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How friendly is homebrew development - Printable Version

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How friendly is homebrew development - IncVoid - 06-10-2013

I bought one from a gamestore maybe in 03...bundle packed with like 6 games.

I initially was wondering about backlit hardware hacks, but didn't get anywhere. I don't have the skills and I end up breaking things.

So I was thinking that'd be cool if you could use the ext port to program the ram (ram fill and reboot), similar to a propeller chip..but I figure that isn't a feature of the ngpc...

so I looked up ngpc dev...saw the flashcart post from the 3rd I think...
Then I thought... I don't know c..I don't know z80 or the main cpu.
or asm or pipeline stuff.

Compared to other systems how hard is it to fickle around with?
I'll read the instruction set and specs later. Just wondering if its...not worth dumping 130$ to have something that is out of my league.


RE: How friendly is homebrew development - Flavor - 06-10-2013

Well, the most recent guy to create something that has some good example code in it was this Sebastian Mihai.
http://sebastianmihai.com/main.php?t=63

If you want a good example of coding a homebrew game, check that out.

Definitely let us know what you find.


RE: How friendly is homebrew development - mic_ - 06-11-2013

As someone who has done projects on probably a dozen oldschool game consoles I have to say that the NGPC is relatively easy to program for. If you're used to something like the Z80 you'll really appreciate the TLCS-900 with its orthogonal instruction set and all the extra registers. For certain types of games you could probably even write most of it in C, with inline assembly for the most performance-critical parts (writing inline assembly with Toshiba's compiler is really convenient btw).

BUT, if you're not used to programming in C or assembly there's going to be quite a learning curve, since you'll need to get proficient in at least one of those before you'll actually be able to start doing stuff on the NGPC. There's also less people you can ask if you run into a problem, compared to consoles that are more popular among homebrew developers (like the DS or GBA). Sometimes you might not find a clear answer (or any answer) to a question you've got for how the hardware behaves, and then all you can do is write your own little test programs to try to figure it out. That's something you'll have to be prepared for when working with old semi-obscure consoles like these.


RE: How friendly is homebrew development - IncVoid - 06-13-2013

Yeah I gathered that. I just never took the time to learn C..some of the macro or quirky syntax doesn't look straight forward compared to "basic" variants or assembly loops.

I just feel really babied working with PICs or propeller.
I never played with an sx.
Big difference between reading somebody else's code and starting from a blank document.

"Gonna be rough"


RE: How friendly is homebrew development - mic_ - 06-13-2013

Programming for the TLCS-900 is a walk in the park compared to PIC assembly. As far as C goes, it's quite a small language so I'd say it's easier to learn than e.g. C++ or Java (that's not to say that it's easier to program in, just that's it's easier to memorize the language).