Hello! We're Chris and Jorge, a two-man team of enthusiasts with a more than 20 year long history of developing Nintendo Virtual Boy software. We are creating a versatile, open source Nintendo Virtual Boy game engine, development tools as well as new games for the system.
Support us on Patreon and get access to exclusive demos and more.
Find sources to all of our projects on Github of which most are MIT-licensed.
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VUEngine in motion
See most of our projects in motion in our Youtube channel.
Get in touch
Meet us and a great community of Virtual Boy enthusiasts on the Planet VB Discord server.
Everything Virtual Boy
Extensive Virtual Boy database and home to a dedicated and enthusiastic community.
About VUEngine Studio
VUEngine Studio is a custom integrated development environment (IDE), tailor-made for Nintendo Virtual Boy game development with VUEngine, our versatile, object oriented Virtual Boy game engine. It is built with Eclipse Theia, a framework for building cloud and desktop IDEs using modern, state-of-the-art web technologies. At its core, Theia reuses central building blocks of Visual Studio Code and as such, VUEngine Studio looks and feels very much like VSCode and is able to consume VSCode extensions.
A quick history
In the early days of the VB homebrew scene, setting up a development environment was a challenge in itself, holding back many from even attempting to write any code for the Virtual Boy. People would have to patch and build the compiler themselves, then use some text editor to write C code against rudimentary, non-standardized libraries, invoke the compiler through the command line, throw the ROM at an inaccurate emulator... rinse and repeat for every testworthy code change. In the best case, tasks like compiling and running in an emulator were wired up to some custom buttons in the text editor. But still, all that was custom setup work.
Around 2011/2012 we managed to simplify the setup process tremendously by packaging all the necessary tools and some sample code in a preconfigured bundle called "VBDE" (Virtual Boy Development Environment). Finally, setting up a development environment was as easy as downloading and unzipping VBDE. Eventually, we also included VUEngine in the VBDE package and started shipping both together.
VBDE has been a convenient tool for many years and made our lifes and those of many other Virtual Boy developers much easier. However, at the end of the day, VBDE was just a collection of mostly general purpose tools with some minor customizations for our cause. As such, it left a lot to be desired and we had long been striving for some better tools to replace VBDE. When Visual Studio Code emerged, it looked like we had finally found the right route to go down. We started implementing a custom extension called "VUEngine IDE" in December 2018, and shortly after, we had implemented all the needed tools and complete switched over from VBDE internally.
Around the same time, we did a survey on our Patreon, asking our backers what we should focus on in the following months. We were pleased to learn that many people were interested in learning how to create their own games with VUEngine, and we were eager to create a series of tutorials to empower them to do so! However, in order to be able to demonstrate things with the same tools people would eventually be using, we first needed to finish our work on the new IDE. But months, even years went by and we obviously had a bit too much work on our plates to bring our VSCode extension, which we renamed to "VUEngine Studio" in the meantime, to a releasable state.
Fast forward to November 2020. VUEngine Studio (the VSCode extension version) was still an internal tool, shared with only a few other developers. And we still weren't able to deliver those tutorials we promised (sorry again for that!). We had poured a lot of energy into Formula V that year and were taking a two months break from Virtual Boy development to refill the batteries... or at least that was the plan, but things took a U-turn after we learned about the Eclipse Theia project...