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Phineas

Embedded Game Programming

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Somewhere along the way I've gotten the mad idea that I want to write a game that will run on an embedded system, like the Plug & Play TV games. It'd be great preparation for console programming. I've tried Google, but my search terms (embedded game programming) don't pull up anything useful. Does anyone where to get started with this? What supplier do I contact to get an embedded system, and tools to program it? Thanks for your help.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I don't have any experience of set-top boxes and such but have you considered either a web based game or a java phone game?

You can get free tools for both environments and there's plenty of people doing them. I imaging manufacturers of set-top boxes will only use established development teams or in-house teams. If they did give outside developers kits then I imagine it would be quite costly.

Try registering as a devloper for Nokia,Samsung ot Sony-Erikson. As these also manufacture set-top boxes, if you make a few phone games, it may be a way of approaching them for set-top work.

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Quote:
It'd be great preparation for console programming.


You can use fpga's to implement older hardware. But this is 'reinventing the wheel' to the extreme. Plus there's no need to goto such an extreme if you want to code to a console. You don't have to dip into any low level code at all to code for the gameboy advance. If you want to really get a feel for restrictive hardware, try coding for the origional gameboy. Trying to do anything in 8 bits is a major PITA.

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There are mature homebrew scenes for many consoles that can provide you with the necessary tools and knowlege to get started on the console of your choice, including:

Dreamcast, GBA, GB/GBC, GP32 and others, as well as Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube although those scenes are less mature.


There's also Andre LaMothe's Xgamestation, which is sort of a retro console built around a powerful pic microcontroller, and is entirely open with a complete book on its design and programming.

Google up the XGS, or 'homebrew' for your favorite console. Dreamcast or GBA are probably the best homebrew platforms to go for as far as consoles. The XGS will teach you a lot about hardware and electronics in addition to the programming side.

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Thanks all of your for your information.

The XGameStation seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. Do you have personal experience with the XGS? The price is a bit steep, but I might warm up to it if I see testimonials outside of their (ugh) very busy-looking website.

Also, at my university last semester a senior project group created a game engine for embedded systems called Project: LARGE. Their website has some good information for others who are interested, but I couldn't find out where they got their equipment.

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