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Discussion of Game Dev Stuff

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Castle Crisis - 5200 Love

Well, I have the basics of my MrBoehm (Named after my 7th grade science teacher) game controller working. It now supports the basics of 2600, 5200, and 7800  game controllers. Still alot of optimization that needs to be done yet.   Discovered that my 5200 and my 7800 are not working optimally. Some bad port action, but they are good enough for now. Probably will need some repairs at some point.   Attached is some Castle Crisis 5200 love. 5200love.mp4

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Draconian and Baby Pacman - Progress!

The last week was a source of frustration, as I could not get the ADG715 SPST switches to behave as expected. When the switches were closed, they worked just fine, but when they were open, they intermittently "closed". There was voltage bleed over, which meant that the Atari 7800 was seeing random JS input.   Come to find out, the Raspberry Pi GPIO power was bleeding into the switches. The solution, was to double-ground (one ground to Atari ground, one ground to GPIO ground) 1 of the 8
 

Semester is Over

Ohhh... finally! The semester is over. My final paper for the semester has finally been turned in... 2 days and 30min late... but it is in.   And I never want to take another class ever again... at least not a class that is taught online, but is supposed to be in a classroom.   I'm so sick of being stuck at home.   That said, the semester is over, my 2600 "testcart" cartridge arrived in the mail yesterday, so I'm ready to continue development.   All the ch
 

Procrastination and Test Wiring

I've been procrastinating instead of working on my paper again. As I have less than two weeks to finish my paper, this is probably the last time I'll do any work on this project until the semester is over.   I wired up the Pi Zero today to both ports of the 7800 in preparation for code development. I put River Raid in the cart port, just to have a cart in the slot when I turned on the 7800.   In the video, I've wired it for the left and right ports with two-button controllers
 

Schoolwork, Address Labels, and Cable Mod

Haven't been able to play around with the bluetooth controller in the past week as I had to finally stop procrastinating on my semester paper final, so I spent most of my spare time working on that.   However, did make some a couple of 5200 to 2600 joystick cables, wired specifically to work with the controller chips. The chips will be wired up to 5200 pins.   I also printed off some stickers for my bluetooth keyboard, which I plan to use when testing the controller chips.

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7800 and the Raspberry Pi

Saturday David and I wasted a good three hours trying to get a Raspberry Pi 4B to boot using power from the 7800 joystick ports.   It didn't work. The recommended power supply for the 4B is 3 Amps. It's power requirement at idle is 600 mA.   I spent a good portion of this evening trying to get the boot time of an RPi Zero W down to something small enough to correspond with a cart change on the 7800. Best I could do was 28 seconds. Not bad considering that I shaved off 32 seco

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4 x Port Version

After some more discussion with my friend David, we decided last night that it wouldn't take a whole lot more effort to build a prototype that supports both 2600/7800 ports as well as both the 2-port and 4-port version of the Atari 5200.   In addition to my 7800, I have a 4 x port 5200, so I can test the full-range of the prototype.   This can be done with 4 x 5242 chips, 13 x 715 chips, 1 x multiplexer, and power switch.   I ordered all the necessary parts today, s

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Rewired with Multiplexer

I've received all the chips I need to wire up 2 ports on either 2600/7800 or the 5200.   Below is a photo of the chips for one port plus the multiplexer and the power switch. Also there is a photo of these chips wired up for all three controllers. However, I've temporarily wired it up to the 2600 cable as I don't want to dig my 5200 out of storage for now.   I haven't recorded another video because I need to rewrite my Python code to work with this new configuration.

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Some wiring - And added 5200

I had no idea how much wiring was involved.   Drawings on a diagram don't look as complicated.   After thinking about it for quite some time. I decide it was possible to build a controller that can work with the 2600, 7800, and 5200.   The photos show one controller wired up using 4 x 715 i2c chips (8 switches per chip), 1 x 5242 i2c chip (two digital pots per chip), and a gpio controlled mic chip for controlling power.   The final version of this thing, t

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2600 Breakout on actual 7800 hardware - Test with XBox One S controller using Bluetooth.

Test with XBox One S controller using Bluetooth.   Development of the Pi hat is a two person endeavor. I'm doing the Python programming and testing, and my friend, formerly an enlisted electronics specialist in the USAF, is providing the electronics expertise.   I tell him what I want to accomplish and give him feedback after I layout the chips on the breadboard. He picks out the chips, does the pin soldering, and is designing the hat layout.   The hat will do every
 

DCP+ Build Environment

Tonight I installed the development environment for DCP+, I will fiddle around with it and hopefully be able to suck some additional cycles from my scan lines. Ubuntu 14.05 - Check Shared Folders - Check ARM Compiler - Check Test Source Build - Check   Using the DCP+ tools, I'll probably implement a horizontally scrolling broomball pitch... and dynamically build the scan line data (color, sprite, playball) using the ARM processor in the 4K of Display Ram.   Hopefully this will give me th

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Full Set of Players - Well, minus the Seeker

I added a full compliment of sprites for the pitch area. The original idea was to make the center of the pitch where the goalies and centers are located to split into an interlaced area. Where GRP0 would be both goalies on the A/B frames (no flicker, no space between scan lines), and GRP1 would be the alternating team centers on A and B (no flicker, but the center for each team would render on alternating scanlines).   If that makes since...   Anyway, I was having problems getting the timing

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7800 Not Doing So Good

I work at Univ of North Dakota, and I know one of the archaeologist who participated in the ET Dig in the New Mexico landfill. http://www.thenorthwestern.com/story/entertainment/2015/01/09/archaeologist-donates-atari-cartridge-dig-university/21516519/ Not long after the movie about the dig was released, we had a screening on campus, which featured not only a discussion with the archaeologists, but also a good portion of my Atari collection... All of which was setup for people to play. Xenophob

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Got my 7800 and... my PXL 2000?

Met up with my mom at the mall today, and got my Atari 7800. In the same storage box I also found my old Fischer Price PXL 2000 video camera, a Christmas gift circa 1988, when video cameras were super expensive. The PXL 2000 was $99, and used high-bias audio cassette tapes to record 60 minutes of B&W video. Ahhh.... the memories... and extremely embarrassing attempts at making making music videos.

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Harmony Cart

My Harmony Cart arrived yesterday.   Since, I have started reading up on DPC+ bankswitching.   I bought the HC simply because I wanted to see the games I am developing on real hardware, but now I see that the features I want to add to Broomball will be so much easier (or even possible) with DPC+.   Quite frankly, I like the idea of writing the difficult logic parts of the game in C code rather than in assembly anyway.   Edit: Oh yeah - I forgot... I don't have my Atari system here. My mo

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Atari Age Gift Certificate

Alas, my family cannot see past my Amazon for xmas gifts.   So today, I added the link to the Atari Age Gift Certificate page to my Amazon Wish List using the "I want" box. Here's hoping that at least one person will copy & paste the link into a web browser.     I there is a better way, I'm all ears.

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Bouncing Quaffle

Updated the Broomsticks bin today.   Freed up 20 bytes of by implementing Indirect Indexed Addressing. Discovered in order to do so I had to swap all my X Register code with my Y Register code.   Then I used that extra ram to bounce the Quaffle around the screen.   http://8bitworkshop.com/?sharekey=f909be8aac064c47f5b0a2bd01793602    

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Broomsticks - Quidditch - Hockey

After a hiatus of 10 years, I have returned to try to finish a game. Hopefully the Atari Age community will keep me motivated, because admittedly, the going will probably be somewhat slow.   Where to start? I don't know if I have any great original ideas for game. Especially one that has really great graphics, so my plan is to try to turn the real world game of hockey into a somewhat visually appealing VCS game with halfway decent game play.   I guess the ultimate goal would be to have a com

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