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SPONGEZILLA

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About SPONGEZILLA

  • Rank
    Combat Commando
  • Birthday 08/05/1975

Profile Information

  • Custom Status
    The Sultan of All Things Absorbent
  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Crook County, Illinois
  • Interests
    Retro gaming, modern gaming, sim-gaming, game-modding, oval racing (especially dirt oval). I help run a dirt oval sim racing community called Slingindirt. I go to a lot of dirt oval races in real life. I collect consoles. I'm artistic and creative. I'm a Mac and Amigan, love Linux... dislike Windows but tolerate it for PC gaming (at times). I've built my own PC's before.
  • Currently Playing
    Ummm... could be just about anything. LoL
  • Playing Next
    And probably whatever came after I currently played just before this. :)

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  1. No worries bud. I just was clarifying. I had my doubts that this is something that Intellivision Ent. would put a huge priority on. That said if Tommy and the gang came in telling me that it was something they were going to pursue, I'd be all-in to sign it over (not that I have to, it's a mere conceptualization as pointed out earlier). I'd definitely buy them from them. I'm not sure there's really a need. In fact, if you look at the Amico controllers... they look nearly perfect for classic Intellivision gameplay. You can fudge the lack of dimples on the numberpad by using haptics, the screen can load the classic overlays as visuals on-screen, and you get a FAR better physical trigger than the rubber or plastic buttons that mash against a laminated metallic contact film. It should register with greater accuracy (one of my primary goals with mine) and provide greater comfort (again, an actual physical mechanical switch would've been enormously expensive in 1979... in 2021 as many things use mechanical switches like this and the economies of scale from imported cheaply produced units, it's a no-brainer if you're making something today). Granted, the decision to separate the trigger buttons could provide a quirk but I think it's something we can adapt to. Agreed, but again... it would be costly and not 100% compatible with Amico games by default. Adding a touch screen into the mix IMHO is almost a requisite for the Amico and compatibility for the system overall. Those pairing stuff like XBox or PS style controllers, Tommy has noted that it's a possibility, but I don't know that for most games that it would remotely be my preference. A big part of my love of the Intellivision, IS the controller even with it's faults. And to me those faults are more a byproduct of trying to make the system at a consumer affordable price at a time when this whole thing was bleeding edge level technology and in majority it was all produced in the U.S. with much higher labor costs. My illustrated concept was my ideas on how to make the perfect "classic" Intellivision controller in a realistic fashion. Ideally, I'd always thought a touch screen that could provide you with all of the overlays without a need to keep track of them or install/uninstall was genius. And... they did it, it's real, it's on the Amico. I had no belief we'd see another Intellivision, and this was designed about a year prior to Tommy and the gang producing the original discussions on the Amico. To me it's better to talk with Tommy and the hardware team if they can help us come up with ways to pair it with Pi's and MiSTer's and figure out ways to tweak them to operate with original consoles with Bluetooth dongles and any other additional pieces we can get added to the controllers so that it can facilitate having access to all of the overlays and associated button presses available in the firmware itself. Basically put... it's something that's being built, it would require the same level of modding to existing consoles, but it is something that physically exists and that might be adaptable. It exists for a system that they hope to sell a more modern level # of units. And if there's additional interest in the controllers for non-Amico applications, it's still additional sales for Tommy and Co. It's like when Microsoft made the Kinect and people in the STEM community embraced it and used it for all manner of things. I mean, some people used it as a budget laser scanner and still do. Then again, things like phone cameras and lidar (which later iPhone and iPad's have had) can be as well. At this point nothing much does. LoL Just thankful we got it taken down and hopefully nobody gets duped by it going forward. Thanks for the input everyone!
  2. No, it was literally someone downloading the original image I'd posted here on the forum and posting it as some sort of t-shirt download. It even still had my email address attached to it. You totally didn't miss anything. Oddly, that was less my worry at the time. My worry? That good people would get duped into paying $ for something that 1) didn't exist and 2) wasn't what they thought they were getting. And finally... 3) the thought process that my name was attached to it. The last thing I or anyone out there needs is getting tied into some racket scheme where it comes back and looks somehow like we're involved. I didn't want to be attributed to whatever they were doing hence why I was quick to get on and make it known. I'm thankful that it was taken down and thankful my buddy Robert Vining (Robert's Web Design; also an avid sim racing fan and gamer like me) gave me input on how to get it taken down. I'm also glad that Kevin Strom of Intellivision Entertainment was able to help me through the process to get it taken down. I've been rather busy of late with school starting (I have a background in design but work as an educator in a K-6 school in Special Education). Thanks Kevin! I have written to 8BitDo without response. My gut is that the audience is a MUCH smaller audience than many think it would be. And I've noted a # of reasons above why I don't think it's something that anyone would realistically pursue that isn't extremely passionate about these systems. I don't think it's going to be a massive profit generator and I could even see it being a loss for the R&D poured in to make it work. Even the AtGames consoles are a minor excuse considering the volume sold of each (part of the demand on them is that they were sold in rather short volume) and while there's demand... there's the reality that demand OVERALL for the original consoles isn't that high. Getting a turnkey emulated system that works decent enough for many is better than the work of getting an original console modded to work on modern TV's (e.g. my Intellivision II and Sears Super Video Arcade aren't working well with my 50" Roku TV where there's software issues for 240p broadcasts, and my 65" Sony doesn't even have component inputs requiring me to look into a Retrotink 2x mini for it) or getting adapters and doing the hard work to flesh out the controls on various Intellivision games. I have a set of DB9 to USB adapters for Intellivision controllers that also work with my Flashback controllers... and it's still more of a nuisance to setup for a full library of games than I want the hassle of dealing with. And as such since much of the pre NES/Sega Master System era of gaming is a smaller audience typically, I don't think 8BitDo would bite. At least not until they've covered every facet of gaming and run out of controllers or FPGA systems to tackle. It would take someone more in the mindset of a Collectorvision which is building heavily for this market to invest in it and does so strictly IMHO because of their passion for this era. The same is true maybe of Opcode if/when their controller ships. That said, I think Collectorvision at this point is more focused on getting more games out and more FPGA cores for the Phoenix first before even tackling some sort of controller for it. And Opcode... again, with COVID and the chip shortages and supply chain shortages and quarantines... again, I give everyone the benefit of the doubt because I'm sure that it's not their daily job as it is. I mean, if I leaned into this myself I wouldn't quit my day job as an educator to do it. This is true. That said you might have to take the design and simplify it so it could work across multiple systems using by and large the same circuit board and quite possibly one set of controller molds with maybe color variations. That leads to questions of compromise too and how much interests would stay high. Do we go with a joystick in place of the disc? Do we make it positioned more like the 5200 at the bottom or like the Colecovision at the top? Is it a stick with a trigger button or a round raised disc like the Colecovision controllers and side triggers? Personally... I much prefer the Intellivision controllers to the others but I see many clamoring for joystick controllers for Intellivision. I'd want something that ergonomically worked for me and hope it appealed to everyone. But there's no guarantees there... This could require some complexities as well for the 2609a systems where the controller DB9 ports aren't exposed and are just internal headers that connect to the permanently wired controllers. With that being the largest bulk of systems... having some sort of RF or Bluetooth module that attaches to those internal ports and transmits out could effectively be hidden inside the actual 2609 system's shells assuming that there's no shielding to impede signal covering them. Otherwise you'd have to likely drill a hole to expose the signal outward. That's another step in the process that could impact adoption. On Sears or Inty II systems it'd be just a simple DB9 adapter wired to the Intellivision pin-out. But here again... if that pin-out isn't compatible with the Colecovision, then we're at either having switches to go between the 2 systems to flip the wiring or separate modules for each system. Let alone the fact that the 5200 has a completely different port I believe? That said... you could perhaps adapt the guts to a design that was more universal so it at least shared the PCB. Say something that could work with the 5200 and Colecovision Systems. Maybe a few other systems with similar designs (I believe Emerson had a system that was similar with the keypad?). That said, one board to work amongst multiple systems then plays into whether or not you're going to actually size and provide hardware molds compatible with each system or some form of generic design that isn't Intellivision-themed specifically but was compatible (even if it doesn't fit in the original space on top of each system specifically). To be honest, once you get past the 5200 and Colecovision and Intellivision... the other systems are only going to add small percentages of additional potential buyers IMHO. Even if taken as a whole it's still FAR smaller of an audience than a 2600 or let alone a PC Engine/TG16, NES/Famicom, SNES/Super Famicom, Master System, etc. For those buying Pi's and/or hooking these up to PC's for emulation, or even MiSTer it wouldn't be a big deal. I could brand it as the Mackey Retro Pro Controller and sell it for compatibility with various systems with basically my own unique hardware design. For those wanting Intellivision, Intellivision II, Sears Super Video Arcade, etc. etc. 2609 themed system controllers as well as 5200 and Colecovision-specific consoles... you're looking at increased mold costs, varying levels of molded colors, and varying levels of complexities for accessibility to the RF or Bluetooth adapter as noted above. This all creates challenges and obvious added costs. Ironically for the original 2609 series... it's the most expensive and potentially most/more challenging probably because of the internal header. That said... some of this could be compensated for with a buy-in upfront. That said, as shaky as some of the go fund me scenarios are... even I would be fearful of deploying that way. The amount of backlash Atari got out of the gate for doing so... wasn't good. One gaming developer, as a sim racer (Big Ant games), tried to do a go fund me to get a game developed and published and despite the relatively modest costs... people freaked out, didn't chip in, and then collectively bashed the company for it. And yeah, it's not the original Atari, blah, blah, blah. Reality? At what point in Atari's history were they, outside of when Ted and Nolan ran the company, was leadership TRULY good? Maybe the Warner Communications era when they ran off Ted but had built the 2600 into a huge sales success. That said, they ran the thing into the ground by misjudging the market and overproducing systems and cartridges vs. actual physical demand. That's STILL poor leadership. As was Jack's time at the helm (of both Atari and Commodore). So to me... the more recent Atari leadership was truly no worse even with some of the unsavory or shady elements. That said, having actual vision of what the VCS is and should be IMHO is where they missed the mark. It's a truly expensive console at $399 for playing classic Atari games. Had it shipped at the $200 price point using an ARM CPU to emulate the core games from PONG to 2600 to 5200 and 7800, many of the 8-bit and 16-bit era titles? It could've been a bigger success and been a better option than the cheap $99 Atari emulation consoles. Especially if everything was optimized for quality. And without Amico-like touch screens it could more easily hit that $200. That said, it wouldn't be something you could run Windows or Linux on but how many that are buying it legitimately want it to be an underpowered PC that's overkill on price for gaming but underwhelming vs. 5th gen systems (if those 5th gen systems were selling at retail; right now the PS5 and XBox Series X are selling for like 150% markup because of the chip and manufacturing shortages -- and that's even with Sony and Microsoft better able financially to push to the front of the line)? To me... for the 1% of tinkerers, it's a selling point. In majority though it's an overpriced sexy as sin piece of hardware with a nice wireless controller homage to the original, but... it's just too expensive and perhaps even too over-powered for it's audience. And that's where modern Atari leadership IMHO missed the boat. But that doesn't make them any less worthy than Warner, Jack, or anyone since Ted and Nolan who outside of the original arcade games... had little to do with what ultimately came later. But that's ultimately not even the point of the convo. here (got off-track). The point is... if you're not the EXACT original leadership people aren't willing to give things a chance, and even if you ARE or are filled with significant #'s of Atari or Intellivision or Big Ant/Ratbag people, people are skeptical and not willing to give the benefit of the doubt. I see it with the Amico all the time. For someone like me who has 0 name built up for myself? Trying to start a Go Fund Me to make this... it's a level of crucification I don't particularly need in my life considering I don't think the rough #'s look fantastic for a massive return on investment. I'm open to someone else taking it and running with it, and even willing to collab. with someone far enough to maybe get things to a realistic point to pass it off... but... yeahhhhh... not going to jump in as the ring-leader. LoL Noooo way. This was more of a push in the direction of what I'd love to see happen. Nothing more/less. And irony... just creating a quick and dirty Illustrator multi-view turned into a bit of a nightmare as I had to make sure people weren't getting duped out of their $. I don't really know that there's as much of a point there. I think the Amico controllers will likely be able to provide a pretty solid experience. You lose the domed buttons of the original console but with haptics that might be less of an issue on the touch screen. Sure the triggers being more spread apart becomes more of a question but... the fact that they're ACTUAL trigger buttons with switches vs. the touch-sensitive strips of the original system likely will overcome that by a significant margin. I own a Sears Super Video Arcade and a Inty II and while I much prefer the 2609 controller because of the rubber side buttons... even they're unresponsive enough to brutalize your thumb and finger pads from minimal use as you hammer them repeatedly to get one actual output to work. Something that having ACTUAL trigger buttons (clicky switches, think like mouse presses) would obviously go a long way to improve. That was my intent with the design. And yeah, while I stuck with the Inty II designed number pad... I did hope for domed buttons myself. But the Amico lacking them IMHO isn't necessarily a deal breaker. Without the rights to do so (to share the games)... not going to happen. I'm an Amico supporter so I'd be game if Intellivision Ent. wanted to pursue something like this. That said, I'm sure Tommy and Kevin and the rest can tell you what I noted above. There's bigger fish to fry. Getting an Amico controller working on MiSTer, the Pi, and PC/Mac via Bluetooth is probably the best bet there. Since Tommy has already said the Amico can use Bluetooth controllers paired to it, this would be a case of someone figuring out how to reverse engineer the controller to make it work with Linux/Mac/Windows and then figuring out with various emulators to get the touch-screen to work in place of the number pad, and then have the games load up the right screen overlay when loaded. Challenging? I'm sure. Impossible? Probably less so than me or anyone getting a specialty controller for a more niche portion of the retro gaming audience to market. Ditto. Hence why above I said I'd love to have had domed buttons on the Pro Controller design concept, even if we stuck with more of the # font for the Inty II in keeping with the fact the controller was designed to work with the Inty II in my original artwork. I never sat down and designed a 2609 variation. I do as well. Hence why I came up with it. Intellivision remains my all-time favorite system. That's despite the fact that I have a huge collection of consoles. The original Intellivision is the only one I actually collect a bulk of carts for. That said, it would take someone on the level of an Intellivision Ent. or a Collectorvision or someone more in the Intellivision fan universe that has the necessary skills to go in like Liam Neeson in Taken (and the bazillion pointless cash grab sequels) to make it happen. I'm the pretty drawrings guy. I could probably fire up AutoDesk Fusion 360 or Inventor or something similar and figure it out. I do have some experience with Solidworks (though that was like 21 years ago... LoL). That said... AutoDesk Eagle? Might as well have me write C# or Mandarin. 😁
  3. Oh, that wasn't even my intention on the original posting even. I just think it's generally good practice (decency) to ask but honestly... my intentions were that if someone wanted to go through the trouble to make it and build it I would be completely okay with it. The reality is... I knew I couldn't do it. I knew that this wasn't some get rich quick scheme, and it was more just done as a talking piece to get ideas flowing. Just the ability to buy it if someone made it to me would've been fine and I wouldn't have cared if I wasn't featured in the credits or given royalties. I mean... it was just an idea, there was no execution. I mean, what I did was more conceptual than doing any of the hard work necessary as it is. I mean, I didn't even use any dimensions off of my Inty II or Sears Super Video Arcade (2609-style system) to do it in an accurate way. It was very much shot from the hip. If I was really that in-depth on it I'd have to go to a far different level with it than I did (and I have little experience in designing things like circuit boards in Eagle, and am pretty rusty in Solidworks at this stage anymore... don't even have an active license of it or Inventor). To do it with mechanical switches, the Steam Controller-style touch-sensitive top controller with iPod Click-wheel style presses (and also wire it in circuit to have a switch to dial it to 4-way, 8-way, and 16-way presses), Bluetooth or 2.4 Ghz RF functionality for wireless, the separate transmitters (which IMHO would need to be different for Inty II, Sears, and probably internalized off of the controller's cable header inside the console on a standard wired-in 2609), etc. and make it work on both an original Intellivision II, but even the old 2609-style classic consoles would take more than a quick and dirty Illustrator drawing to achieve. I'd have to do far more recon, find switches to suit needs, figure out what level of boards would be necessary and what the ideal placements would be to maintain the touch keypad at optimum height while making the triggers, clickwheel, etc. work and fit around a battery. It's not really my forte or league. I did try to interest Ben Heckendorn (Ben Heck) in it via emails to see if it was something he'd be interested in giving a go considering his incredible Jack of All Trades abilities from both an industrial design (via graphic design experience, he's not really trained in ID) as well as his self-taught experience on electronics engineering level work. He thought the scope was over his head and that was about as far as I really pursued it. So to get anywhere with it, I fully anticipated that the heavy lifting was coming from elsewhere when it came to circuit design. It's not within my means networking and... I honestly think there's bigger fish to fry if you're trying to do R&D work and get a return on the investment. And honestly, even if I got Ben to bite... to build it even for a smaller audience like I foresee the Intellivision community ultimately being, it'd likely rely on someone with the knowledge that it might be a lot of investment for a little return. I mean, if Wikipedia's #'s are correct... TOTAL Intellivision sales are roughly about 3 million globally over the life of the system's run (from Mattel through INTV). That's a VERY small audience on a global scale. And of that percentage that had one, how many still do and are ultimately still interested? I don't look at 3 million in sales as the realistic sales goal necessarily for those needing one of these for an actual 2609 or Inty II console. This is why I don't foresee a lot of devices being made specifically to the Intellivision, Colecovision, or 5200 that aren't by people that are passionate about those systems and done primarily for cost. Meaning every $ put in to the project would likely only, at best, return you back your original $. It's for the love of it and nothing more. I attribute it similarly to 8-bit Guy and his Commander 16 project. The costs to do what he's doing are immense, and while there was a sizable fanbase of Commodore BASIC computer users in the 80's... I don't think it's a massive base that will embrace a 16-bit equivalent to the C64/128. I'm not sure if it'll return on his original investment and break even. And I honestly think the userbase for the C64 and Vic 20 and 128 were larger on a global scale than the original Intellivision. We can *maybe* expand that reach to those that would download Retroarch w/jzintv on a PC or a Raspberry Pi or some other single board computer and opt to run the controller over Bluetooth or even RF via USB dongle (again, another piece that would have to be made custom likely -- I don't know of many if any universal RF modules that you pair to -- they're generally coded in) to play games from 1979-1983-ish and whatever homebrews keep popping up. That said... how many? If it makes it a more plug and play experience with all games, it could really make it more approachable. I always feel getting it fully setup is more of a pain than it's worth which is why I bought a Inty II (smaller, better fits under the TV) with the intention to component-mod it and also bought an LTOFlash for it. Reality? Even with the controller's availability and the wealth of ROM's and newer games I still don't think it would expand the global Intellivision audience much and therefore it's not something that's going to make anyone much money (other than some scam site trying to sell you on a $60 shirt... which is what I literally had nightmares of tons of Intellivision fans getting duped because I had a creative moment -- I felt guilty even if I didn't really do anything wrong, but it would upset me if anyone was fooled which is why I sprang to action here and am awaiting an email from Kevin Strom from Intellivision Entertainment on further suggestions on how to go about eliminating this). Which is why thought it more a pipe dream. We all would love for it to happen, but... it's one of those *sigh* moments of wishing that 8BitDo would throw some love our way than what reality probably is. This makes making one of these sort of like what I see the Collectorvision Phoenix as, a much more niche retro system. They made it because of their love of the Colecovision and desire to preserve it and their love of homebrew and keeping carts and cart collecting relevant. That said, if the Phoenix ever does cover Atari 2600 (check), Colecovision (check), as well as Intellivision, 5200, 7800, etc. it could expand the reach of that system to many more people. That said in that event, making it so that a unified design controller specific to the system that could be compatible with all of the various "cores" is probably the better focus. And in something like that, a wireless version of something like the Opcode Super Game Controller could be more of the ideal. I kind of hope that Opcode can deliver or someone else can step in with a comfortable controller that would play well with all of the cores. They've said they are still working on it and with the global chip shortage and all of the quarantines and lockdowns with the pandemic, it probably has set it back significantly. I just hope it doesn't even up Vaporware. I have a pair of nice original Colecovision controllers but I don't find them particularly comfortable to use. To be honest, I'd rather use an Intellivision-style controller as I feel the ergonomics were better (even if Coleco definitely had FAR superior side buttons). Thanks to everyone for seeing this post and not being duped. I mean, I hoped most people were smart enough to NOT fall prey to the scam of it all, but... there's always that person that's hopeful that wants to jump on it and hope/pray it's the real deal. I'd hate to be the contributor to someone losing $. That's what kept me up last night when I was made light of this and why I'm now jumping through hoops to try to figure out how to make it a non-issue going forward (hopefully).
  4. I received an email yesterday from someone (John Howard who is also on here, not sure his user name) that noticed this: https://www.totshop.top/ProductDetail.aspx?iid=207406681&pr=56.99# A number of years back on a post on this forum, I contributed my own concept art for an Intellivision Pro Controller. Someone else had started a thread with a similar idea and it was just me tinkering with it, nothing more than that. It was just an Adobe Illustrator document, so it wasn't ever turned into a working controller. I mean, I never even fired up something like Inventor or Solidworks or Rhino3D to tinker with making a 3D model version of it. I mean, I wish it had legitimately been something pursued... but, yeah, I created concept art and never saw anyone message me back with interests. I was hoping maybe a case could be made to take it to someone like 8Bit-Do or another manufacturer but always felt like with the more limited audience of the early generation consoles that it was a stretch at best. My gut tells me that, that's still by and large pretty likely. I mean, maybe with stuff like Pi's and other emulation devices, MiSTer, there's potentially a slightly larger audience. That said, of all of the retro consoles many Intellivision related consoles and games are still pretty reasonable despite the boom in collector prices for other systems. I only bring this forward because well... 1) I don't want anyone to get conned into this. It's not real. I've never been contacted about possibly making anything. And further... whoever took the image and posted it for $56.99? If you think about a Bluetooth or 2.4Ghz Wireless RF controller, that's probably a reasonable price for all that this illustration is. So... don't be conned. I mean, they LITERALLY took my original image complete with email address and reposted it. That's how John contacted me via email to inquire on it. And #2? I really don't know how to approach getting it taken down? The page seems rather rogue. I could totally see it existing outside of U.S. jurisdiction. Again, no one has consulted me about manufacturing anything based off of my design that I put together. If CMart or Tommy (Tallarico) or anyone is out there, if you have any ideas of how to make sure that nobody gets conned in this situation? I'm sort of out of my league on this with regards to a page with no real contact info. Thanks everyone, SPONGEZILLA a/k/a Marcus Mackey [email protected]
  5. Is there any news? I know with everything going on that it could pose a problem for manufacturing (obviously), but... still curious as to what the progress level is. Thanks in advance!
  6. Just tinkering around and trying to get my profile properly sorted.

  7. I have 2 games that I'm trying to track down. Both games were educational for Apple ][. The first one was from when I was in grammar school. The timeframe is 1980-1987. It was a math game that featured a little space ship on-screen that was shaped like an n-gon (10-12 sided). In the middle of the space ship it would either have a math problem or the answer, and attacking the space ship outside would be either an answer or math problem. I can't remember if you had to use the arrow keys to change the answer or use the arrow keys to select which problem you were attacking with whatever answer your ship held inside. Once you had the right answer for the right problem you hit the space bar and the ship would fire. Correct answers obviously eliminated the problem whereas errors would miss (with a primitive raspberry-style sound) and the problem or answer outside of the ship would keep creeping closer and closer. The game covered addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It might've been a derivative of Math Blaster but most iterations I've seen seemed far more primitive and far less engaging than what I'm thinking of. The other game was while I was in Junior High so we're looking at up until 1989. The game could've conceivably been made prior to me entering Jr. High. It reminded me a bit of the movie Innerspace featuring Martin Short and Dennis Quaid. You were miniaturized down inside of a miniature spaceship-style craft and had to enter the human body (I almost want to say you entered through the mouth vs. being injected, as I think it was a challenge to navigate your way into the body around the teeth and tongue, etc.). It was an edutainment level game as you did a fair amount of learning about the human body but also had moments where your ship was being attacked by white blood cells and you had to shoot them. I remember it had some pretty awesome still screen artwork even on the monochrome screens we had back then. On color monitors (we had a mix of both in the lab at the Jr. High) the color palette was obviously very limited but it still was quite impressive.
  8. I'll put in a vote for Auto Racing. Of all of the racing games on any consoles out there at the time, it was the most excruciating from a frustration standpoint. It was a neat concept with the overhead view but controls were beyond difficult.
  9. I realize this is a very old thread but a lot of what I see here is still relevant to most of us. My thought pattern is slightly different in concept to what Numbthumb posted above but has some similarities in concept. Rather than look out to Hyperkin to make another hardwired controller, my goal was to build a Bluetooth controller that Intellivision Corp. could sell/market. For getting the device manufactured, they could go through someone like 8BitDo who has a lot of experience with Bluetooth based controllers and dongles. This controller could appeal to those with Sears Super Video Arcade and Intellivision II systems which are plentiful. These controllers could also be used with the Intellivision Flashback systems with the same Dongle but with some form of mode switch built in to alter the way the controller interacts with the system. Finally, since the controller is Bluetooth... it could work with any single board computer or desktop computer that has Bluetooth compatibility. That opens a pretty sizable market for anyone using an Intellivision emulator. Which, since aging hardware can be finicky... having access to newer hardware to play Intellivision games on could be the potential largest market. Further inspiration for the controller came from trying to match up an officially licensed Intellivision product in aesthetic. I went with the Intellivision II (since it was the only Intellivision system that supported DB9 connections) and my goal would be to design the controller to fit the system as replacements for the original OEM controllers (the above controllers weren't designed to any scale though, I just mocked up a concept in Illustrator). The original Intellivision had it's controllers hardwired and therefore would require tinkerers to mod them to work with this type of controller. For some, they would likely opt that mod... for others that don't want to Frankenstein an original pure Intellivision, they weren't really the target audience for this controller to begin with. 8BitDo could theoretically just alter the color scheme as they have with various controllers in the past so it at least matches in color if it doesn't exactly fit in the particular slots. Then again, since it's Bluetooth you'd probably not store the controllers exactly with the system and instead set them aside someplace to be charged since they also would contain Li-Ion batteries. I figure the controller could have a USB-type C port in the top to work with USB cable connectors and/or the controllers could also support wireless charging via a wireless mat. As such, it doesn't really matter if your Intellivision Pro controllers match up cosmetically and/or physically with the indentions in the original Intellivision, clones, or foreign market systems. All that matters is whether you can retrofit to accept a dongle, if it can use a dongle, or if the controller just works with the system itself. For the control pad region... my thought process was to go solid state, combining the concept of either an iPod Clickwheel with the touch sensitive control pads from the Steam controller. The cosmetic of the disc is more akin to the Steam controller for that reason. On the controller I included a pair of jog switches for controlling rapid fire for the triggers as well as a way to dial the 16-way controls of the disc down to 4-way for games where it'd be preferred. I stuck with a thumb-based pad simply because... I don't believe a joystick to be necessity. In majority I see most games of today relying on 4-way dpads, not 4-way joysticks... with the only stick-based controllers being the typical analog nub joysticks that are used in majority for greater than 4-way control. I'm not foreseeing this controller as an alternative to a good XBox One, PS4, etc. controller and in fact figure anyone that's buying one from Intellivision Corp. or 8BitDo is likely using it as a controller on a retro-based single board computer in majority to better play games that ran on systems like Colecovision, Atari 5200, and... the Intellivision itself. If you are going to play anything else on a Retropie or similar system, I'd anticipate you'd use another controller more dedicated to that task. So... I didn't bother trying to devise a stick attachment. I felt the touch register of the Steam controller with the click to actuate the selection would be plenty enough and probably be more responsive. In fact... you could perhaps even run greater than 16-way on this controller if you ultimately wanted to. As far as the back design of my controller... since some complain about the ergonomics I did try to create an indention in the back for better gripping the controller by the control disc and adding duplicate trigger buttons in the underside of the controller. I'm not sure if this would ergonomically improve gameplay but... it was just an idea or concept. Ultimately, my main goal would be to see the controllers themselves feature mechanical switch mouse-style triggers for each of the side triggers as well as the bottom triggers. My goal is to basically make an Intellivision II sized controller which I feel has adequate size/heft but has God awful triggers for comfortably playing the game. Using more ergonomic trigger controls with a more accurate directional disc IMHO would rectify a great deal of the performance concerns with the original controller. Basically put, I'd consider this a higher grade controller than the original made with mechanical switches and a more advanced technology to the directional controller. I'd expect some heft with the Li-Ion battery and since it'd use an actual circuit board inside with actual mechanical switches for triggers with the membrane keypad (not really as important to have tactile switches and likely make it less feasible), it would definitely be more of a premium accessory. I consider this important because I don't consider the Intellivision market to be quite as sizable as the NES, SNES, or Genesis amongst retro gamers so there'd be a need for a premium device and likely a product with a higher price tag. I think those that are diehard Intellivision fans though would likely more than be willing to pay the premium to get something that wasn't shoddy. We're very passionate about our systems and our love affair with said system and games. We have to be to cling to a system this old when there's plenty of newer systems. That and the historical lack of options makes a premium controller that does everything well out of the box (imperative that it's tested to do so) to me a sought after item within what is likely a more niche crowd. And the best thing about it is if we underestimate the niche crowd's overall size... if handled via a Kickstarter-style campaign, the more the merrier. The larger a pool of customers we can get... the more hopefully it'll drive the pricing down. At any rate... here's my illustrated concept. It's not perfect by any stretch but it's just something I felt compelled to throw together after purchasing an Intellivision II recently (to go with the Sears Super Video Arcade I've owned since I was 5 years old, in 1980). I wanted to stay true to the Intellivision II aesthetic, improve on the functionality, and come up with something that like many of the 8BitDo controllers that support Bluetooth... is a modernized alternative to the original controller that would fit in the same slots on an Intellivision II and be identifiable to Intellivision diehards. I could see a black/gold variety of the same controller design being sold that would require customers to either mod their original consoles or... just to more appeal to people's sensibilities for a black controller with gold accents to use with their Flashback or Retropie-style systems sans dongle (no need for one and if you do, you'd just use a Standard Bluetooth dongle... not that Pi 3/3b needs one). Note: The top indention is designed for any clearance needs of an Intellivision II-based Bluetooth dongle in the event the controller were sat in the top of that system. Ultimately, I still believe the majority of users would likely store the controllers to the side for charging via either USB-C or some sort of wireless charging mat. I also believe that having that area more carved out could help with the weight balance of the controller helping bring more of the weight closer to the bottom of the controller which is beneficial to a controller that's often held in both hands (one hand behind wrapped around the triggers from behind, one hand at the bottom with finger/thumb front to back over the Dpad), but could be held in one hand using the control disc and back of the controller (hence the back triggers). To be honest, I'd have to see the controller in physical action to see if the back-based triggers make any sense at all. If not, just having a slight indention for a better grip for the controller and to help keep the controller a bit heavier as a lower counterweight to the battery might be a better choice. Just wanted to share my idea. Thanks!
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