Friday, November 28, 2014

SGDK 1.00 / XGM Music Driver for Sega Megadrive

SGDK, the Sega Megadrive/Genesis Development Kit, has reached version 1.00. With it comes an exiting new music driver called XGM. It supports 4 channels of PCM playback at 14 KHz along with the usual 5x FM, 4x PSG channels. Programmers will also be happy to know that it runs entirely on the Z80, leaving the 68000 free for game/demo logic.

SGDK comes with a utility called xmgtool, which can be used to convert .vgm files to the format required by the XGM driver.

A test rom with various sound examples can be found here. More info is available on the SGDK project page.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

30 Years 'Hackers' by Steven Levy

This month it's been 30 years since Stephen Levy's book 'Hackers' was published. Arguably one of most influencial works on the subject, 'Hackers' introduced the principle of "hacker ethic". Still as fresh as it was 30 years ago:
  • Access to computers should be unlimited and total.
  • Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative
  • All information should be free.
  • Mistrust authority – promote decentralization.
  • Hackers should be judged by their hacking.
  • You can create art and beauty on a computer.
  • Computers can change your life for the better.
Read more about the book on wikipedia, or check out the first two chapters here.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

[contest] Famicompo Pico Announced

Bitpuritans have announced a new NES/Famicom music compo, with what is arguably the most epic compo announcement ever:

Details can be found at

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sustainable Chipmusic - New Thesis by Jansaw

Matthew "Jansaw" Janik has shared his thesis on chipmusic (or low resolution art, as he elegantly calls it). With its strong focus on networking and social dynamics, the paper sheds some light on aspects of the scene that haven't necessarily been in the spotlight so far. Overall it's pretty solid work and worth the read in my opinion.

The paper is available here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

[album] Sinapse by Pulselooper

Today's featured release brings us into calmer, yet no less dark and beautiful realms. In other words: New Pulselooper album, yay! Sinapse is his 10th release, composed over the course of two years on Gameboy Advance.

I believe this is the perfect soundtrack for a misty Autumn evening (even though it's summer in Brazil right now).

Don't miss the excellent promo video either:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

[album] s/t by I Am Your Destruction

Greetings from the dark&heavy end of the Gameboy music spectrum! Four years after his last release, IAYD is finally back with his first full-length album. Extreme!

A limited edition CD is also available on the bandcamp page.

Ancient Wonderworld Reaches 10k Views

Ancient Wonderworld reached 10,000 page views yesterday. This may not seem like much, but I think it's quite an achievement for a small, highly personal and subjective blog. A big thanks to everybody who has been following.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ján Deák Passed Away

With great regret I have to announce that Ján Deák, one of the most talented programmers in the ZX Spectrum scene, has passed away this weekend aged 46.

Ján was perhaps best known for his multi-channel beeper engines. With his 8-track ZX-7 music editor, he was the record holder for most channels in a 1-bit engine for over 2 decades. As recently as in March this year, he returned to the Spectrum scene after many years of absence to reclaim his title with the groundbreaking 16 channel routine ZX-16. As a member of Slovakia's Bytepack team, he was also involved in the production of several games such as Pick Out 2, Šach-mat, and Tetris 3.

I have only known Ján briefly through online and email conversations, but I'm nontheless deeply saddened and shocked by the news. My condolences go out to his family and friends.

TMDC17 Textmode Demo Compo Announced

The 17th round of the Text Mode Demo Contest (TMDC) starts today. Works can be submitted until December 12th. As the name suggests, this is a competition for textmode prods only. Minor bummer: Only Windows and MS-DOS demos are allowed.

Read about the details and submit your works at

The lovely invite by bawlz can be found on pouet.

Monday, November 10, 2014