Tags: GameBoy Gamejam Gamedev

Download the game for free from here: Dashy No Witch on itch.io.

Some point in the distant past I put together a gamejam entry for #gbjam, a week long jam where entries draw inspiration from the limitations of the Game Boy console. I decided to stick most strictly to the limitations by making a game for the Game Boy itself. This was slow going and I ended up with a nice looking parallax scrolling demo with extremely minimal gameplay.

Dashy GBJAM version

For Halloween 2019 I decided to flesh out the demo into more of a game and thought I'd just add a simple intro and a boss battle, something I'd made a start on previously but never completed.

I quickly ran into issues with the intro. My first attempts at drawing the cutscene graphics required more video memory than is available on the console, and to save memory I had to progressively edit the images to use more common 8 by 8 pixel tiles that could be repeated. A great excuse for my bad art.

Intro background reusing tiles. That's supposed to be drool.

For example, the hills visible from the window are made of just a few reused tiles, and the broomstick handle and the bedpost also share.

Reusing tiles to save video memory. Look at the broomstick handle and bed post.

The RGBDS assembler includes some great command line tools for converting properly prepared images to Game Boy friendly formats, and will optionally even remove duplicate tiles, making it easier to fit everything into memory.

Music and audio were created using Carillon, a nice music and soundeffect editor that runs directly on a Game Boy and saves data to the cartridge persistent memory which can then be extracted and inserted into the game.