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Mara: Sh0rk of Justice: Version 1.0.0 Released

Over the long weekend I found out about a program called GB Studio. It's a simple drag-and-drop interface that you can use to make homebrew games for the Nintendo Game Boy. I was intrigued and I had some time, so I set out to make a little top-down adventure game. After a few days of tinkering I came up with an idea and created Mara: Sh0rk of Justice.

Mara is hacker

Mara

You made a game about me? :D

Guide Mara through the spooky dungeon in order to find all of its secrets. Seek out the secrets of the spooks! Defeat the evil mage! Solve the puzzles! Find the items of power! It's up you to save us all, Mara!

You can play it in an <iframe> on itch.io!

Things I Learned

Game development is hard. Even with tools that help you do it, there's a limit to how much you can get done at once. Everything links together. You really need to test things both in isolation and as a cohesive whole.

I cannot compose music to save my life. I used free-to-use music assets from the GB Studio Community Assets pack to make this game. I think I managed to get everything acceptable.

GB Studio is rather inflexible. It feels like it's there to really help you get started from a template. Even though you can make the whole game from inside GB Studio, I probably should have ejected the engine to source code so I could customize some things like the jump button being weird in platforming sections.

Pixel art is an art of its own. I used a lot of free to use assets from itch.io for the tileset and a few NPC's. The rest was created myself using Aseprite. Getting Mara's walking animation to a point that I thought was acceptable was a chore. I found a nice compromise though.


Overall I'm happy with the result as a whole. Try it out, see how you like it and please do let me know what I can improve on for the future.


This article was posted on M12 28 2020. Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication. Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.

Tags: gameboy gbstudio indiedev

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The art for Mara was drawn by Selicre.