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53 comments

Just use a UZEBOX for your homebrew retrogaming (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45079409)

Why use Arduino for homebrew retro gaming having other ATMEGA based platform specifically designed for retro gaming? If you do not know the GPL licensed UZEBOX console, you should give it a try!

Re:Just use a UZEBOX for your homebrew retrogaming (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 6 months ago | (#45082049)

Or why not just go to Chinamart and get one of those nice "MP4 Players" that are already put together and have controllers built in and everything?

I'm sure the guys that make them would be happy to hand you the code if you asked, after all all they care about is selling the hardware and they already brag about what systems it emulates so its not like they give a rat's ass about IP laws. Plus since it'll run ROMs straight from the MicroSD no problem baking your own homebrew, just choose what system (NES,SuperNES,Genesis,whatever) you want to homebrew on and go for it.

Although I support kickstarter and think any crazy idea sshould be run up the flagpole to see if enough salute i have to wonder why you'd want to reinvent the wheel like this, not like there aren't a bazillion ARM SoC based gaming handhelds on Chinamart right now. Hell contact one of them and tell him you'll spread the gospel of his handheld if he puts out the code, you'd probably get several to choose from.

Re:Just use a UZEBOX for your homebrew retrogaming (1)

Pubstar (2525396) | about 6 months ago | (#45082643)

If only I had mod points - I actually own one of the bootleg PSOne looking devices from some store from Hong Kong. All the classic emulation works amazing on them.

Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45079453)

1. Buy kit.

2. Spend hours lovingly crafting and soldering it.

3. Spend weeks developing games for it.

Fuck it, wipe hands on pants.

Come on, nobody ever gets that. Am I the only person who saw like 500 of those hand dryers in restrooms where some cut-up mocked the overly long set of instructions to dry your hands by crossing them out and writing "Fuck it, wipe hands on pants."?

Re:Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45079571)

That's because hand driers don't work. (the ones that are unchanged since the 40's, that is. The high-pressure ones seem a little better).

Re:Process (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 6 months ago | (#45079991)

Yes they do. The trick is to rub your hands together in the airstream (like you're washing them in the air).

I bet you also wonder why clothes dryers don't work if you jam them full of clothes. Oh, wait, you've never used one.

Re:Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45080491)

Hand driers work better when they have warmed up, which is while under heavy demand (lots of people).

Re:Process (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 6 months ago | (#45080897)

Not if you just stand there with your hands dangling limply underneath them.

The problem is user error. Bug closed.

Re:Process (1)

somersault (912633) | about 6 months ago | (#45081043)

They might work better if you rub your hands together, but that still doesn't mean they're a good design. Some are just far too weak, cold, want you to have your hands in a very specific place, etc.

I've been to a few places now that have airblade [dysonairblade.co.uk] dryers that work pretty well though. No hand rubbing necessary.

Re:Process (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 6 months ago | (#45080023)

Some high pressure ones are way worse. I was at the cinema a few weeks ago, and when I shoved my wet hands into the blade drier I immediately noticed some drops appearing on the mirror in front of my face, only a fraction of a second later did I notice drops of water actually appearing on my face.

I'm a paper towel man. Every advance in technology since then has made things worse.

Same with game consoles, all I see nowadays is the same unrealistically-behaving shit rendered at higher resolutions and higher frame rates. Eye candy, sure, until it moves, and then it becomes clear there are no laws of physics on planet gameconsole.

Yay, back on topic!

Nah git orf moi lawn!

Re:Process (1)

Applekid (993327) | about 6 months ago | (#45082075)

I'm a paper towel man. Every advance in technology since then has made things worse.

Here, here. And taps with actual knobs on them, too.

1. Soap up
2. Rub hands
3. Turn on water
4. Lather up
5. Rinse
6. Quickly grab paper towel, use it to turn off water
7. Toss, get one drying towel
8. Dry hands, keep towel to use to open restroom door
9. Toss in garbage provided inches from the door.

Perfectly hygenic, no triclosan required. Also, 2 minutes of hate for those awful push-taps that are never open long enough to properly wash your hands, compelling the user to either cut it short or pushing the [unclean] button again.

Re:Process (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 months ago | (#45080761)

The Dyson ones where you stick you hands in the slot and then draw them out slowly as they are irradiated seem to work pretty well, except your fingernails fall off.

No, that last part is kidding. They work pretty well and the radiation is in my head.

Re: Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45081731)

You can buy non-kit Arduino boards on eBay, even counterfeit ones, for $10 or less. I like soldering, but it's completely optional and actually can mske your board codt more.

Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45079499)

Nothing in that looked even close to contemporary game graphics. The best it had looked like something from twenty years ago.

no (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#45079687)

so I'm seeing Super Nintendo / Game cube quality graphics there... so no, it's still retro.

Re:no (3)

AC-x (735297) | about 6 months ago | (#45079765)

Damn, when did Gamecube become "retro"? Am I really that old?

Re:no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45079921)

Damn, when did Gamecube become "retro"? Am I really that old?

Looking at your UID: Yes, you are. :-)

Re:no (1, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 6 months ago | (#45079961)

Yes, you are.

I knew I was old as soon as I started hearing songs I listened to in Middle/High school on the radio labeled as classic rock.

(and then my hair fell out)

Re:no (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 6 months ago | (#45081813)

Hear hear, the local rock station regularly plays Iron Maiden as part of regular programming. Such bands would only get played on the radio during "heavy metal" night back in the early 1990s. It's weird hearing Maiden's Run to the Hills next to Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin...

Crowded market (1)

AC-x (735297) | about 6 months ago | (#45079791)

With this, Raspberry Pi, Arduino Tre, pcDuino, Beagleboard etc. the market for low-cost, bare-bones, graphics capable single-board computers is getting pretty crowded...

Re:Crowded market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45079979)

With this, Raspberry Pi, Arduino Tre, pcDuino, Beagleboard etc. the market for low-cost, bare-bones, graphics capable single-board computers is getting pretty crowded...

Alternate view.. More stuff to play with than ever before.

Re: Crowded market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45081751)

Yeah, but it sucks if you're a marketing type.

Re: Crowded market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45087911)

Yeah, but it sucks if you're a marketing type.

True.. But what has this to do with anything?

Re:Crowded market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45082089)

With this, Raspberry Pi, Arduino Tre, pcDuino, Beagleboard etc. the market for low-cost, bare-bones, graphics capable single-board computers is getting pretty crowded...

Alternate view.. More stuff to play with than ever before.

Are there any actual games worth playing, though? The first thing people tend to do after making them run Linux is compiling emulators or MAME. And then it's re-implementing terrible clones of Tetris, Pac-Man, and other exceedingly simple games.

Re:Crowded market (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 6 months ago | (#45080053)

This is not a computer. It's an add-on board.

Re:Crowded market (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#45080073)

yeah yeah you keep telling yourself that.

http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/ICs/FT800.html [ftdichip.com] this into an atmel?

I think there wold be a better market for this thing as providing io to raspberry pi projects rather than arduino.. it's a rather ridiculously mismatched with an 8 bit atmel.. sure you can have 2000 sprites but uh are you going to have ram on the arduino to keep tabs on even where they are?

Re:Crowded market (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 6 months ago | (#45080327)

"Keep telling myself that"? It's a trivially confirmable fact, and you confirmed it by linking the data sheet, so I don't know what you are on about.

And it is quite well matched to the Atmel. It would be pointless on a Raspberry Pi, which has a far more capable GPU built in. This is a GPU specifically built to allow low-spec microcontrollers to drive a graphical user interface.

You really should try to take a bit more time to look into it before trying to score points on the internet.

Re:Crowded market (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#45081729)

raspberry doesn't come with a cheap screen with touch input. this has practical value for raspberry projects - why I said raspberry? because it's cheap, available and many projects need a screen for ouput and some method of input: thus I said it would be great for raspberry io.

it is quite well matched to avr if you want to do a touch ui for a washing machine. it's the ram on the arduino itself that I see as the problem for creating anything really interesting.

the point is that I don't see the point in marketing this for gaming when the other utility is sooo much more better and something that actually makes sense.

compared to the atmel this thing is latched on yes, it is more of a computer than the arduino that it was said to be an add on to..

Compare to RAM in the NES (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#45080985)

Apart from memory connected to the video controller, the Nintendo Entertainment System has 2048 bytes of RAM. (Many games, especially later ones, have an extra 8192 bytes on the Game Pak PCB to store large destructible maps.) The ATmega328 in the Arduino Uno also has 2048 bytes of RAM. The ATmega2560 has 8192 bytes, like a Sega Master System. (Source [arduino.cc]) Tricks to use memory more efficiently include byte-sized variables and even bitfield variables.

Re:Crowded market (1)

AC-x (735297) | about 6 months ago | (#45080181)

... which when combined with an Arduino ends up being something rather similar to the other single board computers I mentioned, just with considerably worse CPU spec.

I suppose you could pair it with a Arduino Tre or pcDuino for better CPU spec, but is this GPU any better than the GPUs built into those boards...

Re:Crowded market (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#45080305)

It's not really a 'GPU' at all in the current sense of term(Do modern 'GPU's even do hardware sprites anymore, or do they just treat them as special, particularly flat, cases of textured polygons?); but if you are into the retro aesthetic and design style/limitations, a chip that does high-speed sprite jockeying is probably going to make you a lot happier than any of the 'Yup, just another OpenGL ES GPU that your desktop would stomp on; but which is so powerful that you would have sold your soul for it back when GLQuake came out...' GPUs that get mated with ARM SoCs these days.

Re:Crowded market (1)

AC-x (735297) | about 6 months ago | (#45080471)

Sure this GPU may be more 2D oriented than the others, but any of those other 3D SoC GPUs are just a library away from doing easy 2D sprites as either 3D planes or even simply doing pixel plotting (after all a 300mhz PC was powerful enough to emulate a SNES at full speed).

Re:Crowded market (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#45080593)

Oh, I'd be the last to claim that most 'retro' computing projects make a whole lot of sense, except perhaps as pedagogical exercises (I have a personal fondness for 'retro' projects involving actual old-school hardware, also a totally irrational hobby; but I find the enthusiasm for using pitifully-weak-but-modern gear kind of baffling), just that if you do happen to swing that way, this FTDI device looks like the graphics and sound synthesis device for you, in a way that contemporary hardware could certainly emulate, probably trivially; but is fundamentally different from. People seem to find that the sport is spoiled by emulation for some reason.

I just do not understand the market for this (3, Interesting)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 6 months ago | (#45079957)

I understand the market for the Pi, arduino, et al. But this is pre-built, and presumably the dev environment is nothing portable outside its own very limited eco system. Sure you have all the IO of the arduino for toying with novel ways of having game input, but that is about it.

Now lets compare it with android. Available cheap, yes. Available with large screens, yes, available in variety's that have pretty durn snappy CPU/GPU combos, yes, large market base, yes, IO (USB, bluetooth, and even NFC, yes, robust dev tools and libraries, yes.

Please don't misunderstand me, I like the concept, but fail to see the utility. If I want to play games, my Optimus G plays better ones than this (which still looks retro! Frogger? Space invaders? Simple platformers?), and I can emulate to play whatever retro stuff I want. If I want to develop games, I have all the tools necessary as well.

Can anyone give me some really feasible use cases for this?

Re:I just do not understand the market for this (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 6 months ago | (#45080015)

Some people enjoy the "programming" part (some people even enjoy it more then the "playing" part).

Re:I just do not understand the market for this (1)

slim (1652) | about 6 months ago | (#45080329)

... and as OP said "If I want to develop games, I have all the tools necessary as well." -- there are cheaper ways to code games.

If you specifically find entertainment in programming within limitations - low RAM etc, then this could be a fun environment to play around in. You'd have to live with the fact that the potential audience for a game on this platform would be tiny.

If you want to to produce something for your portfolio - to show to potential employers - I guess this could be an option. "Look I wrote this game. I wrote it to be portable to demonstrate that I can do that. Here it is running on a PC. Here it is running on Android. Here it is running on Arduino. The last one shows that I can code for systems with limited resources."

NES homebrew (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#45081015)

At that point, why not just code for the Nintendo Entertainment System? It has about the same amount of RAM as an Arduino Uno, and your potential employer's HR department likely grew up playing it. In any case, either this or the NES is likely a useful counterpart to certain Slashdot users who claim developers of games for these limited platforms are "living in the past".

Re:I just do not understand the market for this (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#45080047)

it makes for a cheap dev env for ft800(the chip that makes all the nice things in this happen).

other than that, fuck it. what do you need the arduino for in this? isn't this like driving a raspberry from an arduino except raspberry is more capable in every possible way than the ft800. AND FUCKING CHEAPER!!!!

(I wouldn't be using !!! if this was sold as a ft800 devkit. but no, selling it is full of hype that makes no sense).

Re:I just do not understand the market for this (2)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 6 months ago | (#45080987)

The Gameduino is for the game developer and not the gamer. Gamers aren't going to run out and buy an arduino along with a gameduino and play a game. Working in a memory and CPU constrained programming environment challenges the developer to be more efficient and optimize code. Whereas with a PC, Android or iOS system you have plenty of RAM, storage and graphics capability so you can be pretty sloppy in your code and get away with it.

Re:I just do not understand the market for this (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | about 6 months ago | (#45081685)

Whereas with a PC, Android or iOS system you have plenty of RAM, storage and graphics capability so you can be pretty sloppy in your code and get away with it.

Man, I don't have fond memories of memory/resource management in the old PC and C64 day. Not having to deal 64k blocks for expanded memory is a good thing.

In this day and age, multi-threaded programming is more important than managing memory IMHO. I've done my share of sloppy code, mostly because I had more important things to deal with. Sometimes a nested loop does the job quickly and you can move on to other parts. I have yet gotten a bonus,programming style points and won accolades from my peers by coding beautifully or super-efficiently. It's usually scorn and jealousy. 80% of the code I've worked on, no other soul looks at.

I say use what you have at hand and get the job done. If you got 2 Megs of RAM, use them. If you save the a Meg, you're not going to have some sort of cyber consciousness thank you for using less electricity or cycles. Hell, you may have limited your application by not using all the resources available to you.

If you have the luxury of time, enhance it and make it more bug-free.

Re:I just do not understand the market for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45083285)

In this day and age, multi-threaded programming is more important than managing memory IMHO.

Unfortunately you seem not to be alone with this assumption. And so my memory fills up as all those little processes take up "negligible" memory which in sum is far from negligible.

Re:I just do not understand the market for this (1)

Emperor Shaddam IV (199709) | about 6 months ago | (#45081531)

Well, sometimes its cool to use tools and program on something that most people aren't coding on. I coded a text based 21 Blackjack game on a TRS-80 Model IV back in the day. I also coded a game using Simon's Basic on a C-64. Hardly anyone else did, but it was still cool and I learned a lot.

I don't think its so much for playing or coding the latest games as it is to learn about micro-controllers and low-level game programming AND not everyone is "doing" it. Like everyone that jumped on the Java bandwagon years ago for enterprise apps. Or the .net bandwagon for Microsoft apps. Or like everyone is currently jumping on the "Android" or 'iOS" bandwagon for mobile gaming. :)

Re:I just do not understand the market for this (1)

Creedo (548980) | about 6 months ago | (#45081617)

Can anyone give me some really feasible use cases for this?

Sure. You have a ton of Arduino stuff already set up, and this is a new addition to the number of interesting projects you can play with. In my case, the original Gameduino was fun to mess around with as a learning tool, both for myself and my kids. In addition, I plan to use it as a general purpose display for other 8 bit projects. This version just gives us more to play with.

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