Hi all! I’m Dana, and I’m a full-time developer of cartridge games for handheld consoles. Of course, I would love to live developing video games, but is very complicated for an indie developer, and even more so if I limit myself to cartridge games for handheld consoles. I have been learning C, C++ and Python for over than 10 years, but I never worked as a programmer.
The Game Boy was the first console that I bought with my own money. I remember the sacrifice of that summer of ‘91 that surely stayed engraved on fire, watching my brothers enjoying candies and small toys, and I biting my nails to saving every coin that fell into my hands. I think that was the beginning of a great friendship.
I currently have the entire Game Boy game collection made up of all published games in Japan, US and Europe, unlicensed games and several homebrew cartridges. So, I think I have a good relationship with this brick!
I started 10 years ago developing PC games and browser games, and after that, iPhone and Android games….. but I never ended up feeling satisfied. One day I found the GBDK (the Game Boy development kit), with the Tile designer interface and Map Builder. Knowing C programming, I wanted to try it and it hooked me.
Creating cartridge games is quite similar to the Oulipo movement of the ’60s (Ouvrier de littérature potentielle) – Creativity by restriction: Make a game that sizes between 32kb and 1MB max, with a 160×144 pixels resolution, use only 4 colours or 3 colours in the case of sprites, with a limit of 40 objects per screen, no more than 10 objects per line, 256 tiles max, music limited to 4 channels, … all difficulties!, so I started in 2016 doing several minor games that I ended up hanging on itch.io with a pseudonym that I prefer not to let know.
Apart from using the GBDK, I have also tried other tools like Chris Maltby’s platform, GB Studio. It’s a fantastic tool for people with a lot of creativity but without so much knowledge of programming.
Greenboy Cartridge Games is solely dedicated to produce and sell cartridge games in physical format for handheld consoles. When I decided to create the Greenboy Cartridge Games studio, the spirit that I wanted to maintain has been the preservation of the cartridge game and the retro handheld as a console. The reason is that playing on a current PC that supports a game with lots of CPU, GPU, and RAM surpasses the gaming experience with a tiny 32kb games. Neither the music can be equally worked, nor the graphics, nor the colour palette, nor the dimensions of the game screen, and so on with long etc.
My games have been mentioned in more than 100 websites: