Think of LameStation as the lowest common denominator: it’s the bare minimum hardware that you can have and still make good games with.

What does that mean? When there were opportunities to add more, we added less!

  • LameStation has no external co-processors or memory, so you only have to worry about learning one chip.
  • With a fixed 32kB RAM and single hardware setup, anyone can run anyone else’s LameStation code without having to port it first.
  • A tiny, black and white screen is easy to program and has a small memory footprint, so you can do a lot with a little.
  • Artwork can only be so complex on a tiny screen, so it doesn't take long to create game assets that look great, and they can even be drawn in a text editor!
  • There is no operating system or pre-loaded firmware on the device, so you always know what code you're running at all times.
  • The maximum program size is so small, you can actually read the entire thing if you wanted to (roughly 8000 lines!).
  • A simple device means simple device drivers that can be reasonably written as class projects, a herculean feat with other platforms.

Kids are inspired coding on a lame console, because they'll be surprised how quickly their games start to look good. This is completely unlike programming a bigger console or PC game, where it can take years to make a game that looks kind of good.

This thing looks and plays like an Atari or classic Gameboy, but it has an easy-to-use, modern processor, so you won't need a degree in computer science to use it. On the contrary, it's an awesome way to get one.

I know what you must be thinking. It's too good to be true, right? How can anyone do that much with that little?

The LameStation difference? You can and will learn how to make games that are smarter, faster, and closer to the metal. As you learn more about the platform, you can do more with it, and LameStation will be there to help you get there.

Hardware

The LameStation follows a simple, straightforward design, using circuits that could be found in any Intro to EE textbook.

LameStation is designed to be built from scratch on breadboard or LameStation PCB.


Software

LameStation is powered by the LameStation SDK, which provides the foundation on which to build LameStation games.

The SDK consists of a few core libraries and is designed to be small, fast, and easy to learn. These libraries are supported by plentiful example code and numerous games written using these libraries.

Samples

Here we have Frappy Bard, the most awesomely original (hilariously original) game that no one has ever heard of ever.

The following code is all that's needed to boot the board, set up the graphics system, and draw an image to the screen.

Click here to see how you can create an entire Snake game in 107 lines of code!