Sunday, July 17, 2016

Out Run: The Arcade Software Development Kit

OutRun turns 30 this year, and what better way to celebrate its legacy than with the release of Alex Bartholomeus' OutRun Software Development Kit (SDK).

The SDK allows you to compile C and C++ code to target the original OutRun hardware. The package includes:

  • A fully working GCC C cross compiler
  • A mostly working GCC C++ cross compiler (with a large memory footprint)
  • Shared library code including input handling, palette setup, tilemap rendering, sprites, text display and even menu functionality.
  • Example programs
  • An optional bootloader. If you don't want to program EPROMs each time, you can build a nifty interface to send your code directly to the original hardware. 

Here are some example programs that Alex has coded to demonstrate what you can easily achieve. The source code to these programs is included in the package.

There are plenty of cool uses for this SDK. On a basic level it could be used for the creation of test programs to debug and fix original boardsets. Alternatively, you could even use it to create an entirely new game! Whilst you'd lose some performance and memory by coding in C or C++ as opposed to pure 68k assembler, you'd gain the ability to swiftly create and debug code and port existing software.

Download the SDK from Alex's page here