• Sign in to Neowin Faster!

    Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site.

Sign in to follow this  

The Official NDS Homebrew Thread

Recommended Posts

Ji@nBing    53

Seeing as the DS homebrew scene has really matured in the past few months, I thought we may as well have a thread here about it for information and help.

Types of carts.

There are two types of carts available these days, one that goes in the top slot where a regular NDS game goes (slot-1), or the older kind that goes in the bottom GBA slot (slot-2).

Slot-1: With slot-1 carts, you do not need to run backups through a patcher. Just dump the file on your MicroSD and it will run. The only downside to slot-1 carts is they will only run NDS backups at this time. No GBA.

Slot-2: With slot-2 carts?you?need?to?run?the?backups?through?a?patcher?on?your?PC?before?transfering?them?to?your?DS.?Different?games?need?different?settings,?so?the?compatibility?is?not?as?good?as?with?slot-1?carts.?The?What you will need.need.[/size][/b]ill need.

Slot-1:

1. A MicroSD card of the size of your choice

2. A slot-1 flashcart.

3. A MicroSD reader for your PC (most MicroSD cards come with an adaper allowing you to Slot-2 standard SD reader).

Slot-2:

1. A No Pass device. This is the newest generation of Passme devices. They are a DS cart that goes in your DS cart slot and removes the security checks of the DS firmware, allowing you to run unsigned code from the GBA slot. They are very simple to use. Just put it in your DS slot like a game, and away you go. No need to flash your DS's firmware like with the previous generation of Passme's. The Superkey, Passcard 3, and MK4 - Mini are the currently the best ones on the market.

To find out what No Pass device is best for you and the cart you are using, consult this chart.

2. A GBA flash cart. This is a cart that goes in your GBA slot and works as an adapter for flash media (CF, SD, MiniSD, or MicroSD). Basically you load the files onto the flash media on your computer, pop it into the GBA flash cart, and run the files from there. There are many different carts on the market of various sizes. Different carts have different compatibility with homebrew, DS backups, and GBA backups, so it is important to do a bit of research before buying to find the cart that fits your needs.

Right now the two best all-round carts are the Supercard and the M3. The M3 has a nice GUI loader and slightly better GBA backup compatibility. The Supercard has a simple text based loader, and slightly worse GBA backup support. Both have about the same compaitibility with DS backups and homebrew. The M3 is almost 2x the price of the Supercard, so you will have to decide for yourself if the GUI and slightly better GBA backup support is worth the extra money to you.

Some carts, such as the G6, have internal memory so there is no need for extra flash memory such as an SD card. This type of cart currently only has up to 512MB of memory, however. That's probably enough if you only plan on using it for backups, but if you plan on running a lot of homebrew, MP3's, and videos, you will find it to be not nearly enough room.

3. If you went with a cart without internal memory (such as the M3 or Supercard), you will need flash memory of your choice and size matching the format of the cart you got (for instance, if you got the Supercard MiniSD, you will need a MiniSD card in the size of your choice). You will also need a USB reader to read the card on your PC.

Here are a few links to the homepages of just a few of the more popular carts for the DS:

Supercard

M3

Where to buy.[/u][/size]

[/b]!--sizec-->

I would recommend buying from a place based in North America or Europe over a place in Asia. The Asian places get the new products a fair bit earlier, but can be quite untrustworthy. Better to wait a few weeks longer and get it from a more trustworthy source. I've got all my stuff from Kicktrading. Great customer service and fast shipping. He's based in Canada, but ships worldwide.

There is a fairly definitive list of shops and reviews on GFlashme.[/size]

[/b]!--sizec-->

Flashme is a replacement firmware for the DS that doesn't have the security checks built in, allowing you to run unsigned code from the GBA slot. You will still have to purchase a No Pass device as described above to install it. Be aware that many people have bricked thier DS's trying to install it, particularly the Lite. However, if you folPros and Cons of Flashme: be ok.Pros:

Cons of Flashme:

Pros:

1. No need to have a No Pass in your DS slot. Helpful if you have lots of legit games that you will be swapping out.

2. Checks for the only known DS virus.

3. Saves a small ammount of battery time because yoCons:

hing in the DS slot.

Cons:

1. You can brick your DS trying to install it and a lot of people have done so.

2. Voids your warranty.

3. Not really needed anymore with the new No Pass carts.

Some people like to use flashme because it wites recovery code in your firmware, allowing you to recover from a virus attack. They feel this makes them "safe" from viruses. Personally I think it's not needed. The virus was only released as a proof of concept and only got 5-10 people, and that was about 6-8 months ago. No one has seen it since. I personally don't feel it keeps you safe and it's more risky trying to flash your DS than any threat from viruses.

Whether you have Flashme or not, the best way to protect yourself is to only get your homebrew from reputable sites such as the ones posted futher down in this guide, and let others test it first and report back. Wait a few days to a week after it is posted and read the comments, making sure it is safe. I followed this practice with my Flashme'd DS Phat, and I follow it with my non-Flashme'd DS Lite with No Pass (Superkey) as well. My point is that you are dreaming if you think Flashme is going to keep you safe and protect you from viruses. Only being a smart user will. This is why I think Flashme is not needed as protection from viruses. Like I said, it will not check for the next virus released anyway and the one virus that was released was not widespread and hasn't shown up since.

Personally, I think the No Pass is the way to go. You already need it to install Flashme anyway. Why void your warranty and risk bricking your DS when No Pass works sHomebrew.

[/b]DLDLDI!--/sizec-->

DLDI

DLDI?is like a file driver for your flash cart. Before DLDI, homebrew developers would have to develop thier software, test it on whatever card they have, and then release it. People would try the app, then report back that there are bugs on thier cards or it's not compatible. The developer would then have to try and fix compatibility with every card that is out there and make it work perfectly on every card. A daunting task. Developers were spending as much time trying to fix compatibilty as developing the actual software.

With DLDI, the developer only has to develop with DLDI compatibilty in mind. If it is DLDI compatible, it will be compatible with all cards. This frees the developer to just develop his software and not have to worry so much about compatiblity and fixing it for every card that is out there, thus making the DS a much easier and more applealing platform to develop for.

What it means for developers: As stated above, they can just develop their software and not have to spend so much time on compatibility.

What it means for users: Homebrew software should work on all cards. You won't have to wait for developers to release a version for your card or fix issues with your card. The con is that you have to get the DLDI patcher software and DLDI driver for your card and patch the homebrew file with it before it will work, but this only takes a few seconds and is well worth it for better compatibility and to keep developers happy.

So basically what you would do is you would download whatever homebrew you want to try, and if it is DLDI compaitble, you grab the DLDI file for your cart and the GUI patcher here, and patch the homewbHomebrew Appsle and it

>HoHomebrew Apps]art.

Homebrew Apps

There are a lot of really great homebrew apps available for the DS. There are two that I think are must - have for any DS owner, Moonshell and DSOrganize.

Moonshell is an all in one file viewer and media player. With it you can listen to MP3's, watch movies, view pics, and read .txt files. It is highly skinnable and customizable. It can be complicated to set up until you know what all the settings do.

Here's my skin and compile with LE5 skin for those of you who either want the skin, or would like to give Moonshell a try, but don't want to go through the trouble of compiling it.

Screenshots:

screenblue2wz.png

screenblack6zk.png

Kit for compiling your own.

The black version looks a little bit "grey" on the Lite with full brightness due to the insane brightness of the Lite. Maybe I'll make a version made just for the Lite with full brightness when I feel motivated and if there is demand for it.

DSOrganize is an organizer app for the DS. It has a Calendar, Day Planner, Address Book, Todo List, Scribble Pad (paint), File Browser, Calculator, and Homebrew Database. The file browser is much more robust than Moonshells. It allows you to create and delete files, hide and unhide files, view .txt files and add bookmarks as well as edit them, and view and edit HTML files. One of the best things about it is the Homebrew Database. Though it only has a small percentage of what is out there, it allows you to download apps over Wifi right MrShleeAwesome stuff!!

MrShlee[/i]ome stuff!!

MrShlee compiled and posted a great list of apps and links later on in the thread that I will repost here so it is easy for everyone to find. I've also added a few additional apps of my own discovery to this list. It is by no means a definitive list, but it is more than enough to keep you busy for quite some time:

DS related news http://ds.whatalicefound.net/news/

DS related homebrew http://ds.whatalicefound.net/dsbin/

or *Currently outdated* DS Wik

This has everything to do with Homebrew - No Warez or Romsto do with Homebrew - No Warez or Romso

mebrew - No Warez or Roms

DLDI[Allows most newer homebrew to work properly on all carts]

Wolfenstein 3D [Wolf3D SDL Port]

PicoDriveDS [ARM7 Genesis Emulator Port]

DualSwan/WonDerS [WonderSwan emulator]

NDSMail

A Touch of War [AOE-like RTS]

DS Drum Machine [909 and 808 sample sets]

Dissonance [streaming media]

SylphAMP [Winamp-to-NDS interface]

Moonshell [Complete Media Player]

DSLinux [Linux on the DS.. powerful port]

Yet unnamed RTS Project [Cool but yet unnamed WIP RTS engine]

beup [MSN client]

Dynastab homepage [a guy who releases alot of cool stuff]

ScummVM DS [its ScummVM for the DS - pretty good]

Poke Teh Bunny [Poke the Bunny. Careful! It bites!]

DSOrganize [multifunction organizer application]

SylphIRC [Wifi + DS = IRC]

Stella DS [Atari 2600 emulator Stella]

DS Sampling Keyboard [Ferris Bueller's day off Sampling Keyboard]

DSLua [Lua script for the DS]

flashbackDS [REminiscence Port]

NitroTracker [traditional DOS/Amiga style module tracker]

Tales of Dagur [Tile based scroller]

Draw [R10 - Fun Little drawning/sketching]

DrummerS [DS drumkit *use the drum machine*]

MegaETk [MegaMegaMan Clone]

robotfindskitten DS [robotfindskitten]

AXE [Electroplanktonish music creation tool]

SnezziDS [The DS port of Snezziboy]

Bubble Wrap DS [Who doesn't love to pop bubble wrap?]

Dillama v0.2beta [DS XBMC Remote]

NetHack DS [NetHack Port]

Mini vMac DS [MiniVMac emulator WIP]

Puerto Rico [Andreas Seyfarth's Puerto Rico]

Suomitetris DS [Tetris clone]

FP-Project [Frozen Bubble Clone]

QBX [3D cube 5x5x5]

Twin Isles [sim Isle clone]

DSAIM 0.01e [AIM Client for the DS]

BatchDGP v1.0 [High Quality DPG Converter for Moonshell]

Command and Conquer DS [WIP C&C Port for the DS]

ReinMoon v0.4 [DS Cart Save Backup Tool]

DSFTP 2.0 [FTP Client for the DS]

DSLiveWeather! [Get current weather on your DS over Wifi]

This is just a very small sample and will probably be outdated shortly. Links..[/size]

[/b][/size]

GBAtemp (Flashcarts, homebrew, reviews and guides)

gbadev (Homebrew and development)

The Unofficial Supercard Forums (Supercard and homebrew)

M3 Adapter Forum (M3 and G6)

GBA The Movie Way (Movies, Homebrew, M3)

Drunken Coders (Homebrew)

What Alice Found (Homebrew)

Dualscene (News and misc.)

DS Linix (Linux for the DS)

EZ-Flash Froums (Official EZ-Flash English Forums)

Guide updated 20/03/07[/i] (Homebrew)

Guide updated 20/03/07

Edited by Ji@nBing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
crazy@5$    0

Anyone know any way to get this Wifime working over a normal wireless router?

All these apps look interesting, and it would be good to get some of the new demos, but I can't be bothered to go out and buy new hardware for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ji@nBing    53

Anyone know any way to get this Wifime working over a normal wireless router?

All these apps look interesting, and it would be good to get some of the new demos, but I can't be bothered to go out and buy new hardware for it.

I'm not too sure on that, as I've never used Wifime. Your best bet is to look arround and ask here. Keep in mind that apps such as Moonshell won't really work over it though as you need the extra space that an SD or CF card brings to run it properly.

I would really recommend picking up a flashcard. Not only will it enable you to easily run more homebrew, but you can run NDS ROMS with it as well. This way you can back up all your games to ROMS, and then just have one cart for them all, rather than having to carry all of your game carts arround. It's very convinient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Teej    203

I would really recommend picking up a flashcard. Not only will it enable you to easily run more homebrew, but you can run NDS ROMS with it as well. This way you can back up all your games to ROMS, and then just have one cart for them all, rather than having to carry all of your game carts arround. It's very convinient.

Did you honestly say that with a straight face? Yes, it can play 'Back-ups'

;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Menge    33

I would really recommend picking up a flashcard. Not only will it enable you to easily run more homebrew, but you can run NDS ROMS with it as well. This way you can back up all your games to ROMS, and then just have one cart for them all, rather than having to carry all of your game carts arround. It's very convinient.

i'm thinking of buying a DS in the next few months... what brand/model do you recommend for me to buy in order to play homebrews (and possibly my own backups too)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Teej    203

Well, I suggest waiting for the DS Lite. The new M3 + Passme works like a gem on the new DS Lite, so it's all good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Menge    33

Well, I suggest waiting for the DS Lite. The new M3 + Passme works like a gem on the new DS Lite, so it's all good.

thanks :) i'm currently waiting on the Lite to come out in the US :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ji@nBing    53

Did you honestly say that with a straight face? Yes, it can play 'Back-ups'

;)

:laugh: Just trying to keep things clean. And it's not like it's not true!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stadsport    0

Well, I suggest waiting for the DS Lite. The new M3 + Passme works like a gem on the new DS Lite, so it's all good.

Do you know if you can FlashMe the DS Lite as well? I have a flashed DS and a SuperCard, and my friend is looking into a DS Lite if he can flash it.

Some good homebrew here. I'm using Win2DS right now. It's pretty fast (though screen updates are slow), but when you disable screen updating, the mouse is fast enough to use as a normal mouse. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Raum    1

What flash carts would you recommend? I've been looking into this stuff since GBA was first launched and never got around to getting the cart. I'd also be interested in playing GBC software on the GBA SP / NDS. As well as NES and SNES for that matter. :)

Been looking for this type of thing though, an OS type software for the DS. Reading text files and so forth would be useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ji@nBing    53

What flash carts would you recommend? I've been looking into this stuff since GBA was first launched and never got around to getting the cart. I'd also be interested in playing GBC software on the GBA SP / NDS. As well as NES and SNES for that matter. :)

Been looking for this type of thing though, an OS type software for the DS. Reading text files and so forth would be useful.

I use the Supercard and it's good enough for me, but the best on the market is the M3:Perfect. It has a bunch of features that the Supercard doesn't, weather they are worth the extra money is up to you. For an extensive review on the M3, go here. They also have one for the Supercard here.

Keep in mind that the emu's for the SNES aren't all that great at this point as far as compaitbility. The creator has made it from scratch to run natively on the DS rather than port snes9x. Compatibility list here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ji@nBing    53

A new app for managing saves has been released. It's great for games that only allow one save file such as Mario Kart and Castlevania.

Features:

-create multiple save for a game (up to 9)

-change the current save for a game

-create a new empty save for a game

-copy the current save to a new one

-erase a save

Download

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ji@nBing    53

I'm posting this from my DS. Pretty cool :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DAaaMan64    0

I'm posting this from my DS. Pretty cool :)

wow cool, now about functionality... :pinch:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ji@nBing    53

It's quite good. The touch screen is used as a mouse, also showing your entire computer screen. While the top sceen is used as a zoom screen. Currently there is no way to adjust the level of zoom, but there should be in an upcoming version. The speed is pretty decent and is expected to be much better in the next release as the creator was waiting on a new version of the Wifi Lib (just released yesterday).

Homebrew authors have been waiting on that new version of the Wifi Lib for months, and it finally has TCIP and a bunch of other stuff. Expect to see a ton of new Wifi apps in the near future because of this, such a full out web browsers, e-mail clients, MSN clients, ect... We have some awesome stuff to look forward to in the upcoming months :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shadrack    601

I have a question:

I am looking at the: G6 3rd Generation 2G Combo the thread starter linked to at Kick Trading up in Canada to store my homebrew programs on.

Can a homebrew application that I write for GBA save data to the flash cartridge like it would with a "save game" type emulation of a GBA game that supports save games? Or can your program only treat the cartridge as ROM? Basically, is there anyway for me to interface with a storage device via the game console and not by external means?

Putting it another way: can I write a program for GBA that lets the user spell out their name by some means and then have the unit powered off and then power it back on and read from storage the last input was (the person's name) for instance..... ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ji@nBing    53

Yep. You can do that. An app called DSOrganize (it's in my first post) allows you to edit text files and save them, as well as create pics in a paint program and save them to the card in .png or .bmp format, then view them on the DS or hook the DS up to the PC and take them off the card for viewing on the PC. I think that's what you were asking :p .

If you need futher help with you app, I would suggest signing up and asking here. Most of the GBA and NDS developers seem to hang out there.

BTW, I've heard the G6 hasn't had as good compatibility with things as the Supercard and M3 have recently, so you may want to think about getting one of those instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shadrack    601

pretty much too late on that. I already ordered the G6 (i'm anxious to get started). Hopefully it will work well enough for my needs w/ this GBA SP.

Does anyone know if any documentation exists on utilizing the EXT.1 port in the back? The DS nearly has a complete TCP/IP implementation, while the GBA SP just has this EXT.1 port that I can't find any documentation on. I need to know how I can interface with it if it is going to work at all for my project.

I'll dig around that forum.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shadrack    601

those guys at the gbadev.org forum pointed me in the right direction. I knew someone had banged their head against the wall with this problem before, I'm just glad they wrote something about it. Turns out the Gameboy Advance SP's Comm port CAN in fact work in UART mode which makes it perfect for my application. Unfortunetly, the DS does not have a comm port. WiFi is nice, but it is very difficult to interface with from the perspective of small electronics and microcontrollers. Just a TCP/IP stack can take up quite a bit of precious memory and processing power which becomes problimatic on larger designs (read: cost more).

Next puzzle:

One problem I am having: finding cheap flash cartridge solution for my homebrew applications that I'm writting. The 2GB G6 combo that I purchased cost me $175. So I've spent a total of $215 for the whole thing. So much for buying the gameboy SP as a cheap nice full color LCD and control pad. Does anyone know of a cheaper solution? To be honest, for the application I'm putting together even 32M is a LOT of memory. The 2GB I purchased was just because I was splirging and just wanted to get started prototyping right away. My goal is to be able to impliment the gameboy advance SP as a HUD for my systems and keep the cost of a full stand alone unit below $100.

-Shadrack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ji@nBing    53

The Supercard is the cheapest flashcart on the market. Especially if you don't need much memory because you can just get a cheap, small sized CF or SD card for it (whatever version you want to go for).

If you want to do it as cheap as possible, I'd look at getting GBA SP parts on Ebay. Also I seem to remember seeing some sites that sell DS parts, I'll take a look and see if they sell GBA parts as well.

Also about the G6, it will be great for what you want to use it for. It's really only some NDS roms that the compatibilty isn't quite as good.

Good luck on your project. I hope it all works out well for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Toxicfume    7

I'd like to add voice for the Supercard, I have the CF version (which i feel is great! kind of makes it like a CF card adaptor for the NDS). And I dont even have to mention about the software support from the guy who creates it (romman), he keeps updating the firmware like crazy, and not simply forget about his cutomers once they've been sold the hardware :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ji@nBing    53

I'd like to add voice for the Supercard, I have the CF version (which i feel is great! kind of makes it like a CF card adaptor for the NDS). And I dont even have to mention about the software support from the guy who creates it (romman), he keeps updating the firmware like crazy, and not simply forget about his cutomers once they've been sold the hardware :)

:yes: Yep. In fact he just pdated the patching software and the firmware again today :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liquid    4

What about DSLinux.org?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ji@nBing    53

^Yep, sorry I missed that one. Some people may be interested in it, but it's entirely command line, so I just couldn't be bothered.

Those apps taking advantage of the new Wifi libs are starting to show up:

NDSMail is a mail client for your DS. Features in the newset build are as follows

- access point select screen (Press Start while it tries to connect to one of the default access points); may not work perfectly yet

- pop3 code improved

- smpth authorization fixed

- compose message improved

- keep alive packets sent for all screens (except dialogs)

known bugs:

- sometimes messages are displayed incorrectly or duplicated, crashes while downloading mail. most important issue at the moment caused by a bug in dswifi

- keyboard causes freeze when typed very quickly (palib)

- bad error handling for mail send failure

- config file writing not supported on some flashcards like SCSD

- keep alive packets send for all screens (except dialogs)

Please note that this is still in the early stages and has some work left to do.

DS - IRC is a new IRC client for the DS. Features are as follows:

Things that work:

-Connects via DS WFC preferences (only...)

-Connect to specified server

-Join/part channels

-Send messages to channels (kind of required...)

-Change nick

-Track users in channels (joins, parts, nick changes, ...)

-CTCP ACTIONs (/me)

-Quit (...)

-Onscreen keyboard for entry

Things that probably don't work:

-Privmsg to other users: you may be able to reply but they have to initiate the conversation

Things that don't work:

-Everything else

Check the gbadev thread here for usage info.

This is just the beginning. We should be seeing tons of new wifi apps in the near future :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ji@nBing    53

I've made a Moonshell skin based on em3's LE5 WindowsXP skin. Be sure to read the readme!!

scrcap1xu.png

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=1GH9PYGJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.