Sega Saturn Homebrew with Game BASIC

Part 6: Sample Homebrew Programs, Tools, and Documents

It’s hard to tell how popular Game BASIC was upon its initial release, other than to say that finding a physical copy outside of Japanese eBay sellers is pretty difficult these days.  But if you plumb the depths of the internet, there are actually some interesting relics of the time available.  Game BASIC was originally released in 1998, an age where the internet was just starting to catch on in the mainstream.  Consequently, there was a small but dedicated group of Japanese fan sites that were focused on it, with documentation, tools, demos, and even a handful of small playable games.  And the best part is, many of those sites have been saved by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine!

English Resources

The best place to start exploring, especially if you’re an English speaker, is at Satakore.  They’ve built a wonderful collection of homebrew Game BASIC programs, seemingly sourced straight from these old Japanese archives.  Definitely check them out first, along with these homebrew highlights I recommend:

After exploring what’s available at Satakore, I suggest checking SegaXtreme, which has a collection of tools that would be helpful to any Game BASIC developer, including 3D modeling tools that can create models suitable for DXFCONV, or even save directly as a BASIC file. They also have a handful of random 3D models and sample programs hidden away in their web server (with some overlap with what’s available at other sites):

And finally, there are two other old English-based Game BASIC fan sites that I’ve been able to find:

Japanese Resources

And that’s about it for Game BASIC info in English.  From here on out, you’re going to need your browser’s translate function to learn much.  But it’s also where you’re going to find the most information — if you have the patience and curiosity to work your way through it!  Many of the file download links on these archived pages are even still working.  Here’s what I’ve managed to track down:

Share at Flyback Labs

If you are aware of (or manage to find) any other useful sites, please share a link in the comments.  I’ll happily add it to the list and credit you for the help!  In the meantime, what’s your favorite homebrew you’ve found?

I have also set up a dedicated thread here at the Flyback Labs forums to share homebrew, or just chat about Game BASIC in general. Drop by if you have anything to share or have questions on your mind. This is where I’ll be posting my own work-in-progress programs and experiments (starting with a simple spaceship 3D model):

3 Replies to “Sega Saturn Homebrew with Game BASIC”

    1. Possibly! I never tried. The main problem is the installer application. If you can install the utilities on another system, you can copy paste the .exes to modern Windows and they’ll run. But I remember having stability issues/limitations with that approach (unfortunately, I don’t remember exactly what – it’s been a couple years), so I settled on using a VM as the most reliable method.

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