Game Boy: my first steps

On 4th March, 2013 I bought a Game Boy Color in really good condition, so this became my very first game console (at age 27, huh).

On this day I heard the welcome notes for the first time – it felt great, hehe.

It says “© 1998 Nintendo” on the back, so this is a 15 years old platform (actually mostly a 24 years old with some improvements, as the original Game Boy was released back in 1989), but still great! I’m in love with it.

I’ve also checked out the Game Boy Advance (GBA) before I bought decided to go with GB/GBC line – the GBA has a 32-bit CPU at 16 MHz and 288 kB RAM + 96 kB of VRAM, this spec is just ridiculously high, who needs this much anyways? I’m sticking with the lower specs.

So I am now very happy with this little Game Boy Color – next thing on my TODO list to buy a programmable cartridge and start to test my developments outside the emulator.

This post was migrated and edited a bit from my old blog where it was posted on 1st April, 2013.

Development for Game Boy (Color)

I have to say, the Game Boy is a pretty impressive platform!

With a 4 MHz 8-bit CPU, 8 kB RAM and 8 kB video RAM it has strict limitations but some nice perspectives at the same time.

It was a rather unexpected fact to me that the 160×144 pixels screen is refreshed at 60 FPS (!) and the device has a 4 channel sound system with mono speaker (but stereo headphone jack). It has also hardware-level tile storing (8×8 or 8×16 tile data, the pixel data) and tile mapping (32×32 tiles map, that’s 256×256 pixels on this bad boy:) ) function. Also, the background-scrolling is implemented in hardware, at any given time 20×18 tiles (160×144 pixels) are visible but 32×32 tiles (256×256 pixels) are in the video RAM.

Documentations I find useful and any work I do will be stored in a git repository on GitHub: https://github.com/gheja/gameboydev/

This post was migrated and edited a bit from my old blog where it was posted on 30th March, 2013.