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Topic: Open source, cheap and Do It Yourself handeld console (Read 790 times) previous topic - next topic

Apr 18, 2013, 11:43 am Last Edit: Apr 18, 2013, 12:11 pm by Rodot Reason: 1
I'm designing and open source, cheap and Do It Yourself handheld console. A kind of game boy based on arduino. It's not finished yet, but it's progressing well. It will include the following features :

Hardware : I've already built a first functional prototype !
- Components cost < 15$
- Single sided PCB with easy to solder through hole components
- Size : about 100 * 50 * 20 mm
- Core : atmega328 as it has enough power to be able to run games with scrolling worlds like mario or zelda !
- 4 directional arrows, A, B and start button
- A nokia 3310/5110 screen (84*48 pixels, monochrome)
- ISP port
- RS232 port compatible with the FTDI breakout, to connect the console via usb.
- Power led (optional)
- A buzzer for sound effects and music (optional)
- Battery monitor (optional)
- Multiplayer via I2C (optional)
- Auto-brightness because photo resistors are very cheap (optional)
You'll be free to include or not optional components on your own console, as you'll solder it yourself !

Software, a library (I'm currently writing it) that will handle :
- Frame rate, like the draw() function for people who know processing (done)
- Button state : pressed, held, released (done)
- Sprites : animation, rotation... (done)
- User interface : Menus, settings, high scores... (ongoing)
- Settings : sound, brightness, contrast... (ongoing)
- Music/sound effects (to do)
- Battery level indicator (to do)
- Multiplayer synchronization (to do)
- Performance monitor displaying cpu and ram use to optimize your games (done)
- Examples and tutorials to understand how to code a game

That's the first time I create an open source project, so If you've got any tips, you're welcome. I thought about hosting code on GitHub and a wiki on wikispaces.com

A picture of the first prototype :

A video of a scrolling world made of 32 sprites :
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=242292669244754&set=vb.161970173959248

So... what do you think about this project ?

HazardsMind

#1
Apr 18, 2013, 01:55 pm Last Edit: Apr 18, 2013, 01:57 pm by HazardsMind Reason: 1
It looks like a miniature Sega Gamegear. The color scheme makes it look like an old Game and Watch handheld.
My GitHub:
https://github.com/AndrewMascolo?tab=repositories

I'm a little disappointed, I thought a project like this would have interested people. I'll be back when it'll be completed.

CrossRoads

Well, you post at 4:45 in the morning US east coast time (1:45 west coast time), we're all at work during the day, and now you don't have the patience for us to get home and look at your external (to the forum) links (which are blocked at work for some of us)? 
Please try and contain your disappointment for a few more hours, at least for those of us in the US.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

Oops, I forgot about timezone  :smiley-sweat:
But I said that because I saw the post sinking to the second page, it was a way to "up" it  :smiley-roll:

HazardsMind

As a gamer, I am very interested in your project, but im a little concerned about the amount of memory it will use up.

Quote
Software, a library (I'm currently writing it) that will handle :
- Frame rate, like the draw() function for people who know processing (done)
- Button state : pressed, held, released (done)
- Sprites : animation, rotation... (done)
- User interface : Menus, settings, high scores... (ongoing)
- Settings : sound, brightness, contrast... (ongoing)
- Music/sound effects (to do)
- Battery level indicator (to do)
- Multiplayer synchronization (to do)
- Performance monitor displaying cpu and ram use to optimize your games (done)
- Examples and tutorials to understand how to code a game


That is a lot of memory usage for that particular Atmega chip. Even if you fit all of those in there, how much room will you have to write the games? Do you plan to embed them into the main code or make them as external SD cards?
My GitHub:
https://github.com/AndrewMascolo?tab=repositories

#6
Apr 18, 2013, 08:30 pm Last Edit: Apr 18, 2013, 11:14 pm by Rodot Reason: 1

As a gamer, I am very interested in your project, but im a little concerned about the amount of memory it will use up.


Thank you ! I hope to fit all that stuff in 10kB of ROM, to let 20kB free. I managed to fit a whole game on the 32kB of rom on a previous console with fancy menus, animations, music, a lot of float calculation... it has even been published on hackaday \o/ http://r0d0t.tumblr.com/post/32510849587

About loading games from a SD card, I took a look at it, but the only library able to flash programs from SD card was only able to handle FAT16. FAT16 is for sd cards of 2GB max, and they become hard to find.

I wanted this console to be very simple and cheap. If I manage to raise a community, I'll maybe develop a "slim" version that uses LiPo and surface mounted components, and include an SD card. But I think 32kB of ROM should be enough for a first version ? I hope.

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