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August 9, 2022

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Everything about MSX, and more…

Modern MSX BASIC Game Development

6 min read
Build retro games in MSX BASIC using modern tools. A new book focus-centered in games development for modern times using MSX BASIC, by Raúl Portales.

Raúl started programming like most of us did. In his case, he was barely ten years old when he was first introduced to computers. And, as many of us, it influenced his choice of career. Nowadays, Raúl works as a software engineer with a focus on the Android platform. About his MSX creations, we can list Raftoid and LOGIC, both participants in the previous issues of the MSX Dev contest.

The book is titled Modern MSX BASIC Game Development and is divided into nine chapters. Each of them is dedicated to a specific topic that invites readers to explore very interesting nuances of the MSX Basic. The book has more than two hundred pages, on which the author covers not only the subject of programming games in MSX BASIC but also tools that exist today to create a development environment that can take advantage of many particularities of the MSX Basic language, covering everything from drawing to using and managing sprites and also the play command.

Some people may wonder if there are still uncovered subjects nowadays to justify a new book about MSX-BASIC programming. The simplest answer is, YES there are! More than anyone may believe. Of course, people can find good sources of information about the same topic online, but it will be scattered and not explored in-depth as it is in the book, most likely not in an ideal logical pattern either, which is what this book offers: a great compilation of information and techniques organized in a format that makes sense for people to truly learn and master the subject without gaps, detailing from beginning to end how to program games in MSX BASIC language in modern times, with modern tools, and using a modern approach.

In addition to the book, the author was kind enough to create a public GitHub repository for the programs he provides in the book, with examples and code that can be tested directly in the browser using WebMSX, something he also teaches how to do in the book.

As soon as the book gets published we will update this article with the URL. Meanwhile, please enjoy the freebies the author has gently released: the GitHub Repository and a demo of some programs he explores in the book running directly on WebMSX.

The book will be sold on Amazon, starting July 16. It will be available in paper format for $19.99, and in digital format for only $9.99. Click HERE to visit the book page on the Amazon store. The book is available for pre-order starting today (07/13/2021) and will be officially released on 07/16/2021.

From the Book’s page:

 

MSX is a 1983’s 8-bit architecture standard for home computers. It includes a Z80 microprocessor and dedicated chips for graphics and sound.

MSX BASIC is the default language of MSX computers. It is simple, yet reasonably powerful. You can use sprites, joysticks, and even access the graphics and sound chips directly. That makes MSX BASIC a great entry point for making games and learning all the important concepts of MSX.

Back in the 80s, then there was no Internet. The books available were few and often not very helpful. Most contained simply a list of all the BASIC instructions and some program listings without any explanation. It was unnecessarily hard.

Nowadays there are vastly more resources available, but I still missed an all-in-one solution with all the details on how to write good games using MSX BASIC with the tools we have available today. That is what this book aims to be.

Welcome to Modern MSX BASIC Game Development.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0996Y5CS2
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 16, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 12215 KB
  • Simultaneous device usage ‏ : ‎ Unlimited
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled

ERRATA: Previously, we have stated the following: “It is important to note that, despite the title of the book being in English, the book is written in Spanish.“. However, based on the information provided on the Amazon page just released today (07/13/2021), it appears the book is actually in the English language.


This article is based on the original post published on 07/12/2021 at MSX Blog, by Konamito.
Some parts of the original post have been used as a reference to compose this article, which was done with the authorization of the original author.


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