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Andrew Davie

Boulder Dash® on my Mechanical TV

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It's very difficult to get good-focus screenshots with my camera, but attached are my first effort. This shows my implementation of BoulderDash running on a '2600, as it looks when displayed on my mechanical Televisor. The televisor is mentioned in http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=105068 for those who blinked.

post-214-1180617165_thumb.jpg

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Words fail me right now. That is just about the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. I never knew televisions started out so...for lack of a better word...primal. I love it!

 

Are there still talks about getting this game on cart? or has the path gone cold? Haven't heard anything about it in a while. Sorry if you're sick of people asking, but I know you put a lot of work into that game and it'd be a pity to see it go unreleased.

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It's very difficult to get good-focus screenshots with my camera, but attached are my first effort. This shows my implementation of BoulderDash running on a '2600, as it looks when displayed on my mechanical Televisor. The televisor is mentioned in http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=105068 for those who blinked.

 

What a fun project!

 

I understand it's a great game and makes sense why you'd want to view it, but I'm not really familiar with BoulderDash (sorry). Next time you're taking pictures, it'd be neat to see some of the earlier iconic images like Pac-Man, Space Invaders (and throw in Circus just for me. ;))

 

Great stuff. Keep up the inspirational-quality work. I'm referencing your 2600 tutorials lately as I begin work on my own game. Were it not for the quality and structure of those, I don't think I'd have been able to put together enough information to believe I could write my own game. Thanks.

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Are there still talks about getting this game on cart? or has the path gone cold? Haven't heard anything about it in a while. Sorry if you're sick of people asking, but I know you put a lot of work into that game and it'd be a pity to see it go unreleased.

 

No, there have been no discussions bewteen First Star Software and myself about this for a number of years. I am not about to release an unlicensed version, so it looks like the project is dead. The only way this could ever be released is if First Star Software gave their blessing. It might be unreleased, but at least *I* know that I managed to pull it off... and that's what counts to me. There's a version on cart that appears at the occasional show -- might be worth chasing up.

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It's very difficult to get good-focus screenshots with my camera, but attached are my first effort. This shows my implementation of BoulderDash running on a '2600, as it looks when displayed on my mechanical Televisor. The televisor is mentioned in http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=105068 for those who blinked.

 

I thought the televisor was set up for a scan rate of 384 lines/second. How did you make it display A2600 video which is at 15,750 lines/second?

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It's very difficult to get good-focus screenshots with my camera, but attached are my first effort. This shows my implementation of BoulderDash running on a '2600, as it looks when displayed on my mechanical Televisor. The televisor is mentioned in http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=105068 for those who blinked.

 

I thought the televisor was set up for a scan rate of 384 lines/second. How did you make it display A2600 video which is at 15,750 lines/second?

 

Scanlines are vertical in my televisor, and although there are only 32 scanlines, displayed at 12.5fps, each scanline has a higher resolution limited by the bandwidth of the source signal. It's hard to put a value on it, but say 50 pixels. In reality, we don't have discrete pixels on a line... just shades of grey merging into each other.

 

The video is simply downconverted before playing on the televisor. Doesn't matter what the '2600 displays; the video is treated on a frame by frame basis and this frame is converted to the appropriate format (ie: a wav file). In other words, no, it's not live... yet.

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That's such a tease! I don't see why you can't just give us emerald mines :) (http://amiga.emucamp.com/emerald/e/em01.html) (http://www.in.fh-merseburg.de/~schmidtc/Boulder/EmeraldMines.html) and be done with it... if this game can exist for as long as it has in tons of versions and still have levels made for it to this day... I think you are safe!

 

Anyway, amazing work on the old tech tv and 2600 boulderdash as well.

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The video is simply downconverted before playing on the televisor. Doesn't matter what the '2600 displays; the video is treated on a frame by frame basis and this frame is converted to the appropriate format (ie: a wav file). In other words, no, it's not live... yet.

 

Aw, that's cheating. There needs to be a way to have the 2600 do things legitimately, without too much modern circuitry for the interface. Using a counter, an oscillator, and a couple of sample/hold circuits, you could probably arrange things to output 20 pixels without processor intervention. A bit clunky, but at least it would allow you to consolidate 'think' times into ~1ms chunks rather than having to spit out a pixel every 0.05ms.

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Scanlines are vertical in my televisor, [...]

 

Could one achieve horizontal scanning and possibly higher compatibility with modern video if the viewing/imaging area were moved to the top or bottom of the wheel?

 

(Might not work with the wheel design as-is.)

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Wicked!

 

I suppose the folks at Legend Engineering and any others who have Atari 2600's on an FPGA could make a special version with appropriate audio output for your system.

 

Now how would you make a mechanical video game system? :D

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