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Rev. Rob

Project Odball - Complete

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We need more Odyssey 1 Homebrews!

 

Err, umm, we can't. All 12 games are built in. #11 is the only game without a jumper card to access it.

 

Perhaps if some guts were replaced one could create new configs. You'd have to be damn good, though. It's not like the games can be programmed, as they are all analog.

 

-Rob

 

You can make new jumper settings and you'll get different results. I just don't know how to predict what you'll get. I accidentally did this twice, (once it was a printing error, and once I had a goof in my CAD file), and ended up with completely different functionality from any of the other Game Cards. The problem is that it wasn't good.

 

I suppose one could fiddle around with different designs until coming up with a cool one, but that would be expensive, I reckon.

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We need more Odyssey 1 Homebrews!

 

Err, umm, we can't. All 12 games are built in. #11 is the only game without a jumper card to access it.

 

Perhaps if some guts were replaced one could create new configs. You'd have to be damn good, though. It's not like the games can be programmed, as they are all analog.

 

-Rob

 

?

 

Unlike most systems, ANYONE can make a new homebrew for the Odyssey, as long as they can do what's being done here, i.e., create a quality overlay, instructions, box and include necessary playing pieces (etc.). In most cases, what the Odyssey does is secondary to what the external pieces (and the player's imagination) can accomplish. In other words, unlimited games CAN be made since what the system itself does (through the jumper cards turning internal features on and off) is rudimentary and can be applied to many game types (even as simple as moving the spot from location to location on the overlay). Having a large enough market to make the effort worthwhile is another issue entirely, but at least there's this one, which is much appreciated.

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Update:

 

The custom scorepad is back on. I pick these up tomorrow.

 

I am having a problem with the screen overlays. I can't get them to display prominently on a black background. The "pencil" overlay is definitely out at this point. I think the other one looks pretty good, but the "white" parts turn out to be "clear." Anyone have a solution for this? If not, the overlay will just be a little more transparent than I wanted.

 

I should have some pics to post tomorrow or Friday.

 

FAQs Updated:

 

If I purchase this item, will the original files be made available?

 

Yes, I will email anyone the original file for the box, manual, score pad, and screen overlay in case anyone wishes to improve upon the design, or make their own replacements in case the original gets lost or damaged.

Edited by Rev. Rob

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Eureka!! I've done it. So, it turns out that the type of transparency film that Magnavox used for the screen overlays in the early 1970s simply no longer exists. I went to a paper warehouse today to confirm it. See, the film that Magnavox used wasn't 100% transparent, it was "frosted" to permit the image to show on a black background. I've been really bummed that I haven't been able to track down such a product. I was even looking into retro old stock transparency film.

 

Anyways, the solution that I came up with is vellum paper/parchment. There are lots of different types, and while I was at the warehouse they gave me some free samples, of which I used two to print the overlays on. Both look fantastic. One is a bit more bright and white, but it's lighter weight, meaning more fragile. The other is much heavier and has more of a plastic feel, and is more durable. That's the one that will get shipped. (It's discontinued too. There are only two boxes left at the warehouse.) I'll go back on Monday and grab one.

 

I'll have pics up soon that will represent the final product, and preorders will begin shortly.

 

Completed so far is the following:

  • Two screen overlays completed
  • Game Card #11 design finalized
  • Sand Timers arrived in the mail
  • Custom score pad completed
  • Box completed
  • Instructions completed

 

That's like IT. Nothing left to do. As soon as I get some good shots of a final product this weekend, then we can do preorders. I am pretty happy with how it turned out, and I may be biased, but I think it's kind of fun - the most fun to be had on an Odyssey (not counting the '73 games, because aside from Basketball, I've not played those).

 

I made a lot of compromises along the way - overlays aren't to the original specs, but in days where TVs are a lot different shapes and sizes, I actually like it better this way. The boxes aren't the original size either, but I can live with that. The whole thing about me molding a handle out of resin or epoxy putty for the PCBs was just too ambitious. (By the way, I have a free Game Card #8 that has some epoxy putty hardened on the handle that's free to anyone who wants to pay for shipping.)

 

Despite that, I did what I set out to do - I created the first homebrew Odyssey game, the first Odyssey game since 1973, I did it within budget, and I get to give it out to fellow collectors for pretty close to what it cost me to do it all. This really is my tribute to the community, to the Odyssey, the console that started it all and made it possible for the whole industry to exist.

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Update to all:

 

I've been folding boxes for a few days and am just waiting on the USPS flat rate shipping boxes that I ordered to get here to ship them.

 

If the boxes don't come by New Year's Day I'll go down to the Post Office and see if I can pick them up in person.

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I'm out of it for three months and while I am, the good Rev makes a Homebrew Odyssey game?

 

Sheesh, Congratulations! That is way cool.

 

That's the beauty of this system!

 

Odyssey is not technically "programmable", but since new games can be made for it, it also isn't really "dedicated".

 

Odyssey, a pre-programmable, non-dedicated, multi-game capable home videogame system!

 

Bummer about the overlay film not being available anymore. :(

 

Anyway, congrats on your historic achievement. You put an end to the longest dry spell a system has ever had!

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All orders were shipped today. :)

 

I'm out of it for three months and while I am, the good Rev makes a Homebrew Odyssey game?

 

Sheesh, Congratulations! That is way cool.

 

That's the beauty of this system!

 

Odyssey is not technically "programmable", but since new games can be made for it, it also isn't really "dedicated".

 

Odyssey, a pre-programmable, non-dedicated, multi-game capable home videogame system!

 

Bummer about the overlay film not being available anymore. :(

 

Anyway, congrats on your historic achievement. You put an end to the longest dry spell a system has ever had!

 

 

That's a nice way to put it! Thanks. :)

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wonder how long it will take to arrive... can't wait! Thanks again!

 

Should be any day now. One person already emailed me to let me know that it arrived.

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Congratulations, Rob. I don't own an Odyssey, but I found this thread interesting anyway. Looks like you've done something significant for the old Odyssey I, which I think is just outstanding! :thumbsup:

 

You can make new jumper settings and you'll get different results. I just don't know how to predict what you'll get. I accidentally did this twice, (once it was a printing error, and once I had a goof in my CAD file), and ended up with completely different functionality from any of the other Game Cards. The problem is that it wasn't good.

 

I suppose one could fiddle around with different designs until coming up with a cool one, but that would be expensive, I reckon.

Why? Couldn't one make up an experiment rig, where you wire a "blank" card (just generic card-edge with no connections) to a breadboard and wire connections together to discover their function? Or maybe on a perfboard and wire connections together with alligator clip leads? It's not like you'd have to manufacture a new printed circuit game card for each different iteration you wanted to try.

 

Also, couldn't one make a kind of "truth table" of known functions? i.e. study existing games and write down what connections each game card makes, then table them with functions observed on the screen for each card? You may discover that certain game cards that make certain connections always exhibit certain behaviors. You'd then have a basic, predictable function list from which you could experiment with making new game parameters.

 

Are the cards one- or two-sided? Even if they are only one-sided, it looks like there are more connection combinations possible than would only make twelve games, even accounting for the possibility that not all connection combinations are appropriate or even do anything at all.

 

Again, I don't own an Odyssey and I don't know anything about it beyond "you stick in a game card that has certain terminals connected to set up built-in, selectable game parameters." So I apologize if any of the above doesn't apply.

 

Congratulations again,

-tet

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Congratulations, Rob. I don't own an Odyssey, but I found this thread interesting anyway. Looks like you've done something significant for the old Odyssey I, which I think is just outstanding! :thumbsup:

 

You can make new jumper settings and you'll get different results. I just don't know how to predict what you'll get. I accidentally did this twice, (once it was a printing error, and once I had a goof in my CAD file), and ended up with completely different functionality from any of the other Game Cards. The problem is that it wasn't good.

 

I suppose one could fiddle around with different designs until coming up with a cool one, but that would be expensive, I reckon.

Why? Couldn't one make up an experiment rig, where you wire a "blank" card (just generic card-edge with no connections) to a breadboard and wire connections together to discover their function? Or maybe on a perfboard and wire connections together with alligator clip leads? It's not like you'd have to manufacture a new printed circuit game card for each different iteration you wanted to try.

 

Also, couldn't one make a kind of "truth table" of known functions? i.e. study existing games and write down what connections each game card makes, then table them with functions observed on the screen for each card? You may discover that certain game cards that make certain connections always exhibit certain behaviors. You'd then have a basic, predictable function list from which you could experiment with making new game parameters.

 

 

No, you're right. All of those are possible. I heard of a guy making a game card out of a hotel keycard and some tin foil. Anyone could try that. :)

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Apologies for resurrecting this ancient thread, but how were the custom game card #11s made? I'm interested in making some new custom Odyssey cards.

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I thought I’d post here. I’m trying to find a copy of this game if anyone had one they would sell. Either this one or the LE  version.

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