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About physical productionPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:46 am
Last edited by ichigobankai on Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:09 pm; edited 4 times in total
After a little discussion with Maxim on Discord, a idea to write down a little article about production arises.
I hope it will helps some of you.
Krikzz, offer cartridge shells to buy
(no "classic" black for the moment - 06/2020)
Important: do not forget the micro sd card hole on the top.
Price vary on the complexity/size.
So define your needs early in your dev! ROM size, SRAM (and size 8 or 64Ko)
Classic sizes are between 32ko and 512Ko.
Can be up to 32Mbits (Sega mapper's limit)
A simple game will always be cheaper. but do not restraint yourself.
Flash a rom after soldering is better to ensure a correct CRC and so mapper/flash/port connections.
CASE / BOX
Can be purchased from :
- customgamecases.com (USA)
- theboxprotectorshop.nl (Europe)
The are originally for Megadrive, but are compatible with Master System*
Original SMS booklet size are
Horizontal: 14.87 x 10.5mm (close) / 29.7 x 10.5mm (open)
Vertical: 10.5 x 14.87mm (close) / 21 x 14.87mm (open) (=A6 size)
*Be carefull, cases from customgamecases or boxprotectorshop are for Megadrive !
So adapt your booklet's size accordingly !
Vertical: 9.5mm x 16.5 mm (close) / 19 x 16.5 (open)
Horizontal: 16.5 x 9.5mm (close) / 33 x 9.5mm (open)
Paper weight between ~90 - 110gr/m2
Try to use specific software to make it properly (like Adode Indesign) and generate PDF.
Many online printers can do the job but a local printer is (nearly) always better (dialogue / visual inspection)
2 technics exists : offset and numeric.
Offset is "the king", but used for huge volume (~1000 to have an interesting price)
Numeric tends to be very close to offset nowadays, and far less expensive for little batch.
Be carefull with colors, printers use CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) not RGB !
Size 26.8 x 17.2mm
Paper weight between ~90 - 110gr/m2
||Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:49 am|
People who can produce pcb:
PCB can be personnalised (logo(s), text) or specific form.
I've already got many designs, from 32ko to 32Mbits (and a 1Gb but that's very specific)
SRAM can be 8ko or 64Ko.
Mappers are written in VHDL and can be slightly modified to feet your needs.
A proto is made before the real batch (hand soldering)
Reflow oven soldering for the batch (not by hand)
Can produce at least 100 pcb/day.
I've already helped for Flight of Pigarus (Kagesan), Alex Kidd 3 (Yeti) and produced hundreds of pcb (dip / through holes, like the one used in Duke Nukem from Revo)
To contact me:
SMSpower via PM
Discord: SMSpower channel
||Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:06 am|
|We’d love to hear from others who have made physical releases about how they did it. I’ll also add a wiki page (everyone can edit) linking back here for discussion. Thanks ichigobankai for getting this started.|
||Posted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:24 am|
For Duke Nukem:
PCB: Made by Ichigo, I chose black color but it's not the best choice to solder, used 27C4001 eprom.
Cartridges shell: used old one from bad cheap games (Super Tennis, World Soccer, Super Kick Off...).
Cartridges sticker and manual: printed at home with a Canon MG.
Cover: offset printed by Saxoprint (based in Germany), cheap but the quadrichromie (four-color process printing) was bad.
Box: from customgamecases.com
||Posted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:43 pm|
krikzz just announced upcoming blank shells for SMS games (amongst others): https://twitter.com/krikzz/status/1205972739984699392
||Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:55 am|
Making gamesPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:10 pm
Let´s see my explication
Left - The transparent one
Easy and common to find in Ebay and valid for various systems and cartridges.
Two problems with that box, no place for instructions solved with adhesive pocket, cartridge place is bigger than cartridge solved printing in 3D cartridge 2.5mm taller.
Middle - The black one
It is a original BITBOX for master system. The issue with that box is that the inlay must be printed in A3 because is larger than a normal inlay and larger than A4 size. They sold the adhesive pockets necessary to place the instructions. Place to standard cartridge is perfect. From Stone Age Gamer
Right - The blue one
Designed and size for Megadrive but cartridge place is perfect, place for instrunctions is megadrive size solved doing the manual in this size.
From Custom Game Cases
Used shells, they are the black units. Printed in 3D in diferent colors and with holes for leds, the cartridge trigame has a tricolor led that shows one color for each game you are playing.
Now I´m trying other way to print in 3D with resin and light, it is the white shell but need to be tested durability and price.
From donnor carts and news from "Mortoff Games" that makes this blue pcb´s with mapper programed.
Inlay, manual, stickers printed in a profesional shop. Vinyl stickers, Satined paper 100gr. I prefer to pay for profesional results.
Note: You can see my SMS Power trigame Cartridge. This is a personal selection and a cart with my 3 favourite homebrew games. I think could be interesting to make each year units with the winners of the Competitions and profit used to support the website and of course the developers, it is only my idea and games must be maked by others not for me, not enough talent now to do that, hope in the future.
A menu when cart starts, select best games of the year, select best music etc...
||Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:28 am|
|Certainly we’d love to offer the competition entries on a multicart but first we will need a homebrew multicart mapper.|
||Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:44 am|
|I think i've got this ;)|
||Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:49 am|
|If this is an offer then let’s do it :) and please let me know any technical requirements we might want to add to the rules (eg. mapper capabilities). Can you do multi game SRAM too? How big can we go, if we get 10 256-bank entries for example? Will there be a software menu, and a way to get back to it?|
||Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:04 am|
Quick response: up to 128MB (1Gb), a new register used for offset.
I've made a Mark III compilation (fullset, ~20Mo) with a menu (like mini consoles) and an "automatic" one (rom names)
The fram (sram without battery) is just 256Kb in 4 blocks of 32Kb as only 4 games needs to be saved (but planned a huge/better thing with a serial fram...)
Back to the menu can be done easily, just write 0 in the offset register (and rst 0) ;)
(not very possible with regular/commercial games if you do not hack each game, but easy for our homebrew scene)
SHELLS!!!Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:41 pm
Recently I bought a amall batch at
and still waiting for it, I bought almost 1 unit of each color to check how it smells and looks with the PCB bought in Mortoff Games.
I promise photos once the items arrives at home and how it looks and works with different pcb´s.
Hope early make more solid colors like red, blue and green let´s see if they increase the solid colors to select.
My idea lot of time ago was the white shells and lets see what I can make with this white carts.
There is a transparent / clear one and inmedietly I think in Ichigo, he makes a very beautiful pcb´s and with this shell a crystal edition will be very nice and impatient to recive the copy of Heroes Against Demons finally I defeat the demo, I finished the game without continue with the 3 characters at 50 and 60Hz (for me hard and very hard mode).
Hope to see early more physical editions directly from developers,and if somebody need help to make phisical copies feel free to contact me for help but all what I know it is explained at the beggining of the topic.
Now the difficult part is programming a game, make physical release is the easy part.
||Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:06 pm|
Nice, but... no "classic" black one ?
The clear blue or green can be very nice with the future "Sunny the mermaid" from Kagesan ^^
Mine are black and I've made a little 3D piece (resin print) to hide the sd card hole.
||Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:07 pm|
||Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:36 pm|
Nice! And thanks for this very helpful thread.
Where did you get the black SMS shell from? (it looks like a black everdrive one, but I still don't see this color for sale).
||Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:58 am|
From china ^^
||Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:19 am|
Thanks for the info!
I wasn't aware that chinese SMS shells were available. What do you think of the plastic quality of these shells?
(compared to Krikkz's ones)
It's really cool to see so many options to make physical releases on SMS nowadays :)
||Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:00 am|
China black shells are not "officialy" available, i've asked.
Hard to compare to krikzz's one as i do not have one yet (bought some but not sent/received for the moment).
Not a cheap/crappy chinese thing.
||Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:30 pm|
Thanks for the tip!
I'm really curious about a quality comparison with Krikzz's ones when you receive them :)
||Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:31 am|
What is the state of emulation for custom mappers? I read that custom mappers have been designed for PCBs produced by Ichigo, but one can't really develop for them unless they are emulated somehow.
||Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:55 am|
|I think custom mappers are a subset of the Sega mapper, for now.|
||Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:00 am|
|So ichigo 256mb mapper will work out of the box?|
||Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:52 am|
My 256Mb pcb needs new registers (to define page and because it can shift /autocalculate banks for compilation)
But 32Mb is already a big advance in sms dev.
I've also made custom mapper, but to protect my own game against direct dump.
||Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:00 am|
|I think that na_th_an has some ideas regarding kind of compilation cartridge, so he'll need to test on the emulator.|
||Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:06 am|
|The only thing to make is the menu (with a debugger when you reach the loading routine), no need to test the whole thing in emulator.|
||Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:23 pm|
|32 Mb is more than enough. In fact, 1Mb is more than enough. As long as I can put ROM pages in each of the three slots it will suffice. I was just wondering if such capabilities are supported by emulators.|
||Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:23 pm|
|I use the Codemasters mapper to achieve this because it’s emulator and Everdrive compatible.|
||Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:16 pm|
'standard' SEGA mapper can already do that, but it will protect the first KB ($0000-$0400) by always pointing to bank 0, no matter the mapper value you set
Codemasters mapper, instead, don't do that, and you can page out also the first KB, but you have to remember that INT and NMI handlers should be there, so you have to replicate some code into more than one bank if you swap on slot 0 (and might be useful if you want to do a collection of different games)
both are currently supported by many emulators