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#3267018 A game I hope you'll like

Posted by cvga on Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:40 PM

I had this idea as I was going through some of my excess games...


I'm going to give away a game (including shipping). The game will be based on how many "likes" this post gets. When this post (#1) fails to add a new like over a three-day period, I'll randomly choose one of the people who "liked" this post and send them their game.


Here's the catch. Since there will be 0 likes when this is first posted, the game won't be very exciting. I'll periodically change the game as the number of "likes" grows. We'll start with Combat but I'll change the game when the post reaches 5 likes. At the end, the winner can choose the current game or any of the prior games that were submitted.






Good luck!

#2333485 Compact 5200 System

Posted by wt808 on Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:26 AM

A while ago I convinced myself that the 5200 mainboard could be reduced to the size of a game cartridge, but still using the original 40DIP ICs and DIP ROM. Last Fall, I gave it a try. Family obligations and the dread of soldering small SMT components put the project on the back burner until a couple of days ago.

It works wonderfully! The mainboard measures 88mm x 108mm and features audio line out and svideo out. Here it is in comparison with a 5200 cartridge. And with an Atarimax USB flash cartridge, shell removed, running Pac-Man off of that cartridge.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 5200c-1.jpg
  • 5200c-2.jpg
  • 5200c-3.jpg
  • 5200c-4.jpg

#3189727 7800 XM update

Posted by Curt Vendel on Mon Mar 2, 2015 5:53 PM



  I see people selling or trading their pre-orders.   Just want those who do this to know that I will contact you when your order is next in queue to ship, if you've sold your XM pre-order, you'll just provide the name & address and email of that person its going to and they'll get an email with the tracking # and the order will ship to them.      I've been at the XM now steady every night addressing things and I have a major update to send to GroovyBee shortly for his review.    Still on track for THIS SPRING to release, no more delays, XM's ship this spring.


Again, those who want to buy one, I'm sure you'll see the buzz here and elsewhere as people get them, post about them and so forth.   I will make announcements of the general purchase date, I am hoping to also work with Albert to also make the XM's for sale directly on AA as well as my store so that people will have multiple places to buy.


 Lets keep the vitriol down to a minimum and lets keep the positive vibes going, I'm back and fully recovered and really jazzed about the XM's being finished and going out, thanks.

#3326314 FPGA Based Videogame System

Posted by kevtris on Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:28 PM

Welll, some people seemed interested in my FPGA Videogame doodad that I presented in the RVGS thread and it was suggested I make a post about it, how it works, and what it does.   I still don't have immediate plans for selling it, but if there's enough interest, that could change.   I will attempt to explain what it is, how it works, and what a sellable version of it would entail, so let's go!


First off, nearly ANYTHING is possible.   The main problem is going to be how much money people will be willing to pay, and how long they will want to wait for it to be finished.   A target price of around $250 is probably going to be a reasonable value, but ideally I'd love to be able to do it for $200ish. 


What I have right now:


At this point in time, I have 17 system cores complete, and pretty much ready to go.  This means that the core is done and runs all the games I can throw at it flawlessly.  I have spent a lot of time debugging and testing these cores to make sure they are the highest possible quality and completeness.  Yes, I spent the time to run every single game available to me on them- many many many times to make sure any changes I made didn't break something.


To obtain the absolute highest level of quality and compatibility, I have made special test fixtures, hardware, and test ROMs for every system, and used my 200 channel logic analyzer to inspect exactly what goes on to get exact cycle accuracy on everything.  Developing a new 8 bit level core takes around 1-3 months of work depending on how complicated it is.  Sometimes it was even faster than this, and sometimes longer.  I figure I could get SNES or Genesis going in a 4-6 month time frame and maybe a few more months to debug it to a decent level of operation.


There have been several hardware prototypes created up to this point to develop and test my cores and other related things, and I now have full command of the HDMI interface at 1080p/60fps.  I have moved onto HDMI now as my interface of choice due to the high quality of today's flat panel monitors and TVs.   Analog is still possible, and I can support this too.   I still think that some kind of add-on for analog will be the best way to go instead of integrated it into the system due to the cost of the video DACs ($4-5 each) and the connectors ($1 or more each in some cases).   By leaving off analog, I can save probably $40-50 by eliminating all the chips and hardware for them.   The other option is simply to get rid of analog all together and not support it at all.   Would many people be sad to see analog go?  Personally I wouldn't, but this is not really my decision-  I want to make something the USERS would like.


Right now, I am playing games by loading ROMs in through a computer interface for debug, but ideally they would be loaded off of SD cards.   I like the idea of cartridge adapters, but the problem with them is making the plastic enclosure for it.  Making the adapters themselves is fairly straight forward and easy, and the games would literally be running off the cartridge itself- it would NOT be just another Retron 5 that just dumps the game and plays it- it would actually RUN the actual cart so Powerpaks/Everdrives/etc would still work.  Ideally if you can stuff it into an existing system and have it work, I want it to work for sure on my adapters too.


I don't know how much these adapters would cost.  They would each consist of a cartridge connector,  a system connector, and probably level translation logic and maybe a few other minor things.  Figure a $20-30 parts cost.  So maybe a $40-50 retailish range.   Adding more than 1 cartridge port to the adapter would save money, and maybe be a $5-10 cost adder vs. singles.


I have been using PCIe connectors because they are cheap, durable, and extremely commodity, which means there's 10 or 20 companies making them.  This will stop it going obsolete any time soon, and keeps the price in the basement.  All good things for this. 


The current "high end" board I have designed and manufactured looks like this:


(3D render)

system3 3drender
(main board + analog board, front view)
(main board + analog board, back view)


There's no less than TWO FPGAs on this board- one was meant to do all the system simulation/emulation, and the other was meant to handle video scaling, SD card access, etc.  I ended up not stuffing the boards because I learned a lot about HDMI during the HDMI NES adapter project, and wanted to apply what I learned.  This will basically lead to lower costs and more functionality vs. what I have already created on this existing board.   All the parts are bought and sitting here in a box, along with solder stencils, etc.  but I think holding off and redesigning the board is the best option.  I may still stuff parts of the board for testing, however.


Right now, my idea to package this thing was to use the laser cutter I have at work and make acrylic laser cut packaging instead of a professional injection mold, but if 1000ish people were on board, I could most likely go for a proper job injection mold to house it.


System specs that a proposed system would have:


* SD card for storing ROMs/save games/FPGA configurations

* Quad RAM busses to allow up to neogeo level systems

* Enhanced video scaling (see my HDMI NES project for a taste of my HDMI capabilities)

* 49K logic element FPGA

* Quad USB ports for controllers/mice/etc   Most likely HID only

* HDMI video/audio,   1080p and 48KHz audio standard

* Port to allow plugging in cartridge adapters

* Maybe one or two built in ports for i.e. NES or SNES or similar

* 256Mbytes of RAM


The existing board has all of the above except cart ports, and a few more things like ethernet which I would strip off.


Here's a youtube playlist showing off most of my FPGA videogame cores to date:




And a list:


* Sega Master System

* Game Gear

* Colecovision

* NES/Famicom

* Atari 2600

* Atari 7800

* Intellivision

* Odyssey^2

* Adventure Vision

* Supervision

* RCA Studio 2

* Fairchild Channel F

* Videobrain

* Arcadia 2001

* Creativision

* Gameboy

* Gameboy Color (not 100% yet, still debugging. runs 99% of games so far)


nonvideogame things:


* SPC player (SNES music)

* Mandelbrot realtime zoom/pan/julia


None of the cores are bare bones, either.  The 2600 core for example supports Pitfall 2, Atarivox, Supercharger demo unit, Supercharger proper, and all mappers.   The Intv and Odyssey^2 ones have the speech add-ons, and the NES core supports all expansion audio chips and all mappers.


And that's about it.  If there's any questions lemme know and I will try to answer 'em.


#2337256 Star Castle 2600 2011 at Video Game Summit

Posted by Propane13 on Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:58 AM

I don't understand the desire to lock this thread, is it simply because you don't like it?

I shouldn't reply, but I'm going to.
But I'm only going to because I honestly don't think you understand.

This thread feels like one giant troll.
In short, it's "Look-- I made something. You can never have it. Well, you can if someone pays me an insulting price, maybe. But that doesn't guarantee that you'll have it anyway."

Maybe you don't understand the community here. We're a dying breed. As time goes on, this hobby has less and less followers.
We're really far removed from the 80s. A few people have brought new life into the hobby, and one of the cool outcomes was the creation of this site.
It's a place where a few of us who can't get enough of the Atari's heyday can hang out. I remember the Atari 2600 I got when I was 5, and it defined a major part of my life. It led me to be a programmer, and to homebrew a few games of my own. This community has been VERY good to me, so I have always shared what I have with them. But, still, I recognize that times change. The older I get, the more people I meet who have no idea what an Atari was. It's kind of sad.

As there become less and less of us, and as time goes on, this community only grows in respect for one another. I'm blown away by things I've seen.
People on these forums defend each other when attacked by jerks. We are brought together by our love of Atari. Homebrewers share new creations, and people lovingly test their code. New finds are brought forth to keep that flame of excitement from being extinguished. People disassemble old ROMS to find new secrets. There is a lot going on here, but our common ground is love for Atari, and trying to keep this thing alive for as long as we can.

So, why lock this thread? Well, there's a LOT of very good people on here. This isn't an outpost of pirates. It's people who love a hobby. Your initial posts were fearful of that. But, we're the good guys. Our love of the hobby is what brought us together. So, think about this long and hard-- what value is this thread? You're dangling a carrot in front of a bunch of good people. And, they'll never be able to reach it. I know you think that's not true because you've offered a "fair price", or at least fair to you. But, it's not fair to us. Let me explain why.

To the good people here, there are only a handful here or less that could afford your asking price. So, you're putting pressure on a few fortunate souls. They could buy it; sure. If they do, you need to understand that they'll never get their money back from resales. Ever. It's not possible. One-of-a-kind protos usually can recoup a couple of thousand dollars in sales. As I said, it's a dying community. So, whenever one of those people who can afford a prototype has one from "back in the day" come across his or her way, the sell price is typically a few thousand dollars. People in this community have taken THOUSAND DOLLAR LOSSES to "do the right thing". They resell copies to make back their money, but still lose money. We respect those who do that, with our meager 50 dollar contributions. It's history, and those that can afford to do whatever it takes to help.

Forget about the Boxed Air-Raid-- that has special sentimental value to some collectors, and it's a special piece of history, so it doesn't count. Apart from that, a few thousand dollars for a single copy of something is the general norm. It's a price that's fair for the buyer to possibly make their money back in sales (though they usually don't even break even), and to satisfy the programmer for a job well done. So, your price is exceedingly unfair. Most of the community seems to have resolved that they don't care. We don't want to pressure the few that can purchase this take a $25,000 or more loss just to keep people here happy. It's not right. I think even that if you did have a tentative buyer, we'd try to talk them out of it at this point. I don't want anyone putting themself that far out for a game. And, it really is just a game.

You've also done something very wrong by not guaranteeing a ROM release. "It's up to the buyer". Well, thanks a lot. The community here takes a back seat I guess. Let's say some guy here or on ebay did buy it and said not to release. Then you've wasted our time with a story about something we didn't buy and can never play. And, that's a really sad story to put on a website that celebrates and breathes life into Atari. This is your most egregious error.

I don't know where your confusion comes from. Many of us are tired of this, and the points made above are detailed in many posts.

Look, then From one programmer to another, I respect your past and current work.
However, you're not respecting ours. We built this site and community.
We watch out for each other, and we try to be fair to each other.

From this point forward, this thread will be people trying to convince you to lower the price, for reasons above, and to consider full release if sold.
Sounds like you're immovable in that area. So, then what's left to talk about in this thread?
Questions have been answered, and we've seen all that we're going to see.
So, what else could anyone have to say?
And, if people are going to pat you on the back about previous work you've done, do it in another thread.

It's your move. But, if you're just going to sit on this with an unfair price, then you're wasting our time.
You've moved a lot of respected people on this site from curious to angry. That's not a good way to act in this community.
You really ought to think about what your actions are doing. The longer this thread goes nowhere, the worse you're making yourself look.
You're not a contributor. You're not being fair. And, you're wasting the time of the only people that care about this stuff at all.


#3263280 My daughter has left Hospital...

Posted by Mclaneinc on Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:15 PM

I know it seems off topic but its not..


Thank you to all that have been so kind re my daughter Serena who was in hospital after being so close to death from an eating disorder, she finally was discharged from hospital today after 8.5 months in there. Its never been easy but she gave it her all and at times faltered but thanks to her and the hospital folk and hopefully us she soldiered on and overcame her illness.


She kept me focused, she wanted me to keep on with the Atari stuff and enjoyed some of it..


So its with tired but tear filled eye's that I thank you all...



#3061258 New pacman for atari 2600

Posted by DINTAR816 on Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:57 PM

This is a "new" version of pacman for atari 2600 I've been programming since about 2007, but had left in 2008, then in 2013 I resume again to try to finish. 
I've been trying to make it as close to the original looking at various sites on the "AI" Ghosts, game logic, etc. 
This version has nothing to do with the other version called pacman4k, this is a completely new version, do not use any undocumented opcode. 
Currently the rom is about 120 bytes free, so I'm trying to add other things. 
I'll post the rom in the coming days. 
Meanwhile here's a video:
download link to the current version of 8k
download link to the previous version of 8k
download link to the first version of 8k:
download link to the current version (4k):
Older versions:

#3102254 I was trying to get this done for Halloween, but...

Posted by PacManPlus on Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:34 AM

Hi guys:


I started this around the beginning of October along with Trebor, PAC-MAN-RED, and Defender_2600.  Wanted to get it done for Halloween, but it's not anywhere near done yet. :(


I don't have a name for this yet, but it's a Zombie Apocalypse game, where you have to survive the night while being overrun by zombies.


Here are some screenshots of the game for the time being:


0002.png  0003.png  0004.png 0005.png

0006.png 0007.png  0008.png


Coming soon! :)



#3164982 Toki Prototype For 7800 Discovered!

Posted by Willard on Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:49 PM

As per the title, a complete beta of Toki has been found for the Atari 7800.

This announcement is a bit overdue, as it was found several years ago by BuddyBuddies (another AA member) and I on the same test department hard drives as our Lynx discoveries.

It appears to be PAL format and Information on the title screens indicate that it is "Toki Beta 2, Copyright 1993 Atari Corp" which would've made it an usually late release.

Although I've been interested in the 7800 for a little while and have a decent collection of games, we're not very familiar with the 7800 scene so we're starting from scratch in regard to exploring the possibilties of releasing Toki. We are going to try to get the game to the right people and hope to have more information with regard to what can be done with this soon.

For more information on Toki for the 7800, as well as the other titles we discovered on the test department hard drive, please visit our website HERE (where I've already gone through the trouble of organizing the information!).

Other stuff we found on the hard drive include what appears to be some of the latest stuff Atari was working on for the 7800 and Lynx, including Klax (7800), Toki (7800), Hotdog (Lynx), Road Riot 4WD (Lynx), Poker (Lynx), Relief Pitcher (Lynx) as well as an as-of-yet unannounced title.

Below are some screens. Here is the toki specific page of our site.


toki Rls.JPG

#2317803 Space Harrier Released

Posted by Sheddy on Mon Jul 4, 2011 5:34 PM

Sal was a bit quicker with the video than I thought :)

I didn't think the day would come, but I've decided to stop messing about with the game and just release it. Hopefully there aren't too many problems with it...

It's suitable for all XL/XE machines with at least 64K RAM. In the .zip is a MaxFlash cartridge image suitable for emulators. Of course you can also use the cartridge image to program a real 8Mbit MaxFlash cartridge to run on a real machine.

Attached File  sharrier.zip   351.13KB   1623 downloads

#3326949 How has this not been posted yet? Retro VGS

Posted by kevtris on Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:15 PM

I will reply to the Retro VGS comments here, because 1) I don't have FB, and 2) they will just delete my replies.



RETRO VGS We were going to contract with Kevin and license his cores at $10K/Core, his asking price. Plus we were going to help fund his development of the 16 bit cores. Then he throws US under the bus. He has a prototype board, we have the even more expensve part of the process in hand the tooling. We would have been happy to work with him, but instead, he wants to attempt to compete with our product with an expensive $200-$250 bare board that won't do half of what the RETRO VGS would do.
Like · Reply · 47 minutes ago · Edited


* This is only partially true.  $10K was for the stuff like RCA Studio 2, and Channel F.  I was looking for $50K or so for things like NES and 2600. 


* I got blown off 2 weeks ago on our meeting to discuss cores, because the system was most likely not going to have an FPGA in it any more.    I can quote what you told me on 9/8/15 if that helps:



We are going to hold off for now.  Still debating whether or not the FPGA will make it in our system.


Once the IGG thing basically proved the FPGA was going to be a pie-in-the-sky add-on, I knew I had been made redundant.  I figured at this point it was just going to be like a Retron 5 and bundle emulators and cart  dumpers at the best.


* The $200-250 price I quoted is A COMPLETE SYSTEM and not the bare board.  This is a board, case, and power supply.   Pack-in games are not required (though I could throw in a homebrew NES title maybe).   Controllers would probably be extra, but since I accept USB controllers, you can plug literally any HID and use it.  This means controllers, keyboards, and mice.  Obviously it'd be kinda hard to play a 2600 game with a mouse, but I'm more thinking for FPGA computer projects and not just games.


* You and you jag mold are like a mule with a spinning wheel.   Damned if anyone knows how he got it, and damned if he knows how to use it. (sorry Simpsons).   Fortunately, today making a plastic injection mold isn't so brutally expensive.  My friend got a brand new NES cartridge shell mold made a few months ago.  The process was fast, the parts are awesome and the cost was insanely cheap.   It was cheap enough that I could float the cost without resorting to Kickstarter/IGG.   For a Jag sized mold, the costs are a lot higher, but since my system will be quite small I don't have all that extra cost housing air and unicorns.  My friend already got a crapload of cart cases made with the mold and is starting to sell them over on the nesdev forum.  If you need boards/cart shells for your homebrew that's the place to go.


* So far, my board infinitely more than yours does.  It's hard to divide by zero and come up with any other answer.



RETRO VGS When he actually does some homework on what it would take to "consumerize" his product and put his bare board into a console shell, add a controller and pack-in game, and incorporate the ARM and both the digital and analog output, go through the regulatory process, etc. he will find out he can't do it for any for any less than we can. I guarantee you all that!
Like · Reply · 46 minutes ago · Edited


* I have done my homework.  I have over 100 products under my belt between my home stuff, freelance stuff, and work.   Some of them involved a plastic injection molded enclosure.  I have been through the entire certification process (for a medical device no less).   I own a patent.   I think I have a tiny tiny bit of knowledge when it comes down to how to design and see a product through to production and shipping. 


* I can add an ARM CPU to my design.  At this time I just don't WANT to.  The ARM CPU doesn't add anything that I wish to have in my "vision" for the system.   The good news is if I wanted an ARM based videogame system I can just MAKE one on the friggin' FPGA directly!  Granted it won't run as fast as a dedicated "hard" CPU core would, but we're talking about games here and not the Android OS. 


* You must've missed the part about my FPGA board and its plethora of outputs.  I already have 100% finished working video in the following formats (today, right now.  I can show them off) 


1) HDMI at 1080p/60fps,  1080p/50fps,  720p/60fps,  720/,50fps,  480p/60fps, and 576p/50fps. 

2) RGB at 31KHz (VGA rate) or any of the HDMI rates

3) RGB at 15KHz (NTSC or PAL rates)

4) Component at any of these rates

5) Composite in PAL and NTSC and "direct system output" which emulates the target system's video EXACTLY.  both voltage levels and timing wise.

6) S-video in PAL and NTSC


All of these outputs are 100% digitally generated inside the FPGA for absolute maximum quality.


Audio's currently 16 bits, 48KHz.  I can output anything else though like 192KHz/24 bit.   Internally right now my audio is 18 bit stereo.



RETRO VGS The main focus of RETRO VGS isn't to play old games but these new retro games being made today, on cartridges. His product is just another way to emulate like dozens of products before it. And with the FPGA it won't compete in any way, shape or form with the countless other software emulated systems out there. His is a failed model from the start and it's a shame he couldn't combine his efforts with our product and make a real compelling product that would do something unlike any other system on the market.
Like · Reply · 58 minutes ago


* Interesting that you hated the word "emulate" when I was in discussions and you were using the term "simulate".  The difference between my board and any other emulator is the time and effort I put in to achieve the maximum quality of the end result.  Anyone can throw together a R Pi and make an emulator box.  I'm selling higher quality outputs (video/audio), absolutely zero lag (even on HDMI), and higher accuracy.   My FPGA 2600 has higher accuracy on a few things vs. Stella even.   I also am going for breadth and width.  I support the Supercharger Demo Unit.  I don't see that elsewhere (granted, it's not that big of a deal but I am going for as much inclusiveness as possible).  I support Atarivox- there's a friggin PIC18F core I wrote specifically to simulate this add-on.  The supercharger demo unit took a new 6800 CPU core as well.  So the 2600 has actually no less than three CPUs in it.


* So far your system hasn't been documented at all.  So comparing what you want to do with anything else is impossible.



RETRO VGS And, he isn't the only game in town when it comes to FPGA core development.
Like · Reply · 48 minutes ago


Yep.  I will just drive down to the Core Store and... oh wait.   I'm pretty much the only game in town if you want finished cores with any kind of standard interface between them and all the testing and development work I put in on this.


I will give another ferinstance here for fun.   If anyone is curious how much trouble I went to for Gameboy, here we go:


Unlike most other videogame systems, a gameboy's video is not "continuous".  A CRT won't wait for pixels, but the LCD on the Gameboy does.  This little detail caused huge headaches because each scanline renders for a different amount of time based on what's present on the scanline.  The X scroll, Y scroll, window position, even sprites (position AND count) all interact together to change how long it takes.   And games rely on this too.  Some games will fail or show glitchy graphics if this isn't exactly emulated. 


To crack this particularly tough nut, I had to resort to a brute-force approach.  This involved taking a gameboy apart, and rebuilding it on perf board so that I could attach some equipment and monitor what exactly happens.


The first step was to make the doctored Gameboy:

IMG 4016
Here's a close up of the wiring:
perfgb closeup


Next, it was hooked into the mothership (my logic analyzer) with a billion probe wires to every point on the GB chip:

Gb wired Up
Then I can use my logic analyzer (an HP 16700B) to trace out EXACTLY what the chip is doing in black and white when certain "interesting" things happen like the sprite DMA:
Gb sprite Dma start


After all this mess, I piped the perfboard gameboy's LCD signals into some FPGA pins and made a quick and dirty CRT interface so I could play the GB games on my PVM:

fpga Gb passthru
Finally, after writing some test code that runs on both the GB and my FPGA and communicates through the link port, I had my FPGA GB video signals exactly matching the
real GB's video signals:
signaltap plusplus


So after all this mess, I finished my GB core and got cycle accuracy.  Now imagine doing this for all the systems I have added, and you get some small idea of the trouble I have gone through in my quest for accuracy.


A few more ferinstances:


* Because the Videobrain is so stupidly rare and expensive, I came across some of the custom ASICs at a surplus place, found the schematic for it and made my own damn Videobrain on perfboard!  This was then hooked into the logic analyzer and extensively probed.


* Arcadia 2001's were expensive and rare too, so I found a schematic, bought the weird CPU and video chips cheap and built a perf version of that as well, and hooked it into the LA (logic analyzer)


* Atari 2600 and 7800 were a bit easier, I just had to solder .1" headers to the chips and plug the logic analyzer in.


* Intv was similar- just soldered .1" headers on and plugged it in.


* Supervision-  had to make an extensive debug setup with a UART cart and lots of .1" headers for the logic analyzer and oscilloscope (during audio debug)


* Complete cycle by cycle investigation of the Odyssey^2's video chip using custom hardware to single step it (Actually single HALF step it- it uses both clock edges) to get absolute accuracy


There's more but this is a small sampling of the trouble I go through in my quest for accuracy.   I doubt you will find anyone who has gone to these lengths to ensure accuracy and compatibility.  Good luck in your search for cores of this caliber. 

#2548468 How about a Kickstarter project - Pitfall 3?

Posted by pitfall1982 on Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:06 AM


This is David Crane. The author of this thread - Byte Knight - tracked me down through a Facebook account that I rarely use. He provided me this link.

Where do I start? First, one poster hit the nail on the head regarding making Pitfall 3… Activision owns the PItfall name, and they have even made a couple of sequels since I left the company in 1987. Pitfall belongs to them because the company was paying my salary when I created it. (Under today's intellectual property laws, the Mona Lisa would belong to Lisa's husband who paid Da Vinci for a portrait of his wife. And Queen Isabella of Spain discovered America - since she paid for the trip.) So, No, I will not be making Pitfall 3. I couldn't if I wanted to.

Second, the 2600. The 2600 has always been my favorite system because of the challenge it provided. But as much as I love it, it is not the best system to make a game. And in my line of work, I believe that the game is more important than the system. SInce you are viewing this thread, you all have a fondness for the 2600 and the games from the early days of video games. And you enjoyed playing Pitfall. I submit to you that it is not the 2600 that made those games great. Sure, the limited hardware forced us to be more creative in making games, and it showed in those early titles. But I have found that those same skills translate into game design regardless of the system. When I am given complete creative control and the time to make exactly the game I want to make, it can be just as much fun to play as Pitfall.

So what system is best? With the right team in place, any modern system has the power to deliver on my vision of what a game should be. And I know what I'm talking about. I have published over 100 games since I started, and I have programmed them on 25 different game consoles or platforms. What is my favorite modern system? I really like the iPhone and iPad, but I will always choose the platform that best complements the game.

Another reason that it would be difficult to make Pitfall 3, even if I had the rights, is because I am always working on new game ideas. I am currently in the design and planning stage of the biggest game project I have taken on in 20 years. You all know now that it won't be Pitfall 3. But on the other hand, this September is PItfall's 30th anniversary. And nobody would be surprised if my new, major game project were to pay homage in some way to the most popular game I ever made.

All is currently top secret. But if you would like to be among the first to learn about the project when it becomes public, go to http://www.JungleVenture.com and submit your email address. You will hear the details at the same time the press is notified. You can also follow me on Twitter @PitfallCreator. I'm not one of the most talkative tweeters, but neither do I announce where I am going to dinner every night. And as I start to leak details on the project, it will probably be there.

But for this group I have to come back to the 2600. I will admit that I still have a certain fondness for the good ol' VCS. In fact, sitting on my desk about 5 feet away as I write this is a PC with a CAD design 80% complete for a super 2600 cartridge that incorporates the best of my DPC chip design and my $FE bank switch circuitry, among other cool features. One day I hope to finish that circuit design and make a 2600 cartridge that would really kick butt. All I have to do is figure out a way to make that project complement my new, big game project rather than causing a distraction.

I'll work on that.

#3255859 Bill Wilkinson in hospital - please >10,000s good healthy to him

Posted by luckybuck on Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:04 PM

Hi together!
Bill Wilkinson is in a hospital, he has some broken bones.
It is not quite severe like in the picture below, but not far away from it.
Therefore, with clicking the like button, you wish him(!), not me:
Get well soon, we are with you all the time and wish you all the best under these circumstances direct from our hearts.


For the younger ones, who do not know him:


What the pope is for the Christian, Bill is for Atari. It is really that simple to say in one sentence.


#2888263 Fighter pilots needed in sector wars...

Posted by PacManPlus on Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:33 PM

... play Astro Blaster!



Happy Holidays everyone!


I've been working on this for a few weeks now, and I'm trying to get it finished for sort of a 'Holiday Gift' to everyone here.  Still needs work, so no bin yet.  But, here are a few screenshots:

snapAstBlstr_00.png snapAstBlstr_01.png

snapAstBlstr_02.png snapAstBlstr_03.png

snapAstBlstr_04.png snapAstBlstr_05.png

snapAstBlstr_06.png snapAstBlstr_07.png



For the purists out there, I copied the sprites directly from the arcade game, as well as the movement tables.  I'm using 320A mode to get the look/feel down. The 'Fuel' gauge is the same as the arcade *divided by three* to fit on the line with the temperature gauge, which is *divided by two*.  All increments / decrements to both gauges have been adjusted appropriately, so they should work exactly like the arcade.


For the most part, the playfield is the same, except that I had to take one zone (i.e. 8 scanlines) away from under the ship (no biggie), and one zone away from the very top of the playfield.  On my TODO list:


- Fix some collision detection when the enemy ships are at the top of the screen

- Finish the movement / placement of the enemies for sectors 4 and 5 (half-way through 4 now)

- Warp Button

- Enemies that drop in certain waves

- Hidden bonuses

- Sound

- Speech


Regarding the 'Speech', I will only implement speech at non-gameplay points (i.e. after losing a ship *2 ships remaining*, when the game has ended *play over*, etc.).  Any other important information (i.e. the Warp countdown) will be written on the screen behind the action.  I do plan to have the attract mode announcement (i.e. the title of this thread).


It was challenging getting (up to) 16 enemies, 6 enemy shots, 1 player shot and the player to update each frame during VBLANK, but I finally did it. Of course, it will use the HSC.


I am hoping to have a BIN ready by next week, On or before Christmas.

Coming soon! :)



*BTW, before someone asks, "Why do you mostly do ports?" - It's because 1) I like to do them, and 2) It's fun to see what would have actually been possible back in 1984-1986.  Now that I've scratched this itch, I can see about a (somewhat) original game I've been thinking about.


Thank you, Trebor, Nathan, Schmutzpuppe and Al for the feedback and testing up to this point. :)

#3325199 How has this not been posted yet? Retro VGS

Posted by kevtris on Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:16 PM

Well, After seeing their IGG page, and how the FPGA is gone? or significantly reduced from their system, I can't stay silent any longer.     As many know, there was talk of various "cores" on the RVGS, and that I was going to be the dork supplying them.   Anyways, I thought I would inject a little bit of sanity into the whole "FPGA videogame system" realm and show off what I have been able to do alone, and without any kind of outside funding.
I started working on FPGA videogame cores and systems back in 2004, when I made my first prototype "FPGA videogame" board.  Back then, I was enamored with DB9 controllers (genesis, 2600, etc).  So as can be seen in this prototype, I have two DB9 ports, a DB15 (for NES/SNES controller adapters, and "expansion"),  an SD card and several other things.   Namely VGA, composite, s-video, audio, PS/2 keyboard and mouse (lol).   This system worked, and is what I developed the FPGA NES and FPGA 2600 on. 
console done Top


Then in 2010, I decided to update my project and designed and built a second prototype system.  Since plastic enclosure design was expensive, I made it fit inside an NES cartridge shell, and the connectors would stick out the back, where the cartridge would otherwise normally fit into the NES system.    This prototype was used to design the rest of my systems (17 to date).


IMG 2964
(bonus image of that board outputting DVI to a flatpanel, running Kirby's Adventure)
IMG 2963
With this board, I finished up A LOT of systems.  All of these systems are DONE and 100% finished and tested, ready to be targeted ("ported") to nearly anything with an FPGA inside it:
* Game Gear
* Colecovision
* Atari 2600
* Atari 7800
* Gameboy
* Gameboy Colour (has 1 or 2 tiny bugs left, but 99.9% of the games run)
* Intellivision (with Intellivoice, computer add-on, etc)
* Odyssey^2 (with The Voice add-on)
* Creativision (with tape drive support)
* Arcadia 2001
* Adventure Vision
* Videobrain
* RCA Studio 2 (lul)
* Fairchild Channel F
* Supervision (crappyish LCD handheld)
and some non-game things like an SNES SPC music player with visualizer, and a realtime mandelbrot zoomer/explorer.
Again, all the above are done and ready to go and currently work on my homemade dev board.
Then in 2014, I decided to make my third FPGA Videogame board.. the "possibly sellable" version.   This board was a huge step up from the last, and is on par with what the RVGS has and can do IMO.  The interesting part is this board exists and I have designed it and wrote code for it.  Amusingly I have not actually stuffed one of the boards, but I will explain why later.  The board was manufactured, and I did buy all the parts however.
system3 3drender


First, here's my "3D render" of the board, fresh out of Altium (circuit board program).  


The goals for this board were these: 


* Make something I can sell! 

* Include ALL the outputs possible for video and audio, but only it people paid extra to keep costs down if you were only interested in HDMI

* 4 USB controller ports

* High speed SD card interface (4 bit mode, 50MHz)

* menu buttons for the user so he does not need to dork with the controller

* RGB status LED

* Expansion port for cartridge adapters (the right side connector)

* Be able to run all the current cores + SNES, Genesis, Neogeo, and possibly PS1 era systems.

* 1080p/60fps video output

* Ethernet port


The board is 6 layers, and was my first board in Altium after I switched over in 2014.  It was a lot of fun to design and it helped me to learn Altium.   I got the boards made which cost around $600 (for 10 of them), and bought parts (another 400-500 bucks).  There's no less than TWO Cyclone V FPGAs on here-  Itchy is designed to be the "user interface" and video scaler/processor, and Scratchy is the "engine" that does all the core running and nothing else.


Before I had a chance to stuff the boards, I worked on that HiDefNES NES to HDMI adapter which was finished a month or so ago and released.   I am glad I did, because I learned a lot of stuff about HDMI and can now revise my board to save a lot of parts and cost that I don't need.   So, there will be another cheaper rev of this board now.  I already have the parts, so I just need to design a newer PCB.


Here's two views of the finished boards.  I bought the main 6 layer board and some of the 4 layer "analog" boards, and plugged them together for these pictures:



And if you're REALLY curious what my board stackup looks like, including internal layers you can see that here:




Click the links at the left to view the different layers.


I noticed in the IGG that they are allocating around $100K(!) for prototype development.  This is an insane amount of money, considering I am in for around $1000-1200 on my latest "advanced" prototypes- around 1% of what they are seeking.   No, I am not going to start asking for money, just thought it was interesting to point out.    Total development time from concept to prototype PCBs+parts was around 2-3 months.  This included the design time in Altium, learning Altium, and getting the boards manufactured.


I figured if I was going to sell this thing, I was damn well going to have a working prototype of what I wanted to manufacture, and have the software fully working too.  


As for the cartridge adapters, I came up with this idea almost 2 years ago, and the evidence can be seen on my above prototype PCB.  I anticipated selling adapters in "groups".  i.e. a single adapter might contain 3 or 4 cartridge ports each.  The main stopper of course is packaging them into some kind of enclosure (requiring expensive molding, but today it isn't TOO bad).  Frankly the electronics on something like this isn't too hairy, it always comes down to how you are going to package it, and who's going to want to pay for it. hehe.


Just thought I'd drop the bomb in here about how I have basically created what they are trying to create, but actually have gotten it manufactured and did it all on a shoestringish budget.


(If anyone thinks this doodad would fly with a $200-250 price point, lemme know.  The only reason I have not tried to sell it was because I thought it was too much money to get a lot of support on i.e. Kickstarter)


If you want to know more info about anything lemme know.   There's also video of each system running on my youtube channel "kevtris".




#3169725 Toki Prototype For 7800 Discovered!

Posted by Marc Oberhäuser on Tue Feb 3, 2015 3:58 PM

Great find! I had to do a quick mock-up box :)

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#3019648 The 7800XM

Posted by Retro Rogue on Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:43 AM

The surgery went well, Curt's recovering.

#2694518 Okay... I live for yet another day

Posted by Curt Vendel on Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:23 AM

Hi guys,

Surgery went great last week, been taking it super easy and recovering, still have to relax for a few weeks and take things slow. I have two devices now attached to my mitral valve that have completely closed off the severe leaks that was causing my PA pressure to skyrocket and putting me into congestive heart failure.

Starting to feel better and stronger and going to start this week to perhaps see if I can map some drives to my development computer and setup remote desktop so I can remote into my office and try to do some work on the XM board, I know Mark has been itching for me to finish up a bunch of things and add some corrections and updates to the schematics too, so lets see how things go, it would be great to have the XM's shipping at the end of March, going to see how I can handle getting back into things...

Seeing my cardiologist on Tuesday for followup and to review over the surgery in detail, not totally out of the woods yet, these devices need 6 months to permanently seat and I also have a few other issues which hopefully will be better managed now with the major leaky valve fixed, but I'm on the right track.

Just want to thank everyone for all the positive messages and well wishes, it put a smile on my face and I really appreciate everyone's support...


#3335423 How has this not been posted yet? Retro VGS

Posted by Benheck on Thu Oct 1, 2015 11:29 PM

Heard about this crowdsourced project and remembered I had it pitched to me about a year ago. Checked my email to confirm... it was these guys! I recall thinking it was a very strange concept at the time, but seems like they went for it?


Here's what I've learned about collectors and nostalgia, both from my game console mods of old and more recently pinball design and manufacture:


People will pay good money - stupid money even - for things that remind them of the past, but it has to be THINGS FROM THEIR PAST.


If I nostalgically play Duck Tales, for instance, I'm reminded of being 13 years old and not having to pay taxes or work 60 hours a week. The Twin Towers are still standing, gas is 90 cents a gallon and the Berlin Wall just came down - yahoo! Nostalgia is about the longing for things that are gone. Games (or movies, or songs...) are simply a tangible link to that memory, persistent evidence and a reminder of a past that is gone.


RVGS has no such history. It's not "taking us back to the past" because it didn't exist in the past. It's more of an impression of the past, like myself trying to imitate Sean Connery. Sure 8-bit graphics are the "hot thing" on Steam, but that's mostly because it's an affordable way for indie developers to make games.


I'm not nostalgic for cartridges. I don't even like swapping out Metal Gear V in order to watch a Blu-Ray. It is a less convenient way to enjoy media. One could argue (correctly) that Blu-Ray is superior to streaming but with games? No difference at all.


Cartridges - like a horse and buggy - were a product of their time. Couldn't download a game because there was no internet. Even if you could, you wouldn't be able to afford the RAM to hold it. Disks are cheap right? Sure, but the disk drives themselves cost as much as the computer. In that world, a mass-produced ROM mask on a PCB made sense.


Oh gee what else to complain about...


  • Jaguar shell is an insane idea, again, going back to nostalgia, you want to remind people of the console that killed Atari?
  • Save $X by using that mold, but how much does it cost to mod in all those ports that weren't on the Jag? (and on the front too)
  • Jag cartridges with weird handle were pretty lame, AVGN does a pretty good job explaining why.
  • Nobody is going to write games (or even port them, ask the WiiU) for a system with such a small install base

Also, have a working prototype. Crowdfunding should be 1) develop it with your own money 2) ask for the money needed for manufacture. When the money intended for manufacture gets used to finish development you always end up in a hole and have to seek additional funding to fulfill the materials. This is where most projects truly go off the rails.


KevTris system looks great. Get a stuffing quote from a fab house, Kickstart that cost + 20%, and release files for buyers to 3D print their own custom cases.


Boom, done!

#3176630 Chimera+ A new enhanced remake of the original game released

Posted by Tezz on Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:47 AM

Hi all,

This is my new remake of Shahid Ahmad's classic game Chimera for the Atari XL XE.

Chimera+ is a complete rewrite of the game from the ground up to create an enhanced version with the goal of optimising performance for faster gameplay, changing the controls and, adding the features missing in the original Atari release. The new version works on both PAL and NTSC machines with a minimum of 48k.

Here's a summary of the new features:

The Spaceman (yes it's not a robot!) is now a masked hardware sprite procedure which means it's also independently coloured from the backgrounds.

The room sprites are now drawn and updated dirty rectangle

The game now has directional joystick movement like the c64 version rather than rotate and walk as the original Atari version had

The gameplay maintains a consistant speed regardless of the size of the room or what is occurring within it.

The rooms all have a new colour scheme designed instead of the ubiquitous shades of the same colour monochrome original

The vocal samples are now featured including the famous scream.

I disassembled and ported Rob Hubbard's c64 music player procedures which I'm playing via Święty/Saint's Pokey SID emulation procedures for the title music and game completion music.

There's a new title screen which is a mix of the c64 and original Atari version

The sound effects have been tweaked and there's no longer a clash of effects during gameplay. The walking and life support ECG sound effect have been changed.

The gameplay screen is slightly larger than the original version

Thanks to Popmilo and Phaeron for their support.

Phaeron has kindly tested the game on various hardware configurations for me. With one 800xl equiped with Ultimate1Mb there was a lockup during the sample playback which wasn't reproduced on other machines or under emulation so that might be due to the Pokey installed in that particular machine. Please let me know if this occurs with anyone elses machine.


To fit all the new features in and keep the game within 48k I've removed the broken Kettle of Fish game. My original intention was to retain Chimera+ running under the OS rom so the new game would be compatible with 48k 400/800 machines. The OS VBL takes up too much time however so the title screen with sid music fell down under ntsc and I needed full control for the sample playback so it was pointless in the end working around the OS rom and memory restriction.


Here's a brief YouTube video. If you're using the Chrome browser you can view the video at 1080 50fps


I'll add a packed version with the loading picture here at some point.

Attached Files