Physical Reference

When I was building my Gameboy game Pocket League, there were lots of old technical documents that needed to be perused in order to understand the Gameboy’s system architecture, timing diagrams, opcodes, etc. The format of these documents varied, from old 90s websites to huge PDF compendiums compiled by community members over many years.

I recently needed to go through the same process when building a CHIP-8 emulator called ChipPy8.

In both cases, it was sometimes helpful to have a printed copy of documentation available in front of me to reference without needing to take up screen real estate (even though I do use a multiple monitor setup). The CHIP-8 documentation was short enough to print on my tiny inkjet printer – on the order of 8 to 10 pages – but the Gameboy documentation I used clocked in at almost 140. I decided to see if I could find a custom print shop that would bind the documentation into a paperback book that I could use as a reference manual. I do prefer physical media, after all. I picked Presto Photo as I wasn’t really picky about the quality of the product and their online preview of the document was easiest to use. Your mileage may vary.


Source PDF

Cover Cover

Inside Inside

It’s not perfect – there are definitely some formatting issues that I’m not really bothered by. For instance, the PDF that I submitted didn’t have an embedded font file and so some of the kerning is off, that I’d almost describe as a monospace font that didn’t center each character. The book’s final page also has improper margins, and some of the header and footer is cut off. Luckily, the page is just an index of opcodes and none of the important content is affected.

All in all, it cost me around $15 to print and was definitely useful as I was developing Pocket League. Even if I don’t make another Gameboy game, it’ll make a great addition to my bookshelf.

Order Your Own

If you’re interested in picking up a copy of the technical manual I have, you can order one here. I don’t make any money off of this – all costs are associated with printing and shipping a physical copy.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!