GBJam is an annual game jam where over a week people create games inspired by, or similar to, the games on the Game Boy consoles. In 2018 Iiro Lindell of RobberDock Games and I took part in it, with me creating the music and sound effects and he – well, everything else, really.
What I found particularly interesting about the challenge was creating music that fits thematically. For this I chose to use the FamiTracker software – a chiptune tracker that emulates the NES soundchip and allows users to compose music (and SFX) for it. Learning to use it wasn’t exactly trivial, but once I got the hang of it, there was a surprising amount of expressivity to be found.
Overall the project was fun, and I learned quite a bit about chiptune, and many of the lessons are also applicable in different styles of music. Our submission wasn’t exactly perfectly authentic to Game Boy consoles in particular – NES has one audio channel more (for five total) and I used the NCO expansion chip in Famitracker, bringing my total channel count to 7 – though I chose not to use the DPCM sample channel as it didn’t sound very gameboyish to me.
The game is available on Iiro Lindell’s itch.io page: https://iirolindell.itch.io/robberwheels