What an incredible time to be a Genesis and MegaDrive fan, with an absolute glut of top tier homebrew projects on the go right now for the classic Sega system!
Investigating just a handful of these that have popped up over the last few months:
YouTube channel “Pigsy’s Retro Game Dev Tutorials” has released a number of videos on their process of porting of “Symphony of the Night”. I imagine it would be an extremely challenging task taking the original game on the enormously more powerful PlayStation hardware (with true-colour graphics, sprite rotation, CD-ROM storage and more) and attempting to squash it down to Genesis/MegaDrive hardware. But the videos really speak for themselves. Make sure you check out the other videos on their channel too that go into more detail on many of the challenges faced.
Renowned Genesis recolouring expert Gabriel Pyron also got involved recently, lending his amazing talents to the task
Hahaha now I realize that's I uploaded the incomplete version… It's so many details that I lost myself in pixel madness. The original has more than 300 colors on the screen.. I'm using 45 😀#pyronslair #megadrive #sotn pic.twitter.com/X0Ut75AK5d
— Pyron (@GabrielPyron) September 20, 2021
“Pigsy’s Retro Game Dev Tutorials” also posted a fantastic video showing their efforts porting the Sega Game Gear classic “GG Shinobi” to Genesis/MegaDrive as well. This port is somewhat the reverse of “Symphony of the Night”, where a game on a technically inferior system can be scaled up with extra details. The video takes us through much of the process to date:
Twitter user Gasega68K meanwhile has been working on a StarFox port. They’ve shown off the famous “scramble” intro as well as work on the first level, and consider the complete lack of “SuperFX” style 3D hardware, this is absolutely mesmerising.
— Gasega68k (@gasega68k) September 18, 2021
Twitter account Arkagis is working on a homebrew game titled “Arkagis Revolution”, with equally as impressive Mode 7 style 3D/FPS graphics. Regular updates on their account show of their impressive work, and they even have a working demo you can try for yourself:
You can download the trial version right now! https://t.co/ydUmK8ytCv Try it with an emulator or flashcart! pic.twitter.com/7byVrPvAXz
— Arkagis (@arkagis) September 10, 2021
And finally Erik Haliewicz has been posting regular updates of their 3D engine with what appears to be 3D texture mapped walls and now a moving elevator:
Added a lift.#sega #megadrive #homebrew #セーガー #メガドライブ pic.twitter.com/pAWhJmpmQ0
— Erik Haliewicz (@ErikHaliewicz) September 25, 2021
Truly impressive stuff from all of these wonderful developers, designers and artists for one of my all time favourite systems. Make sure you follow them all to keep abreast of their latest work.