Back in 1990, Acclaim Entertainment brought the game Kwirk to North American shores. Originally published on Game Boy, Kwirk is a puzzle game that challenges players to get from one end of the room to the exiting staircase by running through turnstiles, moving blocks and filling holes with blocks. Fast forward to 2017 where Canadian-based Throwback Entertainment Inc has acquired Acclaim's extensive library and is currently converting the titles to be played on new video gaming hardware. The challenge they face however is the length of time it takes to convert the games. Some games are taking up to 3 months to repurpose all the assembly code and imagery from a game title which comes at a high cost. Some game titles such as Trickstyle, a popular snowboarding game, proved incompatible logic wise and required a full rewrite of the game which would take even longer.
With 180 games in their stable and more on the way, Throwback games was looking for a way to quickly share these games on newer devices running Windows 10. The biggest challenge they face is finding an easier and quicker way to convert the games currently coded in assembly language to be used on modern day hardware. Another challenge was the incompatibility of the game logic with newer hardware which would require a complete rewrite of the game which was very costly.
The objective of this project was to build an easier path of migration from the original assembly based coded game to be then played on other newer gaming platforms. The game selected to convert was Kwirk, a puzzle based game created in 1990 for the Gameboy platform which still has a major following amongst "speedrunner" gamers who enjoy time trials of game completion. This project will specifically target the ability to have Kwirk played on Windows 10 devices and on XBOX One. The following will need to be completed to accomplish this:
1. Reverse engineer the Gameboy build to extract the game mechanics and logic
2. Develop a custom wrapper engine based on openGL to provide a way to render the game as a Win32 application
3. Convert the created Win32 application to a UWP app
4. Submit the completed UWP game to the Windows Marketplace
In addition to the above core goals, the stretch goal is to complete the conversation of the Kwirk UWP game in a span of 5 days. This video details that story.