|Basic SMS Programming|
|Tools of the Trade|
Well, you finally made it. Hopefully, you've learned a lot thus far though earlier information may have been already familiar to you. Regardless, what follows is simple. This section of the tutorial will show you all the basics of Master System programming, looking at and using actual code with a real purpose. That's right, what you're going to be doing here will involve the Master System and real output, stuff you can use on your own computer and mess around with for once.
So what is our first endeavor on our quest to program our first Master System game or demo? Well, get ready for this my friends, we are going to ... make one whole screen of blinking color! Oh my god, seriousy! That's right, you're going to learn how to make a Master System display a single color blinking endlessly on the screen for as long as the system stays on or before you have a seizure! Wow! Alright, so it's not that great, but it's a key starting point as we move further along. In fact, when programmers were starting out 'cold steel' (with little knowledge of the CPU they were working with), getting the screen to display color was considered a milestone. We're going to learn about all the necessary features to get this little program to work and how we can manipulate them on our own. It may only be a single screen of color, but with this screen we're going to learn all the real basics we need to make some more substantial projects come to life.
Included in this section will be various examples working with this same little program. First, you're going to download and start to look at all the tools and reference materials you need, just like a programmer would. Then, you're going to learn how to set up your programs to use them and dish out your first real SMS output, a ROM that will display a single, blinking screen of Sega blue. Then, you'll get a detailed explanation of how this thing works, how you can change the colors, learn about timing so you can make it go from one color to another and stop for certain amounts of time, fade, as well as working with important features such as macro, which was mentioned briefly earlier in the tutorial. So, how do we get started with all of this fun?
On the next page, I'm going to start by providing download links to all the stuff you need and then we'll begin. Each section after this will work on the same bit of code throughout in different ways. It will take time and careful study to become proficient, but again, as before, expect a nice, slow progression. Every little bit of code you see, at least at first, will be explained when necessary. So, if you jump ahead to sprites before doing the screen color tutorial you see here, you might not have a clue what's going on. Take your time, and remember, though we're trying to make this as understandable as possible, it still requires a great deal of work on your part. Above, as before, you have a table of contents to navigate with. The first goal in our programming quest is downloading the tools we're going to use. Click the link below and get started.