MSXdev’18 Rules


There are two different categories:

  1. MSX Classic: No expansions of any kind, just a first generation MSX as it was conceived
  2. MSX Freestyle: There’s no limit at all. Feel free to use whatever you want (graphic expansions, sound extensions, add-ons, later machines than MSX1, etc.)


      Date      Event
March 12th 2018Contest starts!
February 14th 2019Deadline for entries
March 11th 2019Public poll opens and jury deliberation commences
April 11th 2019Public poll closes and deadline for jury reports
PendingFinal results made public


The selected format for the games is an MSX ROM file. Cartridges have been the most successful media format for first generation MSX computers, and a substantial part of the best games ever produced on that platform 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 in the MSX scene of people developing real cartridges, so the MSXdev organization aims to encourage this game format.

All the games should be 100% compatible with this MSX configuration, which 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 on different configurations, including a wide array of different MSX, MSX2, MSX2+ and Turbo-R computers. The games should work perfectly on any MSX compliant machine with the amount of RAM needed to run the game. If a game does not run properly on 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 Assembly is strongly recommended. Other compiled and/or interpreted languages are perfectly admissible. MSX-BASIC can be used as well, providing the final product is converted into a MSX ROM.

Although original games will be preferred, non-original concept games will be also accepted. This includes conversions from arcade titles and/or other console or computer systems, as well as adaptations of already existent games. However, recompiled games or hacked games will not be accepted. Finally, direct graphic or music rips from other authors used without permission are out of the question as well.

In case of doubt, the organization is entitled to ask for proof, such as the source code of the entry.Any suspicious game can be disqualified if the organization decides so. It should be noted 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 entries must be accompanied with 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.


The Jury Team will consist of veterans among the worldwide MSX community:

  • Gameplay category: Miikka Pokeila
  • Graphics category: Toni Gálvez
  • Sound category: Maarten van Strien (Wolf)
  • Polish/Overall category: David Fernández (Imanok)
  • Compatibility category: Manuel Bilderbeek
  • Originality category and additional remarks: All of the jury

Members of the Jury Team cannot take part in the contest with game entries and neither can donors.


Apart from the jury deliberations, there will be an open poll in order to let people vote for their favorite game from the contest.

Bear in mind that this poll will only be open to users that sign up before February 15th 2019.

So if you want to vote, remember to sign up before that date.

Poll results will be taken into account for a prize named Community’s Prize that marks the best game of the contest chosen by the MSX community.

Important update

Concerning to the public poll, we’ve realized the poll system was not immune to abuse.

Therefore we announce that the poll results are void and will not be taken into account for any possible prize of recognition. Sorry for that, we will assure a better system for next contest edition.


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

Go to our PayPal page to make your donation. 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.

Every contribution, even the smallest amount, will be highly appreciated! Thank you very much for considering to support the contest!


  1. Alastair Brown (03/12/2018): €60
  2. Keith S (keith56) (03/12/2018): €50
  3. (03/28/2018): €15
  4. hap (03/31/2018): €20
  5. Alastair Brown (09/20/2018): €40
  6. Anne de Raad (Latok) (11/15/2018): €50
  7. Ricardo Pinheiro (12/28/2018): €21,41
  8. Blackhawk (02/08/2019): €47,95
  9. MSX Boixos Club (02/17/2019): €96,25

Total amount: €400,61


You can also sponsor whatever you want, e.g. best shooter, best graphics, best sound and SFX, etc.

This sponsorship could be money or a physical give away, or even both. Just remember to clearly describe the conditions of your sponsorship. If you’re interested in initiating a sponsorship, contact us by email.

We, the MSXdev Team, are not responsible for the sponsors given by their author.


Main prizes will consist of money that comes from donations. The total amount will be divided in half so the prizes are exactly the same in each category:

  • First place (winner): 50%
  • Second place: 30%
  • Third place: 20%

Additionally, the MSX community will award the Community Prize to the best game of the contest according to their collective opinion. This will be rewarded with a trophy, serving as a testament and souvenir of this achievement.


To register your entry, send us an email to with the following information:

  • Category (MSX Classic or MSX Freestyle)
  • 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 (please double check that it’s correct)
  • Any other information or related media that you’d like to share

Is mandatory to attach a text file

All of this information, save for the last point, is required in order to enter the contest. If there’s missing data, we’ll contact the submitter using the e-mail address provided.

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

  • You are responsible of the maintenance and updating of your own contest entry thread at the official MSXdev site. Use the comment section to keep people updated about your work.
  • Only the game version available at is the one valid for the contest. Remember to send updates to the organization so they can be uploaded to the site and to make it 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 at the same time.
  • Follow the technical requirements and participation rules as described in this document.
  • Important: State in the instructions or in attached text file 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 is strongly encouraged.
  • It is allowed to redistribute or sell the game, either in digital or physical format, as long as a free download link is always granted.
  • All participants will accept the final result.

Remember that all official information about the contest will always be available at the website. If you have any questions, contact us at