Complete newbie looking for help with a goal

Hi there!

My name is Erynn, and i’m rather new to coding as a whole. I have some experience in python through fiddling with RenPy to make visual novels, but nothing extensive. I’m in the middle of running through the arduboy tutorials when i’m writing this, and i’m not having much difficulty understanding, but i have a very specific goal of something i want to make for my arduboy and i was hoping i could get some pointers on where to go for information on the libraries and tutorials needed to do so.

see, i i love virtual pets, or v-pets, especially those made by bandai and ESPECIALLY digimon ones! i’ve been collecting v-pets for over half my life and its not much of a surprise that they’re getting more expensive. seriously, look “digivice” up on ebay and you’ll see what i have to deal with. on top of that, a lot of digimon i really like (like the one eyed cutie in my avatar) aren’t actually available in any official v-pets. so i figured one day i’d just make my own somehow, and got some other digivice collectors fed up with the prices with varying degrees of coding and spriting experience together to work on this idea. an arduboy is way less expensive than a digivice and can be customized! we just need to make a game on it.

but we’re all pretty inexperienced, so i need some help finding out to make the mechanics of the pet and bring them together.

the most important thing to have is a real time clock function. v-pets are idle games, you don’t really play them actively and your pet usually falls asleep at night. the first thing i need above all is built in real time clock (that doesn’t stop when the system turns off, ideally) and an animated character on screen that will fall asleep at a certain time. any pointers on where to find how to program any of this stuff would be great.

after that i’m gonna need some other stuff, like a hunger system, but i’d like to cover the clock first since everything else like the hunger and evolution systems will run off the clock.

thanks in advanced for any help!
-Erynn Q

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I may be wrong, but as far as real-time clock goes for the arduboy, it will be an issue because there’s no internal clock.

@Keyboard_Camper already did something similar, you might want to have a look:


Really? i heard there was a real time counter that worked similarly to an internal clock…

There are timers, but there isn’t a proper RTC as far as I’m aware.

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and the timers work when its turned off? if so thats all i need. i can admittedly work with it if it can’t go real time, but if it can thats ideal.

aw nuts. that dinosaur pet is really cute though! its too bad modding it isn’t allowed. s’ok though, i get the feeling its more of an achievement to make a v-pet myself then mod the hell out of someone elses.

edit: Oh wait correction, it can be modified? a friend of mine explained the GPL license to me. hmm. i guess i’ll study it then, since accidentally copying it isn’t an issue as long as i follow those rules.

You could probably implement something similar to what’s discussed in this post: Arduboy Game Jam!

Sounds like you can put the device and screen to sleep to save power and then wake up the CPU every 8 seconds or so, increment a “clock” value, and then go back to sleep quickly. It’d only work when the device’s power switch is turned on, but sounds like it’d work pretty decently.

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that sounds doable! thanks for that suggestion!


No problem. I’ve been wanting to do something similar as well (maybe a Harvest Moon style game where time continues when you’re not playing a la Animal Crossing).

As an aside, you may be able to make the button press needed to wake the CPU a button combo that won’t easily trigger when in a pocket. Physically turning the device off would be akin to putting your pet into cryosleep. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Using the sleep function is something me and @Mr.Blinky looked into.

PWR_DOWN & external interrupt


it seems the tiny dinosaur v-pet that was linked already has a power down sleep mode function where it turns off the screen but keeps running, but i’m not satisfied with this interface, the controls are kinda wonky… also the dinosaur keeps pacing back and forth much faster than is needed, it kind of looks like its freaking out. this is definitely a good basis for me to work with though! throw in an evolution system and battle system, and set it up to look a little more digimon-esque and it could be great. a save button could also be good in case it gets powered off…

well, if i’m working with this for now, does anyone know how to implement a branching evolution system?

Perhaps it would be better to ask that again when you’ve got some of the other parts of the game done.

There are several different ways that branching evolution could be implemented,
but which one is best for your scenario will depend on what the rest of your game looks like (in terms of code).