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Everything posted by gliptitude

  1. I think the joystick question is a fundamental one for the 2600. As someone who grew up with NES, there is a disparity for me in the basic functionality. A great deal of 2600 stuff just doesn't seem to work. This is kind of part of the experience I think, but you do need some effective means of access. A sega genesis controller is a good means of basic reliable control. But it isn't a very fun or authentic means and competitively I think pad controllers constitute cheating on this console. Among popular joysticks I can vouch for the Tac-2 and for the (modern repro micro switch version) Competition Pro, and I can say that I despise the standard CX-40. Neither of the good ones are wonderful, but they are totally reliable and somewhat fun. Best joystick for me so far is an obscure one that I feel very lucky to have discovered and acquired: the Enjoystick by TG. The body fits comfortably in the hand and the stick is similar in size and feel to the Vectrex analog thumb stick. .. The problem with the Enjoystick is that it is not so durable and reliable as I would like. .. The other problem is that they are near impossible to find or replace.
  2. Wow what an awesome and dense conversation. I can't tell where it's going in relation to where it started, or what actually matters. I think i disagee with some of the original post, that memory and hardware upgrades are necessary. .. I definitely do DISAGREE that running out of ideas is a legitimate or immediate reality or that hardware is the reason for this. .. I think there is a laziness that coincides with an overblown conception of what actually constitutes a new idea. Most substantial "new ideas" derive predominantly from existing ideas and content. You don't have to abandon the past or fundamentally change the ingredients in order to make progress. .. In fact doing so usually results in a shallow and dismissible result. But... I totally agree that new capabilities provide for a free flowing inspired mode of creation. In a way that's a crutch because it is totally unnecessary, and it really betrays the fact that there is so much more that could be done with what already exists. But whatever enables somebody to make something is productive. .. I think there is a power trip involved with breaking new ground, which empowers the author(s) and provides some creative safety and confidence. But it's all just a contrivance.
  3. .. So I bought one of these 15 pin analog to 9 pin digital adapters which looks identical to one suggested earlier in the thread: http://www.ebay.com/itm/272222183107?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT I am not getting much use out of it so far. I am finding that available 15 pin joysticks tend to be more modern styles (90's Gravis and flight sticks etc) than what I was looking for. Also I am finding that not all 15 pin joysticks work. The more vintage style 15 pin joystick that I was eventually able to acquire REQUIRES A SHORT BASIC PROGRAM TO CALIBRATE THE JOYSTICK ON THE INTENDED IBM COMPUTER. So of course I cannot perform this task on an Atari 2600. What I am considering now is making a very basic analog joystick from new components, a custom enclosure and 15 pin connector .. for use with the adapter on my Atari. I am trying to figure out how basic it can actually be. I was hoping for just a ready made analog thumbstick with correct value pots and then a typical arcade button, each wired to a 15 pin connector according to gameport pin-out configuration. But I am not sure if more than this is required, if gameport joysticks necessarily have more components than this, (resistors, capacitors, microcontrollers..) and what the correct wiring is. The one functional gameport joystick I have has a number of extra components on a PCB, including a few resistors, a small chip of some kind, one ceramic capacitor and one cylindar shaped rubber insulated componant (another capacitor?). .. But this joystick has autofire features and I am guessing (hoping) that this extra stuff is only for that. I think I understand this article to describe the capacitors and everything besides the 2 pots and the digital buttons to be internal to the computer, and not the joystick: http://pinouts.ru/Inputs/GameportPC_pinout.shtml And I think I understand also from this article that the correct value pots depends on the mechanism used and the range of the stick .. but that 100K might be good. .. So can anyone answer: may it be as simple as connecting the right wires to an existing analog joystick assembly? The immediate goal here is to make a 15 pin gameport joystick, of the simplest electronic design possible. (which I will subsequently use in conjunction with the above adapter from ebay to play on Atari).
  4. I don't mind hearing a click as long as it feels good to handle. The one at the arcade seems free and loose to me but the owner said it is standard Sanwa. You can hear some clicking but it is a light springy noise and doesn't seem to correspond with much resistance. .. I have heard of "tuning" switches by bending the springs? .. I think Jin shows a JLF and I was looking at a JLW. Are they functionally different or is it more just about how you want it wired? .. JLW looked simpler and slightly smaller profile to me.
  5. .. I'm trying to figure out which joystick to buy. I asked the owner at the arcade I go to which joystick is on the game he has that I really like the feel of and he said it's a standard Sanwa. Kosmic mentioned here using Sanwas also. My question is how does a Samitsu compare? The reason I'm looking at something other than what I already know I like is that I think a standard stick will be too long for what I'm trying to do. Samitsu has a standard product with a SHORTER SHAFT. I think I found a custom Sanwa short shaft for sale but it seems too expensive to me. I'm definitely buying a generic Samitsu clone with a shorter shaft to experiment with. My project is pretty risky so I'm starting with cheaper components. But I am trying to buy everything I'll need for the final build now too. Does Samitsu feel like Sanwa?
  6. Will you use the aluminum bat top for something else? It sounds really cool. Could you post a photo of it?
  7. Along these lines I've been thinking that some great and simple hacks would be to adapt the various paddle games to read paddle input from the RIGHT controller port, so I could just leave a joystick in the left and play paddle games off the Harmony cart whenever. .. I thought I remembered being able to navigate Harmony menus and make selections with the paddles in the past but more recently I found it impossible. Either way the joystick is definitely easier for the menus and it would be great to be able to leave both controllers connected all the time.
  8. Well if the all-button controller is fair game for this "joystick" topic, maybe paddles are too. Anybody ever make custom paddles? I suppose there is not much choice or variety in new components for a paddle controller. But I've been looking at various Pong console controllers and wondering about repurposing one as a 2600 controller. I wonder if some of them would have compatable potentiometers? .. For the simplest paddle hack, I immediately really want a single solitary paddle, just a standard one wired by itself, without having a second paddle tethered to it.
  9. Are you aware of this recent development? : http://vectrex32.com
  10. The portability and the SD card functionality is very exciting! Lack of joystick input is a little dissappointing, especially considering it has been a standard feature. .. Lacking this feature makes the onboard control input very important and I'm pretty skeptical of what I see in the picture. .. It might seem impractical to play a portable with seperate joysticks/paddles but it would help justify whichever permanent controls are installed which inevitably are going to alienate some people. The console versions have had good industrial design, as iconic miniaturizations of the originals. .. Something similar would be cool to see with future portables.
  11. I think this is a fine place to post this. Personally I'm not looking for advice on how to bargain but I appreciate very very much that the advice is being given with the qualification "be respectful" and "YOU ARE NOT OWED A DISCOUNT". I feel like there is a really pervasive sense of entitlement among buyers (not just videogame buyers) these days and a great number of them seem to completely misunderstand the concept of negotiation and the culture of shopping. It's not about ripping people off.
  12. I don't feel like low quality productions injure or hinder the high quality productions. I can see how they might be considered a nuisence and annoying. But in general I think the really polished and complete games are evident and recognized. Unless it is somehow causing the really qualified people to become discouraged and refrain from making their games, I don't see how people buying more games is a bad thing. .. I think the issue of "quality" is a real dilemma for video games. It is a much higher bar than other forms of art and entertainment. There are many many examples of amateurish films, paintings, performances, musical compositions and literary works which are exceptional in their own right and revered by the aficionados of those mediums. But there really is no video game analogue to this. I think it's an unfortunate and unique and unavoidable aspect of the form. Playing video games, loving video games, being inspired by video games and having new ideas about video games does not enable you to make video games. You have to also be an engineer, in a very rigorous sense. Part of the outcome of this is that you are never going to see the level or volume of experimentation, variety and cross-pollination that exists in cinema, comics, sculpture, painting etc.
  13. 1) I dislike Pitfall. 2) I dislike River Raid. 3) I judge everyone who doesn't agree with me about the games I like best. 4) Several games that I claim to be among my favorites are not actually games that I ever play, including Adventure. 5) The fact that there is not a consensus that Night Driver is among the best Atari games and that Web Wars is among the best Vectrex games causes me to be skeptical of the entire retro gaming community. 6) I think that most homebrew games, including some of my favorites, have terrible level design. 7) I think there is a willful lack of creativity and lack of critical thinking that dominates the retro gaming scene. Some of the things I confess, which are sins, are not actually things I am ashamed of.
  14. Juno First for the 2600 is superior to Beamrider for the 2600, in my opinion. You have free movement and the mechanics are outstanding, and perfectly implemented. Beamrider has more restricted movement and restricted shooting and it is less interesting visually. I discovered the arcade game on a multicab a few years ago and I was really impressed by it. The ability to move backwards was interesting and unique, the vector-like graphics of the playfield appealed to my tastes and the way that the whole field shifted in perspective to the left and right as you move your ship - all created a lasting impression on me. The peculiar name and the relative obscurity of the game solidified this as one of my new favorites. This 2600 version is much different visually. Initially this diappointed me, but then I played the game. It is an amazing, inspired, original and essential reworking of a game that really would have been impossible to translate to this platform otherwise. The 3D effect is stylish and compelling. The altered scale and perspective of the 2600 version, (the arcade is a vertically oriented screen and more of an overhead view), really creates a whole new idea, in my opinion. It helps to reinforce the idea that this wrap-around playfield represents the surface of a geometric shape, a planet, (or maybe a giant cylindar?). The enemies you see off in the distance above the horizon are not blips on your scanner, like those of Defender. They are the actual enemies that are actually in front of you... and actually behind you too! It is an impossible scenario that makes perfect sense! Neither version is a substitute for the other. This is to me one of the most justified efforts in homebrew game publishing. A great obscure game from the past has been reintroduced and a new game has been devised in the process.
  15. Of course it wouldn't sit on the lap. I'd use an upright oriented piece about 2 feet tall. It would sit on the floor in front of you while you sit in a chair. I would NOT hollow it out, only the neccessary discreet channels like in the styrofoam, which would be even more discreet in this instance because you would never see the underside of the table. .. The main problem with this idea is the same as with the coffee table, that the wood will take years to dry, cannot realy be finished until dry and will likely crack in the process of drying. .. There's a reason you can't just buy a piece of "educated" wood this big. Well the button mounting is a potential problem but I thought I could fudge that. These are push fit buttons with tabs, no threading or nuts. I thought I could just drill an acurate hole and just have the tabs remain compressed, or maybe even cut the tabs off. It's not like you would ever be pulling up on the buttons.
  16. I've seen pictures of this and other similar ones but I had never seen one for sale. Not surprised to see the high price and I had figured that would be the case. I've always liked the idea of making my own controller and it is hard to imagine a design that is cheaper and easier to make than this one. It seems like the perfect place to start. .. I like the idea of making a controller of this type very HEAVY and have been figuring on forming the body out of a solid chunk of material, with the holes and channels milled out. I practiced this with the styrofoam, and have only one small square shaped hole that is open (on the bottom), with small channels cut through the inside walls of the bigger holes. .. I'm even considering making this a piece of small furniture, using some massive tree trunk pieces I salvaged this summer. I thought about mounting the buttons on the top of this coffee table I'm working on, (solid block currently weighing 105 lbs), but more likely I would use another piece and put some smooth rolling caster wheels on the bottom. .. At a certain point though I'm asking myself why I'm making a steer/thrust controller for the VCS when I have a VECTREX sitting here.
  17. Actually concrete was one of the things I was considering! Well I think I would use mortar mix with concrete bonding adhesive added, for a smoother consistency. I originally thought wood and I started mangling a piece of wood before I resorted to styrofoam. I'm sure I don't have the tools for this on hand currently. .. I've also been looking at blocks of solid aluminum online. How do you drill a 30mm hole? .. These buttons are push fit with tabs, rather than the threaded type that tighten down. I chose them because they are more shallow than everything else I saw. My real goal is to make a HANDHELD arcade stick, so space is a factor. The button-only controller is kind of for practice, but it might be the only one I ever get around to.
  18. Heh, here's my first attempt. Not a "joystick", but a controller anyway. I always wanted a button-only controller for steer and thrust games like Gravitar. I thought it would also be useful for the player 2 joy on Stargate and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I tested on Gravitar and it worked quite well. These games are unplayable for me with the joystick but this button controller is just like the arcade. .. Gravitar is a pretty exciting game and it didn't take me long to jam the thrust button into the controller body. Turns out styrofoam is not a permanent solution.
  19. Headset and Power Supply have been traded. Joystick is still available.
  20. Eh? I was talking about display artifacts that are common on this antique platform, and considered acceptable to the users. If you somehow have a job in 2016 for which this is the case, then I guess you can use it as an "excuse" also. I don't want to engage an off topic conversation but I'm responding so that my quoted statement is not misinterpreted as insincere and negative. It was not intended that way.
  21. I wonder if it would work any better or worse on Vectrex, or if that interests you? Vectrex homebrews frequently push 32K in size. AtarVox+ works on Vectrex in VecVoice or VecVox mode, whichever the game is programmed for. .. I'm not positive the save key works on Vectrex though. And you'd probably want a different graphic interface to avoid flicker and distortion. Anyway I'm happy with what you provided already. It is quite functional. I'm surprised it hasn't garnered the interest you envisioned. It seems like an obvious starting point with the Vox hardware, and very common interest in appeal.
  22. Bump. I'm just trying this out now. The most fun I have had with the Vox for sure. Would it be difficult to make an expanded version with more variables? Like changing tone and volume within a sentence.. like singing? .. Or making longer statements? .. The four save slots are really convenient and useful. This is just such a neat program. Thanks RevEng!
  23. I have an MBX joystick in good cosmetic condition. I don't have an MBX to test functionality. $60 including shipping to Continental U.S. I might consider some trades but mostly just looking to sell. Only the joystick is available at this point.
  24. Heh I actually HAVE had the walking animation freeze up a couple more times. It seems to be sporadic. Has happened in both ROMs. But it is not the decisive problem it seemed to me to be when I first noticed it on the sword centered version only. As long as it usually works, the occassional freeze up is on par with occassional flicker and occassional enemy clumping etc. Just an artifact of VCS hardware and software. .. Other than that first time, (in which it was frozen from the beginning of my first game with that version, and remained frozen until game over), it has always started working again after I advance a screen or two. Yes I have tried this now and it seemed to work fine. After doing this and confirming it works I actually tried to get it to crash again and couldn't. I think before maybe I never toggled screens during the game to initiate a save? .. I think I remember that you can continue a game directly following a game over without manually entering a password, WITHOUT A VOX UNIT. .. But previously the Vox interfered with this. Now it doesn't. The Vox saved password was interchangeable between the two versions. Progress saved in one version was also assigned to the other version and I was able to continue the same game. ...... RE: Green Enemy Difficulty I just want to add that this enemy has a lot of character. It is a visually satisfying sprite. But also the movement and AI seem very distinct and awesome. "Fixing" the difficulty is not nearly as important as keeping what is awesome about it, in my opinion.
  25. Yes I was playing on hardware with Harmony cart. Black Vader VCS. Tried it again and eventually had the same problem. When I initially power up the console and enter the code I start in the top of the room with the boulder, no problem, not stuck. But then dying with the same level of progress respawns in the room above, (two trees and mountain) stuck in mountain or trees. .. Powering off and back on seems to remedy this, resetting seems to not. This happened multiple times and I think I tried both current versions of the game. I definitely tried the sword centered version. .. I've tried a bit now with Atari Vox, (hardware) I had problems and could not get the save to work. The Vox makes a short beep noise which I have never heard before. When I press button to start game again it shows a password that is almost all zeroes and I respawn in a glitch screen, unable to move. I think it was a grey screen, indoors, with half of a white boulder near the center. .. I've never used the Atari Vox for game saving. Not sure if there is something I need to do to activate it or if it is supposed to be automatic. But I checked today before I played Anguna and it does have my high scores for Juno First, (seems to not matter between real Juno First cart and Juno First ROM on Harmony cart, keeps same scores). .. I tried sword centered version again today and the walking animation worked fine. Not sure what was up with that the first time around.
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