Nitro Engine

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Nitro Engine
TypeGame Engine

Nitro Engine is a 3D engine for DS. The objective of this is to make 3D more easily than using libnds normal funcions. It uses libnds and you can load models and textures from FAT (or EFS, or NitroFS).


  • 2D over 3D system.
  • Animated model support.
  • Very basic physics engine.
  • Dual 3D, as easy as normal 3D.
  • Loader of models and textures from FAT.
  • Hardware-accelerated effects like fog and toon shading.
  • Can load BMPs of 8, 16, and 24 bits and convert them into textures.
  • Can take screenshots of both screens in dual 3D mode or the 3D screen in normal 3D mode.

User guide

Instructions to include Nitro Engine:

  • Copy NitroEngine folder to devkitPro folder.
  • Compile it. Nitro Engine should be ready.
  • Try to compile an example to check if everything's working OK.

Compiled examples are provided by the developer. It is recommended to test the them with NDS hardware.


nitroengine2.png nitroengine3.png


Some effects does not work in emulators.


0.6.1 2011/09/01

  • Fixed identation in all code. Now it isn't a pain to read it.
  • A few warnings fixed (related to libnds new versions).

0.6.0 2009/06/30

  • The functions used to modify textures and palettes now return a pointer to the data so that you can modify them easily.
  • Each material can have different propierties (amient, diffuse...). You can set the default ones, the propierties each new material will have, and then you can set each material's propierties individually.
  • New texture and palette allocation system, it is faster and better. * Defragmenting functions don't work now, will fix them for the next version.
  • Added a debug system. You can compile Nitro Engine in "debug mode" and it will send error messages to the function you want. Once you have finished debugging or whatever, just recompile Nitro Engine without debug mode.
  • Window system renamed to Sprite system. You can set a rotation and a scale for each one.
  • The most important thing, the animation system has been improved, and now animated models are drawn using linear interpolation (you can disable it, anyway).
  • As a result, the converters are modified, so you'll have to convert yout animated models again.

0.5.1 2009/01/28

  • Minor bugfixes.

0.5.0 2009/01/05

  • Text system and camera system optimized. New functions for the camera system.
  • NE_TextPrintBox and NE_TextPrintBoxFree slightly changed. They can limit the text drawn to a number of characters set by the coder.
  • Some functions made internal. Don't use them unless you know what you are doing.
  • Fixed (?) at least the 2D projection.
  • HBL effects fixed.
  • Touch test functions.
  • NE_UPDATE_INPUT removed.
  • It now supports any BMP size, and BMP with 4 bits of depth.
  • Arrays made pointers, so there is more memory free when you are not using Nitro Engine. You can also configure the number of objects of each systems you are going to use.
  • NE_TextPalette replaced by NE_Palette.
  • You can clone materials to use the same texture with different colors. This doesn't have the problems of cloning models.
  • Added functions to remove all palettes and textures.
  • Fixed NE_End().
  • NE can free all memory used by it, and the coder can tell NE how much memory to use.
  • Texture drawing system improved a bit.
  • NE_PolyFormat simplified.
  • Some bugfixes, code reorganized, define lists converted into enums.
  • Clear bitmap supported, this is used to display an bitmap as rear plane. Each pixel can have different depth. This needs 2 VRAM banks to work.
  • Solved some problems with 2D system and culling.
  • Nomad NDS_Texture_Converter is no longer included, if you want it, look for it in google.
  • Made and added Nitro Texture Converter. Open source, and it exports various levels of alpha in the textures that can handle it. It does only accept PNG files.
  • NE now accepts any texture size. NE_SIZE_XXX defines removed as they are not needed now.
  • Added a couple of examples.

0.4.2 2008/12/14

  • Fixed 2D system (textures were displaying wrong on 2D quads) and text system (paletted textures sometimes were drawn without palette).
  • Compiled MD2_2_NEA, MD2_2_BIN and bin2nea to work in linux. Thanks to nintendork32.
  • Added a couple of examples.

0.4.1 2008/12/12

  • LOTS OF BUGFIXES. Specially, UV coordinates swapping fixed.
  • Added a function to draw on RGBA textures.
  • Fixed MD2_2_NEA and MD2_2_BIN. You'll have to convert again your models.
  • Updated to work with latest libnds. There is a define in case you want to use an older version.

0.4.0 2008/10/15

  • Added MD2_2_NEA <converts an MD2 model into a NEA file that can used by Nitro Engine> and MD2_2_BIN <Converts the first frame of an MD2 model into a display list>. Display lists created are really optimized.
  • Updated DisplayList_Fixer. Now it can remove normal commands too.
  • Added a text system. It can use fonts of any size.
  • Added some simple API functions (buttons, check boxes, radio buttons and slide bars).
  • Fixed 2D projection.
  • Removed some internal unused functions to save space, and made 'inline' some of the rest.
  • Functions that used float parameters modified so they use integers now. You can still use some wrappers if you want to use floats. This will let the compiler try to optimize the code.
  • Animated and static models are now the same. You can move, rotate, etc them with the same functions.
  • Now, you can 'clone' models so you can save a lot of RAM if they are repeated.
  • Renamed lots of model functions. Take a look at new examples or documentation.
  • NE_Color struct removed (don't even know why it is created).
  • Examples updated to work with last version and added examples of clonning models, API and text system.
  • libnds' console is not inited with Nitro Engine. You will have to init it yourself with NE_InitConsole or libnds' functions.

0.3.0 2008/09/16

  • Support for animated models (NEA format) and a program to make a new NEA file from many models (in bin format).
  • 2D over 3D system. You can draw easily quads (with or without texture) as if they were drawn using 2D.
  • Basic physics engine (gravity, friction and collitions). It does only support bounding boxes for now.
  • Added a function to delete all models, animated or not.
  • Window system, very simple. Will make some API functions in next versions.
  • Nitro Engine compiled as a library to include it easier in projects and save space.
  • Examples folder organized a bit and added some new examples.
  • Nitro Engine is now licensed under the BSD license.

0.2.0 2008/08/31

  • Added effects like fog and shading, functions to load bmp files and convert them in textures and more examples.

0.1 2008/08/24

  • Released first version of Nitro Engine
  • Includes 2 examples, documentation, tools to export models from the PC, the license and full source.


  • Joat, Dovoto and WinterMute for libnds.
  • WinterMute for devkitPro and devkitARM.
  • Chishm for libfat and DLDI.
  • The guys of gbadev for the help.
  • Martin for No$gba and gbatek.
  • Kasikiare for NDSModelExporter.
  • PadrinatoR for NDS_Mesh_Converter.
  • Ti-Ra-Nog for testing the engine.
  • Judelco for the big logo.
  • Serede for the small logo.

External links