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INTV and Colecovision Paddle Controller FAQ - big images!

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First off, I apologize.  Many people will probably not be happy.

 

This FAQ will be maintained only in this thread, there will be a link to this thread in the CV forums.

 

First rule of this thread, no whining!

 

Background, I've been playing video games since the 70's.  I love video games, I suck at video games.  My favorite system is the colecovision, first system I bought/owned (not including the pong clone that came with a TV my dad bought.) 

 

My time line of events may not be 100% chronological, not the point!

One of my top five games is Kaboom.  I was thrilled when it was announced for the CV.  I immediately started thinking how can I create a paddle controller for it.  I actually mentioned in multiple places that I was thinking about it.  I even posted information when I created a very early version.  An individual got extremely upset with me for it.  Water under the bridge, this will not be discussed in this thread.  

 

After that encounter, and learning that mad bomber was coming for the INTV I switched and started creating the controller for the INTV.  I was able to use what I learned from the CV build to create one for the INTV.

 

I was very happy with my results, and decided to show them off both through various forums, FB, etc and also I brought them to PRGE this weekend.  People really seemed to like them.  I did get a few suggestions, but most of them I probably won't change as most people didn't feel the same was.

 

So that was all pretty boring, here is an FAQ.  This will change as I think of new things.

 

FAQ

1. Why did I create these?

  • I'm a geek at heart
  • I like to make things
  • I like kaboom
  • Wanted to show them off
  • Because I could

2. Are you planning on selling these?

  • That's a tricky question.  Originally I had no intent on selling these, I have no experience with producing items for sale.  Don't have any interest in doing this either.
  • I thought that maybe someone might want to work with me to produce these, but I don't think that is a reality
  • People at the convention were twisting my arm to try and get me to produce them so I told them maybe.

3. So what are your plans?

  • I'm considering selling a small amount.

To make this a reality I would probably need to buy a new 3d printer, so that is a large upfront cost.

  • To finance the new printer I would probably auction off my prototype #1 CV and prototype #1 INTV paddles.  They would be exactly as they where at the show.  I could sign them if they new owner wanted (I'm not a fan of stuffing getting signed, but I won't judge :) ).  They would ship shortly after receiving payment.
  • I would also auction off the non prototype #1 paddle.  This would have to be built.  I have the parts on hand.  The owner would have the option of it being a CV or INTV paddle and some level of customization (color, text, signature) within reason.  
  • I would have a reserved price in mind, and if they don't reach the reserve amount then I might still sell to the highest bidder.

4. Then what?

  • Based on response from the auction and from this thread I may move forward with producing them for sale.
  • There are no guarantees that I would produce anymore after the auction.

5. What would prevent you from moving forward?

  • Not enough money from the auctions
  • People trolling me, calling me out, complaining too much

6. How much will these cost?

  • They won't be cheap as they are hand built, and because I didn't really want to build/sell them in the first place.
  • I will probably require 50% non-refundable payment upon order.  If you decide to back out I keep the payment, if I back out I will refund.
  • If you don't like this, please don't order.

7. How many will you produce?

  • Current plan is to create 10, this includes the #1 sold at auction
  • Depending on what people choose it could be 10 INTV controllers, could be 10 INTV or a mix.
  • Example 5 people want CV and 5 want INTV.  I would produce 1-5 CV and 1-5 INTV.
  • Each model starts with Serial #1

8. Will more be produced?

  • That is a possibility.
  • I will keep an interest list.
  • Will depend on how the process for the first 10 goes, if it's too much work or too many problems then probably no.
  • If more are produced the price may change.

9. Can they be customized?

  • That is a possibility, will work with the buyer.  There would be an up-charge for customization.

10. Are these safe?

  • I do my best to make them safe, there is always risk.
  • I have my components isolated from the VG deck electronics so there should be no voltage crossing over.
  • CV controller ports are relatively easy to fry. If you are unplugging/plugging in any controller you should always turn off the unit.  Also the paddle controller has a power button.  Never turn off/on the paddle controller with the VG system on

11. What if it breaks my system?

  • All I can say is I'm sorry, not much I can do.
  • If you don't like that answer, then best you don't buy a paddle from me.

12. Is there a warranty?

  • Once again, I'm a hobbiest.  I'm doing this because I was asked.  If the unit were to break, I would try and help out how I could
  • If you don't like that answer please don't consider ordering.

13. Is this story quality?

  • Nope.
  • 3d printed, so each one maybe a a little different.  Will have imperfections, etc.
  • The plan is to use PETG, so it should be pretty sturdy.  If for some reason I have to use PLA, like a custom color, it is not as sturdy and resistant to weather etc.  Don't leave it outside or in the sun!
  • Will this last forever.  No idea

14. Will this work on my system?

  • Probably - Obvisiouly the CV one won't work on INTV, and INTV won't work on CV - DON'T TRY IT!!
  • Original CV -yes
  • Phoenix - yes
  • CV Flashback - possibly, either rewire controller ports or create a converter between the system and paddle.  Totally on you. 
  • Original Intellivision, Sylvania, TandyVision, Tutorvision, etc - probably, would need to add DB9 connectors to you system, or create a Y-adapter to install into your system totally on you.
  • Sears video arcade - yes
  • INTV II yes
  • Flashback - possibly, either rewire controller ports or create a converter between the system and paddle.  Totally on you. 
  • MAC/PC/Flashback - possibly with one of the controller to USB converters. Totally on you.
  • Atari2600/7800 - sort of - The CV one will work with the atari.  I've tried demon attack and a few other joystick games.  Also, the upcoming Zookeeper may have a mode added to allow holding the JS left or right and the zookeeper will loop around the cage.  If this happens the a CV paddle may operate as a spinner for this game.  No promises.  TBD

15. Does the paddle only work with horizontal games, ie kaboom?

  • Nope, there is a switch to change left/right to up/down.
  • There is also a reverse switch so left/right would be right left or up/down would be down/up

16. Does it work with game x?

  • Maybe
  • Works with games that are either horizontally or vertically based games and only use the left fire button.
  • I've found pong on the INTV doesn't work well as the paddle responds too slowly.  But ultra pong works pretty good.
  • If you need other button you can use the JS buttons.

17. Do I need to also plug in the controller to port 1?

  • For some games, yes.  Demon attack on the INTV will only play on controller 2 if you start the game with controller 2.
  • I will probably offer a Y adapter as an option when purchasing.

18. What do I think of the controller?

  • I like them
  • In my opinion, I think the CV controller works a little better.
  • Remember, these systems were not designed to work with paddle controllers.

19. What are they called?

  • IntelliPaddle
  • CV Paddle Controller
  • Don't steal my names!

20. What does the future hold?

  • Hope to do the auction soon.
  • May produce additional 9 controllers after the auction.
  • May produce more in the future, no promise that more will be produced.
  • Wold work with someone if they wanted to produce them in the future.
  • At some point I might open source - I don't know

21. Will it have a box?

  • NO

22. Will it have a snow level?

  • probably not. OK, nope it won't, seriously it a controller.

23. How does it work, what components did you use, etc.

  • would rather not answers these questions, but there are no diodes, and it uses a 9volt batter.

 

Picture:  

 

Prototype:

large.IMG_5899.JPG.2e5d1f160bc48cb0824e94b33f921364.JPGlarge.IMG_5900.JPG.c6e0a1cf108bbcf2498de1058bafe1ea.JPGlarge.IMG_5901.JPG.dee4b062da00de7ff25a4e2b3c0bd037.JPGlarge.IMG_5902.JPG.9f9271f269be6258f4c846378df9b616.JPGlarge.IMG_5906.JPG.bec444e1382558b4cdcbdfe1aee85a34.JPGlarge.IMG_5905.JPG.4daa865ef4254755266fc056e3fef56c.JPGlarge.IMG_5904.JPG.b0d2861af906715f51aba0c05a682d3d.JPGlarge.IMG_5903.JPG.69dedf1a617d19f289e0842b814d27ca.JPG

 

What I used very loosely as a model for the design:

large.IMG_5912.JPG.6c92a28282781a9bad5b34b67e7ffeb9.JPGlarge.IMG_5913.JPG.a3d3e8d2e85d185b0db04ba037035bab.JPG

 

 

Some of my early tries (there were more, but they ended up in the trash like the CV ones from 2+ years ago)

large.IMG_5914.JPG.4f09bc96369755738f76f5f9db39bea8.JPG

 

Videos from PRGE:

 

Very early example for CV, everything changed from how this one was created:

 

CV paddle used for atari 2600 kickman

 

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How exactly do these Paddles interface with the console.  Is it a digital pulsing of the direction via turning the knob?  Is it basically like using the Roller Controller in Joystick mode?  Is there an obvious limit in how fast the object can move across the screen (acceleration), or can you move slowly or quickly depending on how fast you turn the knob?  I also am a big fan of Kabooom! for the 2600, and with an actual analog Atari paddle one can move the water buckets very quickly, or very slowly across the playfield.  Is this similar, or is it more of a limit of how many "pulses" the software can interpret?

 

When watching the play testing video from 10/19/19 above, player on CV Kaboom, it looks as if he is only using a very small amount of rotation.  Is there a very high sensitivity to these?

Edited by doubledown
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There isn't any easy answer to your question.  The limitation is the cartridge.  Some games it will move as fast as your turn the dial, others it seems very slow and will require more turning of the dial.  The games aren't reprogrammed so it's based on how fast the game allows the paddle to move.  Some games have options, mad bomber on INTV allows for changes on how much the paddle will advance. 

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Understood, and I kind of figured. 

 

Obviously for your prototype version and any others that you've made thus far, you have 3-D printed the housings & knobs...have you looked into or considered off-the-shelf components for these items, whether they're new or pulled from donors?  I understand the world of tinkering and build it yourself, and your potential/initial thoughts of just making 1 or 2 for yourself...simply 3-D print what you want/like.  But from a sales/market stand-point, the physical appearance of, and potential longevity concerns of (or possibly lack there of) 3-D printed parts, versus manufactured/molded parts are radically different. 

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1 hour ago, doubledown said:

How exactly do these Paddles interface with the console.  Is it a digital pulsing of the direction via turning the knob?  Is it basically like using the Roller Controller in Joystick mode?  Is there an obvious limit in how fast the object can move across the screen (acceleration), or can you move slowly or quickly depending on how fast you turn the knob?  I also am a big fan of Kabooom! for the 2600, and with an actual analog Atari paddle one can move the water buckets very quickly, or very slowly across the playfield.  Is this similar, or is it more of a limit of how many "pulses" the software can interpret?

 

When watching the play testing video from 10/19/19 above, player on CV Kaboom, it looks as if he is only using a very small amount of rotation.  Is there a very high sensitivity to these?

Colecovision already has rotary controllers using quadrature and the roller controller essentially functions like a two-way spinner.  If colecovision games are already programmed to make use of any of these rotary controllers than this controller just has to be made compatible.

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Just wanted to add, as the guy in the example videos, the paddle moves very well and felt natural to control. For Pong I used mainly a full hand on the control for fast turning. However, the paddle works so well that I was able to work Mad Bomber with the until upright and only using my thumb to move right and left. The control was that responsive.

 

This will be an instant buy for me if it becomes available. This kind of control was desperately needed for Intellivision! 

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14 minutes ago, mr_me said:

Colecovision already has rotary controllers using quadrature and the roller controller essentially functions like a two-way spinner.  If colecovision games are already programmed to make use of any of these rotary controllers than this controller just has to be made compatible.

Evg2000 can say more, but I believe these are paddles for joystick games. I think they may use pulse mode, but I am uncertain.

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59 minutes ago, doubledown said:

Understood, and I kind of figured. 

 

Obviously for your prototype version and any others that you've made thus far, you have 3-D printed the housings & knobs...have you looked into or considered off-the-shelf components for these items, whether they're new or pulled from donors?  I understand the world of tinkering and build it yourself, and your potential/initial thoughts of just making 1 or 2 for yourself...simply 3-D print what you want/like.  But from a sales/market stand-point, the physical appearance of, and potential longevity concerns of (or possibly lack there of) 3-D printed parts, versus manufactured/molded parts are radically different. 

Doubledown

I appreciate your curiosity, I'm naturally curious about how things work etc.

In case it wasn't clear in my FAQ, my goal is to sell zero of these.  At PRGE people pressed me to do this, people were willing to give me money on the spot (I did not accept).  I'm willing to make a limited amount, and possibly more in the future (no promises on either).

 

Anyone who is considering, this is what I would say:

1. If you only have 1 intv or one cv and you are worried that this could damage your machine: please don't inquire or purchase

2. If you are worried that it won't work, or work the way you wish for game x: please don't inquire or purchase

3. If you are worried about it being 3d printed and it may not be pretty, consistent, could melt in x years: please don't inquire or purchase

4. If you are worried the device might not last forever: please don't inquire or purchase.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, I just want to be honest and open.  This is a maker's creation, for my share joy of being able to do this for myself.  Since people really want it, I will do my best to help them out.

If I have offended anyone, that is not my intention.  I'm not opcode, collectorvison, atariage or any other publisher.  I have no plan to be or compete with them. Buyer beware.  

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2 minutes ago, Swami said:

Evg2000 can say more, but I believe these are paddles for joystick games. I think they may use pulse mode, but I am uncertain.

Not sure what pulse mode is.  I created these originally for kaboom/mad bomber only.  I didn't/couldn't play paddle games with a joystick.  So it will allow you to play games that are meant to be played with a paddle, but the developer made them work with the existing joystick controllers.  So yes, the work with joystick games.  In addition to a paddle, then are very smooth and if someone made a joystick game: example tempest or zoo keeper, deep zone, to have an option that holding joystick right would spin clockwise and holding left would go counterclockwise these could be used as a spinner.

 

 

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If the community as a whole is against these, no big deal.  I have no skin in the game and I did this as a passion project for myself.  I did show them off as I was proud of them. 

 

Please don't think I'm suggestion I want to take my toys and go home.  I just don't want this to be a pain in my **S.  And I'm not saying that anyone has attacked me or my idea, I just know how these things can go.

 

Also, please see the first three statements on the original post:

 

"First off, I apologize.  Many people will probably not be happy.

This FAQ will be maintained only in this thread, there will be a link to this thread in the CV forums.

First rule of this thread, no whining!"

 

 

If people shoot down the idea, no worries.  I'm sure a few people would PM asking me to make them, and I might.

 

Also, I have no filter this is not an attack past, present or future on anyone.  Human interaction is not one of my strengths!

 

Pease and VG :)

 

 

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Completely understand.  I've made a few controllers over the years that I "originally" had no plans to sell as I just wanted one for myself, but then ended up selling them when there was enough demand for them.  In the end the decision is yours.  If you don't want the hassle of dealing with making more, then don't, and you always have the option of letting people know how you made them, and then its up to them to make one for themselves.  

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17 minutes ago, evg2000 said:

Not sure what pulse mode is.  I created these originally for kaboom/mad bomber only.  I didn't/couldn't play paddle games with a joystick.  So it will allow you to play games that are meant to be played with a paddle, but the developer made them work with the existing joystick controllers.  So yes, the work with joystick games.  In addition to a paddle, then are very smooth and if someone made a joystick game: example tempest or zoo keeper, deep zone, to have an option that holding joystick right would spin clockwise and holding left would go counterclockwise these could be used as a spinner.

 

 

Pulse mode is like speed control, but maxed out at whatever the joystick can do for that game. If you hold the paddle all the way to the left, it is like holding the joystick steady to the left (this is the max speed for this game). If you turn the paddle partially to the left, it is like you are  intermittently pushing the joystick to left and letting it return to center. The further you turn the paddle to the left, the more time it is spending as "joystick-pushed-left" and less time "joystick-in-the-center" over split second intervals until, when it is fully turned, it is pushed left 100% of the time. The paddle acts kind of like a rapid fire knob, but for a direction. Some early playstation controllers used this to simulate analog control before the analog controllers.

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I think these look great!

If the Hatman liked the way they work,that's enough of an endorsement for me.👍😀

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I tried it at PRGE, I really liked it and will happily buy one if you make some as long as the price is not a million dollars.

Not sure why anyone would complain about this, if you don’t like or want one, don’t buy one, problem solved.

I thought it was a really responsive controller and felt well made, it had some weight to it and felt really solid

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I wanted to add,I love the name and the shape of them.

It looks like it would fit great in your hand,and there are many games I would enjoy with a paddle controller. 😀

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I would buy one or two. I'm sure CMart already has the prototype. :-)

 

 

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15 minutes ago, BBWW said:

I would buy one or two. I'm sure CMart already has the prototype. 🙂

 

 

Lol

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I'm also definitely interested in one, but price would be a deciding factor.  I also love the look of these with their easy to hold oversized knobs.

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No doubt this is the one thing Mattel Electronics did NOT get right with the 2609... the ability to switch controllers.  Had they made a paddle like this and set up the design to swap controllers (like the Sears unit), they would have sold out and certainly expanded the game library possibilities.

 

Imagine a driveable Turbo, Pole Position, Auto Racing... Ka-Boom, Break-Out, (later Arkanoid), Clowns... and some other versions Atari games that used paddles like Indy 500, Night Driver, Video Olympics.

 

I'd be interested in your price point on this... maybe you can take the design to Retroflag, or another small company that makes controllers and such for retro gaming, to help with production and sales.

 

Hmmmm... maybe Intellivisoin Entertainment might be interested... ??

 

Keep us posted on this unit.  There is definitely a need for it!!  Although you can use old C64 (if you can find them) and Atari 2600 paddles... there is still a market for something new, especially for the INTY crowd AND the retro-gamers in general!

 

Edited by IMBerzerk
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