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Albert

Play Atari 2600 Games using QR Codes

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what a super cool idea! i need to set some time aside at the house and look at it in greater detail. :)

 

kind of reminds me when i was a kid and collecting stuff like this- toy cards, trading cards, etc.

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I kinda like the idea of being able to find them at the bottom of cereal boxes.

 

Or how about "type it yourself" like we did with listings from computer magazines? Bring your giant grid and a #2 pencil, and make sure you stay inside the lines, because here's a list of coordinates ...

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Ha, it would be pretty cool to make a label for a game with a QR code you could scan and then get another game to play! Or put it in the manual. :)

 

..Al

 

That would be cool. A little 2K mini game that was related to the main game. Kinda like those little games for the Dreamcast VMU.

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cool stuff!

 

but how long before a certain rom authoritarian on this site shows up and condemns this practice and calls us all a bunch of entitled criminals for being interested in running old games on anything but original cartridges on original hardware?

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I love the laminated QR code cards! Makes me want to collect those by themselves!! (even without all of that hardware needed) ;-)

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I love the laminated QR code cards! Makes me want to collect those by themselves!! (even without all of that hardware needed) ;-)

 

Imagine you're back in grade school and opening up your trenchcoat like a detective or secret agent and instantly displaying an array of these. What'll it be?

 

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This is one of those crazy, useless ideas that is actually intriguing. I can see myself collecting Atari cards, especially for the 2600.

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This is the kind of non-sense I love. I could see it being kind of fun messing with this.

However what it needs is a unit built into a cartridge that can scan the code and then use it in real Atari.

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This is the kind of non-sense I love. I could see it being kind of fun messing with this.

However what it needs is a unit built into a cartridge that can scan the code and then use it in real Atari.

Yes, this. We need to produce a supercharger like cartridge with onboard optical scanner to read the cards.

 

Just scan the front of the card by gently sliding it into the reader, pulling it back out, then flip sides and repeat. Or better yet interface a grayscale pi cam and white led to the cartridge and position the qr card in front of it. The reader then processed the qr data and flashes it to ram and boots the game. Think of it like an FDS or GBA ereader for your Atari. Templates for games could be downloaded online and printed to cardstock using a common inkjet printer. Or you could optionally buy professionally printed packs of qr cards for use in the reader. It would be expensive upfront, but provide a cheaper method than buying new homebrew carts in bulk. As a bonus, the qr card games still count as collectible games. The top of the card contain the title and some basic artwork.

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I want to make sure I understand this correctly. There are not just roms on the Pi that the QR code is pulling up right? It's actually reading the data from the QR and compiling the game into a binary on the fly?!?!?! Just from the image itself?!

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I want to make sure I understand this correctly. There are not just roms on the Pi that the QR code is pulling up right? It's actually reading the data from the QR and compiling the game into a binary on the fly?!?!?! Just from the image itself?!

 

Basically, yes. The ROM images are not stored on the Raspberry Pi system. It's reading the QR code, creating an image that will be understood by the emulator, and feeding that binary to the emulator. There is some metadata stored in the QR code, but most of it is just the straight binary image that would normally reside on a cartridge.

 

..Al

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Basically, yes. The ROM images are not stored on the Raspberry Pi system. It's reading the QR code, creating an image that will be understood by the emulator, and feeding that binary to the emulator. There is some metadata stored in the QR code, but most of it is just the straight binary image that would normally reside on a cartridge.

 

..Al

That's absolutely incredible and brilliant. In 40 years, we went from an advanced home video to ink on paper. That's pretty magical.

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We all know it's redundant in the age of downloadable ROMS. It's a fun idea in an "alternative history where Internet was never developed", though.

 

I could see someone coming up with some very nice designs in a trading card format. Rare cards might be tougher, unless they have custom art or foil or something.

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This is fun and interesting, although compared to a Harmony cartridge it is of course pretty clumsy.

 

A much more interesting and useful application of QR codes goes virtually undetected in new games for the 8 bit computers. The guys from Poland have put software in a number of recent games like Stunt Car Racer and Bosconian that generate a QR screen on your TV/monitor. Scan that and you get a registered high-score on a website.

 

No extra hardware needed, the Atari 8 bit computer simply displays a lot of black and white blocks....which is a QR code :)

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A much more interesting and useful application of QR codes goes virtually undetected in new games for the 8 bit computers. The guys from Poland have put software in a number of recent games like Stunt Car Racer and Bosconian that generate a QR screen on your TV/monitor. Scan that and you get a registered high-score on a website.

 

No extra hardware needed, the Atari 8 bit computer simply displays a lot of black and white blocks....which is a QR code :)

 

Rebooteroids for the Jaguar does this as well. As does the upcoming Jaguar game Last Strike.

 

..Al

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I do like the idea of these being possible collectable pieces, in lieu of physical carts - a nice flat-pack of artwork, instructions and the code-card, itself. Makes storage much easier. icon_smile.gif One potential interesting side-effect of this is, is that you get a nice, compact read-out of the cartridge code, that, like a physical book to an e-text, might more reliably far-outlast a cartridge or digital archive, provided that you have the information needed to recreate the technology to read the code, that is. Kind of round-about way of doing things, with emulation, etc, but eh..

 

How many developers, nowadays, have a hard print-out of their code? Impractical for modern development, maybe, on systems using libraries of code, but a 4K game...why not? icon_wink.gif Also, the idea of customizable games for each client, say as an incentive to give to a charitable cause or a fund-raiser or just because. (Initials as a maze design, for example.) Wasn't there a pic-cart drive, using the chrono-colour technique for the VCS? Anyways..

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I do like the idea of these being possible collectable pieces, in lieu of physical carts - a nice flat-pack of artwork, instructions and the code-card, itself. Makes storage much easier. icon_smile.gif One potential interesting side-effect of this is, is that you get a nice, compact read-out of the cartridge code, that, like a physical book to an e-text, might more reliably far-outlast a cartridge or digital archive, provided that you have the information needed to recreate the technology to read the code, that is. Kind of round-about way of doing things, with emulation, etc, but eh..

 

Technically you'd need to be able to recreate not only the infrastructure to read them (could be done by hand), you'll need the ability to play or execute the code. And technically again, this means going all they way back to generating electricity to run the hardware, instructions on how to build a multi-billion dollar fab and infrastructure to make the parts to run the emulators. Extreme? Yes. Complete? That's the idea!

 

That aside..

 

How many developers, nowadays, have a hard print-out of their code? Impractical for modern development, maybe, on systems using libraries of code, but a 4K game...why not? icon_wink.gif Also, the idea of customizable games for each client, say as an incentive to give to a charitable cause or a fund-raiser or just because. (Initials as a maze design, for example.) Wasn't there a pic-cart drive, using the chrono-colour technique for the VCS? Anyways..

 

There are at many distinct ways of making these into nice collectible keepsakes. And they can be done cheaply or in a premier fashion. But no one seems interested in pursuing such a venture.

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