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rj1307

"Dragonfly" my version of the Atari 7800 SD cartridge

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6 minutes ago, Tempest said:

Yes that is exactly what I needed to know, thank you.  Do many 7800 homebrews support those extra sound chips?  Any free homebrews support them?

 

The only one I know of is Bob's newest Pacman Collection XM that supports the Yamaha. There are some sound sample files but those have no real use without a program or game to go with them that would be beneficial to an end user. 

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30 minutes ago, Tempest said:

Yes that is exactly what I needed to know, thank you.  Do many 7800 homebrews support those extra sound chips?  Any free homebrews support them?

Just to add to what @Shawn said A few homebrews support POKEY and the list of them grows daily. Danger Zone supports Pokey, as will EXO, a lot of other Devs are supporting Pokey for new titles and demo's of the new games pop up all the time.

 

I think only Pacman XM supports the Yamaha + a few demos. (they are very good!)

 

Right now Concerto doesn't support ROMs bigger than 144kb but can theoretically do 256kb+16kb RAM and 512kb without RAM so 99% or so of homebrews are covered.

 

Dragonfly supports up to 1024kb ROMS with RAM and has a developer mode allowing roms to be pushed to the cart from PC on the fly for testing without needing to unplug it from the console or swap the SD card (which is really nice for a dev when testing incremental changes on real hardware!)

 

As many people have said, they are both fantastic pieces of kit.

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1 hour ago, Muddyfunster said:

Just to add to what @Shawn said A few homebrews support POKEY and the list of them grows daily. Danger Zone supports Pokey, as will EXO, a lot of other Devs are supporting Pokey for new titles and demo's of the new games pop up all the time.

 

I think only Pacman XM supports the Yamaha + a few demos. (they are very good!)

 

 

 

The demos you speak of that use the Yamaha are they just sound demos or actual games? I'm in the dark and totally missed anything aside from the Pacman one.

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5 minutes ago, Shawn said:

 

The demos you speak of that use the Yamaha are they just sound demos or actual games? I'm in the dark and totally missed anything aside from the Pacman one.

Music demos, trackers that type of thing. There might be more but those are two I tried yesterday. I thought an Amiga had snuck in the back of my 7800.

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1 hour ago, Muddyfunster said:

Just to add to what @Shawn said A few homebrews support POKEY and the list of them grows daily. Danger Zone supports Pokey, as will EXO, a lot of other Devs are supporting Pokey for new titles and demo's of the new games pop up all the time.

 

I think only Pacman XM supports the Yamaha + a few demos. (they are very good!)

 

Right now Concerto doesn't support ROMs bigger than 144kb but can theoretically do 256kb+16kb RAM and 512kb without RAM so 99% or so of homebrews are covered.

 

Dragonfly supports up to 1024kb ROMS with RAM and has a developer mode allowing roms to be pushed to the cart from PC on the fly for testing without needing to unplug it from the console or swap the SD card (which is really nice for a dev when testing incremental changes on real hardware!)

 

As many people have said, they are both fantastic pieces of kit.

Take my money!!!!!

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With @Synthpopalooza producing lots of music for us developers a Pokey chip really should be a considered a minimum requirement going forward to give you the best experience.  For my games Millie and Molly uses the pokey for all sounds and Arkanoid will use it for the majority.

 

Yeah both carts are fantastic and offer plenty for everyone!

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6 hours ago, Muddyfunster said:

Music demos, trackers that type of thing. There might be more but those are two I tried yesterday. I thought an Amiga had snuck in the back of my 7800.

 

Ah ok, those sound files are just a waste of space on an SD card. A sound clip serves no purpose without a game unless you really want to listen to such a thing. The grand majority of 7800 users would not. Surely not a reason to buy extra hardware I think you will agree. The tracker is interesting sure, but not really something the average user would ever consider or use.

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6 minutes ago, Shawn said:

 Surely not a reason to buy extra hardware I think you will agree.

There are an awful lot of A8 enthusiasts with stereo POKEY installations who would disagree. Demoscene stuff is great - you don't have to have a game to enjoy well-made chiptune music. Now if you don't LIKE chiptune music as its own thing, that's fine. Don't bother with extra sound hardware. But this is the classic chicken and egg problem. I can't justify buying the fully tricked-out Dragonfly I might want right now with my daughter's birthday just past, my wife's birthday in <2 weeks, Christmas a week after that, then our wedding anniversary a week after THAT, but if this thing had been announced a couple months ago, I'd have signed up in an instant.  Hopefully there will be some space to get on the end of the list in January sometime. *shrug*

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27 minutes ago, Shawn said:

 

Ah ok, those sound files are just a waste of space on an SD card. A sound clip serves no purpose without a game unless you really want to listen to such a thing. The grand majority of 7800 users would not. Surely not a reason to buy extra hardware I think you will agree. The tracker is interesting sure, but not really something the average user would ever consider or use.

Actually I wouldn't agree :)

 

The music demos aren't "sound clips" like samples of a tune playing over, they are actual arranged tunes. Like SID tunes or the XM equivalent and they sound great. I think a lot of folks would want to try them if they had the XM variant. Plus you get to play games like Pacman XM in it's full sonic glory.

 

Some folks (me included) like expanding older 8 bit hardware with modern updates. One man's trash is another man's treasure. I have a fully decked out BBC Master that I can run Doom and Elite Frontier on, why? it's fun seeing older hardware do stuff it's not supposed to do. I like that aspect of retro hardware.

 

As someone who writes games, if the hardware isn't there, the software never will be. Lots of games support savekey or similar. That only happened because it was made available and people developed for it. Without the hardware being available, no one would develop for it. I'm not saying there will be a slew of XM or Dual pokey stuff overnight, far from it, but it's innovation and it should be applauded. I know we have talented devs and musicians in the community. If this stuff is available I think folks will tinker.

 

If you want something that will play homebrews and original releases, a regular dragonfly will do most folks fine. They can still add stuff like the Pokey later if they want.

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17 minutes ago, Muddyfunster said:

 

Actually I wouldn't agree :)

 

The music demos aren't "sound clips" like samples of a tune playing over, they are actual arranged tunes. Like SID tunes or the XM equivalent and they sound great. I think a lot of folks would want to try them if they had the XM variant. Plus you get to play games like Pacman XM in it's full sonic glory.

 

 

 

If you want something that will play homebrews and original releases, a regular dragonfly will do most folks fine. They can still add stuff like the Pokey later if they want.

 

Fair enough. I agree it's awesome to have such audio in actual GAMES. Playing sound clips alone on your console? Well that might be for some, but not many (not me that is for sure). As for the XM in general? There is no point even mentioning it. The dragonfly is as good as it's gonna get in that regard for some time to come as far as Yamaha audio goes. POKEY & RAM are doable on the Versa PCB.  With the current price of POKEY chips, having a POKEY slapped into a ton of games "just because" is a hard sell as it adds a big uptick in cartridge production cost and sourcing POKEY chips even at their current inflated price is hard to do in bulk. Some games are worth it, some are not.  If POKEY chips where still $5 all day long or when there is a $10 solution down the line (like the HOKEY) that will be great, until then? Not so much. Is a $30 to $40 game worth the price increase to $60 to the majority just to get some POKEY tunes where TIA could have been enough and POKEY is just tacked on? I highly doubt it. People speak with there wallets. And then you have to figure out, ok well there are X number of games that could use this limited number of pokey chips, which ones am I actually going to use them in and then have the other game go under produced as it won't be at it's full potential without the POKEY chip that it really didn't "need" in the first place.

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17 hours ago, Muddyfunster said:

Just to add to what @Shawn said A few homebrews support POKEY and the list of them grows daily. Danger Zone supports Pokey, as will EXO, a lot of other Devs are supporting Pokey for new titles and demo's of the new games pop up all the time.

Not a definitive list by any means but from the top of my head:

 

Yamaha:

Pac-Man Collection XM

 

Pokey:

BallBlazer

Commando

Pac-Man Collection (Pokey version)

Donkey Kong PK

Beef Drop

Bentley Bear's Crystal Quest

Froggie (Pokey version)

Super Circus Atari Age

 

For the discussion of novel hardware configurations... They're nice to have. I've got an AtariVox permenantly plumbed into my 2600 and a stereo Pokey setup in my A8. They're both only supported by a handful of things but those things that do are greatly enhanced by having that hardware there so are most appreciated. Making the hardware mandatory is what will limit your audience to your games, but if it's possible to make it optional, then it will enhance them for those with the bits. I'm liking the take up of the add-ons for the DragonFly. As far as I can tell every single one is going to have at least a single Pokey and the Yamaha. Making it everything we wanted from the XM really. If we only get a few awesome demos/games that support it's features, so be it. For me the above games are already enough to justify it, any more will be a bonus.

 

The biggest problem is selling them as a physical cart given the costs involved, which I totally understand. I think the ability to buy roms from AA will be what might encourage people to use the features. Something I've wanted for a while given it's compounded for me by the cost of importing them.

Edited by juansolo
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I've been using developer mode this morning. 

 

Compile a test build, send it to the cart via USB and run it. No swapping of SD cards.

 

For me this is brilliant. No wear on the SD card slot and time saving for real hardware testing.

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1 hour ago, Muddyfunster said:

I've been using developer mode this morning. 

 

Compile a test build, send it to the cart via USB and run it. No swapping of SD cards.

 

For me this is brilliant. No wear on the SD card slot and time saving for real hardware testing.

This is awesome. That would be very useful!

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So quick question about the pre-order process: do we pay NOW or whenever the OP works his way down the order list and is ready to ship? 

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Get on the list. You will be contacted when it is your turn and Rafal will give you payment options and request confirmation of the configuration/options you want and your shipping address.

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Only when the cartridge is ready for shipment, will I send a message asking for the color of the housing, the selected cartridge configuration (even if someone mentioned it before), asking for the address and sending the payment details. I don't charge for something I don't physically have  :)

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15 minutes ago, rj1307 said:

Only when the cartridge is ready for shipment, will I send a message asking for the color of the housing, the selected cartridge configuration (even if someone mentioned it before), asking for the address and sending the payment details. I don't charge for something I don't physically have  :)

Can confirm this. He did this to me this morning and I paid within the next minutes.

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7 hours ago, juansolo said:

As far as I can tell every single one is going to have at least a single Pokey and the Yamaha.

 

The basic version doesn't come with pokey or Yamaha. Those are addons which have to be purchased.

 

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1 hour ago, Shawn said:

The basic version doesn't come with pokey or Yamaha. Those are addons which have to be purchased.

Indeed, I'm looking at the pre-order list where everyone has specced the Pokeymax and Yamaha (except me who's putting in a regular Pokey).

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6 hours ago, juansolo said:

Indeed, I'm looking at the pre-order list where everyone has specced the Pokeymax and Yamaha (except me who's putting in a regular Pokey).

Nobody's order is actually being taken anyway. We are just being put on the list. We'll be asked for configuration preferences when the carts are ready for shipment. A lot of time to decide. Can't go wrong with a Pokey though. Can always upgrade later if the desire strikes.

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32 minutes ago, Indcsion said:

Does atari 2600 games work?

No, this is for 7800 games/demos only. Concerto does 2600+7800

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Got my Dragonfly today. Serial number "006", equipped with a Pokey Max and a YM2151. Did some quick tests to ensure that everything is working - it is.

Ballblazer is working like the original cartridge (the latter carries an additional Pokey chip). The YM2151 demos are very nice, never thought that this would be possible on the 7800.

Dragonfly's shell is a 3D printed one. Nothing special here, but it feels very solid, fits perfectly in 7800's slot and nothing wobbles nor shakes.

It's menu is simple and easy to understand...would be nice if could display long filenames. Maybe in a later firmware update.

 

So I'm very happy with this module. The only thing is that only hell knows, and this the only Con so far, why this nice Dragonfly sticker is glued at the backside of the module :)

 

IMG_20201217_150014.jpg

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19 minutes ago, larryleffaovell said:

So I'm very happy with this module. The only thing is that only hell knows, and this the only Con so far, why this nice Dragonfly sticker is glued at the backside of the module :)

Because the labels on actual games are the same way?

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