DIY Breakout on Gameboy

Gameboy was an early handheld system, well known for popularizing Tetris (tm). We will make another well-known arcade game on it called: Breakout.

To make this we will use gameboy development kit (gbdk). There is a catch, GBDK hasnít been updated since 2000, so getting it to work could be troublesome.

Step 1

Download a linux version vmware image to install from scratch, or get a pre-installed image (

Step 2



Step 3

Extract it

gunzip gbdk-2.96a-i586-pc-lnux2.2.tar.gz

tar -xvf gunzip gbdk-2.96a-i586-pc-lnux2.2.tar

Step 4

Copy the folder gbdk to /opt directory

sudo cp -r gbdk /opt/.

Step 5

We need to install an gameboy emulator, unless you have a real gameboy with a programmable cartridge such as a flashcart. These might be hard to find these days however.

sudo apt-get install visualboyadvance

Step 6

Go to the bin folder that you just extracted

cd gdbk/bin/

Step 7

Open gedit

gedit breakout.c &

And type in the following code;

Step 8

Save and compile it

sudo ./lcc breakout.c -o

Step 9

Try it in the emulator:


Which should give the following;


This is not the efficient way to program breakout on a gameboy, since the graphics flickers, however it is a quite fast and undetailed way to get an insight into programming the gameboy.