Sega Saturn Homebrew with Game BASIC

Sega Saturn for Game BASIC - Complete in Box
Game BASIC for Sega Saturn – Complete in Box

Part 1: Introduction


Game BASIC for Sega Saturn is a homebrew development kit that allows you to program games for the Sega Saturn using the BASIC programming language.  If you’re familiar with the PlayStation’s Net Yaroze platform, think of this as the Saturn’s answer to it – just cheaper and easier to get started with.

Game BASIC’s use of the BASIC language makes for a very low barrier to entry in terms of programming skill.  Though the Saturn is notoriously difficult to program for, Game BASIC makes it easy to get started and is surprisingly powerful, allowing very easy sprite manipulation and straightforward 3D polygon implementation.  It even includes an adapter cable that allows you to communicate with the Saturn from your PC to transfer or save programs and streamline development. For example, here’s a Pilotwings-esque demo, but in Game BASIC:

“Jump” demo, provided with Game BASIC (video courtesy

The caveat?  Game BASIC was released only in Japan, so this means a complete setup can be difficult to obtain and all documentation is in Japanese!  Moreover, the supporting software that allows you to use your PC for streamlined development was intended for the Windows 95 era and flat out does not install on modern systems. Oh, and the adapter cable that allows you to connect your Saturn to your PC is a 25-pin serial connection!

Who in the world still has both Game BASIC and a Windows 95 PC with a physical serial port? Nobody!  (Well, unless you’re Modern Vintage Gamer) But if you’re a brave experimenter who’s not afraid to tinker a bit, there are still multiple options to get everything working, even today!  You can even do a lot just via emulation.  So, let’s head to the Lab and get started…

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Newbie 3D Printing tips for the Anycubic Mega Zero

As I’ve gotten more and more into tinkering with electronics and old game hardware, my interest in 3D printing has grown with it. It’s not unusual to build a cool project then need a case for it. Or to encounter a broken part that’s no longer manufactured and impossible to buy. So, how great would it be to just make my own? Despite this interest, I mostly avoided the world of 3D printing because it seemed expensive and complicated.

But one thing that comes along with an interest in game hardware tinkering is, inevitably, an interest in Ben Heck’s work. So when he recently uploaded a video about a dirt cheap printer that he deemed to be “pretty nice” and “totally worth it” for just $140-$150, I lost all sense of self control and finally ordered one of my own.

Shortly thereafter, it arrived. After a relatively straightforward assembly process, I tried my first test print, and… yeah. Things didn’t quite go the way I expected:

That doesn’t seem right…

This was supposed to be an owl. Clearly, it is not. What happened? Well, a few minutes into the print, I could see that the corners were starting to warp and peel off the bed. A few minutes after that, the whole thing separated and started flailing around. The print had spectacularly failed. Clearly, something had gone wrong, but what? Being an absolute newbie at this, I had no idea, so I started reading up. As it turns out, I experienced a pretty common problem for 3D printing, and one that especially affects users of the Mega Zero: warping or curling.

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