MSXdev’20 rules


      Date      Event
22 November 2019Contest kicks off!
30 July 2020Deadline for entries
1 August 2020Jury deliberation commences
31 August 2020Deadline for jury reports
7 September 2020Final results made public


Summary: No expansions of any kind, just a first generation MSX as it was conceived.

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.

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.

No previously released games will be accepted as entries to the contest. We mean, game sold in the past, being sold now or even available for download somewhere. All entries must be unreleased games until they enter 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. Their names will be announced in the near future.

Its members cannot take part in the contest with game entries and neither can donors.


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!

Click on the picture below to make your donation using PayPal website. Please, when making your donation, be sure to specify the name/nick you want to appear as the donor, or tell us 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!


  • hap (23 Nov 2019): €20
  • ChibiAkumas (24 Nov 2019): €100
  • Jacco Bot (3 Mar 2020): €50
  • Christian Córdova (10 Jul 2020): €18,67
  • syn (14 Jul 2020): €10
  • Xavier Sancho (20 Jul 2020): €20
  • Efraím Sánchez-Gil (20 Jul 2020): €20
  • Alastair Brown (21 Jul 2020): €60
  • Alberto Orante (22 Jul 2020): €50
  • Juan Carlos Jurado (28 Jul 2020): €15
  • Marcos Martinez Carvajal (29 Jul 2020): €20
  • Marcelo Correia (29 Jul 2020): €7,44
  • Róman van der Meulen (9 Aug 2020): €50
  • Fubu (13 Aug 2020): €8,89
  • Dani Barrientos (13 Aug 2020): €20
  • José Luis Tur (15 Aug 2020): €20
  • Jordi Carrillo (23 Aug 2020): €5
  • Blackjack (27 Aug 2020): €20

Total amount so far: €515


You can also specify your sponsoring however you like, e.g. best shooter, best graphics, best sound and sound effects, and so on.

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, please contact us by email.

We, the MSXdev Team, will not take any responsibility for the sponsors given by their author.


8bits4ever will give away a 512-SD cartridge to the winner of the contest.

SD-512 interface cartridge
SD-512 interface cartridge

Laurens Holst

Laurens Holst kindly offers to the runner-up a Retro-Bit 6-button SEGA Mega Drive controller, internally converted to MSX with Joymega.

SEGA Mega Drive 6-buttons controller
SEGA Mega Drive 6-buttons controller


Main prizes will consist of money that comes from donations. The total amount will be divided as follows:

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


To register your entry, send us an email to with 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 (please double check that it’s correct)
  • Any other information or related media that you’d like to share

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 for 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 version of the game which is 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