MSXdev’15 Rules

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the 13th edition of MSXdev game development contest: MSXdev’15!

Important dates

The time line is set as follows :

  • 20/09/2015 : MSXdev’15 rules published and project registration opened for contestants.
  • 20/03/2016 : Game submission deadline.
  • 30/04/2016 : Final deadline for fixed versions of previously submitted entries.
  • 01/05/2016 : Jury members start to judge the games.
  • 30/05/2016 : Jury finishes its deliberation.
  • 24/06/2016 : Final report from the jury and announcing the winners

As soon the MSXdev Team has the final notes and comments from the jury, we’ll announce the results of the contest.

Game format specs

As in the previous editions of MSXdev, the selected format for the games is the MSX ROM file. Cartridges have been the most successful media format for first generation MSX computers, and most of the best games ever produced were published in this format. Nowadays, this format is also interesting because it can be easily loaded into real MSX computers, using a flash cartridge, a ROM loader or a ROM converter, and it can also be used directly on emulators. Also, there exists a growing phenomenon at the MSX scene of people developing real cartridges, so MSXdev organization wants to encourage this game format.

All the games should be 100% compatible with this MSX configuration, that is defined as follows:

  • CPU: Zilog Z80 running at 3.58 Mhz
  • VDP: TMS9918/TMS9928 or compatible video processor
  • PSG: AY-3-8910 or compatible sound chip
  • Cassette interface: 1200/2400 baud
  • RAM: 16 KB (non memory-mapped)
  • VRAM: 16 KB

Therefore the games will be tested and evaluated using this configuration. Other compatibility tests will be performed in different configurations, including MSX, MSX2, MSX2+ and Turbo-R computers. The games should work perfectly in any MSX compliant machine with the amount of RAM needed to run the game. If a game does not run properly in all MSX computers with at least 16 KB RAM it could be disqualified by the organization.

In addition, it is allowed to make use of additional MSX hardware but they will not be taken into account when determining the final quality of the game by the voters. The goal of the contest is producing fine quality games that could be fully enjoyed in any MSX system.

About the ROM size, any size will be accepted as long as it does not require a ROM mapper. In other words, the acceptable ROM file sizes are 8 KB, 16 KB, 24 KB, 32 KB, 40 KB and 48 KB. The reason for this size limit is that we would like to load the games in regular MSX systems without additional hardware.

These ROM files can be developed using any programming language. There are no requirements here, but of course assembler is strongly recommended. Other compiled and/or interpreted languages are perfectly admissible. MSX BASIC can be used as well, when converted into a MSX ROM.

Although original games will be preferred, non-original concept games will be also accepted. This includes conversions from arcades and/or other console or computer systems, as well as adaptations of already existent games. However, recompiled games are not acceptable. Already released games or hacked games will not be accepted either. Also, direct graphic or music rips from other authors used without permission will not be acceptable. In case of doubt, the organization is entitled to ask for proofs, such as the source code of the game. Any suspicious game would be disqualified if the organization decides so. It should be remarked that only complete games will be accepted: beta-versions, demos or “to be finished” games will not be included in the contest.

Besides this, all the games must be accompanied by the required game instructions written in English. Other artwork can be added to the package, although it will not be  taken into account when voting.a


There will be a jury chosen from qualified MSX users.

These are the people chosen to be members of the jury for this contest edition:

  • Gameplay: David Fernández
  • Graphics: David Fernández, Paco Santos Ramírez, John Hassink
  • Sound and FX: David Fernández, Maarten van Strien
  • Polishing: David Fernández, Bart van Velzen
  • Originality: David Fernández

Donations and sponsorship

We will have a cash prize for the winner (with the sum of your donations. If you love MSXdev contest and want to be part of them by contributing with a prize, this is your opportunity! Every little sum will be highly appreciated!

Just click on the button below and support this contest!

You will be redirected to Paypal secure transfers portal, where you can make your donation from your Paypal account or credit card. Please, when making your donation, be sure to specify the name/nick you want to appear as the donor, or if you want to remain anonymous.

Thank you very much for supporting the MSXdev’15 main prize. Remember that every amount, no matter how short it is, will be highly appreciated!

Also, you can sponsor a certain category or type of game, e.g. best shooter, best graphics, best sound and FX, etc. Just drop an email and explain your idea about it.

List of donors

Name Amount
MSX UK 50£ (67,33€)
Santiago Ontañón €50
@apolovald €20
Fran Pino €50
Marco Frissen €82,45
Anonymous €150
Javi Lavandeira €35,41
Óscar Toledo (@nanochess) €15


  • Best Game: €300
  • Best Graphics: €122
  • Best Sound: €122

Registering your project

To register your MSXdev’15 you just need to send an email to giving the following information:

  • Name of the project / game
  • Game size / RAM size requirements for the game
  • Game genre
  • Screenshots and/or other artwork of the game
  • Name of the group / individuals involved
  • Contact e-mail
  • Any other information or related media that you want to share

All the information is required in order to enter the contest.

With the info provided, a newspost will created at homepage and the group or individuals that owe the project are explicitly accepting MSXdev’15 rules. These include the following:

  • You are responsible of the maintenance and update for your own MSXdev’15 entry thread at Use comments to keep people updated about your work.
  • Only the game version available at MSXdev.orgis the one valid for the contest. Remember to send updates to contest organization in order to be uploaded to the site and make available to the public. You can, of course, provide an external download link to the finished game and instructions before the end of the deadline. But don’t forget to keep your project updated on the game entry at
  • Follow the technical requirements and participation rules described in this document.
  • State in the instructions the freeware status of any game participating in MSXdev contest. Any freeware license can be used, as long as the full game can be freely obtained by the users. Publishing the source code of the games is not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged.
  • It is possible to redistribute the game, either in digital or physical format, and it is also possible to sell it as long as a free download link is always granted.
  • All participants will accept the final result.

Remember that all official information about MSXdev’15 contest will be allways available at website. If you have any question just send an email to