Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2018

schedule

Game development for the ColecoVision and Sega 8-bit systems

Developing for Z80-based video game systems using modern free tools


The ColecoVision and Sega Master System are popular video game systems of the 1980s. The central part of the free toolchain is the Small Device C Compiler (SDCC), which features some optimizations particularly suited to the irregular architectures, allowing SDCC to generate efficient code for the Z80. Hardware similarities between the ColecoVision and the Sega 8-bit systems allow to target both in game development, which is supported by cross-platform libraries.

The ColecoVision and Sega Master System are popular video game systems of the 1980s. When they appeared, game development was limited to commercial developers and usually done in assembler only. Today, free tools allow anyone to develop for them with relative ease, also in C. The ColecoVision and Sega Master System are popular video game systems of the 1980s. The central part of the free toolchain is the Small Device C Compiler (SDCC), which features some optimizations particularly suited to the irregular architectures, allowing SDCC to generate efficient code for the Z80 (and some other architectures relevant to retrogaming, such as the CPU used in the Game Boy). SDCC is also used as part of larger retrocomputing / -gaming tools, such as z88dk and 8bit Workshop. Besides all being Z80-based, the ColecoVision and the Sega 8-bit systems also use similar graphics and sound chips. This allows to target the simultaneously in game development, which is supported by cross-platform libraries. Some new games have been released on cartridges. Sometimes cartridges from old games are reused, but there are also new PCB designs and newly made game cartridges.

Speakers

Philipp Klaus Krause

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