Premier development studio Kuju Entertainment Ltd has released its Mapster software as open source software to aid developers in the creation of Game Boy Advance titles.
The development tool will be available for free as a download from www.kuju.com for anyone interested in developing titles for Nintendo's Game Boy Advance handeld.
Mapster has been created by Kuju's recently formed in-house Handheld Division who are working on several, as yet unannounced GBA titles. The software allows developers to easily build arbitrary sized, tile-based images for use with the Game Boy Advance. These images can be used to quickly create a variety of game environments, from traditional top-down scrollers to mode 7 style racing or shooting games.
Mapster supports different map building techniques - from simple tile-by-tile painting and stamping to an intelligent tile 'smoothing' system, as well as a simple map renderer that exports to TGA files for further processing. There is also support for creating large multi-tile brushes to paint with, as well as transparency and brush previewing on Windows 2000 / XP. The full source code is included in the Mapster download.
"We're delighted to be able to help bolster Game Boy Advance development with the release of our powerful Mapster application," commented Ian Baverstock, Business Development Director at Kuju.
"Mapster is just one of the tools our handheld division has developed for use on a variety of upcoming GBA projects. I'm sure other developers will find the tools useful for their own GBA titles."
The application is designed to foster the growing GBA development community. Under the open source licensing terms for Mapster, improvements or changes that other teams make will be made available to all through Kuju's website.