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Thread: Retro Game Making

  1. #1

    Retro Game Making

    Hi everyone,

    As I'm sure you already know where this is going. I'm interested in Retro Game Making. I'm talking 8-bit, 16-bit. Nes or Snes looking games. I am looking at options for engines or Compilers. I was talking to Mike over at Weiring Software and he said he uses Turbo Pascal or Free Pascal to make his Retro games. You can see what they look like here. Would you guys recommend using turbo pascal? If so.. Were would be a good place to start, knowing where I want to get to. I don't mind if I do basic things like "Snake" or "Tic Tac Toe" to begin with, I just really want to take this journey.

    The other option would be to use an engine like Arcade Game Studio, which does require no programming however would be much more limited I'm sure. But this engine is designed for the "retro" look.

    So if I am to start using Free pascal. I already have a Graphic Mapping editor software in mind, that I have which is perfect. What tutorials would you guys recommend to learn Pascal? Assuming completely new and not having the slightest idea. I know this has probably been posted before, and has probably had guys bail on the journey because it seemed harder than they thought, but I'd really like to learn.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    No, I would not recommend Turbo Pascal today - if anything, only as a historical curiosity. TP is old, so many language features which people may nowadays take for granted did not exist back in its day. Also, TP only supports compiling for DOS (there were to versions for Windows, but got quickly buried after Delphi came out), whereas using Free Pascal you can, apart from DOS, support a lot of other platforms.

    Also, the question is whether you'd actually want to make a DOS game, or just a game that looks and feels retro. The first may be a bit hard, as you'll probably gonna have to run your stuff in DOSBox or something else. You probably want to make a "modern" game, as in using a modern library to handle your windows/events/audio, but just make the game look old by using appropriate gfx/sfx. This is what most game like Faster Than Light or Shovel Knight do - they have nice, modern insides that allow the games to be supported on many platforms, and just slap some retro-looking gfx+sfx (possibly also some scaling to fake a low resolution) and there you go.

    You can find some tutorials by looking through the forums here. As for using a library, I personally prefer SDL, but your preferences may vary.

  3. #3
    Okay interesting.

    I get what you are saying about a dos game versus a "modern" game that runs on windows, but has the Retro feel. So are you talking about http://libsdl.org/ as the compiler? It looks like it uses C++?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by boyscout View Post
    So are you talking about http://libsdl.org/ as the compiler? It looks like it uses C++?
    No SDL is not compiler. SDL is special library that acts as an interface between your software and graphics and sound hardware.
    It is true that SDL is written in C but there are several language bindings available including the ones for Pascal http://libsdl.org/languages.php

    I would also suggest using Free Pascal instead of Turbo Pascal because as Super Vegeta already said it supports multiple platforms and is not only limited to DOS. Also unlike Turbo Pascal whose development was abandoned quite some time ago Free Pascal is updated an maintained regularly.

  5. #5
    May I introduce http://Pulsar2d.org which is a game framework suitable for retro style games. It also depends on the SDL2 libraries but is easy to use:


    • All rendering is based on SDL2 which gives you on most platforms hardware accelerated graphics.
    • Programming can be done with Lua 5.2 or Free Pascal 2.6.4/3.0.0 or FreeBASIC 1.0.4 and newer.
    • Simple animation system.
    • Simple particles system.
    • Simple usage of bitmap (pixel) fonts.
    • Multiple windows support.
    • A lot of built-in functions gives you access to graphics, sound and input.
    • Several helper functions for use with Lua.
    • Crossplatform development for Windows and Linux (MacOS in the near future, eventually in the far future RaspberryPi, Android and iOS).
    • It is 100% free and licensed under the zLib license, so you can use it for any purposes even for commercial ones.
    Best regards,
    Cybermonkey

    Pulsar2D framework:
    http://pulsar2d.org

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    No SDL is not compiler. SDL is special library that acts as an interface between your software and graphics and sound hardware.
    It is true that SDL is written in C but there are several language bindings available including the ones for Pascal http://libsdl.org/languages.php

    I would also suggest using Free Pascal instead of Turbo Pascal because as Super Vegeta already said it supports multiple platforms and is not only limited to DOS. Also unlike Turbo Pascal whose development was abandoned quite some time ago Free Pascal is updated an maintained regularly.
    Hey man,

    thanks for this insight. I have Free Pascal installed, But to be correct the language I am looking for learning to create games there is "pascal"? Do you know any good learning resources?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybermonkey View Post
    May I introduce http://Pulsar2d.org which is a game framework suitable for retro style games. It also depends on the SDL2 libraries but is easy to use:


    • All rendering is based on SDL2 which gives you on most platforms hardware accelerated graphics.
    • Programming can be done with Lua 5.2 or Free Pascal 2.6.4/3.0.0 or FreeBASIC 1.0.4 and newer.
    • Simple animation system.
    • Simple particles system.
    • Simple usage of bitmap (pixel) fonts.
    • Multiple windows support.
    • A lot of built-in functions gives you access to graphics, sound and input.
    • Several helper functions for use with Lua.
    • Crossplatform development for Windows and Linux (MacOS in the near future, eventually in the far future RaspberryPi, Android and iOS).
    • It is 100% free and licensed under the zLib license, so you can use it for any purposes even for commercial ones.
    Thanks I'll check this out

  8. #8
    Allegro 4 is also suitable for retro-style games, as it uses a classic API style. It isn't a game engine, so may be you'll need a bit more work than others, but I'm planning to port Action Arcade Adventure Set to it.

    Allegro 5 has a more modern API, and Allegro.pas doesn't support it fully yet (it has a few issues).
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