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Asteroids Controller - Interest Check Poll (PLEASE READ FIRST POST!)

Asteroids Controller - Interest Check Poll (PLEASE READ FIRST POST!)  

91 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you be interested in buying this proposed 150$US Asteroids controller?

    • Yes, with a ColecoVision pack-in game
      55
    • Yes, without a ColecoVision pack-in game
      5
    • Not at that price point
      21
    • Not really interested at all
      10
  2. 2. Assuming you're interested, which model do you prefer?

    • Asteroids Upright Edition - VVG Enhanced Controller (color artwork)
      78
    • Asteroids Cabaret Edition – VVG Enhanced Controller (black and white, with woodgrain side decorations)
      13
  3. 3. Where should the sixth button be placed?

    • In the center, under the "HYPERSPACE" button
      54
    • On the right side, next to the "FIRE" button
      37
  4. 4. What length of cable do you think would be ideal for this controller?

    • 8 feet
      20
    • 10 feet
      44
    • 12 feet
      27
  5. 5. About the ColecoVision pack-in game cartridge, what would you prefer?

    • Asteroids only (cheapest solution)
      24
    • Multicart with Asteroids and other compatible ColecoVision games
      52
    • Other (please specify by posting in this thread)
      3
    • I would not want the pack-in cartridge
      12
  6. 6. Would you agree to pay an advanced deposit with your official pre-order?

    • Yes, whatever amount is needed
      27
    • Yes, as long as it's reasonable
      45
    • No
      19
    • I'd like to suggest something (please elaborate in this thread)
      0
  7. 7. Would you be interested in Asteroids as a complete-in-box ColecoVision game, without the Asteroids controller?

    • Yes
      60
    • No
      31


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12 minutes ago, Loafer said:

Lol I think it WOULD add a lot to the controller and possibly Add to the thickness too

Not only that, but it would also add a battery compartment, because a spinner (or trackball) would require its own power source, since the ColecoVision controller port does not provide sufficient power. That would make the price of the controller go way up.  :)

 

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...and there was no arcade version of Asteroids that used a spinner in its control scheme...as this is an Asteroids Controller!  

 

Remember this proposed controller was worked out as an Asteroids Controller, with compatibility for it, and other similarly controlled games on the ColecoVision and several Atari systems...to be built with a modest budget/price for the "masses".  

 

If and when games are available/programmed for a "spinner" type of control, and that control system has been decided upon, and functionally engineered, I'll be happy to offer a controller for it.  

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22 minutes ago, doubledown said:

If and when games are available/programmed for a "spinner" type of control, and that control system has been decided upon, and functionally engineered, I'll be happy to offer a controller for it.

CollectorVision has a paddle solution all worked out already, so it's kind of their territory, at this point.  :)

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2 hours ago, Pixelboy said:

CollectorVision has a paddle solution all worked out already, so it's kind of their territory, at this point.  :)

I stand by my statement. 😁

 

 

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2 hours ago, doubledown said:

...and there was no arcade version of Asteroids that used a spinner in its control scheme...as this is an Asteroids Controller!  

 

There is that one 

 

maxresdefault.jpg

😊

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Arcade1Up "cabinets" are home versions...not arcade versions...and wasn't that spinner installed for the game Tempest that is also in that emulated garbage?

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2 minutes ago, doubledown said:

Arcade1Up "cabinets" are home versions...not arcade versions...and wasn't that spinner installed for the game Tempest that is also in that emulated garbage?

Yes :)

 

But there is Asteroid (surely bootleg) that used spinner.   I have only played Asteroid (so very probably a bootleg) in arcades with a spinner.

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30 minutes ago, youki said:

Yes :)

 

But there is Asteroid (surely bootleg) that used spinner.   I have only played Asteroid (so very probably a bootleg) in arcades with a spinner.

It was a bootleg and pretty rare.  Time to do a “Frozen” on this issue :)

 

The price is very fair, just beyond my present budget.  Looks like it’s gonna be fantastic.  Now the above poster has made me think of this controller with even Time Pilot LOL, would be cool.  Maybe if poker is nice to me tonight eheh 

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On 1/2/2020 at 12:36 AM, Pixelboy said:

Team Pixelboy and resident custom controller expert doubledown are seriously considering teaming up to offer retrogaming fans a high-quality Asteroids controller, which would reproduce the look and feel of the original arcade cabinet of Asteroids. We are also considering involving long-time collaborator Mystery Man to create an arcade-accurate version of Asteroids for the ColecoVision, and include this game as a pack-in cartridge with the controller. This proposed Asteroids controller would also be compatible with the Atari 2600 and Atari 7800 versions of Asteroids (and would be compatible with several other games as well) so the ColecoVision pack-in cartridge would be completely optional at purchase time.

 

The proposed controller has an estimated price tag of 150$US (this does not include the cost of the pack-in game) and because of the required investments in part purchases from various vendors, we feel we should gauge public interest before we commit to this project. It should be noted that we need at least 50 solid pre-orders to make it worth the trouble for us, so we invite you to submit your input in this poll. The results of this poll will influence certain technical details, but in the end, if we decide to go full steam ahead with this special project, we will reserve ourselves the right to set the final specifications of the controller as we see fit.

 


BASIC SPECIFICATIONS

 

We envision two variants of this controller, which we like to call the Asteroids Upright Edition - VVG Enhanced Controller and the Asteroids Cabaret Edition – VVG Enhanced Controller. The first features the full-color artwork from the upright arcade cabinet of Asteroids, while the other is in black and white, and features the artwork of the "cabaret-style" cabinet of Asteroids, with some woodgrain decoration applied on the sides of the controller for added nostalgia.

 

As the proposed Asteroids controller is designed to replicate the look and feel of the arcade cabinet, it would feature 5 buttons, plus a sixth button for extra ColecoVision compatibility. All buttons will be leaf-switch push-buttons (we’re currently looking at GGG CLASSX push-buttons with their True-Leaf Pro switch upgrade) and will be of matching size, style, color, and layout of the original arcade cabinets. The buttons will be wired as follows:

 

- ROTATE LEFT = Joystick Left
- ROTATE RIGHT = Joystick Right
- HYPERSPACE = Joystick Down
- THRUST = Joystick Up
- FIRE = Left trigger button
- (Unmarked sixth button) = Right trigger button

 

The placement of the unmarked sixth button (mapped to the right trigger button of the ColecoVision controller) made us consider two sub-variants, one where the sixth button is located in the center of the controller, below the Hyperspace button, and the other sub-variant has the sixth button placed next to the fire button, in order to have the two fire buttons next to each other. On the "upright" full-color model, the sixth button will be either red or blue, depending on its position on the controller. The selected button color will help the sixth button blend with the color of the artwork. On the "cabaret" black-and-white model, the sixth button will be black, regardless of its position. All other buttons will be white, on both the "upright" and "cabaret" models.

 

Here are some pictures to illustrate:

 

Asteroids (Upright) - VVG Enhanced Controller - 6th Button Centered

1wD0A2.png

 

Asteroids (Cabaret) - VVG Enhanced Controller - 6th Button Centered

nCjm6N.png

 

Asteroids (Upright) - VVG Enhanced Controller - 6th Button Right

OoFSxd.png

 

Asteroids (Cabaret) - VVG Enhanced Controller - 6th Button Right

Mk16RJ.png

 

As you can see, the buttons are placed high on the controller's surface, in order to provide sufficient resting space for the player's palms and wrists. We feel this is an important ergonomic comfort factor, especially for long play sessions.

 

The controller's enclosure will be a Hammond Mfg. 14.00" x 8.25" black aluminum, sloped-top housing. While we feel the enclosure looks (and for the most part feels) very nice, we believe it falls short in two aspects, namely its assembly and its weight. The enclosure itself is constructed as two "c-shaped" powder-coated aluminum forms, assembled with four #6 sheet-metal screws on the bottom side; two along the front edge, and two along the rear. The concern we have with this is that nothing supports the upright sides from flexing outward (creating an unsightly gap) and nothing supports the large, flat, top surface from bowing downward. To remedy both of these issues, and to give the controller a more solid feel overall, we want to install two steel angle braces which will connect the sides of the enclosure to the underside of the top surface. Additionally the steel braces (one mounted on each side, and running front to back) nicely bump up the "bare" enclosure weight from 2.36 lbs (1.07 kg) to 3.15 lbs (1.43 kg). Lastly, we will ditch the manufacturer's assembly screws, and new #8-32 machine screws will be used for the housing assembly. All of these modifications strengthen, and beef up the enclosure to our quality standards, but do require additional hardware, and add approximately 1 to 1.5 extra hours to the overall build/assembly time of each controller.

 

The surface artwork would be photo-quality inkjet printed (with photo inks) on premium photo paper (Epson or HP depending on availability), then dual-side, heat-laminated, with 5 mil glossy laminating media with UV protection. So unless someone were to "scratch" or "stab" the controller's surface with a sharp tool/knife/keys purposely and/or maliciously, it should last indefinitely.

 

A few aspects of this proposed Asteroids controller are currently undetermined, including the cable length and a few other minor details, but we intend to include some sort of cable management on the rear of the enclosure, such as a cable wrapping cleat or something similar. Four adhesive backed round rubber feet will also be placed under the controller for improved stability.

 

Important note: There will be NO keypad on this controller, so don't bother asking about that.

 


PACK-IN GAME CARTRIDGE

 

For the ColecoVision pack-in cartridge, if we actually decide to go ahead with that, we are considering two possibilities: A 32K cartridge with just Asteroids on it, or a 128K multicart with Asteroids together with hacked versions of Carnival, Omega Race, Space Fury, Star Trek, Victory, and perhaps one other game. All these extra hacks would have small alterations to make them fully compatible with the Asteroids controller, and also to remove any need for a keypad. Note that the added sixth controller button would be useful for Star Trek and Victory. Also note that the multicart option will likely be more expensive than a cartridge with just Asteroids on it.

 


PRE-ORDERING AND PAYMENTS

 

If the results of this poll demonstrate that there is sufficient interest in the proposed Asteroids controller, the project should follow this general time line over the course of 2020:

 

1) We will record initial pre-orders from all interested customers without requesting any advanced deposit.

 

2) We will get the Asteroids game (or multi-cart) coded by Mystery Man and properly beta-tested. This will likely take several months.

 

3) Once the pack-in cartridge is ready, we will contact all customers again and ask for a Paypal deposit, which will be sent directly to doubledown.

 

4) With the money collected, doubledown will order parts and get started on the Asteroids controllers.

 

5) Once all controllers and pack-in carts are ready to ship, we will notify customers and ask for remaining payments (including shipping fees).

 

If you have any questions about this proposed time line, feel free to post such questions in this poll thread, and we'll try to answer them to the best of our ability.

 


CLOSING NOTE

 

While we are considering several options, we are ultimately looking to produce one singular model of the controller. By that, we mostly mean that the sixth button will always be in the same spot on all the manufactured controllers. If there is a clear public consensus regarding the upright versus cabaret schemes (i.e. full color versus black-and-white) we will only produce controllers following the preferred scheme, unless some people are ready to pay extra to get exactly what they want in terms of artwork.

 

We will let this poll run for a couple of weeks before making any kind of final decision regarding this project.
 

Thanks in advance for your input.  :) 

 

Wait!

 

Is Asteroid a homemade game for Colecovision?

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8 minutes ago, Serguei2 said:

Wait!

 

Is Asteroid a homemade game for Colecovision?

That is the plan, and the purpose for this poll.  To gauge the interest for a proper Asteroids port for the ColecoVision, along with an arcade accurate controller for it.  

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10 minutes ago, Serguei2 said:

Wait!

 

Is Asteroid a homemade game for Colecovision?

We're proposing to do it, yes.  :)

 

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7 hours ago, youki said:

Would it be possible to add a spinner somewhere on that controller?

Would it also be possible to add a trackball, second joystick, keypad, analog stick, a cupholder, and the ability to make a vanilla latte?

 

I find it amusing that my suggestion was to REMOVE an item and everyone else just keeps wanting to pile on more things which only makes the development of anything longer, more expensive and a higher risk of said project not happening.

 

When I was in video game development, we would call this "Feature Creep."


Here's an idea... let's just let them make this awesome controller the way they want to because I have a feeling it will kick ass no matter what! 😁 👍

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Speaking as someone who spent around $150 bucks for a nice CV arcade style controller... I dunno. This seems a neat idea, but I'm just not sure if it's value for money. Not saying "you should make it cheaper!" - I get that this would be an expensive, boutique item just by it's very nature.

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11 minutes ago, dj_convoy said:

Speaking as someone who spent around $150 bucks for a nice CV arcade style controller... I dunno. This seems a neat idea, but I'm just not sure if it's value for money. Not saying "you should make it cheaper!" - I get that this would be an expensive, boutique item just by it's very nature.

I think what sells it for me is not only being able to use it for ColecoVision games but also Atari 2600 games.  In my mind there is a short list of about 10 or so CV games that would work GREAT, and probably more for the 2600!  For example, with this configuration, I'm wondering if Star Castle Arcade would work, and that would be an AMAZING "bonus" in addition to all the current CV games that would work not forgetting there would also be a CV Asteroids release that it would work with too! (obvs) 

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4 minutes ago, TPR said:

I'm wondering if Star Castle Arcade would work, and that would be an AMAZING "bonus" 

Having a quick look at the manual from Star Castle Arcade and I think this would work just fine!  SOLD!!!  I'M IN!!! 

IMG_5571.jpg

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I am no Atari 2600/8-Bit/7800 expert, especially when it comes to "modern" hacks & homebrews, but with a cursory internet/forum search I did a few weeks back, I think I came up with a list of like 12-15 games whereas it's original arcade game was "buttons-only", or they are a "new" game, with similar game play, to a game that was "buttons-only". 

 

FYI...original Star Castle arcade cabinet:

 

ukoFQ4.jpg

 

...buttons-only!

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15 minutes ago, doubledown said:

I am no Atari 2600/8-Bit/7800 expert, especially when it comes to "modern" hacks & homebrews, but with a cursory internet/forum search I did a few weeks back, I think I came up with a list of like 12-15 games whereas it's original arcade game was "buttons-only", or they are a "new" game, with similar game play, to a game that was "buttons-only". 

 

FYI...original Star Castle arcade cabinet:

 

ukoFQ4.jpg

 

...buttons-only!

Yep!!!  Three of my all-time favorite arcade cabinets that I owned at one point were Asteroids, Star Castle, and Space Invaders.  All "Buttons only" and a joystick controller just doesn't feel quite the same.  (I also owned a Carnival as well, so that's another amazing bonus game!)

 

Now... I wonder if your controller would work with MAME via the 2600-dapter on my RetroPie? 🤔

 

(Playing Rip Off with this controller on MAME would be amazing!)

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1 hour ago, TPR said:

Yep!!!  Three of my all-time favorite arcade cabinets that I owned at one point were Asteroids, Star Castle, and Space Invaders.  All "Buttons only" and a joystick controller just doesn't feel quite the same.  (I also owned a Carnival as well, so that's another amazing bonus game!)

 

Now... I wonder if your controller would work with MAME via the 2600-dapter on my RetroPie? 🤔

 

(Playing Rip Off with this controller on MAME would be amazing!)

All ColecoVision, Atari 2600/8-Bit/7800, Commodore Vic-20/C-64, Sega Master System (and others) controllers/ports are wired the same with regards to Up/Down/Left/Right/1st Fire button.  So anything that an Atari or ColecoVision joystick can work on, this controller can work on as well.  It then just depends on the control scheme of the game, if your brain can work it out on the controller to allow for suitable play or not.  The controller is to be wired thusly:

 

- ROTATE LEFT = Joystick Left
- ROTATE RIGHT = Joystick Right
- HYPERSPACE = Joystick Down
- THRUST = Joystick Up
- FIRE = Left CV button
- (Unmarked sixth button) = Right CV button

 

So it is, in essence, a 4-way (technically 8-way if you pressed 2 buttons at once) "push-button joystick variant", with 2 CV-wired fire buttons, same as the CV controllers, minus the keypad.  So while it can work for almost all Atari/Coleco games, it is obviously better suited to games like Asteroids/Space Invaders/Galaxian/Carnival...and several others I'm forgetting off the top of my head.  

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If it's possible to plug this thing into a pc and use with mame, it would be a super attractive product for me. I love asteroids and have been thinking about building a control panel with leaf switches to play it at home.

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So "For Science" I plugged a ColecoVision controller into the 2600-dapter and then plugged that into my Raspberry Pi and it WORKED!  So I was able to play (with some minor controller mapping tweaks) in MAME: Star Castle, Rip Off, and Asteroids with Left/Right controls.  Up for Thrust and Fire for... FIRE!

 

DoubleDown - you can add "RetroPie" (using a 2600-dapter) to your list of consoles that this would work for!  I'm super excited about it!!! 

 

 

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It will have a new black plastic 9-pin connector, (not a salvaged cable/connector , or PC hood with locking screws):

 

db9connectorft1.jpg

 

and wired as Atari standard:

 

Pin 1 - Up

Pin 2 - Down

Pin 3 - Left

Pin 4 - Right

Pin 6 - Primary Fire (Left CV button)

Pin 8 - Common

 

Plus extra wiring/diodes necessary for Secondary Fire (Right CV button)

 

So if the "2600-daptor" works for you with Atari and/or ColecoVision controllers, this controller will work as well. 

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2 hours ago, TPR said:

Yep!!!  Three of my all-time favorite arcade cabinets that I owned at one point were Asteroids, Star Castle, and Space Invaders.  All "Buttons only" and a joystick controller just doesn't feel quite the same.  (I also owned a Carnival as well, so that's another amazing bonus game!)

 

Now... I wonder if your controller would work with MAME via the 2600-dapter on my RetroPie? 🤔

 

(Playing Rip Off with this controller on MAME would be amazing!)

As it sounds like this is, electrically, a 2600/7800 controller, rather than a ColecoVision controller, it should work with the 2600-daptor on a PC. If your 2600-daptor has worked before, this should work.

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Technically it is a ColecoVision controller due to the 2nd button wiring.  Coleco copied Atari's wiring pinout for Up/Down/Left/Right/Left Fire Button for the CV controllers, and added a 2nd common and a bunch of diode witchcraft to allow for the Right Fire button, and the keypad.  The reason was so that the stock CV controllers would also work for all 2600 games played on the Atari Expansion Module.  The Atari 7800 2nd button wiring is done with resistors, not diodes.  If a 7800 controller is used on a ColecoVision, you can use both fire buttons, but not simultaneously...the right fire button wins out...so Tutankham is not playable on the CV, with a 7800 wired controller, as you can't access the flash-bomb which requires both buttons be pressed at once. 

 

If I'm not mistaken if you try to use a CV controller on a 7800, you only get the primary fire button, the 2nd won't work at all...I haven't touched a 7800 in years so I'm not 100% certain about this.  

 

The Sega Master System also followed the Atari pinout, but rather than Coleco's diodes, or Atari's resistors, they wired their 2nd fire button discretely.  

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17 minutes ago, TPR said:

So "For Science" I plugged a ColecoVision controller into the 2600-dapter and then plugged that into my Raspberry Pi and it WORKED!  So I was able to play (with some minor controller mapping tweaks) in MAME: Star Castle, Rip Off, and Asteroids with Left/Right controls.  Up for Thrust and Fire for... FIRE!

 

DoubleDown - you can add "RetroPie" (using a 2600-dapter) to your list of consoles that this would work for!  I'm super excited about it!!! 

 

Thanks for checking!

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