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giftedviz.com March 23, 2017


Game Boy Emulator For Apple Watch: Where To Find Source Code

21 March 2017, 02:28 | Ross Houston

Someone ported 'Pokemon Yellow' to the Apple Watch

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Disappointed with the lack of content, Gabriel O'Flaherty-Chan set out to have a bit of fun by creating his emulator for the Game Boy dubbed Giovanni.

The emulator, named Giovanni after a Pokémon villain, is open source and available for developers to explore on GitHub.

What is more, he also revealed that a few months ago he had also released his own game for this device.

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There isn't really much screen real estate and aren't many physical buttons on the Apple Watch, but that hasn't deterred an ambitious developer from building an emulator for the device. However, the fact it runs is the most important achievement and it even accepts the full range of user input expected by a Game Boy game.

For an idea of how it measures up, the Apple Watch 2 42mm (the larger of the two sizes) has a 1.65-inch screen whereas the Game Boy Color has a 2.32-inch display. Unfortunately, the new Game Boy emulator can not work as the developer wanted it to perform on the Apple Watch. The iOS developer made use of the Gambette emulator to develop Giovanni. After all, he wanted the game to look good running on the watch, but he didn't want it to sacrifice playability just to make it look better. For example, touching the right side of the device's screen simulates the A button. The remaining space was dedicated to extremely tiny Start and Select buttons. Scrolling through a list of options is basically what the Crown was made for, and if the framerate was even slightly higher, the interaction could nearly be better than a hardware D-pad.

The only thing that's keeping Giovanni from performing well on the Apple Watch are the "constraints of watchOS" and the lack of support for OpenGL and Metal. According to O'Flaherty-Chan, this Game Boy Color emulator includes photos and GIFs of the port in action. However, Gabriel O'Flaherty-Chan launched the new emulator for the public, despite its deficiencies and the obstacles it faced. For those who are interested in learning more about the emulator, here's O'Flaherty-Chan's blog post.



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