John Carmack, the technical genius behind Doom
and, more importantly, Commander Keen
, has said that he thinks Nintendo should open up the DS hardware for young programmers to develop homebrew software on.
Carmack is currently busy crafting Orcs and Elves
for the DS, a classic RPG dungeon crawler game being developed jointly by id Software and Fountainhead Software. He created the 3D engine for the game in just four days, according to Eurogamer
. During that time Carmack came to appreciate the DS as a hardware platform especially suited to young and upcoming designers.
"It is a shame that homebrew development can't be officially sanctioned and supported, because it would be a wonderful platform for a modern generation of programmers to be able to get a real feel for low level design work...to be contrasted with the high level web and application work that so many entry level people start with.
" Carmack said in an IGN interview
At the moment there are a number of different ways to run and use homebrew software on a DS or DS Lite, many of which we explored in a feature looking at some of the best homebrew
games and how to run them. Ironically, one of the best homebrew games is a DS port of Carmack’s own Quake
. The new version of the port is now compatible with original mods and total conversions of the Quake
Nintendo currently doesn't endorse homebrew software or third-party storage devices because of the potential for piracy.
Do you homebrew? Will Nintendo ever realistically open the platform to indie developers? Let us know what you think in the forums