Slack on a Nintendo SNES @SlackHQ @NintendoAmerica

slack on a nintendo snes

Bertrand Fan posts about his latest project: Getting the Slack crowdworking site working on a Nintendo SNES machine from the mid 1990s.

I recently learned that in the mid 90s in Japan, the Super Nintendo had a peripheral called a Satellaview, which was a satellite modem that would receive data broadcasts from Nintendo.

But the game that comes with the Satellaview, BS-X: The Story of The Town Whose Name Was Stolen (BS-X それは名前を盗まれた街の物語), is different. It looks like a lot of Japanese RPGs but has one key difference: it can receive content beamed from the sky and that content gets integrated into the game.

First, we need an emulator. Thanks to the hard work of LuigiBlood, there are two emulators that support the Satellaview natively: bsnes-plus and SNES9X. I chose bsnes-plus because SNES9X’s Satellaview Signal Data file support is only in the Windows build. I couldn’t find an OS X binary for bsnes-plus so I just compiled it myself.

Next we need the BS-X rom, which is available here. I used the patched English + No DRM version.

So if we have a way to generate the XML configuration file and run it through the modified version of Satellawave to generate Satellaview Broadcast binary files, the last part is relatively easy. We’ll create a bot user, use the Slack Events API to listen for new messages in channels that we’re in and then call channels.history to retrieve the last 10 messages in the channel. Every time a new message is posted, it will push the new broadcast files into a directory that is monitored by bsnes-plus which will receive them as satellite data.

Wow, you can see the whole process in this blog post.


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