Porting games

Hi everybody!

I’m a new MAKERbuino owner and I’m also a very very beginner programmer. I was just wondering about porting: is porting NES or Gameboy games to the MAKERbuino is possible? And could I do this with my very beginner skills in programming?

Thank you!


In short, no, it is not possible.

In addition to having a smaller screen, the Makerbuino simply doesn’t have enough ram: if you want to emulate gameboy/nes games on the makerbuino, it just can’t be done. (In theory it might be able to emulate the games, but not even close to playable speeds, and the code to do so would be complex and hard to port. Imagine an immensely complex program to run a gameboy game at half a frame per second, but the screen can’t even display it correctly.)

Also, if you were wanting to actually port commercial gameboy or nes games, that is also not possible. All that is available for those games is assembly code. Porting the assembly would be impossible for a beginner, and even someone with experience would not attempt it. Believe me, this is not something you would want to try. So much would have to be changed that it would be far easier to write it from scratch.

For open-source homebrew games written in C, the logic could perhaps be ported, but many features would likely need to be cut, and they again wouldn’t be designed for the smaller screen. I don’t recommend this.

I recommend taking the games you would like to see on the Makerbuino as inspiration and creating a new game inspired by those games.

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Yes, and if you are like me, you can try with easy to do progams like game and watch for wich interactions was easy. There is alot of game & watch. Some ae already done but there are so many to do to have fun with and to learn how to program them. You’ll have to works to have all sprites in the screen but screen is enough big to let you do it.
It’s better to start with easy games like a pong, breaks, shoot them up, space invaders, … to be able to do it and perfect it to gain the basis of the programmation before trying more ambitious projects.


@wuuff, @Jean-Charles_Lebeau, thank you for a splendid explanation!

@Beni0121 as they’ve already said, porting GameBoy or NES games is not possible because

  • the hardware is much more limited
  • if you want to port something, you need to have its source code (which you do not have for NES and GameBoy games as they are closed-source products that were sold for money)

The whole idea behind Gamebuino and MAKERbuino is that you can have a wide library of open-source games written especially for the device.
The creations gallery is still a WIP but you should see lots of open-source MAKERbuino and Gamebuino-compatible games over there in a few weeks when after I manage to finish if https://www.makerbuino.com/creations/

Until then, you can dive into Gamebuino’s old games gallery and take some inspiration for making your own games:

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