A downloadable tool for Windows and macOS

Make your own retro games on a virtual game console. Program in the classic BASIC language and create sprites, tile maps, sound and music with the included tools. As a beginner you will quickly understand how to create simple text games or show your first sprite on a tile map. As an experienced programmer you can discover the full potential of retro hardware tricks!

Virtual Game Console

Imagine LowRes NX as a handheld game console with a d-pad, two action buttons and a little rubber keyboard below a slidable touchscreen. LowRes NX was inspired by real 8- and 16-bit systems and simulates chips for graphics, sound and I/O, which actually work like classic hardware. It supports hardware sprites as well as hardware parallax scrolling, and even offers vertical blank and raster interrupts to create authentic retro effects.

Old-School Programming

The programming language of LowRes NX is based on second-generation, structured BASIC. It offers all the classic commands, but with labels, loops and subprograms instead of line numbers. Graphics and sound are supported by additional commands and you can even access the virtual hardware directly using PEEK and POKE. You have complete control over the program flow, there is no standard update function to implement.

Creative Tools

LowRes NX includes all the tools you need: The Character Designer for editing sprites, tiles and fonts, the Background Designer for tile maps and screen layouts, as well as the Sound Composer for music and sound effects. All of these are just normal BASIC programs. You can change and improve them or even create your own custom editors.

Share and Play

Send your games directly to other users or share them via the website. All programs are open source, so you can play them, learn from them and edit them. Do you prefer making just art or music? Share your creations as assets and let other programmers use them in their projects.

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Download

Download
LowRes NX beta 0_16 macOS.zip
Download
LowRes NX beta 0_16 Win.zip

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Development log

Comments

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(2 edits)

I hope there's more memory for sprites (like in 8-bit NES), because almost all virtual console not have so much memory for graphics.
(Tic-80, Pico-8, Liko-12 not good for artist who wanna to make Pokemon, Shin Megami Tensei or Dragon Quest games with many monsters)

(+1)

Hi. LowRes NX has a limited video RAM for 256 characters. This is what you can show on screen at the same time. BUT: You can store several character sets in one cartridge/program and copy them dynamically to VRAM. So different scenes in a game can use different character sets. You can even combine them, e.g. 128 fix characters for the whole game and 128 for the current level.

Thanks! Sounds cool!
I hope there's some examples in documentation how to use VRAM and copy some sprites.

(+1)

Not directly, it's quite low-level. Please check the documentation chapters "Memory Access" (COPY command) and "Hardware Reference" (about character data).

The call will look somehow like this, but you'll have to adjust the parameters: 

COPY ROM(3),$400 TO $8000