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For someone wanting to get into NES/Famicom game development, and test on hardware (original and/or clones) to make sure the controls feel right, and to make sure the game is compatible for hardware play, what is a sure method for doing this?

Two SD/MicroSD hardware solutions I am aware of are EverDrive N8 and KrzysioCart.

Below are the Famicom versions of these cartridges respectively:

EverDrive N8 Famicom

KrzysioCart

The end goal would be to flash the game to Muramasa hardware, so the game should play the same on the testing hardware as it does on the final hardware. What I know about these boards, I learned from this video. When it comes to distinctions between the various types of boards, I still have lots of questions, but that's another post for another day.

If the best solution is to strictly test through the Muramasa hardware (skipping SD/MicroSD cart solutions) by flashing to it each time (since that would be the final destination), then that's fine. I don't really know what workflow will be quickest when going back and forth between coding and testing. While not all testing will be through hardware (probably most will be via ROM), periodic hardware testing seems like a good idea, and so a quick workflow for that is desirable.

When it comes to flashing cartridges, the INLretro is the only hardware I am currently aware of for that, and I'm not sure how quick it would be workflow wise to flash with this over and over, or whether that's even a good idea. Workflow speed and ease of use are the main factors that have led me to look at SD cartridge solutions for testing.

Hardware testing workflow criteria:

  • Must support Mapper 30, which NESmaker uses.
  • Must work the same on the SD cart as on the final Muramasa hardware (if SD is used).
  • Must work with Famicom (my console is Japanese).

I've come across various forum threads discussing Mapper 30 compatibility with the SD cartridge solutions mentioned above, but couldn't pin down a definitive answer.

I realize this is a somewhat niche topic, but hopefully someone here has some experience with it and can offer some guidance. Thanks.

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I have KrzysioCart with mapper 30 support and it plays fine. I have an old version with that special feature (not every KC version has it)... however, there is a new release of KrzysioCart with default support for mapper 30, battery saving and some GUI improvements. You can find it here. I'm not sure if Kris sends item worldwide, you should ask.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you! Before your answer I got the Everdrive N8 (Famicom version) and its recent OS releases also support Mapper 30. I still don't know anything about flashing games onto blank carts for distribution. Haven't made it that far yet. I've been able to load Mapper 30 games such as Troll Burner onto the Everdrive, and load test programs compiled with 8bitworkshop onto it as well. \$\endgroup\$ – Mentalist Jul 16 at 16:45

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