February 19, 2013 2:45 PM | John Polson
3DS can have homebrew without it leading to piracy, developer Goodbye Galaxy Games claims. Boss man Hugo Smits says his PC and eShop software project, tentatively titled Indi3DS, could be a viable alternative to create games, demos or at least prototypes without purchasing an expensive 3DS devkit.
Developing on non-retail devices almost seems a thing of the past: Vita and mobile game developers can dive right in with retail hardware and $100 SDKs. While Smits' Indi3DS won't provide everything that the standard 3DS devkit can, he tells IndieGames that this could be a great starting point for indie developers who want to create 3DS games but are not official Nintendo developers.
"You can easily create a demo with Indi3DS... and try to find a publisher then get an official Nintendo license," he says, all with a retail 3DS and an SD card or even a QR code.
He blogged about being "really annoyed" at the large time and money investment needed to create a framework to develop for the 3DS, saying that all this work and the slow compiling time were why he has not released anything on the Nintendo 3DS, yet.
However, by creating a simulator/emulator, he could run his games on his PC instantly. Once he was ready to test the game on real hardware, the eShop software could read the game data from QR codes or an SD card with a regular, retail 3DS.
The file size restrictions for these homebrew games would be only what the hardware, SD cards, or QR codes impose. "One cool thing about this feature, it's possible for developers to split the assets and source-code QR codes," explains Smits. "So, if you just made a quick small changes to the code, you only have to reload the source-code QR code (and not the assets)."
Nintendo has managed to keep the 3DS homebrew-free, and Smits explains that his software would not open the console up to piracy. "The interpreter can only read my own code and not standard 3DS code," he says.
"The whole reason for releasing this would be to allow people to develop homebrew without having the nasty side effects like piracy a lot of tools that were developed for the homebrew community were later miss-used to allow piracy."
Smits says he would release the programming-software for the PC for free and envisions the eShop software would cost a nominal $2 or even be free. He is currently gauging interest from consumers and developers before moving forward with the homebrew-enabling project.