My first Nintendo console was the Wii. Then I bought a DS. I’ve never been a big Nintendo fan. I also had a Sega Game Gear when everyone had a Nintendo Game Boy.
But, some of the fondest memories I have come from SNES games I played at friends’ houses.
I currently play, quite regularly, Aladdin for SNES on my RetroPie. It’s actually my daughter who wants to play, but she gets bored after a while because she can’t hold the Xbox360 controller so asks me to play and she watches.
The son of one of my neighbors were going to turn 13 in a month.
Since he was (and still is!) a good boy, I wanted to make him a special day, for his birthday.
So, I learned on how to program the Nintendo DS, and made a game where on the upper screen you could see a picture of a local place, near where we live (a bridge, a house, a tree, a sign…) and, on the bottom screen, you had to enter a code to go to the next step.
The boy had to recognize the place shown in the picture, go there (by foot or by bike), search for a folded sheet of paper and solve a puzzle written in there.
The solution of the puzzle was the code to enter on the DS.
If the code was correct, the DS showed the next picture, and so on.
The final picture was the place where he could find the treasure chest (and the code to enter unlocked some fireworks animation on the DS).
how did you get it to run your own software?
I have a few DSi too. Even making backups of the game cartridges is a very complex process with buying shady flashcards, GBA ports, or even having to buy a 3DS.
(You can run ScummVM on the DS too, but since I got it working on an android tablet, I moved on. Still being able to back up games in case they get lost would be nice…)
One of my peeves with Nintendo and the DS system in particular is when I played some of the Layton games. They had these extra downloadable puzzles, that were made available one or two every day or week once the game was released. I got them for the first game all at once, since it was an old game by that time.
For the Layton second game, I had to download the extra puzzles every couple of days or so.
Then I didn’t play Layton for a couple of years, but I still had bought 2 games. And then Nintendo shut down their DSi support and servers that hosted the DLC, which I only found out by accident 2 weeks after they pulled the plug.
I spent part of the weekend playing the original Legend of Zelda because my son had never seen it. He gets scared easily so I did most of the playing. You know the weirdest thing that terrifies him? That melody that plays when you uncover a secret DOO-Doo-doo-doo doo-Doo-DOO
I don’t know why but that scares the crap out of him and he runs out of the room!
You must have own a cartridge able to support homebrew programs.
They are not sold in stores because this could infringe the copyrights of published games, but it’s legal if you want to program your own games or to experiment.
For DS and 3DS, there is the R4 cartridge (and its clones). Try searching on the internet to find an online reseller.
It’s a normal DS cartridge with a slot for a microSD card, which you use to copy the needed files.
You can program in a C++ like environment.
When you compile, it creates a .nds file, which can be copied on the MicroSD card (and then inserted into the DS R4 cartridge) or, if you prefer, tested with a DS emulator (No$GBA, IdeAS, …)
10 years ago there was a great IDE (programming environment with built-in tools) for newbies called “DS Game Maker”, but it has recently been shut down.
I used that tool to program all the elements of my treasure hunt game.
@sushi if you are interested, I still have a copy of “DS Game Maker” on my PC.