive. Do you know the difference between the rotation system used in Tetris DS and the system used in Sega Tetris from the Genesis? Do you feel the need to custom-configure the randomizer? Does anything about any Tetris game piss you off? Lockjaw probably allows you to customize everything you could possibly need. A PC port also exists.

Much more fun, in my opinion, is LOCKJAW: The Overdose, formerly known as Tetanus On Drugs and the main reason why I wanted to make sure I got a flash card that could play GBA games. This is a traditional Tetris game except the screen gets wavy and distorted. The amount of distortion is dependent on how close you are to losing. It's an excellent game, really, but it's GBA-only so people with just a slot-1 might not be able to play.

Codename: Hacker: Remember Chip's Challenge? This is the same thing, but with more levels and better graphics. The default language is French. Don't panic. Go into the options menu and switch it to English.

OpenTyrian DS: A long time ago, the company that is now famous for Unreal and Gears of War brought to the PC an amazing SHMUP. It's a western-style SHMUP, with a life bar and upgrades and the whole shebang, similar to Raptor if you're more familiar with that. Oh, and it's fuckawesome. Anyway, Epic actually released the source code to this game (why haven't they done that with the Unreal 1 engine yet?) and some intrepid programmers ported it to the DS. Also, Epic released the game assets as free, so unlike for Quake, you don't need to have already bought Tyrian back in 1995 to get this game to work; just download the zip file at that link, unpack to your card, and play.

Rise Of The Triad: Another classic FPS ported to the DS. In case you've never heard of it, this one was originally made by Apogee Games, the people now known as 3DRealms (and now famous for delaying Duke Nukem Forever), but a long time ago, they licensed the Wolfenstein 3D engine, modified the hell out of it, and made one kickass FPS. As usual, you can play for free with the old shareware version (also downloadable at that link in a nice convenient package) but you need the data files from the full PC version to play the full version on the DS.

Motocross Challenge (GBA Only): It's like what Excitebike would be if Nintendo ever made a GBA sequel. DHG Games couldn't find a publisher, so they released it for free. You'll need a GBA flash device to use it, though.

Luminesweeper (GBA Only): This is actually a piece of GBA homebrew, but I'll put it here anyway because it's awesome. I guess it's a Lumines clone, but with Minesweeper elements? I dunno, I've never played the actual Lumines. But this is great stuff.

Anything else? Where did you get most of this, man?
I've been lurking around GBADev a bunch lately, which was this website that used to deal largely with GBA homebrew and has now largely moved on to the Nintendo DS. Their "Homebrew Announcements" forum, here tends to have some interesting stuff on it before anywhere else does. (note to mods: that forum's anti-piracy rules are as strict as the ones here.)

Daedalus on
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Posts

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I never beat Judgment Rites, sadly. I did beat 25th Anniversary which was awesome. That one mission outside the door with the numbered keypad lock was a doozy.

    I wonder if I could get Judgment Rites working in DOSBOX...

    Also, there were a slew of Star Trek text adventures in the C64 and Atari 400/800 XL/Atari ST days.

    steam_sig.png
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    So, I just shelled out 70 bucks for an R4 and a 2gig card (I've been playing with my roommates R4 for the past week, and I have a sneaking suspicsion he might want it back soon.

    I gave up on portable homebrew when I got tired of PSP firmware obstacles, but it looks like I'm back into having some fun.

    georgersig.jpg
  • NofrikinfuNNofrikinfuN Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Drez wrote: »
    I never beat Judgment Rites, sadly. I did beat 25th Anniversary which was awesome. That one mission outside the door with the numbered keypad lock was a doozy.

    I wonder if I could get Judgment Rites working in DOSBOX...

    Also, there were a slew of Star Trek text adventures in the C64 and Atari 400/800 XL/Atari ST days.

    I don't believe I ever beat it either. It didn't run properly on our ancient PC, so I slogged through the first few levels in super slow motion and gave up. Later on, I tried it again, but I can't honestly recall where I stopped. Great games, though. I would play modern games of that style in a heartbeat. It's a shame the genre has dipped in popularity. (Especially bad for Trekkies. Those were easily the best of the franchise.)

    Wow. I was just looking at a digg article about some guy running Mac OS 6 on a DS. That's pretty slick. I wonder it could run Crystal Quest. :D

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Rohaq wrote: »
    Anyone got DSFTP working yet? I can't figure out where they want me to put the conf file, and it won't let me log in with the login details it generates.

    I believe they want you to put it in /data/settings/ftp.conf

    I just got it working, myself. My ftp.conf file looks like this:
    motd /ftp/motd.txt
    logfile /data/logs/ftp.log
    loglevel 5
    #timeout 60
    portrangestart 9000
    portrangeend 9999
    screensaver 30
    wakeonlog false
    
    user anonymous
    	root /
    	home /
    	write true
    	boot true
    end user
    

    Please note that this configuration is unsafe and will allow anyone to erase everything on your card if they know your DS's IP address. You might want to set a password. Still, it seems to work for me. I'm just testing right now.

    Another note: when the DS is recieving a file, it will sometimes appear to crash (if the screensaver is up, it won't go away, etc). Just wait until the file is done. It might take a while; I think the DS can only do 802.11b.

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  • RohaqRohaq Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Rohaq wrote: »
    Anyone got DSFTP working yet? I can't figure out where they want me to put the conf file, and it won't let me log in with the login details it generates.

    I believe they want you to put it in /data/settings/ftp.conf

    I just got it working, myself. My ftp.conf file looks like this:
    motd /ftp/motd.txt
    logfile /data/logs/ftp.log
    loglevel 5
    #timeout 60
    portrangestart 9000
    portrangeend 9999
    screensaver 30
    wakeonlog false
    
    user anonymous
    	root /
    	home /
    	write true
    	boot true
    end user
    

    Please note that this configuration is unsafe and will allow anyone to erase everything on your card if they know your DS's IP address. You might want to set a password. Still, it seems to work for me. I'm just testing right now.

    Another note: when the DS is recieving a file, it will sometimes appear to crash (if the screensaver is up, it won't go away, etc). Just wait until the file is done. It might take a while; I think the DS can only do 802.11b.

    I've got a very similar config file. When you say /data/settings/ftp.conf, do they mean from the directory the DSFTP.nds file resides in, or from root?

    Funny thing is that I can connect to the FTP server, but there's no prompt for authentication, and it inevitably times out.

    EDIT:- Looks like that's just what DOS ftp.exe does, even when there's no server to connect to.

    Tried aquiring an IP via DHCP, but that fails to get details, also tried specifying it, that seems to get on the network, but again that fails to connect. I set this up in the firmware using Mario Kart, which has no issues getting onto WFC with either static IP set or via DHCP :?

    Spoiler:
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Rohaq wrote: »
    Rohaq wrote: »
    Anyone got DSFTP working yet? I can't figure out where they want me to put the conf file, and it won't let me log in with the login details it generates.

    I believe they want you to put it in /data/settings/ftp.conf

    I just got it working, myself. My ftp.conf file looks like this:
    motd /ftp/motd.txt
    logfile /data/logs/ftp.log
    loglevel 5
    #timeout 60
    portrangestart 9000
    portrangeend 9999
    screensaver 30
    wakeonlog false
    
    user anonymous
    	root /
    	home /
    	write true
    	boot true
    end user
    

    Please note that this configuration is unsafe and will allow anyone to erase everything on your card if they know your DS's IP address. You might want to set a password. Still, it seems to work for me. I'm just testing right now.

    Another note: when the DS is recieving a file, it will sometimes appear to crash (if the screensaver is up, it won't go away, etc). Just wait until the file is done. It might take a while; I think the DS can only do 802.11b.

    I've got a very similar config file. When you say /data/settings/ftp.conf, do they mean from the directory the DSFTP.nds file resides in, or from root?

    Funny thing is that I can connect to the FTP server, but there's no prompt for authentication, and it inevitably times out.

    EDIT:- Looks like that's just what DOS ftp.exe does, even when there's no server to connect to.

    Tried aquiring an IP via DHCP, but that fails to get details, also tried specifying it, that seems to get on the network, but again that fails to connect. I set this up in the firmware using Mario Kart, which has no issues getting onto WFC with either static IP set or via DHCP :?

    I put the DSFTP.nds file in the root folder, so I couldn't tell you for sure, but I think it's from root, yes. Give it a shot.

    Also, UncleSporky (the guy who did the last DS Homebrew thread) pmed me his old first post and I'm going to root through there for stuff I can use here.

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  • RohaqRohaq Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I put the DSFTP.nds file in the root folder, so I couldn't tell you for sure, but I think it's from root, yes. Give it a shot.

    Also, UncleSporky (the guy who did the last DS Homebrew thread) pmed me his old first post and I'm going to root through there for stuff I can use here.
    Here's my ftp.conf file:
    motd /data/ftp/motd.txt
    logfile /data/logs/ftp.log
    loglevel 4
    timeout 60
    portrangestart 9000
    portrangeend 9999
    
    screensaver 30
    wakeonlog true
    
    user richds
    	pass password
    	root /
    	home /
    	write true
    	boot true
    end user
    
    I'm thinking it might just hate my network at the moment. Not entirely sure why though. Do any homebrew apps have issues with WEP?

    Spoiler:
  • Dublo7Dublo7 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    This Word Up game is awesome.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Rohaq wrote: »
    I put the DSFTP.nds file in the root folder, so I couldn't tell you for sure, but I think it's from root, yes. Give it a shot.

    Also, UncleSporky (the guy who did the last DS Homebrew thread) pmed me his old first post and I'm going to root through there for stuff I can use here.
    Here's my ftp.conf file:
    motd /data/ftp/motd.txt
    logfile /data/logs/ftp.log
    loglevel 4
    timeout 60
    portrangestart 9000
    portrangeend 9999
    
    screensaver 30
    wakeonlog true
    
    user richds
    	pass password
    	root /
    	home /
    	write true
    	boot true
    end user
    
    I'm thinking it might just hate my network at the moment. Not entirely sure why though. Do any homebrew apps have issues with WEP?

    Yeah, actually. WEP with homebrew is kind of hit-or-miss. Try disabling it and seeing if it works. WEP isn't secure anyway so it's not much of a loss.

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  • ArugulaZArugulaZ Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Dublo7 wrote: »
    This Word Up game is awesome.

    Ain't it, though? It's so good it's hard to believe it's free. Most homebrews feel kind of unpolished and gimpy, but Word Up doesn't suffer from that at all. The sound is a bit primitive but that's my only gripe about the presentation. More importantly, it's just fun to play.

    JR

    Same old site, great new look! Check out The Gameroom Blitz at:
    http://www.lakupo.com/grblitz
  • Dublo7Dublo7 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    ArugulaZ wrote: »
    Dublo7 wrote: »
    This Word Up game is awesome.

    Ain't it, though? It's so good it's hard to believe it's free. Most homebrews feel kind of unpolished and gimpy, but Word Up doesn't suffer from that at all. The sound is a bit primitive but that's my only gripe about the presentation. More importantly, it's just fun to play.
    Totally. It feels very polished.
    It's a perfect casual game for use on public transport :)

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I gotta say I'm really eating up Tetattds, too, despite my overwhelming suckage. We should get a Game On going or something.

    edit: wait, the QuakeDS guy actually released something playable? Never fucking mind then, lemme try this out!

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  • RohaqRohaq Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Rohaq wrote: »
    I put the DSFTP.nds file in the root folder, so I couldn't tell you for sure, but I think it's from root, yes. Give it a shot.

    Also, UncleSporky (the guy who did the last DS Homebrew thread) pmed me his old first post and I'm going to root through there for stuff I can use here.
    Here's my ftp.conf file:
    motd /data/ftp/motd.txt
    logfile /data/logs/ftp.log
    loglevel 4
    timeout 60
    portrangestart 9000
    portrangeend 9999
    
    screensaver 30
    wakeonlog true
    
    user richds
    	pass password
    	root /
    	home /
    	write true
    	boot true
    end user
    
    I'm thinking it might just hate my network at the moment. Not entirely sure why though. Do any homebrew apps have issues with WEP?

    Yeah, actually. WEP with homebrew is kind of hit-or-miss. Try disabling it and seeing if it works. WEP isn't secure anyway so it's not much of a loss.

    Well, disabling WEP seemed to work. I hate having an entirely unsecure (with the exception of MAC filtering) network though. I miss WPA. Silly Nintendo for not supporting it :(

    Spoiler:
  • NofrikinfuNNofrikinfuN Registered User
    edited April 2007
    I gotta say I'm really eating up Tetattds, too, despite my overwhelming suckage. We should get a Game On going or something.

    edit: wait, the QuakeDS guy actually released something playable? Never fucking mind then, lemme try this out!

    I was wondering... The Quake DS guys are using the original art assets, right? Just tweaking settings around and the like? Could they scale texture resolutions down since they're being used on a DS screen? (Also, wouldn't that result in less RAM used for rendering?)

    Bah. I'm like an eternal noob in this stuff. I would love to know the tricks that all the homebrew types know.

    That reminds me, how well does Doom DS run? If it runs flawlessly, why in the world are we not seeing every DOS game ever made on the DS? (At that rate, I would be forced to track down a copy of Daggerfall.)

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I gotta say I'm really eating up Tetattds, too, despite my overwhelming suckage. We should get a Game On going or something.

    edit: wait, the QuakeDS guy actually released something playable? Never fucking mind then, lemme try this out!

    I was wondering... The Quake DS guys are using the original art assets, right? Just tweaking settings around and the like? Could they scale texture resolutions down since they're being used on a DS screen? (Also, wouldn't that result in less RAM used for rendering?)
    Yeah, that's what they're doing. You still need the original files from a legal copy of Quake, of course.
    That reminds me, how well does Doom DS run? If it runs flawlessly, why in the world are we not seeing every DOS game ever made on the DS? (At that rate, I would be forced to track down a copy of Daggerfall.)
    Well, they're not emulating the games. Doom and Quake had their source code released after a few years, so coders could take that and rewrite it for the DS. There are similar projects in the works for Descent and Duke Nukem 3D, which also had source released. I'll look up these projects today, although if I recall, the current version of DScent doesn't work on a bunch of cards. Stuff like Warcraft or Daggerfall never got its source code released and so won't get ported over, unfortunately.
    I would love to know the tricks that all the homebrew types know.
    http://www.dev-scene.com/NDS/Tutorials

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  • NofrikinfuNNofrikinfuN Registered User
    edited April 2007
    I gotta say I'm really eating up Tetattds, too, despite my overwhelming suckage. We should get a Game On going or something.

    edit: wait, the QuakeDS guy actually released something playable? Never fucking mind then, lemme try this out!

    I was wondering... The Quake DS guys are using the original art assets, right? Just tweaking settings around and the like? Could they scale texture resolutions down since they're being used on a DS screen? (Also, wouldn't that result in less RAM used for rendering?)
    Yeah, that's what they're doing. You still need the original files from a legal copy of Quake, of course.
    That reminds me, how well does Doom DS run? If it runs flawlessly, why in the world are we not seeing every DOS game ever made on the DS? (At that rate, I would be forced to track down a copy of Daggerfall.)
    Well, they're not emulating the games. Doom and Quake had their source code released after a few years, so coders could take that and rewrite it for the DS. There are similar projects in the works for Descent and Duke Nukem 3D, which also had source released. I'll look up these projects today, although if I recall, the current version of DScent doesn't work on a bunch of cards. Stuff like Warcraft or Daggerfall never got its source code released and so won't get ported over, unfortunately.
    I would love to know the tricks that all the homebrew types know.
    http://www.dev-scene.com/NDS/Tutorials

    Ah, thanks for the thorough reply. Too bad things always have to become complicated. :(

    Scaling my hopes back a little, wasn't the source for Arena released? Or was the game itself simply re-released as freeware?

    EDIT: Also, I finally bit the bullet and bought the R4 that was linked on page 1. Seriously, I can either pay ~$15 for a 1GB microSD (Shipped.) or I can just go ahead and pay $45 for the SD card, card reader, and homebrew device. (Also shipped.)

    I'll consider it a total success if all I get out of it is an SD card, an MP3 player and that damned stuck pixel fixed.

    EDIT 2: http://www.dev-scene.com/NDS/Tutorials_Day_1

    Uhh... Scroll down to the "Installation of Tools" section and take a good look at the picture.
    Spoiler:

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Arena was just re-released as freeware. We never got the source, unfortunately. In fact, Doom (and other Doom-engine games), Quake (and Quake 2 & 3, but I don't think the DS can handle those), Duke3D, and Descent are the only high-profile DOS games with the source released. Oh, and ScummVM, of course.

    If anybody knows of any I'm missing, do tell me.

    It's possible to completely reverse-engineer a game's code, so one could port it with the original game assets but with one's own code, but it's hellishly difficult, even with old DOS games. Somebody is trying this for the original Command & Conquer, but I personally don't have much hope for the project, as awesome as it would be.

    Hey, wait a minute, didn't somebody do a similarly reverse-engineered port of Warcraft 2 for Linux a while back? I gotta look that up; I might have a project on my hands.

    EDIT: and yeah, the MP3 playback is worth it all in and of itself, especially if you don't have an iPod or whatever.

    Anyways, I've got to go test out some more stuff to ad to the OP.

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  • RohaqRohaq Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    So.. has anyone tried porting DOSbox over yet?

    Spoiler:
  • Dublo7Dublo7 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Rohaq wrote: »
    So.. has anyone tried porting DOSbox over yet?

    Not yet.

    /master chief

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • NofrikinfuNNofrikinfuN Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Here's something I've never been clear on. Just how complicated is DOS to begin with? The interface makes it seem deceptively simple, like a few settings here and there could be changed and it could run on the DS better than it ran on my first PC. How incredibly wrong is that assumption? How big is the difference between the x86 processor family and the ARM? (Is there a difference, for that matter.)

    Seriously speaking, my old 386 had 8MB ram to the DS's 4MB, but either of the processors in the DS should smoke the 386, easily. Besides which, I was under the impression that the DS RAM was especially speedy, though there wasn't much of it. Arr, so many questions. Perhaps I will browse about and try to educate myself.

  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Arena was just re-released as freeware. We never got the source, unfortunately. In fact, Doom (and other Doom-engine games), Quake (and Quake 2 & 3, but I don't think the DS can handle those), Duke3D, and Descent are the only high-profile DOS games with the source released. Oh, and ScummVM, of course.

    If anybody knows of any I'm missing, do tell me.
    ScummVM or Scumm?
    There's Abuse, but I don't know how high profile that one is.

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Here's something I've never been clear on. Just how complicated is DOS to begin with? The interface makes it seem deceptively simple, like a few settings here and there could be changed and it could run on the DS better than it ran on my first PC. How incredibly wrong is that assumption? How big is the difference between the x86 processor family and the ARM? (Is there a difference, for that matter.)

    Seriously speaking, my old 386 had 8MB ram to the DS's 4MB, but either of the processors in the DS should smoke the 386, easily. Besides which, I was under the impression that the DS RAM was especially speedy, though there wasn't much of it. Arr, so many questions. Perhaps I will browse about and try to educate myself.

    All things equal, the DS could easily perform to the ability of, say, a Pentium 133 or something. I mean, Metroid Prime Hunters looks better than DOS Quake. That's not the point. The point is that the Intel x86 architecture is completely different than the ARM9/ARM7 architecture the DS uses, and x86 is hard to emulate at the best of times, nevermind on a portable system with 4 megs of main RAM.

    Now, if we've got source code, then we can recompile it (and of course modify it, since it's not THAT easy) so that it runs natively on the DS. But just a plain DOS game, running in emulation? No fucking chance, or at least no chance if the game is more complicated than, say, Zork.

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  • NofrikinfuNNofrikinfuN Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Ah well. Can't have it all, right? :D

    EDIT: Just looked in on the Comic Book DS project. That looks like a really slick app. I'll definitely have to put it on my "GET" list.

    Argh though. I hate waiting for mail.

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    So I guess Duke Nukem 3DS doesn't have any sound support yet. Bummer.

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  • harvestharvest By birthright, a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    My R4DS shipped today from Dealextreme, it says it's going to be delivered in 4 to 7 business days by Hong Kong post.

    steam_sig.png
  • NofrikinfuNNofrikinfuN Registered User
    edited April 2007
    harvest wrote: »
    My R4DS shipped today from Dealextreme, it says it's going to be delivered in 4 to 7 business days by Hong Kong post.

    Hey, that's half the wait they stated on the site. Not bad. Mine is still waiting for shipment. :(

    I gotta say though, I'm not happy about ordering anything electronic that originated in Hong Kong. I guess it's a little different since this isn't a game or anything, but it still bugs me.

    Question for the thread. Has anyone tried and had success of any measure with the pixel fixing utilities? I'm holding out a lot of hope that I'll finally be rid of that bright blue stuck pixel in the center of my screen. I guess my reservation about it is, if it can fix stuck pixels, why isn't it included in the firmware for the DS and PSP? I mean, imagine how many returns they could have averted. Maybe in the next handheld?

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    harvest wrote: »
    My R4DS shipped today from Dealextreme, it says it's going to be delivered in 4 to 7 business days by Hong Kong post.

    Hey, that's half the wait they stated on the site. Not bad. Mine is still waiting for shipment. :(

    I gotta say though, I'm not happy about ordering anything electronic that originated in Hong Kong. I guess it's a little different since this isn't a game or anything, but it still bugs me.

    Question for the thread. Has anyone tried and had success of any measure with the pixel fixing utilities? I'm holding out a lot of hope that I'll finally be rid of that bright blue stuck pixel in the center of my screen. I guess my reservation about it is, if it can fix stuck pixels, why isn't it included in the firmware for the DS and PSP? I mean, imagine how many returns they could have averted. Maybe in the next handheld?

    They probably left stuff like that out because of epileptic seizure lawsuits.

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  • NofrikinfuNNofrikinfuN Registered User
    edited April 2007
    harvest wrote: »
    My R4DS shipped today from Dealextreme, it says it's going to be delivered in 4 to 7 business days by Hong Kong post.

    Hey, that's half the wait they stated on the site. Not bad. Mine is still waiting for shipment. :(

    I gotta say though, I'm not happy about ordering anything electronic that originated in Hong Kong. I guess it's a little different since this isn't a game or anything, but it still bugs me.

    Question for the thread. Has anyone tried and had success of any measure with the pixel fixing utilities? I'm holding out a lot of hope that I'll finally be rid of that bright blue stuck pixel in the center of my screen. I guess my reservation about it is, if it can fix stuck pixels, why isn't it included in the firmware for the DS and PSP? I mean, imagine how many returns they could have averted. Maybe in the next handheld?

    They probably left stuff like that out because of epileptic seizure lawsuits.

    Good point. Damn if I don't already have to sit through a warning every time I start the DS. (Twice, if I play Dr Mario/Puzzle League.) I'd be tempted to flash the DS to get rid of that thing, but I'm sure Karma is currently dictating that the next risky venture I perform will be regrettable.

  • mntorankusumntorankusu Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Question for the thread. Has anyone tried and had success of any measure with the pixel fixing utilities? I'm holding out a lot of hope that I'll finally be rid of that bright blue stuck pixel in the center of my screen. I guess my reservation about it is, if it can fix stuck pixels, why isn't it included in the firmware for the DS and PSP? I mean, imagine how many returns they could have averted. Maybe in the next handheld?

    They probably left stuff like that out because of epileptic seizure lawsuits.
    On the DS at least, it would have been possible to make it only work while it's closed.

    Assuming PSP software is capable of messing with the backlight, it could disable the backlight while it's running too.

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    harvest wrote: »
    My R4DS shipped today from Dealextreme, it says it's going to be delivered in 4 to 7 business days by Hong Kong post.

    Hey, that's half the wait they stated on the site. Not bad. Mine is still waiting for shipment. :(

    I gotta say though, I'm not happy about ordering anything electronic that originated in Hong Kong. I guess it's a little different since this isn't a game or anything, but it still bugs me.

    Question for the thread. Has anyone tried and had success of any measure with the pixel fixing utilities? I'm holding out a lot of hope that I'll finally be rid of that bright blue stuck pixel in the center of my screen. I guess my reservation about it is, if it can fix stuck pixels, why isn't it included in the firmware for the DS and PSP? I mean, imagine how many returns they could have averted. Maybe in the next handheld?

    They probably left stuff like that out because of epileptic seizure lawsuits.

    Good point. Damn if I don't already have to sit through a warning every time I start the DS. (Twice, if I play Dr Mario/Puzzle League.) I'd be tempted to flash the DS to get rid of that thing, but I'm sure Karma is currently dictating that the next risky venture I perform will be regrettable.

    I reflashed my DS Lite without anything bad happening, but yeah, it's risky. Especially with the Lite.

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  • NofrikinfuNNofrikinfuN Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Here's a thought. When will we see a homebrew option pak that supports increased RAM, rumble, tilt and SLOT-2 homebrew w/microSD support? (All crammed into a DS Lite cart, with an optional GBA sized casing.) I've seen all of these things in seperate commercial/homebrew projects, or something very similar, but what are the chances of an omni-pak?

    It would certainly be awesome. I don't believe I'd ever remove it from the slot, since I loathe constant cart-swapping.

    Man, my R4 needs to ship/arrive so I stop musing about homebrew and can actually use what exists.

  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    When they supersize the DS? You already lose GBA support if you get a rumble card because there's not enough space.

  • NofrikinfuNNofrikinfuN Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Glal wrote: »
    When they supersize the DS? You already lose GBA support if you get a rumble card because there's not enough space.

    You sir, have quashed my hopes. Ah well. I'm not nuts about rumble anyway, else I would have bought Prime Pinball by now. I would like a slot-2 microSD homebrew device with a ram expansion, however. (As ram expansion appears to be necessary to run Mac OS 6 on the DS.) Tilt would be cool, though there are no commercial games and only a few homebrew games that support it.

    One step at a time though.

    I don't think I ever got an answer to my original question, come to think of it. Is there any kind of Slot-2 homebrew that I'll be missing out on since I opted for the R4? I remember hearing something about GBA homebrew only being able to run on Slot-2 devices, but I'm not certain what GBA homebrew may be of interest.

  • mntorankusumntorankusu Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Glal wrote: »
    When they supersize the DS? You already lose GBA support if you get a rumble card because there's not enough space.
    There's no real technical reason it couldn't be done. For the Supercards with no GBA support, they just added rumble as a gimmick to get people to buy it, because removing the RAM saved them a lot of money. But the sad fact is, we probably won't see anything like this contained in Slot-2 because Slot-1 cards are becoming so popular.

    Right now, though, there's at least one Slot-2 expansion with RAM and rumble, meant to be used in conjunction with Slot-1 MicroSD adapters. GBA homebrew is loaded into the RAM inside the Slot-2 expansion from the MicroSD, and then it swaps over to GBA mode.

  • harvestharvest By birthright, a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Glal wrote: »
    When they supersize the DS? You already lose GBA support if you get a rumble card because there's not enough space.

    You sir, have quashed my hopes. Ah well. I'm not nuts about rumble anyway, else I would have bought Prime Pinball by now. I would like a slot-2 microSD homebrew device with a ram expansion, however. (As ram expansion appears to be necessary to run Mac OS 6 on the DS.) Tilt would be cool, though there are no commercial games and only a few homebrew games that support it.

    One step at a time though.

    I don't think I ever got an answer to my original question, come to think of it. Is there any kind of Slot-2 homebrew that I'll be missing out on since I opted for the R4? I remember hearing something about GBA homebrew only being able to run on Slot-2 devices, but I'm not certain what GBA homebrew may be of interest.

    I think the port of Quake to the DS requires a Slot-2 device for some reason. I'm not sure why this is. Not that I care, I'm way more interested in Descent on the DS :D

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  • AnakinOUAnakinOU Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    My R4DS is also supposedly on the way from the land of milk and piracy.

    I can't wait to try out SCUMMVM...

  • NofrikinfuNNofrikinfuN Registered User
    edited April 2007
    AnakinOU wrote: »
    My R4DS is also supposedly on the way from the land of milk and piracy.

    I can't wait to try out SCUMMVM...

    The price must have been right on that particular item. There are at least 3 converts, by my count.

  • AnakinOUAnakinOU Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    $45 shipped, including a MicroSD card and USB adapter? Yeah...that's a great price. I've been on the fence for a year now, with the $100+ solutions. One for less than half that was a no-brainer.

  • NofrikinfuNNofrikinfuN Registered User
    edited April 2007
    AnakinOU wrote: »
    $45 shipped, including a MicroSD card and USB adapter? Yeah...that's a great price. I've been on the fence for a year now, with the $100+ solutions. One for less than half that was a no-brainer.

    Same here. I was a little apprehensive about the microSD slot-1 because of supposed compatibility issues, but DLDI seems to have all but eliminated the problem. Now, Slot-1 will probably become the norm, if it's this much cheaper than the alternatives.

    Also, silly as it sounds, I didn't want the old devices because they were too bulky and I didn't want a Lite/Phat specific solution because I'm currently using a Phat and pining for a Lite. Slot-1 makes perfect sense for me. (I've also been wanting to invest in SD cards in case I can ever afford a Wii. Also, with the USB card reader, I basically got the equivalent of a 1GB usb thumb drive in the deal.)

    Now the only issue is whether or not anything requires a slot-2 device or RAM expansion, or whatever. I figure the Slot-1 options will be more than enough for the time being, though.

    EDIT: I was wondering. How hard do you suppose it would be to get the alternative case for the R4? I've read the originals had both casings packaged with the device, but the newer batch is all white with no extra casing. Personally, I'd prefer the black/grey casing.

  • NofrikinfuNNofrikinfuN Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Hmm. It seems my R4 shipped on Sunday via the Hong Kong Post. However, the order tracking number given to me by dealextreme is around 4 characters to long to even fit in the order tracking box. (Basically, I can't seem to track my order.) Is it time to start a panic, or is there still a chance I'm not being ripped off? Has this been happening to everyone else in this thread who ordered the R4?

    I mean, if everything is on the up-and-up, that's cool. Theres still a week or two wait, but at least it's (supposedly) on its way. :D

    Quick question: What are some absolute essentials for homebrew? For instance, I'm vaguely aware of this DLDI library thinger, but are there any other "Oh yeah, you need <blank> to run anything at all." things I need to pick up somewhere?

    Just want to be ready for the thing, software-wise.

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